Sunday Lowdown #132

WEEKLY HIGHLIGHTS

This week I found myself watching more horror movies than usual. When things start to feel hard or scary, a horror movie is a controlled way to feel afraid but have the reassurance that everything will be okay. I, of course, will survive the movie, a sort of voyeur Final Girl, if you will. Throughout the week, Nick and I watched Jaws in bits and pieces, like it was some sort of Dickensian serial, if you will. What changed for me, ingesting the movie in small pieces over three days, was my feelings about Quint. He seems a raving Ahab-type, and I hate that he needlessly endangers his three-man crew.

However, when you get that tale about him surviving the U.S.S. Indianapolis, you understand where his trauma comes from. Having time to think between each viewing really allowed Quint’s background to sink into me, and I was in near tears when he was finally eaten. I studied the U.S.S. Indianapolis briefly in high school, and the story still remains the most horrifying I’ve ever heard, fiction or non-fiction. I added a book on the subject down below, but there are a number out there, if you’re interested.

Friday was a special day, as it fell on the 13th. Horror fans everywhere delighted in sharing Jason Voorhees memes and binge watching all ten movies. On Fridays I always watch a horror movie while Nick plays poker with his friends, so I watched Friday the 13th (it almost makes too much sense). On Saturday I watched parts 2 and 3 back to back. But now I’m curious! On the horror Twitterverse, folks were saying their favorite film in the series is Jason Takes Manhattan. Truly?? I haven’t seen it, but I thought Crystal Lake was kind of Jason’s jam, so now I’m curious. Today, I’m headed to the used DVD store to see what they have for me to flesh out my collection.

THIS WEEK’S BLOG POSTS

Woman on the Edge of Time by Marge Piercy is a classic, one I’d never heard of until Lou @ Lou Lou Reads suggested we read it together. Part investigation into mental health facilities and experimentation on patients, part time-travel to a utopian future where gender fluid people try to maintain a way of life in a war-torn world, I recommend Piercy’s book.

While no one wants to leave a bad review, the whole point of reviewing books is to steer other readers towards their interests. And I’ve read many times about how a bad book review highlights all the things some readers like, and they go and get a copy anyway! However, I was so perturbed with The House of Brides by Jane Cockram that I included spoilers, highlighting the way the novel reads like a cocktail of nonsense.

NEXT WEEK’S BLOG POSTS

If your a classics nerd, you’re in for a treat next week. I took on an unwieldy copy of Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen, annotated by Patricia Meyer Spacks. Together with Roshni, a former book blogger who has moved on to other things, we had a great discussion about this interesting novel, including how my interest in it arose after reading Nothing but Patience by A.M. Blair.

On Thursday, I’ll share a review of a newer book, Speak, So You Can Speak Again by Lucy Ann Hurston, niece of Zora Neale Hurston. Lucy Ann collects recordings, photos, scraps of notes and stories, holiday cards, playbills — all sorts of treasures from Hurston’s literary life — and gathers them into one book.

BOOKS ADDED TO THE TBR PILE

Owned Books on TBR at Beginning of Year: 242
Owned Books on TBR Today: 214

24 comments

  1. Yes, I’m a classics nerd and looking forward to your review of Sense & Sensibility.
    I’ve just spent the last little while reading up on the USS Indianapolis which spent some time down here helping us fight off the Japanese. I liked the story of the seaplane that landed in a 3-4 metre swell to take on survivors, and couldn’t take off again. At least it kept them out of the water.

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    • There’s so much to get lost in. There are books about just the captain, who died with his military pistol in his mouth, and the way sailors kept fighting for the captain’s honors after his death.

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  2. Like Bill, I look forward to your review of S&S and will be ready with thoughts, as I have quite a few about this book!

    BTW “When things start to feel hard or scary, a horror movie is a controlled way to feel afraid but have the reassurance that everything will be okay.” Seriously? I know some people are like this but I never choose to feel afraid, if I can help it, even if I believe it’s going to work out. I hate horror, and don’t much like spies and undercover stories. The fear and tension are just too great for me. Grim stuff, miserable stuff, I can handle. But fear? Nope.

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    • I figure if I have to be scared, and I can’t control my fear, I might as well let it out in a safe way. I don’t cross the line into extremely gory stuff, what horror fans call “torture porn.” If I feel bad at the end of the movie, that defeats the purpose.

      I’ve never enjoyed spy or undercover movies myself, that is mostly because I have trouble following along with all the red herrings and double agents and double-double agents, or whatever. Detective stories? Forget about it! Oof.

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      • You mean the purpose of horror movies? I understand that … but I still don’t want what goes before!

        Re spy and undercover movies, I hate the fear and stress because I know what will happen if they are found out.

        Your reason is probably why I rarely read detective stories. I’m not much interested in following plots – the ins and outs, red herrings, etc, as you say – but I do watch detective series and focus on the characters. So, I like detective series with strong characters and relationships, not with lots of tricky plots. I know some books have that but so do non-detective books and I, on the whole, prefer those. It’s the same with science fiction. I’m not interested in fancy worlds, whizz-bang technology. Just in people and their relationships, and what they might have to say about the rest of us!

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  3. I love the Jason/Coffee gif lol. Surprisingly perhaps, the Friday the 13th movies do not make my favorite horror movies list. I enjoy them but they’re just not ones I go back to very often. I love shark movies though and I will always love JAWS. I need to email you about because I just listened to a podcast about the USS Indianapolis and we need to talk about THAT.
    I’m SO happy that I got Shudder back. I love texting about horror movies all the time. 🙂

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    • That coffee gif is so good, lol. I was actually surprised by how violent Friday the 13th II was. I hadn’t seen it in a few years, so it was like “whoa.” Also, Nick noted that the one girl who is killed but doesn’t show any nudity was 16 at the time of filming. They didn’t know that until they shot lots of frontal nudity scenes, and once they found out, they destroyed the film that shows her naked. Good on them, I say.

      Yes! I’d love to talk about the USS Indianapolis!

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  4. Looking forward to your review of Sense and Sensibility – one of my favourite Austens, and one I haven’t reread in ages.

    The only horror films I enjoy are those that are more science fiction, like Alien and Cloverfield – I think probably because I don’t actually find them scary, just tense. Anything darker or more paranormal is too much for me!

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    • Do you think you would enjoy humorous horror? Something that has violence, but always comes around to a laugh? Dale and Tucker vs. Evil for instance. Many people love Shaun of the Dead (yay, British horror-comedy!). Science fiction horror actually scares the crap out of me because I can see it being REAL. I can totally imagine some ambitious astronaut brining home a parasite and killing us all because he/she was so eager to meet alien life!

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      • It’s not the violence particularly that bothers me – I just don’t like reading/watching paranormal stuff (which is probably why the science fiction horror doesn’t bother me). I saw and enjoyed Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, but that‘s probably about my limit even for humorous horror.

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  5. I love Sense and Sensibility (it was my first Austen, inspired by the sublime Emma Thompson film.)

    I do not love horror films but I’m glad it’s something you enjoy and that it helps serve a deeper mental health purpose for you!

    I hope you have a very good week!

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    • Thank you, Laila. You’re so kind! I know that you enjoy yoga, and that helps you with mental health, but my dang brain gets so busy! I’m not good and peaceful and quiet; I have to channel that anxiety into something else.

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  6. I totally agree about Quint being a raving captain Arab sort of character. My dad used to watch Jaws ALL THE TIME so I feel well-versed in the movie. I didn’t realize that Jason Takes Manhattan was really a movie. It sounds like a spoof to me. But, hey, if Twitterverse says it’s the best Jason film, who am I to argue. Sounds like a fun weekend. Hope you have a good week!

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    • Thanks, Tessa! I worked on Saturday, so need to catch up on blog hopping tonight. I have a post from you I need to read! I remember when Jason Takes Manhattan came out and thinking we’d “jumped the shark,” so to speak. There was a whole era of Jason vs. Freddy and films that sounded spoofy like that. I guess everyone took them seriously! My favorite from that time period was The Bride of Chucky. SO 90s!

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    • Jaws doesn’t have any nudity, though there is the part where Quint gets eaten and you can see it. Other than that, it’s a lot of splashing and red water. Do you live right by the ocean? Do you plan to have the twins swim there some time soon? Then maybe not!

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  7. ‘cocktail of nonsense’ LOL!!! I love that. Speaking of Friday the 13th, I have surprisingly vivid recollecitons of playing the Friday the 13th video game on my Nintendo as a kid. My husband bought this really weird nintendo-like machine that plays the old Nintendo video games, and it’s sat unused in our cupboard for ten years, but now I’m thinking I should bring it back out…just in honour of Friday the 13th last week 😉

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  8. I saw Jaws for the first time as an adult and remember being confused and disappointed because it’s so easy to avoid shark attacks and yet no one in that movie goes about things properly. I’m completely ignorant about the USS Indianapolis but a quick glance at the Wikipedia page does give a better background for the character.

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    • I know the rules about not swimming when the sun isn’t high — dusk and dawn, basically — because that’s when they’re hunting. But it’s always the part about attacks happening in about only 3 feet of water that freaks me out. Then again, the only big bodies of water I’m going into are the Great Lakes, so whew!

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      • That’s fair – the idea of that freaks me out too. We don’t have sharks in our ocean here but apparently orca whales have occasionally mistaken divers for seals and that does terrify me.

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