Friday Fix

It's Friday and time to check-in on the awesome finds discovered during the week.

The Four Legendary Kingdoms by Matthew Reilly (Pan MacMillan)
Matthew Reilly has been a big part of the Lindorff library for years. From Ice Station to the more recent The Great Zoo of China, Reilly's books are a fast-paced run at history, mythology, politics, and action, and they are a lot of fun to read. More than that, they were the antidote for a very reluctant reader and a healthy discussion point for a family with very diverse interests. Mixing puzzles with explosions, character with technology, Reilly's books are a shock of adrenaline in words.

The Four Legendary Kingdoms is Reilly's latest release, book four of the Jack West Jr series. Kidnapped and forced to participate in the very secret Great Games, West finds himself at the centre of an international and intergalactic conspiracy to save the world and learn all the things (that will make much more sense when you read it!!).

I'm a big fan of this series for the simple, and yes ridiculous, reason that the heroes are an Australian soldier and an Egyptian girl. The beauty of Reilly's characters and stories is that while they are chocka block full of guns and bad guys and explosions it's the characters that keep you hooked, and for the most part the day is saved, not through brawn, but through brains. These are complex and interesting people in complicated and unreal circumstances, and while a large portion of their story involves running and fighting, it also involves problem-solving, bravery and loyalty.

The Four Legendary Kingdoms may be the slower of the series, but launches a brand new intrigue for Huntsman and his team. A good Christmas read.

I'll be in conversation with Matthew Reilly as part of the Lord Mayor's Writers in Residence program at Brisbane City Hall, Wednesday 23 November. It's free to attend, but bookings are a must! Click here for more.

Movie Accent Expert Breaks Down 32 Actors' Accents (Wired)
Philip Seymour Hoffman as Capote
gets a big thumbs up.
You may have gathered that I like movies. Stories, really. I like learning new stuff and seeing how other people live, and a big part of the authenticity of film is the actor's portrayal. Accents are just one component of the role and can honestly make or break a portrayal, particularly make or break that suspension of disbelief. Take Sean Connery for example. I do not watch any of his films for an authentic experience of life as a Russian, primarily because I can not for one second buy his accent (amongst other things).

This great clip from dialect coach Erik Singer analyses the accents of some big films and big Hollywood names. It's really interesting to discover the level of detail he can discern, and he's able to articulate how it works or doesn't work. And it's funny. Worth a watch.

What are you loving this week?


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