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Thread: 2018 50/50 Challenge - 50 Books & 50 Movies in One Year

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    2018 50/50 Challenge - 50 Books & 50 Movies in One Year


    Some guidelines:

    1) Um…What happens if I don’t read 50 books and watch 50 movies this year?
    Easy: we send a bounty hunter to your house. Actually, there is no punishment (not this year, anyhow). It’s your personal challenge, so all we ask is that you try. No matter what, you’ll probably consume more books/movies than you’ve ever done before. This, my friends, is what we call win-win.

    2) Do I have to read the books, or can I just skim?
    I can see how this would be confusing. Oh wait, no. C’mon people, it’s a reading challenge! Same as fast-forwarding through a movie isn’t the same as really watching one, this is about taking the time to really enjoy. For the avoidance of doubt, please read the book for it count.

    3) Do long books count as 2? What about movies?
    If your book is over 500 pages, you can count it as two books if you like. We still consider you an Overachiever. However, if the book is 2,000 pages, it’s still just two books — not four! We want to encourage you to read longer pieces. This answer has been posted for the benefit of all you Game of Thrones fanatics out there. Go forth and prosper or whatever it is. No matter the length, a movie is still just a (one, 1, “ONE”) movie. That said, installments in a movie series (example: the individual Godfather movies) would each snag an individual point. Go you.

    4) Can I rewatch/reread?
    Of course you can rewatch and reread… it just won’t count towards your 50/50!

    5) What should I read/watch?
    Anything you like!

    There are more rules but they're specific for the blog I copied them from. Also they're stupid so I'm not going to go into them here.

    The only thing that I would want to add to this is that everyone gets to make a recommendation for a required reading or viewing for the year. Something that you really enjoyed and want to experience with others and maybe generate some discussion. I see too many of these threads just turn into "I read these books/watched these movies" postings at the end of the month and that's boring. Obviously there could be issues if there are more than 50 people taking place so we'll just leave that one as an "or".

    And I realize this is kind of bridging the forums of Literature and Le Cinema so it might be in the wrong place.

    Formatting:

    allegate
    xx/50 Books

    1. b


    xx/50 Movies


    1. b

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    2/50 Books

    1. Us Conductors by Sean Michaels (he of "Said the Gramophone" blogging fame) — a groovily dramatised fictional retelling of Léon Theremin/Lev Termen's life story and his doomed love affair with Clara Rockmore. Read most of it on a single plane ride, very nicely paced and rich in historical detail. Sappy ending, if you like that sort of thing. The brutal gulag scenes will be what stay with me, however. Highly recommended.

    2. Haddon Hall: When David invented Bowie by Néjib — another very quick read, and yet another fictionalised bio — this one a graphic novella narrated from the perspective of the titular home rented by the Bowies and hangers-on in the early 1970s. Once again, very entertaining and highly recommended.

    2/50 Movies

    1. The Trip to Spain — yep, the third in this bewilderingly ongoing but funny road trip saga of Steve Coogan + Rob Brydon trekking across the continent in a shuffly, irrelevant white Englishman kinda way. Not sure what other madcap misfortunes may yet sideline them from rote midlife meditations amid the usual trading of witty barbs over delicious looking local delicacies? Tune in! Very good Mick Jagger impersonations, too!

    2. My Brooklyn — pretty relevant to my interests, a documentary about the racist history of neighbourhood divisions and the economic factors underlying gentrification in American cities. A little heavy-handed with the superfluous personal backstory/narration on the filmmaker's part, but lots of compelling historical footage (I love watching me a juicy town hall meeting). Discovered this through the Kanopy app, which streams lots of great stuff for free via access to your local public library system.
    Last edited by botley; 03-19-2018 at 09:21 PM.

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    Shit, I'm already at 46 movies and I didn't even know about this!
    Last edited by GibbonBlack; 03-19-2018 at 11:58 PM. Reason: Clarity

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    Quote Originally Posted by GibbonBlack View Post
    Shit, I'm already at 46 movies and I didn't even know about this!
    List 'em!

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    01 01 18 Paterson
    01 01 18 The Meyerowitz Stories: New and Selected
    01 01 18 The Killing of a Sacred Deer
    01 01 18 Good Time
    01 01 18 Deep Water
    01 01 18 Freaks
    04 01 18 Lucky
    05 01 18 Alan Partridge: Why When Where How
    05 01 18 AlphaGo
    06 01 18 From Here to Eternity
    06 01 18 Canada's Original Vigilante Pedophile Hunter
    06 01 18 City of Ghosts
    06 01 18 Casting JonBenet
    08 01 18 Oklahoma City
    09 01 18 Best of Enemies
    10 01 18 The Cats of Mirikitani
    12 01 18 The Shape of Water
    12 01 18 Ingrid Goes West
    13 01 18 9 11
    13 01 18 LA 92
    20 01 18 Wings of Desire
    20 01 18 Molly's Game
    21 01 18 Thor: Ragnorak
    26 01 18 Darkest Hour
    26 01 18 The Post
    27 01 18 Abacus: Small Enough to Jail
    27 01 18 Mom and Dad
    06 02 18 Suburbicon
    08 02 18 Coco
    10 02 18 Fifty Shades Freed
    16 02 18 On The Waterfront
    17 02 18 First They Killed My Father
    19 02 18 The Snowman
    19 02 18 The Death of Stalin
    22 02 18 Phantom Thread
    22 02 18 Roman J. Israel ESQ.
    23 02 18 Justice League
    02 03 18 Murder on the Orient Express
    02 03 18 Mute
    02 03 18 Strong Island
    03 03 18 Marty
    03 03 18 The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
    11 03 18 Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
    17 03 18 Annihilation
    17 03 18 Downsizing
    18 03 18 Denial



    ^That's copied from my spreadsheet. Sorry I'm breaking the format

    There's a couple of shorts on there, I never know if it's fair to include them in the list. But whatever, it's my list

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    Wow! Any particular recommendations?

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    Quote Originally Posted by GibbonBlack View Post
    Shit, I'm already at 46 movies and I didn't even know about this!
    Because no one comes in here!

    Shit, now I have to update my list.

    Books

    1. Son of Retro Pulp Tales by Joe R. Lansdale
    2. Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein
    3. The World of Lore: Monstrous Creatures by Aaron Mahnke
    4. A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel by Hope Larson
    5. Cassandra French's Finishing School for Boys: A Novel by Eric Garcia
    6. We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy by Ta-Nehisi Coates
    7. William Shakespeare's Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope by Ian Doescher
    8. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
    9. Null States by Malka Ann Older
    10. Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers (Red Dwarf #1) by Grant Naylor
    11. Better than Life (Red Dwarf #2) by Grant Naylor
    12. Backwards (Red Dwarf #4) by Rob Grant
    13. Last Human (Red Dwarf #3) by Doug Naylor
    14. Sleepwalk With Me and Other Painfully True Stories by Mike Birbiglia


    While I was reading the Red Dwarf books I thought to myself, "I really should have watched at least one episode first." After reading the books and watching a few episodes, "Wow I'm glad I read the books first.

    The Null States book (and it's predecessor, Infomocracy) seem eerily prescient what with the release of the Cambridge Analytics information.

    Movies

    1. Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017)
    2. The Dark Tower (2017)
    3. Kong: Skull Island (2017)
    4. Justice League (2017)
    5. Geostorm (2017)
    6. The Book of Henry (2017)
    7. Black Panther (2018)
    8. Being Canadian (2015)
    9. Willow (1988)
    10. Justice League Dark (2017)
    11. Despicable Me 3 (2017)
    12. Journey Through the Past (1974)
    13. Coco (2017)
    14. The Music of Strangers (2015)


    The Music of Strangers was also released on BBC this year with another title. Kind of weird. At any rate, the documentary was pretty good, highly recommended. I especially liked when they were discussing with reporters about how something like this cannot dilute a culture, but bring them closer together. I feel like that's a strong message for today.

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    Quote Originally Posted by botley View Post
    Wow! Any particular recommendations?
    On The Waterfront is the best from that list!

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    Quote Originally Posted by gibbonblack View Post
    01 01 18 paterson
    01 01 18 the meyerowitz stories: New and selected
    Hey, cool, what a weird coincidence. I also watched both Paterson and The Meyerowitz Stories back to back, and I thought that, even though they were both very different, they sort of complimented each other. They were both really interesting explorations of what it means to devote your life to being an artist, even when that doesn't mean becoming famous.

    There's a certain dignity to the way that Paterson just writes his poetry and keeps it to himself. I think he does it to feel connected to things and for the sincere joy of expression. There's something kind of pure about that, and it's interesting to contrast him with the Dustin Hoffman character in The Meyerowitz Stories, because he's like the exact opposite. He's consumed by own insecurity and bitterness about not being more famous for his art and it warps him and turns him into an emotionally abusive narcissist. His devotion to art is selfish and corrupting, but for Paterson, it's like a tonic, something to help him cope with the monotony of his life.

    I don't know if any of that makes sense, but I just thought it was interesting how there was a bit of thematic overlap between those two movies that I hadn't expected to find.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mantra View Post
    Hey, cool, what a weird coincidence. I also watched both Paterson and The Meyerowitz Stories back to back, and I thought that, even though they were both very different, they sort of complimented each other. They were both really interesting explorations of what it means to devote your life to being an artist, even when that doesn't mean becoming famous.

    There's a certain dignity to the way that Paterson just writes his poetry and keeps it to himself. I think he does it to feel connected to things and for the sincere joy of expression. There's something kind of pure about that, and it's interesting to contrast him with the Dustin Hoffman character in The Meyerowitz Stories, because he's like the exact opposite. He's consumed by own insecurity and bitterness about not being more famous for his art and it warps him and turns him into an emotionally abusive narcissist. His devotion to art is selfish and corrupting, but for Paterson, it's like a tonic, something to help him cope with the monotony of his life.

    I don't know if any of that makes sense, but I just thought it was interesting how there was a bit of thematic overlap between those two movies that I hadn't expected to find.

    I didn't really like Paterson whilst I was watching it, but I kept thinking about it for days and days and it really grew on me.

    I'd never thought about the connection between the two but you're right, there are some slight similarities.




    ....I've met Sigourney Weaver

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    3/50 Movies

    3. Eric Clapton — Life in 12 Bars ...ehhhhh it's okay, but I'm far from the world's biggest fan. Nice to see the Layla sessions explored in some depth.

    3/50 Books

    3. Twin Peaks: The Final Dossier by Mark Frost — Oh yes Mama! Fun little recap of all the twists and turns in the new series. A very dry wit, has ol' Frosty.

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    15/50 Books
    • Son of Retro Pulp Tales by Joe R. Lansdale
    • Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein
    • The World of Lore: Monstrous Creatures by Aaron Mahnke
    • A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel by Hope Larson
    • Cassandra French's Finishing School for Boys: A Novel by Eric Garcia
    • We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy by Ta-Nehisi Coates
    • William Shakespeare's Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope by Ian Doescher
    • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
    • Null States by Malka Ann Older
    • Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers (Red Dwarf #1) by Grant Naylor
    • Better than Life (Red Dwarf #2) by Grant Naylor
    • Backwards (Red Dwarf #4) by Rob Grant
    • Last Human (Red Dwarf #3) by Doug Naylor
    • Sleepwalk With Me and Other Painfully True Stories by Mike Birbiglia
    • Shadow Moon (Chronicles of the Shadow War #1) by Chris Claremont, George Lucas


    I think I should have watched at least one episode of the show before reading that series. I read 4 before 3 because I saw a review that said it followed from book 2 a lot better and just sampling the intro to 3 I had to agree. Now that I've finished 3...yeah, I should have read these in order. I think Rob Grant had a much better grasp of the characters than Doug Naylor.

    Mike's book is, if you've seen any of his stand-ups, basically that but you have to read it instead of watch it. There's some other stuff but it's basically the same. Still hilarious though. I read it with my son and we were laughing at some parts so hard we were crying. It was fun.

    Gods , Shadow Moon was just bad. I put the second one on hold today at the library because maybe - just maybe - the story gets better. Also I hate giving up on books so I'm probably going to hate-read the next two books. I'm glad I've got two other books going at the same time so I can take breaks.


    15/50 Movies

    • Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017)
    • The Dark Tower (2017)
    • Kong: Skull Island (2017)
    • Justice League (2017)
    • Geostorm (2017)
    • The Book of Henry (2017)
    • Black Panther (2018)
    • Being Canadian (2015)
    • Willow (1988)
    • Justice League Dark (2017)
    • Despicable Me 3 (2017)
    • Journey Through the Past (1974)
    • Coco (2017)
    • The Music of Strangers (2015)
    • The Big Sick (2017)


    The Big Sick was OK, but also really good. I think I'm biased because of my wife's pain issue but it got me good. I liked how she woke up and was like, "Dude you're being creepy. Just because you were here doesn't mean I have to like you again." I think the resulting part of the movie was a little too movie-tropes but I guess it's hard to show how complex feelings can be when you only have 90 minutes.

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    I made it passed 50 movies today

    18 03 18 Denial
    24 03 18 The Cloverfield Paradox
    24 03 18 The Party
    25 03 18 The Greatest Showman
    31 03 18 Around the World in 80 Days
    31 03 18 Clowntown

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    Man...I could never commit to this 50/50 thing because I just don't have the time. God I hate being a grown up. I could probably pull of 25/25, but no way could I manage 50/50.

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    I've only just stumbled across this thread, so I've collated my list of watched films and read books I've finished this year so far:

    Books 25/50

    1. Fyodor Dostoyevsky - White Nights
    2. Henry Rollins - Do I Come Here Often
    3. Herny Rollins - Smile, You're Travelling
    4. Martin Luther King Jr - Letter From Birmingham Jail / The Three Dimensions Of A Complete Life
    5. Tampa - Alissa Nutting
    6. Grow Up - Ben Brooks
    7. Help - Simon Amstell
    8. Grief Is The Thing With Feathers - Max Porter
    9. The White Book - Han Kang
    10. The Vegetarian - Han Kang
    11. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings - Maya Angelou
    12. Three Japanese Short Stories - Akutagawa & Others
    13. Wake Up Sir! - Jonathan Ames
    14. My Prefect Cousin - Kevin Eldon
    15. A Monster Calls - Patrick Ness
    16. The Shock Of The Fall - Nathan Fillier
    17. Twin Peaks: The Secret History - Mark Frost
    18. Twin Peaks: The Final Dossier
    19. The Grip of Film - Richard Aoyade
    20. The Hacienda: How Not To Run A Club - Peter Hook
    21. Creation Stories - Alan McGee
    22. Post Office - Charles Bukowski
    23. Emily Dickinson - My Life Had Stood A Loaded Gun
    24. All My Puny Sorrows - Miriam Toewes.
    25. The Freewheeling John Dowie - John Dowie
    26. Milan Kundera - Life Is Elsewhere
    27. Alex Garland - The Coma
    28. Alex Wade - The Pac-Man Principle: A User's Guide To Capitalism.

    30/50 Movies:

    1. The Shape of Water
    2. Wonder Wheel
    3. You Were Never Really Here
    4. Thor Ragnorok
    5. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets)
    6. Coco
    7. Mother
    8. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri
    9. Ratatouille
    10. Fantasia
    11. The Death of Stalin
    12. Murder On The Orient Express
    13. Mute
    14. Ladybird
    15. Annihilation
    16. Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle
    17. I Tonya
    18. Aaaaaaaaah!
    19. Brakes
    20. Ghost Stories
    21. Tragedy Girls
    22. LA92
    23. Wallace & Grommit: The Curse Of The Wererabbit
    24. Paddington 2
    25. The Final Year
    26. Black Panther
    27. The Killing Of A Scared Deer
    28. Pyewacket
    29. Solo: A Star Wars Story
    30. How To Talk To Girls At Parties
    Last edited by lloyd_dhr; Today at 05:01 AM.

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    17/50 Books

    • Son of Retro Pulp Tales by Joe R. Lansdale
    • Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein
    • The World of Lore: Monstrous Creatures by Aaron Mahnke
    • A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel by Hope Larson
    • Cassandra French's Finishing School for Boys: A Novel by Eric Garcia
    • We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy by Ta-Nehisi Coates
    • William Shakespeare's Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope by Ian Doescher
    • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
    • Null States by Malka Ann Older
    • Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers (Red Dwarf #1) by Grant Naylor
    • Better than Life (Red Dwarf #2) by Grant Naylor
    • Backwards (Red Dwarf #4) by Rob Grant
    • Last Human (Red Dwarf #3) by Doug Naylor
    • Sleepwalk With Me and Other Painfully True Stories by Mike Birbiglia
    • Shadow Moon (Chronicles of the Shadow War #1) by Chris Claremont, George Lucas
    • Who Could That Be at This Hour? (All the Wrong Questions #1) by Lemony Snicket
    • You're Saying It Wrong: A Pronunciation Guide to the 150 Most Commonly Mispronounced Words--and Their Tangled Histories of Misuse by Ross Petras and Kathryn Petras



    19/50 Movies

    • Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017)
    • The Dark Tower (2017)
    • Kong: Skull Island (2017)
    • Justice League (2017)
    • Geostorm (2017)
    • The Book of Henry (2017)
    • Black Panther (2018)
    • Being Canadian (2015)
    • Willow (1988)
    • Justice League Dark (2017)
    • Despicable Me 3 (2017)
    • Journey Through the Past (1974)
    • Coco (2017)
    • The Music of Strangers (2015)
    • The Big Sick (2017)
    • Chronicle (2012)
    • Transformers: The Last Knight (2017)
    • Darkest Hour (2017)
    • The Man Who Invented Christmas (2017)


    Chronicle was probably lightning in a bottle for Max Landis and Josh Trank as they've not done much since. The Last Knight wasn't worth the 0's and 1's on the disc. Darkest Hour was, without a doubt, a vehicle solely to get an Oscar for Gary Oldman.

    The Man Who Invented Christmas was an alright film, though there were a few pacing issues.

    Next up: "Their Finest" to complete the Dunkirk trilogy.

    Side note - was there something about Dunkirk/Churchill this past year that I missed? Three movies about the event, two about the man. Or is this a mega Armageddon/Deep Impact Antz/A Bug's Life thing?

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    @lloyd_dhr - what did you think about "Do I Come Here Often?"

    26/50 Books

    • Son of Retro Pulp Tales by Joe R. Lansdale
    • Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein
    • The World of Lore: Monstrous Creatures by Aaron Mahnke
    • A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel by Hope Larson
    • Cassandra French's Finishing School for Boys: A Novel by Eric Garcia
    • We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy by Ta-Nehisi Coates
    • William Shakespeare's Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope by Ian Doescher
    • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
    • Null States by Malka Ann Older
    • Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers (Red Dwarf #1) by Grant Naylor
    • Better than Life (Red Dwarf #2) by Grant Naylor
    • Backwards (Red Dwarf #4) by Rob Grant
    • Last Human (Red Dwarf #3) by Doug Naylor
    • Sleepwalk With Me and Other Painfully True Stories by Mike Birbiglia
    • Shadow Moon (Chronicles of the Shadow War #1) by Chris Claremont, George Lucas
    • Who Could That Be at This Hour? (All the Wrong Questions #1) by Lemony Snicket
    • You're Saying It Wrong: A Pronunciation Guide to the 150 Most Commonly Mispronounced Words--and Their Tangled Histories of Misuse by Ross Petras and Kathryn Petras
    • Mr. and Mrs. Bunny—Detectives Extraordinaire! by Polly Horvath
    • When Did You See Her Last? (All the Wrong Questions #2) by Lemony Snicket
    • Lord and Lady Bunny--Almost Royalty! by Polly Horvath
    • File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents (All the Wrong Questions, #2.5) by Lemony Snicket
    • Shadow Dawn (Chronicles of the Shadow War #2) by Chris Claremont, George Lucas
    • 1984 by George Orwell
    • Moone Boy: The Blunder Years by Chris O'Dowd
    • Dragonslayer by Wayland Drew
    • Willow (Chronicles of the Shadow War) by Wayland Drew


    25/50 Movies

    • Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017)
    • The Dark Tower (2017)
    • Kong: Skull Island (2017)
    • Justice League (2017)
    • Geostorm (2017)
    • The Book of Henry (2017)
    • Black Panther (2018)
    • Being Canadian (2015)
    • Willow (1988)
    • Justice League Dark (2017)
    • Despicable Me 3 (2017)
    • Journey Through the Past (1974)
    • Coco (2017)
    • The Music of Strangers (2015)
    • The Big Sick (2017)
    • Chronicle (2012)
    • Transformers: The Last Knight (2017)
    • Darkest Hour (2017)
    • The Man Who Invented Christmas (2017)
    • The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)
    • Ready Player One (2018)
    • Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017)
    • Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
    • Peter Rabbit (2018)
    • Paddington 2 (2017)


    The Bunny books are great fun to read out loud and if you (or your audience) aren't giggling then you're doing something wrong.

    I actually read two Snicket books that make up the 2.5 book (confusing, I know) but for the sake of the contest I'm doing the combined version. If you like Encyclopedia Brown, these are way too easy for you. None of them were challenging, and one even stretched the boundaries of that a mystery actually is. Though if you like the characters from the Question series then you might like this too.

    Shadow Dawn was a lot better than the previous book, but still too much description. It's like Claremont feels restricted by comic book borders and decided to take on the lot.

    1984 is a gut punch, but the post script is heartening.

    Jumanji was a better film than it had any right to be. I'm not OK that they're making a 3rd one with the same cast (Rock, etc) because wtf could the movie be about? They are video game characters so they shouldn't remember anything, just be avatars for someone else. Not much of a continuation, really. Maybe they'll surprise again.
    Last edited by allegate; 05-11-2018 at 06:09 PM.

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    @allegate - I enjoyed it, but found his ranting to be a bit annoying, which I put down to me being twenty years older since the last time I approached his written work!

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    @lloyd_dhr - that's pretty much how I felt too. I read it last year and had to keep reminding myself that 20 years ago I was a douche canoe as well. Not as famous as some, sure, but still.

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