Book Review: Ghostly Mind Frak

A Head Full Of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay.


This is one chilling book. Tremblay structures the book in such a way that you are led to believe the expected climax of the book is one that will haunt you but what does haunt and linger with you after reading the last page is something else entirely.
Fifteen years after her older sister Marjorie Barrett was believed to be possessed, twenty-three year old Meredith – Merry – Barrett recounts those events to a writer chronicling those events. Most of the events are recalled from a then eight year old Merry’s perspective making her the unreliable narrator of the story. With her religious father out of work and her mother unable to earn enough to prevent the loss of their home, Marjorie’s medical bills force the Barrett’s to make a tough decision. They reluctantly accept a lucrative offer to have a TV crew come in and air a reality show chronicling Marjorie’s fall into madness and eventual exorcism.
This is one lean and mean scary book.

Stephen King Podcast – Ep 48: Tinkering With The Stephen King Tour

Ep 48: Tinkering With The Stephen King Tour

Thanks to a suggestion from one of our listeners – Andrew Martin – who suggested a great interview idea with:

Stuart Tinker who runs the Stephen King Tours and at one time owned the Betts Bookstore.

(Psst! Also find out when the best time to take a tour is…)

Plus Hans & I discuss the latest King News.


Holmes, Sweet Holmes

I made a determined effort to see Ian McKellen in Mr. Holmes before it disappears from the cinema and I’m sure glad I did.

Once again, Ian McKellan proves the best special effect is, and always be, an extraordinary actor. McKellan deftly switches between Holmes of two time periods – one a frail 93 year old battling senility and the other – a still old but still very hearty 60 something year old. The depth and complexity of emotions he can convey with a look or slight tilt of the head or a tic or a …. well you get the idea – is astounding.

One cool thing the movie introduced to me that I was not aware of previously, had to do with a musical instrument – the glass hormoncia. It is played like a keyboard but sounds like a flute. It makes a most haunting sound.

Laura Linney does well here but the boy – Milo Parker – gets the showy role and acquits himself admirably.

This is very much a character study and a study of regrets so don’t go in expecting a big mystery to be solved. Do go in to see a master actor at work. You will thank yourself afterwards.

I would love see to see McKellen reprise the role of Holmes in a more traditional manner.


We – ‘we’ being the missus, my son and I, caught the latest Mission Impossible movie – Rogue Nation – over the weekend.  Easily my favorite of the franchise even it was the least spectacular in scope as the film makers decided to go for intimacy this time.

And it pays off big time.

Rogue Nation harkens back to the team concept of the TV show and avoids any type of global catastrophe storylines. Simon Pegg and Tom Cruise play off of each other to great effect and Pegg’s Benji makes Cruise’s Ethan all the more human and relatable for it. Cruise not only plays Ethan Hawke as a more grounded character emotionally but physically too. Cruise, whom I’ve never been a big fan of as an actor, is a bona fide action/movie star and, given he’s in his fifth decade, you have to respect his work ethic in how he approaches these pictures and the shape he keeps himself in to keep doing them.

The script is tight, smart and deftly written. You are never sure of the loyalties of some of the characters but the script avoids cliches. Alec Baldwin’s head of CIA character could easily sail through the flick playing an one note pompous blowhard but he is given a nice arc – with a clever and funny pay off – and is positioned to become part of the IMF family in the next installment if the creators so decide to do so.

Speaking of a more grounded Hawke, he runs into several scenarios where outside aid is needed and it comes in the form of this picture’s biggest find – rouge MI6 agent Illsa Hunter played by Swedish star – Rebecca Louisa Ferguson Sundström – billed simply as Rebecca Ferguson. She brings an allure and energy to the role that will surely see her vault to the top of movie studio lists for action stars and comic book heros.

Ferguson is the complete package. She’s a terrific actress and has the look of a classic movie star. (She reminds me of Ingrid Bergman.) Definitely one to keep an eye out for.

Five flicks in and the IMF franchise is running stronger than ever.  Highly recommended.

Hello world!

Hello everyone!

I’m back!  Join me in this two year time jump as I get back into the saddle again.

New site. New blog. New attitude.

For posterity’s sake, my old blog posts have been migrated here. It gives you things to read until this new blog builds up some content and gives me a quick mental bookmark as to where my head was at two years ago.

In the past two years, I’ve been focusing on creative writing in addition to my ongoing reviews. I am reviewing games – video and/or console – over at Canadian Online Gamers.

Back to my creative writing endeavours. I’ve finished a couple of short stories, joined a couple of writing groups, and made some good connections with local writers in the Edmonton area. This fall I will be taking some writing courses to help focus on areas I need improvement on.

Next weekend – August 13 -15th is the upcoming Writer’s Convention in Calgary – When Words Collide. It’s a fantastic event and great opportunity for networking with writers, publishers, and editors. Can’t wait!