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.



Friday, August 22, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy is a Kid's Show

I took my 12 year-old son to see that new Marvel movie Guardians of the Galaxy last weekend. I thought I was going to like it. I really didn't. I saw a "sneak peek" of the movie at Disneyland, and it appeared like it was going to be a good movie. It wasn't.

From what I understand, Guardians of the Galaxy is a Marvel comic book. But it's not one that I ever heard of. I used to collect Marvel comics, but since the birth of my first son 18+ years ago, I haven't bought a single one. So obviously, that means Guardians of the Galaxy, the comic book, must have debuted in that time period. I never knew about it.

Still, I do like some SciFi shows, and the trailers and sneak peek of Guardians of the Galaxy made it look pretty cool. It wasn't. For one thing, they tried too hard. For another thing, goofy movies, which this turned out to be, just aren't my thing. I can appreciate some humor in a serious movie, but when comedy is interwoven throughout the movie, it's too much for me.

This movie was targeting adolescents, I suppose, and since I'm far removed from that, I couldn't even like this movie a little bit. Tongue in Cheek is one thing, like Jane Fonda's Barbarella, or the Flash Gordon movie with Sam Jones and Max Von Sydow. Those were good movies. But this Guardians of the Galaxy was just not. Unless you're 12. Or younger. To my 12 year old, it was okay. But to me, it was a let down.

Whatever. There's enough 12 year olds in the world to entertain with movies like that. I'm just not one of them. I'll take grit and drama over a goofy SciFi any day.

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