CB Strike Update

I love JK Rowling’s Cormoran Strike mystery series written under her pseudonym, Robert Galbraith. I actually prefer this series over Harry Potter….(there. I SAID IT. I love this series. Its fantastic)

So you can only imagine how excited I was to find the books had been turned into a tv series and that it was available on Cinemax/Amazon Prime. Guys…I full on fan-girled and then subjected my husband to three books worth of episodes. He was less than thrilled but I am one happy girl who is ready to binge watch the entire series again. (I reshared by initial reviews of The Cuckoo’s Calling, The Silkwormand Career of Evil before watching the show.)

So how does it hold up to the original books? I think the tv adaption is awesome!

The tv adaptation stays relatively true to the stories. The setting is visually spectacular; the gray/blue lighting emphasizing the darker aspects of both the crimes and Strike’s personal struggles. I felt the cast was well picked. Tom Burke played the perfect Strike and I was happy with Holliday Grainger’s representation of Robin. Even the secondary characters, such as Shanker and Matthew, were just well done. And the best part….they didn’t change the storylines too much! (that’s always a big deal in my opinion)

I wish the episodes were longer. I felt that each book could have had an additional episode devoted to the story because there were so many fantastic details that you miss if you haven’t read the books. This includes the details of both Strike and Robin’s pasts, the minutia of the investigations, and Strike’s investigative relationships.

My one actual complaint….Matthew was too nice. The Matthew of the books is an insecure, controlling jerk. I can’t stand him. I finished the last book wanting nothing more than for Robin to leave him. The Matthew of the series was a more reasonable shadow of the man in the books. Sure he was still insecure and self centered but he’s no where near as whining and controlling as he should have been portrayed. It left me annoyed that he was more likable than he should have been.

WATCH IT! READ THE BOOKS! And then let me know what you think! In the meantime…I think I’m going to watch it again. Happy Reading!



Holiday Loves and Quirks – Nero Wolfe

Holiday Loves and Quirks is my mini-blog series for December.  Posts documenting my unique take on Christmas will show up on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  This is a way for me to share the spirit of the holiday with all of you!  And don’t worry; I am in full marathon reading mode so you will still have plenty of book reviews to peruse!

Nero Wolfe

Nero Wolfe is a fictional private investigator created by Rex Stout in 1934.  Stout produced, during forty-one years, 33 novels and 39 short stories about the eccentric armchair detective and many other writers have continued the series since 1975.  The stories usually take place in New York City, and document Wolfe’s investigations.  Wolfe is a large man who delights in gourmet meals, never leaves his house on business, loves the color yellow, and grows ornate and expensive orchids as a hobby.  The narrator of the stories is Wolfe’s right-hand man, the cheeky gumshoe Archie Goodwin.  Archie is always there to run errands for Wolfe, and keeps the eccentric genius grounded with his sarcastic humor.  Expect to see Nero Wolfe book reviews over the next few weeks!

Carl Mueller Illustrated Rex Stout's fir Nero Wolfe Novella, "Bitter End," for The American Magazine

Carl Mueller Illustrated Rex Stout’s fir Nero Wolfe Novella, “Bitter End,” for The American Magazine

I love the books, but I was first introduced to the character via the TV show.  A Nero Wolfe Mystery aired on A&E in 2000 and only ran for two seasons.  It was different in that it contained a repertory cast.  The same actors played the central characters, Maury Chaykin as Nero Wolfe and Timothy Hutton as Archie Goodwin.  Regular actors also portrayed the essential supporting characters: Inspector Cramer, Fritz Brenner, Saul Panzer, and Sergeant Purley Stebbins.  The rest of the roles were filled by the repertory cast each week and the diverse acting skills is just impressive.  Plus, the settings are just beautiful!  I definitely recommend that you watch the series; my favorite episode is “Door to Death.”

Timothy Hutton as Archie Goodwin

Timothy Hutton as Archie Goodwin

Maury Chaykin as Nero Wolfe

Maury Chaykin as Nero Wolfe

My mom is the reason we watch this series over and over again at Christmas.  She received the box set as a gift one year and we watched the entire thing in four days!  We both ‘nerd out’ when it comes to Christmas Nero Wolfe marathons 😀  Do you have any odd Christmas traditions?


The Giver – Movie Adaptation

Movie – The Giver

The Giver (2014) Poster

This lazy Saturday afternoon was spent at the movies.  We had initially planned on seeing Guardians of the Galaxy until arriving to a sold out show, so the family agreed to see The Giver.  I was beyond excited and somehow managed to keep my shrieks of delight silent.  I love going to the movies and am one who enjoys watching my favorite stories transformed on the ‘big screen.’  So here is a short review about the movie and how it compared to Louis Lowery’s The Giver.

The movie is visually amazing and only enhanced the images described by Lowery.  The use of color to emphasize the change from sameness to individuality is worth the price of admissions.  My favorite scene is when Jonas first experiences a sunset and Jeff Bridges is perfect as the Giver.  I was thrilled that the story was not morphed in to one of teenage angst or an intense action movie.

The movie does not stray far from the original story but there are a number of modified details.  None of these changes left me upset or disappointed; as a matter of fact, many of these changes strengthened all of the secondary characters.  I recommend fans of the book check out this interview with Lowery about the movie adaptation.

I recommend seeing The Giver!  I left the theater with a smile on my face and ready to watch it again.  Has anyone else seen it?