Monday, December 05, 2011

Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk
(David Sedaris, 3 hours)
Light, not fluffy, but still fun to fool about with.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Pedro Almodóvar Masters of Cinema
(Thomas Sotinel, 104pp)
I loved early Almodovar, and this little book taught me much I'd not known of his life, starting back to his La Mancha roots, with a father who worked as a mule driver. I lived in Madrid when he was making La Movida, but I totally missed out on this scene until I came back to live in Boston, and fell into the thrall of Matador & Law of Desire. After Women on the Verge, which most consider his breakout, I lost my affection for him.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Steve Jobs
(Walter Isaacson, 24:55)
Necessary to read, but the writing is only at the snuff of a first draft. Occasional infelicities (a weird metaphor using pirouette, e.g.) drove home that Isaacson rushed this out. The raw material is of great interest, even though it's clear that Jobs is not a template for anyone else to emulate. Perhaps it's relevant if you are a handsome, clever sociopath who successfully vampires the talent of an engineering prodigy, enabling you to kickstart a revolution as torrential as the PC industry. Once that's accomplished, consider starting a NeXT-like hardware company to educate you more deeply about supply chains and object-oriented software. Flirt with becoming a movie mogul by picking up Pixar. Typically, Isaacson's account of how Jobs managed to get ownership from George Lucas is less interesting than other stories I've read. Notwithstanding the book's unhindered access to Jobs' personal life, readers will get very little sense of how he related to others as friends, as a husband, as a father, or even as a boss. Very little texture gets captured, even when the stories brim with incident. As one final proof of the book's slipshod construction, Jobs is reported to have had a girlfriend named Jennifer Egan, who argued with him that his Buddhist beliefs conflicted with his devotion to crafting objects of such covetable allure. Isaacson never mentions that this is the same Ms. Egan, at a much earlier stage of her life, who went on to win a Pulitzer for A Visit from the Goon Squad.