Tag Archives: film

Life of Pi by Yann Martel – book review

My latest personal choice of read, rather than a requested book review is Life of Pi by Yann Martel. This was the winner of the prestigious Man Booker Prize back in 2002.

Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Here is the book blurb.

One boy, one boat, one tiger . . .

After the tragic sinking of a cargo ship, a solitary lifeboat remains bobbing on the wild, blue Pacific. The only survivors from the wreck are a sixteen year-old boy named Pi, a hyena, a zebra (with a broken leg), a female orang-utan — and a 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger. The scene is set for one of the most extraordinary and best-loved works of fiction in recent years.

This book starts like most with an author’s note, which initially made me assume that the story was based on a true tale, but as I read, I revised my original opinion. How could such a scene possibly have really happened.

The first few chapters dart from theme to theme as the scene is set, which I did find slightly confusing. But this is to introduce us to Piscine Molitor Patel, known as Pi. Yann also weaves himself in as the writer interviewing characters. In part 1, we follow Pi through childhood in the 1970’s upto age 16, when he and his family are about to emigrate from India to Canada. I particularly liked how Pi was a practising Hindu, Christian and Muslim.

Pi’s father had been the Pondicherry zoo director, but he is now closing the zoo and most of the animals are being bought by US zoos. So the family and the zoo animals are about to set sail aboard the Japanese cargo ship Tsimtsum for pastures new.

It is only as we move into part 2 of the story, that the blurb comes into play. Four days out of Manila, the ship is in trouble. Three of the crew throw Pi overboard into a lifeboat before the ship sinks. But who does he have for company on this lifeboat, but some of the animals who had escaped from their cages. A hyena, a zebra, an orangutan and a tiger, with sharks circling around. You just know that things are going to prove interesting.

And what a tale it is. There is even a part 3, which is different again. I highly recommend Life of Pi. A great read which I thoroughly enjoyed, suitable for both adults and older children from about age 11 upwards.

This bestselling book has also been made into a film which i would love to see too.

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Silent Fear by Lance & James Morcan – book review and giveaway

I have received a free e-copy of the book Silent Fear by Lance & James Morcan to review. You may find out more about the authors on their website.

Silent Fear by Lance & James Morcan

Here is the book blurb.

When you can’t hear…death comes silently.

Scotland Yard detective Valerie Crowther is assigned to investigate the murder of a student at a university for the Deaf in London, England. The murder investigation coincides with a deadly flu virus outbreak, resulting in the university being quarantined from the outside world.

When more Deaf students are murdered, it becomes clear there is a serial killer operating within the sealed-off university. A chilling cat-and-mouse game evolves as the unknown killer targets Valerie and the virus claims more lives.

A stunning, claustrophobic, “whodunit” murder mystery, Silent Fear (A novel inspired by true crimes) is the eighth novel by father-and-son writing team Lance & James Morcan. Included is a commentary by Deaf filmmaker Brent Macpherson on the unique aspects of Deaf culture the story covers. Together, the Morcans and Macpherson are currently developing a feature film adaptation of Silent Fear.

This book is set during a summer heatwave in Wandsworth University for the deaf, at the same time as the deadly monkey flu epidemic is spreading worldwide. Britain has closed its borders and so far has no cases of monkey flu. A cure has not yet been found.

The murderer sneaks into deaf student Jamie’s room, knocks him unconscious before disabling the smoke alarm and burning him to death. Detective Superintendent Valerie Crowther is sent to investigate as she knows BSL (British Sign Language). Meanwhile the first case of Monkey Flu is confirmed at the lab from a swab belonging to student Carol, who is currently in the university sick bay. The PM quarantines the university with Valerie, 2 reporters and other non-university personnel trapped inside.

The police are also following up other leads outside, but when the murders continue, they realise that the serial killer is still inside. Valerie is thwarted by lack of clues. And lives are also being claimed by Monkey Flu as the deadly virus spreads. One claustrophobic student tries to escape, but is shot dead.

Are they all going to die either from the virus or at the hand of the unknown serial killer?

Silent Fear is available on Amazon, currently priced at £17.99 in paperback and is also available in Kindle format. This is a really gripping story which I think will be amazing as a film.

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a paperback copy of Silent Fear to one lucky winner. Open worldwide.comper friendly badge

a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.

I’d love to hear about your favourite book.

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

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Animated Videos including giveaway

Three years ago after his leukaemia diagnosis, whilst son1 was an in-patient at hospital, he attended the school-room there when he felt up to it. One of the things he got to do, was to make a short animated video on their iPad. He found this great fun, so was very pleased when we recently got the opportunity to review something fairly similar for free, namely the stop motion video HUE Animation Studio kit.

HUE Animation Studio

The animation studio kit includes a HUE HD camera, which you can choose to purchase in either red, green or blue. There is also the HUE Book of Animation, a HUE Animation software cd, USB cable plus the box converts into a background for your films if you wish.

Even with the instructions in the book, I did experience some technical difficulties installing the software on my son’s pc. However the support team at HUE were very helpful in getting us up and running.

HUE Animation Studio

Son1 decided he wanted to make a Lego video first. Although he took loads of images, it’s very short, so don’t blink otherwise you may miss it.

Okay it is a bit out of focus, but this was his first attempt. He’s off to read the book before making his next video, to find out tips on how to add sound, since the camera also includes a microphone.

HUE Animation Studio

If you wish to see a clearer promotional video, take a look here.

The HUE Animation Studio kit currently retails at £49.95 and is aimed at children age 6-13. It would make a great Christmas gift in my opinion as it is both fun and educational. And son1 says it is awesome.

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a HUE Animation Studio kit to 1 lucky winner. comper friendly badge

a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.

I’d love to hear your favourite animated film or cartoon.

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Disclosure. This post is a review of a product I was sent for free. All opinions are my own.