7.06pm

This is What Came Out of Me – Episode 17:

In which I talk about a couple of movies, a brilliant podcast series, a bloody good book, and a great TV show…

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10.44am

This is What Came Out of Me – Episode 16

In which I talk about The Imagination Library, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and a book by Sebastian Junger…

9.04am

18lvwf9fvw4d4jpgOne of my favourite guilty pleasure movies is Starship Troopers. It is big dumb fun and something that I have seen countless times. Despite all that, I never knew that it was actually based on a book, let alone a book written in 1959!

The fact of the matter though is that beyond the title and basic premise (humans vs alien bugs) there is not a lot that is similar. They are very different, and to be honest, I think I enjoyed the movie more.

I found the book to be quite disjointed, and it jumped in time several times without clearly explaining that that was what it was doing. I have heard of others describing the book as going deep on things like Social Darwinism, but I dunno, maybe I’m dumb, but it was just flat out boring in places. Maybe the Darwinism was filtering out a simpleton like me from understanding some real or perceived subtext. Many parts of the book are taken up with with long discussions or conversations on war and country and militaristic philosophy, and these parts made my eyes gloss over – not because this doesn’t interest me, but because these parts seemed so different from scenes just a page or so before. It was like a fictional sci-novel had been printed and mixed up by accident in a philosophical non-fiction book. But then again, maybe having only had the movie as my point of reference for many years affected some deeper unknown preconception for me.

Maybe I was expecting a rollicking action novel, but it is definitely not that.

10.48am

61M3EW9ThKL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_I first heard of Thaddeus Russell on Joe Rogan’s podcast, and although he had some weird views on some matters (he believes there is no difference between Asian and African people, for example), he was interesting to listen to. In the podcast they mentioned his book A Renegade History of the United States so I decided to check it out.

I love history books, especially when they are written in a way that is engaging and interesting, and not just a boring run down of numbers and facts. Renegade covers US history from the early days in a fast moving and action packed way. History often focuses on individuals and politicians, when in reality it is the populace and Joe on the street that gives the real impetus behind movements. This books focuses on these people – the cowboys, the prostitutes, the dock workers, the jazz musicians, and shows that America rose, not at the hands of a few, but with the power of the many.

It gives a taste of what life was like as America grew up, and shines a light on some unknown areas of the past. Definitely worth a read if you like your history books to have a bit of dirt and grit.

4.19pm

American_Psycho_by_Bret_Easton_Ellis_first_US_paperback_edition_1991Regular readers will know that I am an avid consumer of movies and books, and I really like reading books from which movies have been made. A favourite movie in our house is American Psycho, and I have had the book that this is based on loaded on my eBook reader for a long time. I finally got around to reading it and goddam what a weird book.

Weird in a good way.

This won’t be for everyone as its constant lists and descriptions of what people are wearing or eating, and Huey Lewis and the News deconstruction, and straight up brutal and graphically described murder might turn some people off. As a snapshot, however, of a broken mind, nostalgic places in time, and the briefest glimpses of vulnerability, it absolutely shines. It is skilfully written and easy to read, and will simultaneously horrify you and intrigue you.

There is not much more to say really. Pick it up and read it, you’ll know within about 40 pages if its for you or not…