I finished reading Heat 2 last week, and I have to say, after a bit of a slow start, I did enjoy it. There’s an obligatory catch-you-up at the beginning that could have been left out; it reads like a fanboy reading bits of the script to another fanboy, and it’s all cringe. Once past that stumble, the story picks up right where the movie ended, following the only surviving member of the criminals and the detective chasing him. The novel is split into sections, a what-came-before story and a what-came-after, and of the two I think I enjoyed the former more than the latter. Michael Mann’s screenplays often feature a driven male who falls in love with a powerful female—OK, fine—but the second half of the story here reminds me a bit too much of his remake of Miami Vice. The story is meticulously researched and tightly plotted, and I enjoyed how he wrapped up the action on both threads, as well as how we get to see some familiar characters return. Overall I’d love to see this adapted into a movie or series, though I have no idea who they’d get to play these roles.
I’ve been speed-reading a lot of detective fiction on the train over the last year, but I took a break this week to crack open Allen Guelzo’s Gettysburg, the Last Invasion. It’s a thick, scholarly tome which takes the first 250 pages (of my e-book version) to set the stage before the first shot is fired along the Cashtown Pike. It’s a good read, although I got weary of the buildup after a while and skipped to the opening skirmishes. I’ve got two volumes of Edmund Morris’ biography of Theodore Roosevelt standing by; if I can downshift into history for a while, perhaps I can dig into these too.
Scales of Justice Dept.: A jury convicted all four Blackwater operatives of the Nisour Square shooting back in 2007. This is good news, but it should have happened seven years ago. The fact that it took this long to come to its conclusion is another sad postscript to the shit foreign policy of a shit Presidency.
Also, it was great to see they convicted this asshole too.
I’ve got another month or so of class left before the semester is over, and I have to admit I’m looking forward to getting back to a normal schedule. Getting up at 5:30 to be in Washington by 7:15 two days out of the week has my sleep schedule completely out of whack. With all that’s going on at work, I need the time I spend traveling back to stay ahead.