Monday, April 13, 2015

At The Five-Two: "Man Stalked Woman..."

© by Gerald So | | 5:45 A.M.

This week, a poem by A.J. Huffman with audio reading by me:

We're about halfway through 30 Days of The Five-Two. If you're inspired, join in anytime.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Netflix's Daredevil

© by Gerald So | | 4:30 P.M.

I happened to be mostly free today, so I watched all thirteen episodes more or less back-to-back starting shortly after 3:00 A.M. Eastern. I'm quite the Daredevil fan, so this review may not be very objective or entirely spoiler-free, but I will try. The moment I heard about it, I knew I'd be watching this show, so I avoided any hype or reviews beforehand.

I found the performances excellent across the board, particularly Bob Gunton as the Kingpin's mouthy accountant, Leland Owlsley, and Toby Leonard Moore, as Fisk's scarily loyal right-hand man, James Wesley. On Team Good, Matt, Foggy, Karen, and Ben Urich each followed their own leads to intricate storylines. No one seemed secondary nor did they team up too quickly. In the same way Daniel Craig made me forget anyone else had played James Bond, Charlie Cox and company washed away 2003's choppily cut Daredevil movie. (I thought the director's cut too long by comparison.)

I'm sure Daredevil fans are watching, but if you're looking to be properly introduced to the characters, this is the Daredevil we fans want you to see.

Monday, April 06, 2015

James O. Born Interview

© by Gerald So |

Career law enforcement officer James O. Born's new novel, Scent of Murder, on sale tomorrow, focuses on K-9 police work. Preparing to tour for the book, Jim made time to answer my emailed questions.

At The Five-Two: Dennis Weiser

© by Gerald So | | 5:30 A.M.

We're up to Day 6 of 30 Days of The Five-Two, and our Poem of the Week is "Entrepreneur's Primer":

And posting to The Five-Two at noon today, Charles Rammelkamp's commentary on Roger Netzer's "You Didn't Mean to Kill Anyone".

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Back to Noir at the Bar NYC, Sunday, April 12

© by Gerald So | | 10:15 A.M.

At the invitation of friend and organizer Thomas Pluck, I'll be reading at Noir at the Bar NYC Sunday, April 12, 6:00–9:00 P.M. at Shade, 241 Sullivan Street, along with Julia Dahl, Dan Krokos, Pluck, Alex Segura, S.A. Solomon, Jeff Soloway, Clare Toohey, and Rich Zahradnik.

Apropos of national poetry month, I'm reading three of my poems, from Noir Riot and BEAT to a PULP, including one about that good drinker Charles Bukowski. I will also have three copies of Silver Birch Press's NOIR Erasure Poetry anthology for you to win. I look forward to meeting everyone.

Speaking of, 30 Days of The Five-Two continues today with B.V. Lawson musing the musicality of six poems.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

30 Days of The Five-Two

© by Gerald So | | 2:30 P.M.

No fooling. It's time for another 30 Days of The Five-Two blog tour.

This year I've made it as spontaneous as a blog tour can be. Most days feature a Five-Two poem that may inspire you to join the tour with a blog post or comment. If you are inspired, email G_SO at YAHOO dot COM and I'll link to your post on the schedule.

It all starts with Catherine Wald's hardboiled creation story, "Eve Shrugged".

Monday, March 30, 2015

I've Finally Seen: THE NOVEMBER MAN

© by Gerald So |

I'm a fan of Bill Granger's November Man books, about veteran American spy Peter Devereaux, which ran from the late 1970s through the mid-90s. And though I am a Pierce Brosnan fan, too, I was wary the movie wouldn't work as well without the books' Cold War backdrop (See also Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit). I watched it yesterday on Netflix streaming.

The movie begins in 2008 with near-retirement Devereaux training young protegé David Mason (Luke Bracey) but soon flashes to 2013 and Devereaux's old handler Hanley (Bill Smitrovich) bringing him back to meet with a Russian spy who only trusts Devereaux. A rival faction of the CIA, working with Mason, kills the spy as Devereaux is trying to whisk her to safety. In response, Devereaux kills everyone on Mason's team, but leave Mason himself alive. Likewise, Mason decides to leave Devereaux alive.

I thought The November Man would be brisk for a spy movie, running under two hours, but there are parts that drag as Devereaux pursues his agenda and Mason tries to catch up while Hanley has his own goal in mind. That brand of intrigue was reminiscent of the books, though I don't recall the movie's specific plot from the books.

The movie was made for just over $20 million. It didn't make back its budget in the U.S. but probably did overseas. All the same, I enjoyed Brosnan as a laconic retired spy. I'd have trouble believing a retired spy would keep un-retiring.

At The Five-Two: Ron Hayes

© by Gerald So | | 4:30 A.M.

This week, teacher Ron Hayes offers "A Contemplation on Killing":

The Five-Two's annual April blog tour begins Wednesday. I've picked some poems that may inspire you to join in. Be my guest.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

THE CRIME OF OUR LIVES by Lawrence Block

© by Gerald So | | 7:00 A.M.

Published in ebook last week, The Crime of Our Lives is largely a collection of introductions Lawrence Block has written to other crime writers' work over his long career.

Like most people who read for pleasure, I'd bet, I usually skip introductions and get to the main content. I've also taken several writing workshops by choice, and my writing is better for them, but discussions of craft usually don't interest me. There's some appeal in knowing how a magic trick is done, but knowing doesn't mean you can do the trick with the same flair yourself. Very often, what works for one writer doesn't work for the rest.

In this case, though, when Block offered me an ebook of "T-COOL" to review, I jumped at it because I enjoy hearing Larry talk about writers and writing. After all those workshops, I found myself teaching freshman composition at Hofstra University, a most un-creative job that fortunately included the privilege to check books out of Hofstra libraries for semesters at a time. That was how I came across Block's writing manuals, which, more than any workshop, sustained the notion of spending my life writing.

With the same dry wit and way with words in The Crime of Our Lives, Block gives closeups of twenty-one writers' tricks and leaves the fun of reading them intact because he's a reader, too.