Will iconic images recorded in the grooves of an ancient vase unite the Holy Land or rip it further apart?

THE VASE

A novel by Mark M. DeRobertis

Muhsin Muhabi is a Palestinian potter, descended from a long line of potters. His business is run from the same shop owned by his ancestors since the day his forebears moved to Nazareth. The region's conflict saw the death of his oldest son, and rogue terrorists are in the process of recruiting his youngest in their plot to assassinate the Pope and Israeli prime minister.

Professor Hiram Weiss is an art historian at Nazareth’s Bethel University. He is also a Shin Bet operative on special assignment. With the help of fellow agent, Captain Benny Mathias, he plans to destroy the gang responsible for the death of his wife and only child. He puts a bomb in the ancient vase he takes on loan from Muhsin’s Pottery Shop.

Mary Levin, the charming assistant to the director of Shin Bet, has lost a husband and most of her extended family to recurring wars and never-ending terrorism. She dedicates her life to the preservation of Israel, but to whom will she dedicate her heart - the brilliant professor from Bethel University - or the gallant captain who now leads Kidon?

Harvey Holmes, the Sherlock of Haunted Houses, is a Hollywood TV host whose reality show just flopped. When a Lebanese restaurant owner requests his ghost-hunting services, he believes the opportunity will resurrect his career. All he has to do is exorcise the ghosts that are haunting the restaurant. It happens to be located right across the street from Muhsin’s Pottery Shop.



Monday, February 24, 2014

Story Lines--Please, no stupid stuff--The Walking Dead

After watching The Walking Dead last night, I found myself shaking my head because some stupid stuff happened. I'm referring to the part when the supposed scientist picked up a gun to shoot approaching zombies, but instead, he shot up the truck he had been driving in. And because he put several bullet holes in the truck's fuel compartment, causing it to leak out all its gas, it was, imo, very stupid, not only for the guy to do that, but in the writing itself.

First thing about it I thought was stupid--when the zombies were coming, his tough guy military partner was too busy trying to beat up a little Asian guy, after trying to convince the guy to join him in his quest to "save the world."

Second thing, instead of running to where his military partner was, he picks up a machine gun.

Third thing, he does a 360 degree rotation while pulling the trigger, shooting his truck, which was BEHIND him, instead of shooting the zombies, which were IN FRONT of him.

Now, if the story line needed the truck to be disabled, then some better writing could have come up with a better way to make that happen. Because stupid writing, making characters look stupid, just doesn't fly with me. I don't know what the writers in this case were trying to convey about this stupid act on the part of a man who later says, "Trust me, I'm smarter than you." to his military cohort.

Really. You're "smarter" after you just shot up a truck behind you instead of the targets in front of you. No, this writing, at least in that part of the show was plain dumb. And things like that can ruin what otherwise is a great story. I hope there is no more of it.

And another thing--the scientist guy doesn't look much like a scientist at all. He's a young guy, maybe 30ish, with a stupid looking mullet for a hair do, and he's wearing short pants, like that guitar player dude in the AC/DC band, making him look like a dorky adolescent. I suppose a scientist can have stereotypical traits. I can buy that. After all, even in my own book, Killer of Killers, a scientist named Jason Benson is dorky looking. But the mullet on the guy in The Walking Dead? Whatever.

I still like the show. And I'm liking the new STARZ show, BLACK SAILS, too. It's a pirate show, but with a different flavor to it than, say, the Pirates of the Carribean movies. I like the captains, Captain Flint and Captain Vane. And I like the casting of the actors portraying them. More about that later.

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