Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Serenity: The Shepherd's Tale, Joss Whedon, Zack Whedon, Chris Samnee

Serenity: The Shepherd's Tale
Joss Whedon, Zack Whedon, Chris Samnee

The Shepherd's Tale is a short graphic novel given much of the back story behind Shepherd Book, one of the characters from Firefly and Serenity. I enjoyed it greatly, but I am a fan. In truth it's a quick read, but it seems important back story for the series. I wish it could have been fleshed out in the original medium, though, rather than in book form.

An interesting device is the telling of the shepherd's story in reverse, starting at the Haven Mining Colony and working back through his life, linking formative incidents and events in a chain.

Recommended for fans. Those who don't know Firefly and Serenity need not bother until they do know them.

Wired: The short life and fast times of John Belushi, Bob Woodward

Wired: The short life and fast times of John Belushi
Bob Woodward

I decided to read this book because I have made the comment on a few occasions that certain authors need a visit from the samurai editor. And of course, when you get there you have to think about John Belushi. He was an amazing performer and capable of so much.

Sadly Wired can only be described as a downer.

The writing is utilitarian, not pretty, but it's a journalist's account of Belushi's life, not a fan's, so that is to be expected. The problem is actually the subject matter.

Belushi's slide into drug addition and death makes for painful reading. He had a cocaine habit of vast proportions, and his fame meant he had more than enough money to sustain it. To make matters worse, though, almost the entire culture he was surrounded with treated it as perfectly normal. A couple of people seemed to have tried to provide some restraint, but nothing was effective and the train wreck that was his life continued without a hiccup. Woodward drops names all over the place, and almost none come away looking good. It makes for unpleasant reading.

If you want to know more about Belushi's short life you'll find it in Wired, but it isn't fun reading.