Maybe closer to 1500. I received the signature pages for the Cemetery Dance S/L of The Dark Tower Companion this weekend. It’s limited to 1000 copies plus 52 lettered. There are always extra sheets in case of spoilage and loss, so I probably signed something like 1200 or 1300 times. I didn’t count. It’s a mind-numbing process, out of necessity. If I focus on it too much, I start forgetting how to form my letters. Whenever I get to the point that I can’t remember how to write the initial B, I take a break. I did most of them yesterday afternoon in maybe eight or ten separate sessions. Now they’re all boxed up and headed back to CD.
I submitted a 1500-word review of Mr. Mercedes to CD this weekend, too. If all goes according to plan, it should be in an issue that comes out shortly before the book does in June.
I posted a couple of reviews this weekend, both for books that I really enjoyed: The Fever by Megan Abbott and Hunting Shadows by Charles Todd. This is my first Todd and I was really impressed by how well these two Americans, mother and son, capture the feel of an early 20th century England. Now I’m about ¾ of the way through The Leopard by Jo Nesbø. I’ve always enjoyed his books, though I wish he didn’t feel obligated to include these little italicized passages from the killer’s point of view. They don’t really contribute much to the story, in my opinion. I’m also almost halfway through Death Without Company, the second Longmire novel by Craig Johnson, which I’m reading to my wife.
I got a kick out of the audience warning before this week’s episode of Hannibal. It had the usual advisory about mature content, but expanded it to say that there were flashing lights with strobe effects, which I guess can cause seizures in some people. They didn’t warn us, though, that a psycho lady was going to stick big pointy things into people’s eyes. That almost gave me a seizure.
We finished the last four episodes of the second season of House of Cards this weekend. We could tell that he was manipulating the president and his wife into something all season long, but it wasn’t until the end that the whole scheme fell into place. So many things could have gone wrong along the way that it’s hard to fathom how anyone could plot out such a byzantine scheme and hope that it would work, but it did. Alas, Frank’s going to have to proceed without his henchman, Doug, from the looks of things. One of the season’s biggest surprises was the menage-a-trois with the Secret Service agent. Of course, it solved the problem of trying to get up to stuff while being under constant surveillance, but Frank’s participation felt unmotivated. There didn’t seem to be any precedent. He and Claire sure did leave a lot of damaged individuals in their wake. Can’t wait to see where the next season goes.
We have a bunch of old Graham Norton shows on the DVR, so we picked one at random and it was hilarious: Matt Damon, Bill Murray and Hugh Bonneville promoting The Monuments Men. I’ve always had the impression that Murray could be a tough interview, but he warmed up quickly (after downing a couple of flutes of champagne), and the trio had good chemistry together. At one point Damon said, “This is the most fun I’ve ever had on a talk show,” and he seemed to mean it.
Only one more episode of The Walking Dead left, thankfully. I decided to stick with it to the end of the season, but then I’m done. I quit once before, got talked back into it, but it’s been a slog. None of the characters seem terribly real, and the dialog is just plain bad most of the time.
I thought for a while they were going to send Rigsby out of The Mentalist with a real bang, and they sort of did, but not in a final way. He took a couple to the chest but was still able to save the day.
Tough challenge on The Amazing Race. It was fun to see the Harlem Globetrotter entertaining the workers while his partner labored away, and to see him toss the b-ball to Phil at the mat. Alas, a missed flight put one team so far behind they could never get back in the game and, as they said, there wasn’t anything they could have done about that once they decided to go standby. Them’s the brakes.