peteg's blog

Tim Page: Derailed in Uncle Ho's Victory Garden

/noise/books | Link

My old bookseller on the corner of Bến Thành market has moved on, so I dealt with her non-English-speaking colleague. I got this one on the strength of the topic alone, viz taking the train from Hồ Chí Minh City to Hà Nội soon after the country was reunified. It was disappointing though, for Page's style is a pale imitation of Hunter S. Thompson or thereabouts, and there aren't any photos. His attempts to find out what happened to his photojournalist mates failed to grab me. More context and detail would have been better, even if he covered less ground by doing so.

He has a lot to say and has probably said it elsewhere.

The English Patient

/noise/movies | Link

A movie that tries to appeal to everyone: a bit of war, romance, deserts, exotic localities, history and so forth. It succeeds mostly when expansive, and is tedious when personal. Fiennes does OK, but is lumbered by an incoherent character who gets implausibly histrionic when he should have been stone cold. Binoche steals the show, as she always does, and won an Oscar for doing so.