Monday, January 2, 2017

The Football Manager's Guide to Football Management by: Iain Mcintosh

The Football Manager's Guide to Football ManagementThe Football Manager's Guide to Football Management by Iain Macintosh
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have discussed in other reviews, my tendency to obsess over things, Recently that thing (for the million of you that don't follow my reviews) is the beautiful game, soccer.

Also, this goes into the fact that I am a hardcore gamer, I am one of these people who have strategy guides to games I don't own. I got into soccer, through football manager. Yes, a nerdy guy who never played sports and sucked at math, got HOOKED on a game that is the SPORTS and the NUMBERS. yeah..made no sense to me either.

All this backstory being put out there, this is a fun, quick well written read. Full of trivia and tales of managers in real life. It also (for a newbie like me) broke down some of the details of things that I didn't quite get.

so, yes...if you like soccer, or management games, or just want some fun, check this if you excuse me, we have a game against Liverpool tonight.

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Patton Oswalt's Love of Movies

Silver Screen Fiend: Learning About Life from an Addiction to FilmSilver Screen Fiend: Learning About Life from an Addiction to Film by Patton Oswalt
Reviewed by Jason Koivu
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A bipolar memoir on two of my favorite subjects, comedy and film.

Comedian Patton Oswalt loves film. There was a period in his life when he was on the fence as to which career path to take. Would he become a comedian or perhaps a director? Silver Screen Fiend takes us down his memory lane of movie binge watching and stand-up routine crafting in a sometimes odd and erratic autobio read.

This book probably only deserves three stars, but I'm going with four, because of my love for the topics, but also Patton spends many a page recalling awesome films in Los Angeles movie houses during the mid-90s, the time that I'd just moved to LA. Call it a nostalgia star.

The book starts a bit rough, almost schizophrenic-like. It felt like he was intentionally setting the bar, trying to see who was willing and able to keep up and put up with his esoteric references and the flip-flopping from movies to comedy. This was well within my wheelhouse and even I was somewhat put off.

However, once you get through the beginning, Patton settles down into some solid soliloquy on silver screen gems and personal anecdotes relating to stand-up. He details his early-years struggle and takes the reader through the start of his career in comedy, including some slap-in-the-face moments when he realized he needed to hone his craft or call it quits.

I remember seeing Patton in the '90s on Comedy Central specials and shows like Dr. Katz. He was an "angry comedian" back then in the vein of Sam Kinison or Lewis Black. Time has mellowed him some. Time and a whole lot of work has given him success. It was nice to watch his transformation and I was happy for him. Then in the spring of 2016 (FUCK YOU 2016!!!) he lost his wife. She died in her sleep and left him to care for his daughter without her. I doubt we'll see much comedy or any new books from Patton for a while. So, I'll be going back and reading his old stuff and hoping he can pull himself through these tough times.

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Leaving Bodies About The Place Is Bad Manners!

Whose Body?  (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries, #1)Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers
Reviewed by Jason Koivu
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

British Jason #1: Jolly good book, what?
British Jason #2: Oh, rather!
British Jason #1: I say, how much longer do you suppose we can keep this up?
British Jason #2: Not long, old bean. I've run out of stereotypical Brit words and this ridiculous accent is doing me head in!

I almost filed this all up in my PG Wodehouse shelf. The similarities in style, setting and character are striking. There's a somewhat daffy lead in Lord Peter Wimsey, though he's clearly got more on the ball than Bertie Wooster. There's the taciturn Parker, just a little looser and given more freedom than the butler Jeeves. After all, Parker is a police investigator and his own man. Even the time and place, 1920s England, hits the Jeeves/Wooster mark.

The mystery of who dunnit wasn't exactly mind-boggling. I suspected the culprit almost the moment he hit the stage. But this mystery doesn't seem to care for the diabolical plot as much as others in the genre. Dorothy Sayers appears perhaps more interested in developing a deeper character. No, no one between the pages of Whose Body? is coming close to Dostoyevsky's Raskolnikov, but Sayers seems more concerned with her whys as opposed to her whos.

For instance, the reasoning behind Lord Peter's desire to catch criminals comes into question more than once through the book. His past reaches into the present to color the proceedings. These are nice touches that you don't tend to get with Agatha Christie.

Does Sayers always succeed in her quest for why? No. Allow me to explain:

The criminal's confession is more than a mystery genre trope. It's a staple. Unnaturally delivered admissions of guilt absolutely abound in these books and it is taken to a RIDICULOUS extreme in Whose Body? Sure, the bad guy is said to be one of those clever chaps who needs to brag, but that doesn't justify the lengths to which the character details his every move. Let's face it, Sayers had come up with something good and she couldn't help blurting it out. Bah, I don't care. It was very interesting after all.

I don't think I could put this review to bed without mentioning this book's racism. It is a product of its time, a time when Jewish intolerance was rising and no one but whites were thought much of by whites. Also, at one point the main character says something like "He's got a touch of the tar-baby in him." Perhaps it's all part of Sayers' attempt to create a well-rounded and representative person from 1920s England. Perhaps it was the casual racism that came naturally to her as it did to so many of her era. If you don't understand and need an example, have a look around. It's the same sort of casual racism happening today.

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