peteg's blog

T. Coraghessan Boyle: The Relive Box.

/noise/books | Link

On the strength of Deb Olin Unferth's review. Well, her review is better than the source material. The titular story made me wish for Charles Yu's inventiveness (time travel via tenses); this one is more mechanistic, less playful, and small minded. Addiction, escapism: the modern world is fully horrible or at least thoroughly incapable of satisfying. The story on Argentine Ants was nothing special, and the one about the classic spam fraud/hoax somehow left out all novelty whatsover. Well written, sure.

/noise/beach/2018-2019 | Link

Since the demise of Paris Seafood (sniffle) I've been trying to find another place for decent salads and fish. Today it was the turn of Ramsgate Beach Seafood, who do a moderately priced grilled fish, small greek salad, chips sorta thing. Afterwards I wandered down to Dolls Point Beach, stopping for a passable but nonfunctional coffee at Coffee in the Park (next to Le Beach Hut). Being so close to the Georges River, jetskis make the beach a little unpleasant and unsafe (see here, here, and then start googling). I got the impression that watercraft were supposed to out past a pylon, and most where, including a boat marked "maritime" that was going lightspeed northwards, but not the jetskis! Still cool getting in, but pleasant once that's done. No breakers of any kind; just the wakes of passing boats. The beach is a strange hard flat expanse that presumably gets mostly covered at high tide. Read a little more of my book while drying out.

The biggest turnoff about that part of Sydney is the traffic horrorshow that is The Grand Parade.

The Eye of the Storm

/noise/movies | Link

"They printed the reviews of your King Lear in the Sydney papers..." — mum Rampling to son Rush (real life version).

In two sittings. This is an adaptation of a Patrick White novel, and is almost entirely a bust. Perhaps it might work on the page, given White's facility with language and artifice, but definitely not on the screen.

The stars are Australian matriarch Charlotte Rampling, daughter Judy Davis (an insecure made Parisian princess), son Geoffrey Rush (a London thespian of some stripe). Robyn Nevin. Helen Morse. Colin Friels turns in an all-ocker effort as the 1972-will-to-power Whitlam/Hawke "Athol Shreve". Nurse Alexandra Schepisi (daughter of director Fred Schepisi) is a (naive?) cultureless social climber, who initially doesn’t like being called on it but realises after she is thwarted that she belongs with her familiar working-class milieu. Rush utters a "yum" in her direction; somehow the ladies slaver over him. Go figure. The plot boils down to the kids returning to Sydney with expectations of imminently receiving their inheritance from their diminishing but still domineering mother. I get the impression that Rampling falls off the throne in a similar manner to White's own mum. The concerns are his usual preoccupations: death, sex, social class, social mores. The obvious point of comparison (beyond King Lear) is Magnolia (this came after, White's novel before): Tom Cruise's "respect the cock" is a lot more powerful than twee observations about the word "penis", and so forth. The settings show a now-deceased old new-money Sydney that might just be zombie-shuffling to the races even now.

This was a bit of a dry run: Sydney Theatre Company is putting on A Cheery Soul soon and I wonder if it's worth going to. The synopsis sounds sketchy.

Manohla Dargis. Jim Schembri. Jake Wilson: the novel got boiled down to a soap opera.

/noise/beach/2018-2019 | Link

Early evening snorkel off the scuba ramp at Gordons Bay. Decent visibility, but not really necessary as all the big fry (including the big blue groper) were close to the shore. Saw about five stingrays settling in for the night, and some massive wrasse. Windy, so drying off was no problem but hanging onto the hat was.