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- View topic - The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
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The Moon is a Harsh Mistress 
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Joined: Sun Jan 25, 2009 7:52 pm
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Post Re: The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
How wonderful that anyone else here was exposed to Dealing: or the Berkeley-to-Boston Forty-Brick Lost-Bag Blues by "Michael Douglas" (i.e., Crichton and his brother). I was about 15 when it showed up in my parents' library, I think as a book club selection - we already had The Andromeda Strain. I only learned a few years ago that Dealing became a movie, which I haven't seen - John Lithgow is in it.


Mon Jun 22, 2009 7:45 am
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Post Re: The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
I don't know if it's "wonderful," JJ, but it remains one of the most colorful memories of books I read in that era. (Add in Divine Right's Trip and Steal This Book.)

The character that sticks in my mind is the speed freak who can't stop obsessing over his BMs. That should tell you something.

I was vaguely aware it had been filmed but - yep, just checked again - for some strange reason it's never been released on home video. Can't imagine why. It's Lithgow's debut film, too.


Mon Jun 22, 2009 8:51 am
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Post Re: The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
State of Fear was putrid - I mean, a novel with footnotes every page proving the characters' right-wing arguments that global warming was a fallacy were correct? Puh-leeze. Goes right in there with Clancy's book about a PETA offshoot trying to kill half the human population (Rainbow Six, I believe). Strawman argument that big hasn't been seen since Christopher Lee set fire to Edward Woodward.

Prey was better, but not great. Nextwas not good writing. However, on balance I liked Timeline - poignant ending. But especially I liked Airframe, which for some reason gets no attention at all, maybe because it's fairly unassuming. Well-deserved jab at mainstream journalists.

Crichton was one of those guys who could write about something very new so well that his work became its own cliche. Kinda like someone thumbing through Shakespeare going, "Man, this hack sure does recycle a lot of familiar themes," only in Crichton's case it could happen within a year or two. Only a few years after Jurassic Park came out, everyone and his sabre-toothed dog was talking about reconstructing dinosaurs from DNA so much that it just became assumed in the popular culture that such a thing was not only possible, but undoubtedly underway somewhere. Having that kind of impact is ridiculously difficult but he made it look easy.


Mon Jun 22, 2009 3:36 pm
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Post Re: The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

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Tue Jun 23, 2009 4:26 am
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Post Re: The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
Abbie's one of my enduring heroes. An awful lot of people give me funny looks when I say that, but I've been in awe of this complex figure since I was a kid. Finally understanding that he was deeply bipolar explained a lot. When he was "up" he was practically a force of nature - and he blew around a lot of heavy stuff.

I was shattered to hear of his death - Abbie gave up!? - but again some clarity about the circumstances helped put it in perspective. I don't think it was bad medicine as much as racking chronic pain combined with a really deep down cycle. Perhaps very little anyone could have done about the combination.

Two of the most important maxims I absorbed from him:

"I can't think of anything sold on television that's good for people."

"The purpose of a talk show is not to present guests, exchange points of view, hold a rational debate, or any other ostensible function. The purpose of a talk show is to make the host look good."


Tue Jun 23, 2009 9:16 am
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Post Re: The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
In the late '70s, during Hoffman's underground period, I lived in the Montrose district of Houston, then as now a haven for alternative lifestyles. Abbie was rumored at the time (later confirmed) to hide out occasionally in a house on Buell Street in Montrose. I never met him, but knew others who claimed to have.

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Tue Jun 23, 2009 10:44 am
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Post Re: The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

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Tue Jun 23, 2009 11:17 am
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Sun Jun 28, 2009 2:54 pm
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Post Re: The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
Happy Independence Day, everyone. Only 67 years to wait.

Free Luna,

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Fri Jul 03, 2009 9:51 pm
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Post Re: The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

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Sun Jul 05, 2009 6:53 pm
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