Tuesday, November 11, 2003

current reads and listens

Two wonderful books from Shashi Tharoor: India: From Midnight to Millennium is a welcome introduction for me to the background of Indian politics since independence (including "stuff that they did not tell you in your history textbooks"). The work is admittedly very subjective, but Tharoor's chapter exploring the changing caste system in Kerala and what it means to be a marunaadan malayaali really struck a very very personal chord. Not too many books have done that for me. Show Business, on the other hand, is a satire of the Bollywood movies and the moviemaking machine, written in true Bollywood fashion (how reflexive can you get!), and borrows a lot from the life and times of superstar Amitabh Bachchan. Complete with ditties, monologues, clichéd dialogues and situations, bad villain names, terrible costumes, and gossip. Even though I haven't finished either, I strongly recommend both, along with The Great Indian Novel. Tharoor also has a new book on Nehru coming out soon.

Revisited is my first long introduction to Blue Öyster Cult (connections include John Carpenter's Halloween and the TV miniseries adaptation of The Stand)

The Paradine Case is a very strange and deceptive title for what is essentially a compilation of piano pieces composed by Franz Waxman, Bernard Herrmann, and Alex North. The first track is from Waxman's score for Hitchcock's The Paradine Case, and gives the compilation its title. Good sleeve notes add value to the two Herrmann tracks (the reason I even picked this up), one from Hangover Square, and the other a short prelude for piano from 1935.

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