Men at Arms (Terry Pratchett)

Men at Arms is a Discworld novel by Terry Pratchett, the second to feature the City Watch. [Here are my other reviews of the Discworld books I’ve read so far.]


Ankh-Morpork’s City Watch faces an equal opportunity employment programme and has to deal with new recruits, among them dwarfs, trolls and werewolves. As if that wasn’t enough Captain Vimes is about to get married to Sybil Ramkin, richest woman in the city. And somebody stole a mysterious object from the Assassin’s Guild. Oh, and there are quite a few seemingly unconnected murders to solve.
At the same time, Edward d’Eath, discredited assassin, is convinced to be able to solve all of Ankh-Morpork’s problems by reinstating the king, whose heir just happens to be in the city. At least according to Edward.

I have to admit that I read this book 3 months ago and I’m already fuzzy on the details. I know I liked it, though it’s probably my least favourite Watch novel so far (I’ve arrived at the Fifth Elephant in the meantime). And I still know the general whereabouts of the plot. But that’s about it.


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Classic Children Books Which Should Receive the Hollywood Treatment.

Hogwarts is a terrible school.

Hobbit 419.

Why hasn’t there been a science fiction Booker winner?

Barnes and Noble forces authors to have links to the BN website?

Slush Reading, Seuss Style.

Suburban Fantasy.

The Christmas Mary Had Twins. Probably the worst cover ever.

PTSD in fiction Part 3.


Read a chapter of Psychiatric Tales, a comic about mental illnesses.


Stephenie Meyer’s The Host to be filmed.

A Live-Action Barbie Movie?

Planned to watch Valentine’s Day? YOU DON’T NEED TO ANYMORE.



Sexism in Horror Novels.

Mourn, Damn You, Mourn!

Man, that really hurts.


Completely Different Things

Lamp that runs on human blood.

Elevator Smackdown.

King Rat (China Miéville)

King Rat is China Miéville‘s first novel.

Saul returns to the home he shares with his father after a trip to find his father murdered and to be suspected by the police of being the murderer. He is saved by King Rat, the King of the rats (SURPRISE!) and a kind of mixture between rat and man. King Rat tells him that he is the brother of Saul’s dead mother and that Saul therefore has rat blood himself. While Saul discovers his roots and his abilities, a weird young man approaches Saul’s friend Natasha, who is a Drum’n’Bass DJ. The young man plays the flute and kind of insinuates himself into her otherwise very guarded life.
Well, Saul soon discovers that all isn’t well in the land of the rats, that the rats hold a grudge against their king and the murder of his father is only one piece of a bigger context, in which Saul has a big role to play.

After having read Un Lun Dun, I’m afraid that my expectations for King Rat were a little bit too high. It’s a first novel after all. Though Miéville’s immense talent is there, the story and plotting is a little rough around the edges, a little too obvious in its development. But even so, King Rat is a good read.



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Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (2009)

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs is the third of the Ice Age movies. It’s directed by Carlos Saldanha and stars the voices of Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Queen Latifah, Seann William Scott, Simon Pegg and Denis Leary.

Manny (Ray Romano) and Ellie (Queen Latifah) expect their first baby. Diego (Denis Leary) decides that he should be going back to his single ways. That leaves Sid (John Leguizamo) who starts to feel lonely. When he happens upon 3 eggs, he decides to be their mother. Unfortunately, those are dinosaur eggs, and Mummy Rex is not too happy to have lost them. So she tries to take them back and takes Sid with them. Manny, Ellie and Diego go after them and find an underground cave system, where the dinosaurs are still alive.

The Ice Age movies are one of the few series that were not planned as such who manage to not get worse with every sequel. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs was funny (for me and for kids) and very sweet, just like the first two. I saw it in 3D, which is always awesome, but therefore also in German. That means I won’t be able to say anything about the actors.


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Where I’m From – Meme Monday

(taken from here, template is here)

I am from notebooks, from Starbucks and cigarettes.

I am from the small flat… warm, safe, smells like home.

I am from the ivy, the gerbera and the stick, the willow tree, the passion flower and the way the sun glints on water.

I am from sunday breakfasts and the opinionated live and let live attitude, from B. and K. and V.

I am from the unheard conversations and loud talking.

From being loved and being equal.

I am from atheism. The conviction that there is nothing to be afraid of, that life is the most important thing we have and that we have to live it to the fullest.

I’m from Vienna and Carinthia and Vorarlberg and Burgenland, coffee and Tomatengatsch.

From the moral courage of my father, the outspokenness of my mother, and the fantasy of my sister.

I am from nowhere in particular and everywhere my family ever set foot in. I am building new roots and finding old ones. I am from oral history.

TV stuff

I thought I’d get you up to speed with what shows I’m watching right now – maybe someone wants to talk about one of these shows, or recommend others?

I’m in happy TV-land right now and might be overdoing it a little. But then again, when there’s good stuff, you have to take advantage of it, don’t you?

  • Finished Season 2 of True Blood. No surprise there, I guess. But I’m thinking about actually trying the books again because the ending of this season and what Alan Ball said about the next left me on tenterhooks and I don’t know if I can wait for Season 3. [SPOILER] Thank Goodness that Maryann is finally gone. What’s up with Annoying!Tara? And please, let Jessica and Hoyt work things out, I really liked them together! [/SPOILER]
  • Started to watch Sanctuary and finished the first season. While I thought most of the stuff was pretty unimaginative and a little stuck on clichés, I somehow still got hooked. So it won’t be my most favourite show ever, but I guess I’ll still continue watching. Though I have to admit that their constant use of the word “abnormal” bugs me to hell. [SPOILER] Does anybody else think that even non-vampire Tesla has more teeth in his mouth than any person should have? What’s with Brainwashed!Ashley? And can somebody please exchange Amanda Tapping with an actress who can actually act? [/SPOILER]
  • Picked up watching My Name Is Earl again. I don’t remember why, but I stopped watching in the middle of Season 3, probably for no good reason. I now finished this season and will start Season 4 as soon as I have a disc drive that actually works.
  • I finished Season 1 of the Sarah Jane Adventures (in the absence of all things Doctor and Torchwood) and it is actually quite amusing, even if really for kids. I’m now getting into Season Two and waiting for a Doctor cameo.
  • I rewatched Ally McBeal and remembered why I never finished it. Season 1 is very good. Season 2 is fine. Season 3 starts to drag a bit. Season 4 is good again. And Season 5 sucks great big ass.
  • I finished the fifth season of The Closer. [SPOILER] Watching the fights between Brenda and Captain Raydor was pure joy. Huge props to both, Kyra Sedgwick and Mary McDonnell. [/SPOILER]
  • Leverage is pretty cool. But what’s with this break right now? Why doesn’t it go on? [SPOILER] And I’m afraid what will happen if Sophie really doesn’t come back. She is one of the best things about this show. [/SPOILER]
  • The start of the second season of Fringe is already awesome. I’m really looking foward to what happens next. [SPOILER] Butbutbut WHY DID IT HAVE TO BE CHARLIE??? And will there be another Spock cameo? [/SPOILER]
  • Watched the pilot for Eastwick. I am not convinced. [SPOILER] Couldn’t they have found an actually attractive Devil? [/SPOILER]
  • Community on the other hand, had me laughing right away. That one’s a keeper. [As far as I can say that after two episodes.]
  • I watched the first season of Nurse Jackie and it is pretty awesome. I love Jackie and I’m really looking forward to Season 2. Although it does give me weird Twilight-crossover reactions. [SPOILERS] Peter Facinelli, in Twilight Carlisle the Doctor, in Nurse Jackie Fitch the Doctor, has a nervous tick where he grabs women’s breasts when he gets nervous. Everytime he does that in the show, I’m tempted to say, “CARLISLE! YOU’RE A MORMON VAMPIRE WHO PROBABLY NEVER EVEN TOUCHES HIS WIFE’S BREASTS, LET ALONE THOSE OF ALMOST COMPLETE STRANGE NURSES AND DOCTORS!” And then I remember what I’m watching… [/SPOILERS]
  • Watched the pilot of FlashForward and so far, they’ve got me. I mean, how could I not like a show that has Shakespeare, Sulu, Merry and Captain Norrington? And Alex Kingston is always a plus. And the mystery intrigues me. Of course, there are some faults with the pilot and this is only a preliminary report, but…
  • Glee is kind of a serialised High School Musical. It’s sweet and the music is really good. But if they won’t stop focussing solely on the white able-bodied people and keep the sassy black girl and the shy Asian girl and the boy in the wheelchair the stereotypes and the “look at us, we’re so politically correct” casts they are now, I won’t be watching it much longer.
  • I’m a little behind on Numb3rs, but I plan to rectify that. And then I can watch the new season.
  • Season 2 of Dollhouse started with quite a bang… [SPOILERS] So, Echo/Caroline remembers already? And Dr. Saunderson character development is pretty amazing. And I loved that we got a closer look at Topher. And also the scence with De Witt and Victor. [/SPOILERS]
  • The same old awesomeness in the new season: Castle, The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, Eureka.
  • Season Premiers I’m still awaiting: Lie to Me (tonight, yay!), 30 Rock.
  • New shows I’m gonna try: V, Three Rivers (Alex O’Loughlin is all I’m going to say to that).

Alle Anderen [Everyone Else] (2009)

Alle Anderen [translates to Everyone Else] is a movie by Maren Ade, starring Birgit Minichmayr and Lars Eidinger.

The couple Gitti (Birgit Minichmayr) and Chris (Lars Eidinger) spend a summer vacation on Sardinia. Chris is an architect struggling with his career, Gitti is a PR representative. When meeting an old friend of Chris’, Hans (Hans-Jochen Wagner) and his wife Sana (Nicole Marischka), Chris and Gitti compare their values. Chris feels that Gitti is too free-spirited, Gitti doesn’t understand Chris’ sudden uptightness.

Alle Anderen sharply dissects the couple’s life. The dialogue is witty and to the point. The acting is great. Unfortunately, the ending sucks.



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The Infernal Comedy

[In case you were wondering, we’re now at the beginning of July with my reviews. ;)]

The Infernal Comedy is a play written by Michael Sturminger [German] about Jack Unterweger, famous serial killer and society guy. It stars John Malkovich.

Jack Unterweger (John Malkovich) is in hell, where he does a reading of his autobiography to an eclectic audience (us). With him, there are two singers (Laura Aikin and Aleksandra Zamojska) who play the various women in his life, while performing – with an orchestra – various arias from different operas.
[You can read the entire script at the homepage I linked to above.]

It’s an awesome play, capturing the fascination Unterweger had on Vienna’s high society (especially the women) as much as the gruesome murders he committed. Despite the dire topic, it has some really good laughs and the music is very well chosen.

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Pygmy (Chuck Palahniuk)

Pygmy is the newest novel by Chuck Palahniuk.

Pygmy, as the main character is known, is an exchange student from a fictional country (definitely one under a totalitarian regime of some sort), who comes to the USA to live with a host family and to execute a terrorist attack. It’s an epistolary novel, consisting entirely of reports written by Pygmy.

I really didn’t like Pygmy. I think it’s the first book Palahniuk’s ever written which I’d definitely not recommend to people. I’m very disappointed.


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