This past Sunday I watched THE ALIENIST. I, more or less, waited 24 years for this show. It was exciting to see, even if by comparison it is doomed to a kind of failure. Much to my wife's ever-patient chagrin, I am not a binge TV watcher. I like to savor things, but I can tell already that I would prefer to binge THE ALIENIST rather than watch this show teased out over the next ten...now nine...weeks. I feel like it will be death by a thousand cuts. On the upside, I think it is very good casting. I imagined Lazlo Kriezler taller, but Daniel Bruhl is a capital G, capital A, Great Actor. I'm cautious but intrigued.
Over the fall I read Caleb Carr's most recent work 2016's SURRENDER, NEW YORK. I wrote a post about the book and then sat on it for couple months. The post was largely negative. I felt the book was overlong, the dialogue was by turns bizarre or stilted, and the story was by virtue of its length both overstuffed and underdeveloped. Mr. Carr clearly had a lot to say, he just needed a better editor to help him say it. It was not a complete loss there were individual things I liked about it. Mr. Carr still has an unerring sense of time and place for his work. He wrote a lengthy and lovely passage near the beginning of the book that explains the history of the lead character's homestead and family. However, that opener is quickly squandered by a few too many harangues about the current state of crime scene investigation and the animal husbandry of Mountain Lions.
I guess the saving grace of SURRENDER, NEW YORK is that the guy who wrote it also wrote THE ALIENIST. And I have a lot of time for that guy. I'll read whatever he's got including the rumored prequel and sequel to THE ALIENIST series.
So I wrote a post saying that.... well mostly that anyway. Edited it little, meant to post it, worried about it, etc. Rinse, repeat. Finally, even Blogger was tired of my indecisiveness and deleted my post. So I wrote this instead in about twenty minutes. And I still don't like it very much...
Currently, I am reading a book by the French author Fred Vargas, and G-d as my witness I will finish AN UNCERTAIN PLACE in the next few days.