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Bibliothèque de la Pléiade: Fine French Books for the Common Reader

In 1931, Jacques Schiffrin, who ran a French publishing company called les Éditions de la Pléiade/J. Schiffrin & Cie, created La Bibliothèque de la Pléiade, a series of pocket-sized books – long before the birth of the paperback – which gathered complete works of classical authors. These books were not meant as budget volumes; they […]

Matthew McConaughey to take The Stand for Stephen King adaptation

Matthew McConaughey is tipped to take the role of villainous Randall Flagg in The Stand, a Hollywood franchise based on the 1978 Stephen King novel. Backed by Warner Bros, The Stand will be released as four standalone pictures directed by Josh Boone.

Very cool; a perfect choice. However, this most likely means that he won’t be able to play Roland Deschain, in the projected film/TV adaptation of The Dark Tower, may favorite Stephen King work. The Dark Tower is a seven-volume (plus a later-written intermediate novel, and a novella) that combines fantasy, horror, and is set in a Western context. The original character, the Gunslinger, was patterned after Clint Eastwood in the westerns he made back in the day. McConaughey would be the perfect personification of that character.

Coincidentally, I started re-reading The Stand again just last night… Still the best Stephen King novel. If you haven’t read it, you should. (, Amazon UK)

via Matthew McConaughey to take The Stand for Stephen King adaptation | Film |

Book Review: The Boxer and the Goalkeeper, Sartre vs. Camus

Back in the day, before I left New York for France 30 years ago, I was taking French lessons at the French Institute in Manhattan. At the time, I reached a level where I could start reading some books, so the first book I read in its entirety was Albert Camus’ L’étranger (in English: The […]

Book Review: The Book of Strange New Things, by Michel Faber

I first read Faber back when his Crimson Petal and the White was published. It was a Victorian page-turner, nothing at all that suggested that he would turn toward science fiction. I read half of Under the Skin, and was bored by it (I also felt that the movie, which was quite different from the […]

Book Review: Revival, by Stephen King

For more than thirty years, I’ve been fascinated by Stephen King’s unique realism. With stories that sometimes reach extremes of horror and fantasy, his novels are nevertheless grounded in reality. So much so, often, that it’s hard to not identify with their characters. In Revival, King’s latest horror novel (, Amazon UK), he depicts the […]

Book Notes: The Children Act, by Ian McEwan

Ian McEwan’s latest short novel (224 pages in a large font), The Children Act (, Amazon UK), is a story about an issue. Based on the UK’s 1989 Children Act, which focuses on the welfare of the child in issues involving children’s rights, the novel is about a judge, Fiona Maye, who handles a complicated […]

Book Review: Franz Schubert, The Complete Songs, by Graham Johnson

Among the large bodies of work in the classical music repertoire, Franz Schuberts songs, or lieder, is one that stands out not only by its scale – some 729 songs, written before the composer’s death at age 31 – bit also by its quality. Sure, there are some songs that aren’t masterpieces, notably from his […]

Book Review: Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel – Pandemic, Shakespeare and the Birth of a New Civilization

On a stage in Toronto, Arthur Leander is playing King Lear. At 51, it’s finally the right time for him to play this demanding role. However, it will be his last. In the first scene of this novel, he dies on stage from a heart attack. That night, it’s clear that a pandemic is spreading […]

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