Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Anthony Horowitz (and why you should read him!)

So Anthony Horowitz's Alex Rider series  was  recommended to me by my nephew 4 years ago- in the graphic novel version of the book.

Left me cold.

Then recently a friend recommended a BBC WW II period drama called "Folye's War" It's like the ideal Brit drama- subtle, seemingly accurate (historically) and interesting!

Trailer for it!

I love the whole understated Brit thing where things aren't spelled out or in your face!- give the series an 8/10

I think so much goes into a good production of a play movie or show. The writing is the most important but the actors matter so much- one bad actor can ruin a whole production! ( E.g. Hindi movie Rockstar- ruined by the lead actress)

Well- this one works.

So Imagine my surprise when I discovered this show was written AND created by the very same Anthony Horowitz!

So tell me what you think- I think this guy from Foyle's actually resembles Anthony Horowitz

Anthony Horowitz:

Anyway- I immediately looked up his books and started the Alex Rider series ( now also a movie)

Have read 4 . A bit too repetitive for me now but boy- I think if I was a 12 year old boy or even girl- I would LOVE these books.

An espionage spy thriller about a kid. What makes this series stand away is this kid is an orphan but the authorities are actually EXPLOITING him- he doesn’t want to be a spy!

That is so different from the standard kids action books where the adults are like stop and the kids still go for it- this is the reverse! And the plots are not bad if a bit predictable.

This made me realize in book and actually in life too there are two types of people one finds irritating/ boring- those for whom everything is always bad and those for whom everything is always good!

Have a perspective!

So back to Mr. Horowitz- I read a few of his non series tween stuff- quite Roald Dahl-ish in his darkness!

So I think this came from his childhood.

He was an overweight bullied beaten up kid of what was  practically British peerage (rich and close to PM)! Went to boarding schools where he was beaten up etc. and from his books- I doubt he felt close to either parent- but that’s me reading between the lines though he is said to have adored his mother.

Writing was a solace and boy- he's good at it.

I wonder.

(will digress here with a favorite poem of mine by - of all people a Nobel Laureate physicist- Richard Feynman)
I wonder why. I wonder why.
I wonder why I wonder.
I wonder why I wonder why
I wonder why I wonder!

My incessant repetition of this poem in my youth has driven many a people to violence but I LOVE IT- it's just so interesting!- along the lines of "I think therefore I am"

Anyway- back to topic- As I was saying- I wonder.
1. Are all childhoods miserable in their own way?
2. Does that shape us to be who we are?
3. Can we harness that or does it hold us back?

Anthony Horowitz seems to have harnessed it and from accounts ( like interviews etc) he seems to have a current functional family life with a (talented) wife and two kids. He apparently loved writing his whole life and is really good at it- do you think t could be the Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers 10,000 hours concept?

So the other interesting thing I found was the estate of Arthur Conan Doyle has only ever commissioned one author to write a sequel and ………………….. wait for it………………………… it was……………………………….none other than…………………………………Anthony Horowitz (- I bet that came as a surprise  ;))

So the book is called House of Silk and he has done a very decent job of it- the feeling/language is quite similar to the original books though I do think the basic theme is something that Arthur Canon Doyle would never have written so I would deduct A LOT of points for that changing the rating for it from 7/10 to a 5.5/10

He is prolific and I at least have high expectations from him in the coming years. Btw- he wrote a lot of the stories for Midsomer Murders too.

Also as a side note- he had a real mystery in his life- His rich father moved their money to a Swiss account and didn’t leave the details with anyone so the money was lost!!!!!

Also now that I have mentioned him I HAVE TO write a bit about Richard P Feynman.

You know there are people you read about and really really wish you could meet sometime in life (coming to think of it there must be many people feeling that way about many celebrities but I doubt about many physicists) and you get sad that they are dead- well he is one for me.

What a Man! ( channel What a man by Salt 'n' Pepa here- though only the for the first  line- will not add the link here as the video is totally inappropriate in association with Mr. Feynman)

So he grew up in the 1920's and was basically just brilliant!

His book Surely you're joking Mr. Feynman has been read by yours truly at least 4 times and I'm still young!

He could think through ANY problem from when he was young - from fixing problems in  radios to fixing problems in  Nuclear bombs!

He actually has 3 autobiographies but Read Surely you're joking.

He lived life to the fullest- partly because he was totally uninhibited and up for anything!

I will end this post with something totally unrelated but a song that’s in my head - actually heard a singer sing it over the weekend but who can compare to …………………….

Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong: Dream A Little Dream Of Me

Au Revoir!

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