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Showing posts from November, 2013

The Eighth Doctor & His Awesomeness

So, apparently, the Eighth Doctor made a little appearance today. To which, all I can say is...SQUEE!!!!! *ahem* Anyway, given the wonderful little prelude (I refuse to call it a "prequel") that is "Night of the Doctor," a lot of people may be wondering how to get into the Eighth Doctor. After all, between audio plays and books, he's one of the most written about Doctors. So, here are my suggestions of 3 audio plays and 5 books to, hopefully, get you hooked on one of my favorite Doctors: the troubled romantic Doctor, the poet Doctor, the one who keeps his thoughts to himself but wears his heart on his sleeve.

Audio
Quite a few people listen to Big Finish Audio plays and have been making decent suggestions today as to what plays to listen to to experience McGann in audio form. Obviously, the first story with any companion is a good jumping on point, the Lucie Miller series (beginning with Blood of the Daleks) being an especially good place to start, as the format…

War and Peace 2013: Entry 21--Readings Twenty-One & Twenty-Two

N.B.: This post will discuss only the events through the end of Book IV, Part 2. Unlike with The Odyssey, the eventual resolution of the story is not necessarily common knowledge, so I will make every attempt to avoid spoilers.

"Man's cannot grasp the causes of events in their completeness, but the desire to find those causes is implanted in man's soul."

By the time Tolstoy has reached Book IV of his sprawling epic, it's hard not to detect a sense that old Leo has given up on writing anything resembling a "novel" and is instead concerned almost solely with writing a philosophical tract about...well...everything. War, history, theology, love, death, etc.--everything that constitutes life as it has been experienced since the dawn of time interests Tolstoy. Except, by and large, his own characters. Part 1 of Book IV is Tolstoy trying to rush as many plots toward their eventual conclusion as he possibly can, while Part 2 is largely composed of either dispatc…

War and Peace 2013: Entry 20--Death of a Hero

N.B.--This post will focus almost exclusively on one character, including his/her death. If you haven't read through Book IV, Part 1, there's still time to turn back without getting spoiled. In fact, here's a picture of a young Tolstoy looking pretty dapper to separate this note from the bulk of the post to provide a buffer zone.


After lingering in a liminal state due to the severe wounds he received at the Battle of Borodino, Prince Andrew Bolkonsky dies surrounded by those he loved and who love him best. Of course, he really "dies" because Tolstoy wishes it to be so. The question is why?

I deliberately set this post somewhat aside from the main flow of posts because I think Tolstoy's treatment of Andrew's life and death deserve some space of their own. And I was taught to state my thesis in my title if possible, so I named it "Death of a Hero." Andrew is, for me, the true heroic figure of the novel--only, as often happens, the heroic figure of…