Eric Idle OnlineMy Life

January Reading

By , February 3, 2018 5:26 pm


IQ                                                                               Joe Ide

A brilliant new writer.   Please enjoy this almost perfect First Novel.  I found it at Vromans in Pasadena.  A local LA thriller with a brilliant protagonist and perfect foil.  Such mature writing and such accomplished story telling is very rare.  It’s delightful.

A Man’s Head                                                           Georges Simenon

Another brilliant read for the plane.

The Old Man                                                             Thomas Perry

Thank heaven I threw this into my packing at the last minute.   I read it last year but it had me gripped again.  That is the great advantage of age.  You can immediately re-read books!  It’s really fine and wonderful.  He writes so well and is so consistent.  Thrilling.

Munich                                                                       Robert Harris

This is the second time I bought this book and took it away with me and the second time I abandoned it after a few chapters.  Are there two Robert Harris’s?  Some of his books I just adore and others I just cannot get into.   As Al Read said “Is it me, or can you smell gas?”    Must be me.

Striking Back                                                            Aaron J. Klein

I brought two books away with me about Munich, this one about the horrendous 1972 Olympic Massacre “and Israel’s Deadly Response.”   I love books about the Mossad.  This foul attack led to reprisals and I should bloody hope so.   What stunned me was that the Germans did not immediately halt the Olympic Games when the hostages were taken.   I could not believe that.  Also they made a terrible mess of the security arrangements for the athletes even after concerns were broached, and the rescue attempt, well the keystone cops could have done better.  Sadly the Israelis totally misunderstood just how incompetent the Bavarian authorities were and how in their system West Germany was not allowed to intrude.   So a deadly farce was played out on television with deadly results and the resulting Bavarian incompetence completely hushed up.  The resulting revenge was slow but deadly.

Power House                                                              Aaron J. Klein

The story of CAA, the little Californian Talent Agent that could.  I enjoyed ten per cent of it.   Kidding.   It’s a fascinating story, if not always fascinating, of how five agents broke away from William Morris to create their own Agency, poaching clients and luring others, mainly by working their butts off.  Of course Success leads to its own problems.   All Power corrupts is not just a tendency.   It is a rule.  Here we see what happens when Ovitz becomes the biggest and most powerful man in Hollywood.  I loved reading about the adorable and wonderful and hilarious Bill Haber, who would go on to such great things as producing Spamalot!  Also Stan Meyer is a wonderful chap.


The Man Who Invented Christmas                        Les Standiford

The story of Dickens writing, editing and creating (in effect Self Publishing) A Christmas Carol, his short but brilliant novella, which sold out immediately before Christmas 1843, saving his bacon and his turkey.  The recent film itself was fairly clumsy but then worked magnificently, almost like the book of a musical, because it is so wonderfully sentimental and moral and based on a genius book.  And it had Christopher Plummer as Scrooge.

The Old Man Dies                                                     Georges Simenon

A non Maigret about the death of a Parisian restaurant owner and the three sons.  The usual chaos and greed and infighting in the family that death seems to foster.   Beautifully written.  But no crime…

Fire and Fury                                                            Michael Wollf

Inside the Trump White House.  Such chaos, such court rivalries, such incompetence, laziness, arrogance and greed has not been seen since the Borgias.  A Kakocracy, a Cleptocracy, a Nepocracy… Michael Wollf sat on a chair in the West Wing and recorded it all.  You couldn’t have made it up.  Seems that Bannon made his move based on this book coming out. His own run for power.  A miscalculated play.  One thing this bald money laundering mobster knows is how to fight back.  “Where is my Roy Cohn?” he shouted recently like a Shakespearian villain.  (Enter from Hell a Ghost in chains.)

Great stories of infighting between the Javanka’s as he calls them, Bannon and Rince Previus.  But this is truly a Shite House, where they are all live in fear of the next Tweet, the next firing, even lining up to escape.  Where will it all end?   Will America ever become Great again?   Fingers crossed.  Read on.

The Man Who Owns The News                              Michael Wollf.

I so enjoyed the style of Michael Wollf I went back and downloaded a previous book on Rupert Murdoch.  Again he is fair.  No one could say this was a hatchet job, however the growth of the Ailes/Murdoch/ Fox News World is intensely depressing.  His newspaper world and attempts to own the Wall Street Journal, do paint him as a man vitally involved and in love with newspapers.  Also the growth of his love for power.  Which as we know corrupts and which led in his case to a monstrous control over politics.   He is not altogether dislikeable, but his dynasty is held together by his will alone.  It will crumble.

It’s Even Worse Than You Think                          David Cay Johnston

What the Trump Administration is doing to America.  Took the download.  Not as focused or as timely as Wolff’s book but in many ways interesting, slash, depressing.  Hashtag Follow The Money.  If this money lending mobster gets away with this America will be over.