Last night, while driving home from Thanksgiving dinner, I finished the audio version of Dolores Claiborne, written by Stephen King and overall I liked the story quite a lot.
Dolores Claiborne is about a woman who stands accused of murdering an employer. She surprises everyone by freely admitting to murdering her husband many decades prior. The reasons for the old crime were masterfully woven into the present accusation in a surprising and grotesque way, as I have come to expect from King.
As Dolores continued telling her story and I realized that the book would really be a one-person narrative; I was a bit put off. I stuck with it though and I was not disappointed. As the puzzle pieces of the story fell into place, I became more impressed. The relationship between Dolores and Vera was very real. Regardless of their different life stations in the small town setting, they became good friends and taught each other needed lessons (good and bad) as real friends usually do.
It only made sense that Dolores wanted to come clean when the accusations were being made about Vera's death. Dolores had been holding on to her secret about her late husband's death for decades. No matter how "right" Dolores was for the actions she took, she had been tormented since the event and lived with constant guilt and the knowledge of how it affected her family. To suddenly be accused of killing her friend Vera, meant the authorities might dig deeper and try to connect prior events. Dolores was not a scheming criminal who got some kind of kick from hurting others. She was a woman trying to do right and in the end she was tired of the games. If I was in Dolores' position, I would have opened up also and let it all out.
My only point of disbelief was the kid's bank accounts. It the police were checking into whether there were insurance motives concerning Joe's death, why would they not check on bank accounts? I mean, at least ask questions about who had what money in their name or were there any recent deposits or withdrawals. Just because the bank representative had things to lose so he kept quiet, didn't mean that others could not have at least asked some banking questions.
Other than this point, Dolores' attempt at the keeping her of secrets in a small town and living with the repercussions made this a very believable situation. I applaud Stephen King for being able to successfully tackle this unique way of storytelling. In other words, I like the book and I give it four out of five stars.
To those that have not yet read the book:
Beware the dust bunnies with their dusty teeth :)
As an old poorly colorized movie fought its way though my HDMI cables and the mostly red and blue images lit up my flat screen, I thought back to the state of movie-watching, decades past, as compared to now. It’s hard to believe that there was such a thing as “pre-cable.”
Movies were such precious things back in the day. The only way that you could see a beloved film would be to return to the theater again and again. Popular ones could run for years and at times it seemed they would never find their way to the small, home screen. I guess after the money that Hollywood and theater owners could squeeze out of patrons had been exhausted, we couch potatoes could finally get to see our favorites. That is, after they cut the film to pieces with commercials, parental restrictions and made-to-fit your-television formatting, of course.
I remember a particular TV show, which came on only in the evening, in New York on Channel 9. It was called The Million Dollar Movie. It would run only movies, some pretty old, others pretty bad. There was one in particular that made me have nightmares and the fear stayed with me for years. By today’s standards, the flick might be considered pretty lame but it had enough of a strong theme to scare the crap out of a particular ten year old. By the time the movie got to the small screen, in 1963, I was ten. The movie I’m talking about was called Invaders from Mars and it was made back in 1953.
When the film premiered in theaters, Americans were still healing from the open wounds of World War II, which ended in 1945. The country was also dealing with the creeping fear that insidious forces might still attempt to influence and overcome their way of living. The not so unreal paranoia of take-over caused many to relate to this film and similar ones of the era.
I’ve read countless reviews about Invaders from Mars and the common thread was always the same. The fact that scary movies easily instilled fear in those of us who were of an impressionable age goes without saying. But the fear that a more ominous threat was on the way helped the more adult audience to identify on a level that they all knew too well.
The belief that the Black man of the 1950s might be someone to be uncomfortable around was not so quietly being used in this film. For some, having this person’s face, as the leader was probably a little more than disturbing, especially since he was described as, “Mankind developed to its ultimate intelligence.” He was of ultimate intelligence on Mars but still fighting for rights on Earth. I guess the movie producers decided to use a Black guy to mess with the movie-goers heads. In actuality, this “guy” was an actress named Luz Potter born in Chihuahua, Mexico. Her name was never mentioned in the credits but neither were any of the other Martians in the movie for that matter.
As seen today as a horror flick, it’s hard to understand what all the fuss was about. The visible zippers down the backs of the Martians made me laugh and the long lectures by the scientist about space travel were drawn out and boring. But regardless of how rationally we can look at things today, the ten year old in all of us will always have a reason to fear the unknown. I guess it’s just a matter of perspective.
I decided not to review this book until I finished reading the trilogy (Foundation, Foundation and Empire, Second Foundation). This is because I was trying to give the entire read a chance. At one point I almost put the book down and I will explain why.
Foundation is about a scientist named Hari Seldon who has surmised that the Galactic Empire would fall and humanity would experience a dark age for 30,000 years. Seldon found a way to shorten that time to 1,000 years as long as his plan was followed. Isaac Asimov ambitiously pulled together this rather long chain of events from previously written short stories and the finished product has its good and not-so-good points.
Foundation does have interesting characters (like Seldon) but much of the story has virtually little character development. Instead, Asimov's use of situations like "The Seldon Plan" represents Hari Seldon. By repeatedly bringing the dead scientist's revelations and truths to civilization, the character is brought back to life so that his work can be continued. I find this to be an interesting writing technique but it’s not a true substitute when the need is to understand the man himself. Asimov again does this with others (speak of their accomplishments and its effect) but I would have preferred to know more about key people like Gaal Dornick and Salvor Hardin.
I’ve read that the tale was originally published over time in Astounding Science Fiction Magazine, years prior to the story coming together in book form. I guess this explains why the action tends to jump to different characters and time periods as the story is evolving. Unfortunately, as soon as I became invested in an interesting protagonist, another would take his place. As I read on, I tried not to let this bother me.
Many of the stories were intriguing (the courtroom scene was one and another was about how effortlessly a planet and its army could be made to shut down). The narration brought me to the edge of my seat but I was disappointed when the focus soon moved to another scenario. This type of writing made it difficult for me since the momentum of the storytelling kept changing. I found myself screaming for more and not getting it. Halfway through the book, the pattern almost made me stop reading. Curiosities concerning the trilogy’s fame made me continue and I'm happy that I did.
Regardless of this, Asimov is a fantastically inventive storyteller. The formation of the Psychohistorians, the Encyclopedists and the anticipation of a Second Foundation is complex and well thought out. It’s easy to understand why Asimov is considered the father of literary science fiction. Foundation was published in 1951 and once widely distributed, many standards for writing sci-fi and were set. It becomes obvious that many writers have attempted to replicate Asimov's impressive use of civilization building and historical cause and effect.
Overall, I gave Foundation 4 out of 5 stars and recommend that others read it because of its historic significance and also because there was just enough in it to keep the reader interested.
Dreams often feel like another form or reality we’re experiencing. They are sometimes difficult to explain or even to remember, but we know it felt so real and vivid while we were dreaming it. Dreaming is a trance-like state during which our body and mind rest, or so it should be. Our mind doesn’t really rest, though.
But what are dreams exactly?
There are hundreds of different and competing theories about what dreams really are. Roughly speaking, dreams are sensations, thoughts, images and fantasies we experience while we’re asleep. According to Sigmund Freud, dreams are our window into the realm of unconscious. And the unconscious is dozens and even hundreds of times bigger and more powerful than our conscious.
During our R.E.M. phase we are in our deepest stage of the sleep cycle. This is when our eyes start moving rapidly, our muscles paralyze and our breathing becomes uneven. During R.E.M cycle our dreams are the most vivid.
Sometimes a dream is simply a dream – but sometimes it’s something more.
Do we leave our bodies when we sleep?
People all around the world have had some rather bizarre experiences when they are actually able to detach themselves from their bodies. You know this because you’re able to see yourself while you’re sleeping. It’s a bizarre phenomenon and nobody really knows what happens in this stage of sleep.
Scientist have also been puzzled by this dream dilemma, and are trying to figure out the nature of this phenomenon. Is our spiritual body really leaving our physical, or is it just a form of deception, a mind trip?
In a new study, researchers used a camera that created an illusion to participants that their physical body was at the other side of the room while they were lying in a brain scanner. They measured the participant’s brain reaction to the illusion created, to determine which parts of the brain were lit up the most. It turns out that the conscious feeling of where one’s body is stems from our feeling of ownership of our body.
It all points to the amazing power of our brain. But there is so much yet to know. Scientists are aware that even though they can measure which parts of the brain light up, they still don’t know what exactly is going on in the brain while people are experiencing this.
Is our brain simply playing tricks with us, or is there something more to it?
Read THE DREAM DILEMMA
A sixteen year old slave named Judy has arrived in Louisiana but this ruthless psychic has an agenda of her own.
I just finished reading Ivy's Envy (Want & Decay
Book 1) by Latashia Figueroa and gave it 5 stars.
The author innocently grabs your attention from the very beginning and then moves you along with realistic characters on this emotional rollercoaster of lust and envy. I could not put this book down until I was finished. Look out Stephen King, you've got competition. I'm anxiously waiting to read book 2.
A disturbingly Great Find!
The greatest happiness you can feel is when you share with someone you love.