Monday, February 20, 2006

TV: Slings & Arrows

So not only is Rachel McAdams lovely, talented, and in possession of the good sense to bail on Tom Ford’s sleazy and idiotic Vanity Fair cover. She also had the class to return to this winning Canadian TV series about backstage hijinks at a theater festival after MEAN GIRLS and THE NOTEBOOK made her a star, allowing the show to wrap up her storyline and set up the second season.

Book: Go By Go, by Jon A. Jackson (1998)

Jackson’s novel begins as a tough-minded tale about novice Pinkerton agent Goodwin Ryder, assigned to infiltrate the labor movement in 1917 Montana. Jackson ably weaves in actual historical figures, like union organizer Frank Little and Dashiell Hammett.

The book then takes a surprising turn, vaulting ahead to the 1950s. Ryder’s life doesn’t veer as from Hammett’s as it first appeared, and fallout from his actions in Montana is still having an effect in the era of Joe McCarthy. The shift in story and tone caught me completely off guard, but Jackson handles it beautifully.

He also offers some thoughts that bear repeating with the memoir falling under such scrutiny:

“Was it possible to tell such a thing honestly? I didn’t believe it. Even if you could remember all the details ... That was what made fiction necessary. The factual truth, I’m convinced, is not possible, even if you could be absolutely sure that there would be no repercussions – an impossibility in itself ... fiction was a way of telling the truth, of saying how it had been, without worrying about the petty details.”

Miscellaneous: Links

I’m not alone. Slate doesn’t have much respect for figure skating or ice dancing either. Finally, time for KISS KISS BANG BANG, RED EYE and OLD BOY to get some love: the Saturn Award nominations are out.