Wednesday, April 27, 2005

A Deep Purple Concert Review, 2001

I recently rediscovered a review I had done of a Deep Purple Concert in Bangalore, India, in 2001 - this was for a local newspaper. I had no copy of it, but on a Google Search, found that the fine folks at The Highway Star had archived a copy online. To claim it back, and archive the post, I reproduce it below.
Bangalore Palace

Some notes on the location/concert: This was at the Palace Grounds in Bangalore on April 1, 2001. The Palace Grounds are the site of the Bangalore Palace, erstwhile home to the rulers of the princely state of Mysore, pre-independence. It is a scenic building, built in the Tudor style, inspired by Windsor Castle, in 1887. The property is now managed by the government, although the ex-royal family still occupies a wing. The royal family, the Wodeyars, comprised a peace with the British, and thus were able to preserve their exquisite properties, and foster much development across the state at a time when much of North India was in the flames of rebellion and discord. The state was highly industrialized, with its capital at Mysore, about 100 miles from the British Cantonment, or military town of Bangalore.

Bangalore, today, is termed the Silicon Capital of India, with a preponderance of high-tech industries, scores of fine colleges, and perhaps the most cosmopolitan and booming economy in India. The long British influence has made it a predominantly English-speaking area, and a love for beer and music has meant it an obligatory stopping point for every major concert tour in India. Deep Purple has played a number of times in India, and this concert was fabulous, as I can attest.

On to the Deep Purple concert review, somewhat dated, perhaps.


Steve Morse keeps the warhorses rocking!

Deep Purple admitted that they did not expect the kind of response they received at Bangalore. A crowd of over 40.000 rocked through the two-and-a-half hour extravaganza that included all the regular favorites and some surprises.

The opening band was Bangalore-based Thermal & A Quarter - a good rocking band with all the regular influences, they played for 40 minutes and got the crowd in the mood. As they played, a brief shower helped cool the rising rockers' heat.

Then the rock heroes from Deep Purple were on stage. A mammoth flat-screen television projected their finger-lickin' good music across the Bangalore Palace grounds.

They opened with "Woman From Tokyo" - and although most regular fans had heard these songs on LPs, CDs and bootlegged cassettes, the grounds resounded with a roar of obvious pleasure. The song list included all the usual standards - four numbers from "Purpendicular" including my favorite, "Hey Cisco".

The band kept complimenting the crowd on its passion and enthusiasm. Steve Morse could tell the crowd loved his solos, because of the loud applause that greeted each one, so he began to extend them and introduce guitar frenzies into songs that one would expect to be more subdued. The other players also contributed, with a long solo by Lord and Paice. One would never guess Gillan's age from his rendering of 30+ year old songs.

One interesting bit was a medley of guitar pieces that included the Beatles, Black Sabbath and more, and then effortlessly segued into "Smoke On The Water", driving the crowd wild. The boys did a 15 minute version of "Speed King", with a rock'n'roll interlude built in.

They signed off before we knew it, but came back for an encore with "Hush" and finally "Highway Star". A wall of flame during "Smoke On The Water" spelt out the most perfect words in rock - DEEP PURPLE!

This concert should do a lot for the revitalization of rock. Long live Deep Purple.




Deep Purple is currently on tour around the world, and will be playing in the United States in June - the tour dates are on the Highway Star - best of all, they will be headlining at the Summerfest in Milwaukee, June 30, 2005 - See you there!

The Very Best of Deep Purple [Rhino]/Deep Purple Burn [Bonus Tracks]/Deep Purple Lonely Planet South India (Lonely Planet South India)/Paul Harding The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century/Thomas L. Friedman The Red Carpet : Bangalore Stories/LAVANYA SANKARAN Network City: Planning The Information Society In Bangalore/James Heitzman Deep Purple: Bombay Calling

Monday, April 25, 2005

What's your Papal Name

Did the Papal Name test - quite funny - my answers were very irreligious.

Your Papal Name is Pope Adeodatus II

You think Pope Benedict IX was a Saint who should have indulged himself a bit more. You're already halfway though "How to Excommunicate for Fun and Profit" and, if you were made Pope, you would have the treasures of the Vatican on www.ebay.com before the end of week one.

Get your own name at What's My Papal Name?

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Exorcist: The Beginning - 1.0, or is that 2.0?

It is common knowledge by now that "Exorcist: The Beginning", the prequel to the hugely successful horror film "The Exorcist" went through two hands before being released to the public under the direction of Renny Harlin, the director of Cliffhanger, Ford Fairlane, and Die Hard 2. Paul Schrader's completed version, now titled "Exorcist: The Original Prequel" will see the light of day soon.

The films both have identical stories, yet the Schrader version is softer, more celebral, perhaps even more spiritual. What is interesting is that the Harlin version features William Peter Blatty, the original author of "The Exorcist", lending a hand on the screenplay. Of course, after the disaster of the "Exorcist III" film, directed by Blatty, perhaps that is part of the reason for the distortions/gross-outs in the Harlin version. Caleb Carr (The Alienist) detailed the story of the film, mostly shot by Schrader, but derided Paul Schrader post-filming, provoking the studio's actions. The books that could be written about author-director feuds would fill a library of horrors, but that is a tale for another day.

The plot deals with the usual threat to the balance between good and evil through a portal to Hell that exists beneath an ancient Byzantine church in Kenya. It expands the moral universe of the film by correlating this fictional terror with everyday evil, from Nazi atrocities, to colonial excesses.

Father Merrin, fleeing from wartime memories in Nazi Holland, is finally forced to face them, and perhaps his own culpability, before he can deal with external demons. The demon is expelled, for the moment, but the destruction of the African community outside the church while the spiritual battle rages within shows that we do not really need demons to do evil.

Of course, this is set in a time when the world was not yet flat, and we have come a long way from there, but the killing instinct still drives much evil, and hot spots of state-sanctioned violence persist.

The richest scenes of the film, and it will be hard to separate the auteur from the scenes until the Schrader version is released, are the flashbacks to Nazi killings, wanton and cruel. Father Merrin's torments with his faith perhaps began then. When Father Merrin selects villagers for a Nazi firing squad, an SS officer mocks him, saying "God is not here today", an echo that reverberates through the film. The acquiescence of the world governments, and the Church in these acts turns him away from the Church, until he sees the same conflict between the Turkana tribals and the British colonial forces. This is the essence of the film, the demon almost an afterthought. Paul Schrader was eminently qualified to render this character, after his portrayal of the human Jesus in the screenplay for "The Last Temptation of Christ", and Jake in "Raging Bull".

Intense photography by Vittorio Storaro (Apocalypse Now, Last Tango In Paris) would have made the Schrader version a last gasp for the 70s era of fine, director-driven films (although Schrader was no 'movie brat', unlike Spielberg, Coppola, Lucas, etc.). The Harlin version is marred by a number of pointless, deliberately offensive scenes. This is one film, where, unfortunately for the theme, the devil is in the details.
Exorcist - The Beginning (Widescreen Edition) The Exorcist/William Peter Blatty The Exorcist (25th Anniversary Special Edition) Transcendental Style in Film: Ozu, Bresson, Dreyer (Da Capo Paperback)/Paul Schrader Turkana: Kenya's Nomads of the Jade Sea/Nigel Pavitt Mishima - A Life in Four Chapters The Alienist/CALEB CARR Hitler and the Vatican : Inside the Secret Archives That Reveal the New Story of the Nazis and the Church/Peter Godman Beyond Good & Evil : Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future/WALTER KAUFMANN

Microsoft is Virtually on Linux

The upcoming release of Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 Service Pack 1 will have support for heterogenous networks, including Linux-based computers. The Beta is already available for download. Virtualization provides key benefits to IT administrators, enabling them to
  • Flexibly deploy applications on hardware best suited for the job

  • Physical server consolidation - a hot-button issue, costs-wise

  • Legacy application re-hosting on modern server machines
The new Service Pack also provides 64-bit Windows Server 2003 compatibility, as well as royalty-free licensing of the Virtual Hard Disk

This is a significant step in the maturity of Linux, although it will have no impact on end-users' adoption of Linux. It also marks a departure from Microsoft's usual characterizations of Linux as 'a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches'. Microsoft has focused on interoperability in the past, and recognized the competitive threat of Linux, with Steve Ballmer, wanting "to emphasise the competitive threat, and in some senses the competitive opportunity, that Linux represents. Linux is a tough competitor. There's no company called Linux, there's barely a Linux road map. Yet Linux sort of springs organically from the earth"

Steve Ballmer is under pressure to demonstrate that Microsoft has not lost its' direction, given that their stock has effectively treaded water for the last three years. The company itself is doing very well, and significant initatives over the next couple of years will redefine the computing platform that we have gotten used to for a decade.

These initiatives range from the releases of the Team System, SQL Server 2005, and the much-heralded 'Longhorn'. Longhorn features seem to get better by the day, despite early reports that some killer features were pulled into current Windows versions. Longhorn will feature 'hypervisor' technology, enabling hardware virtualization right at the desktop OS level. The XBox 360 will debut later this year, and the folks at Microsoft Labs have sunk much money into a few Google-killers, while watching the company that 'does no evil' seize as much of the market mindshare and customer attention that Microsoft did in the past.

Vibrant /. discussion on the news - some highlights:

Microsoft's take on this, as in Microsoft's take on WordPerfect documents, Netscape Bookmarks, Apache, etc, is strictly one way. If you want to move from (insert Microsoft competitor here) they want to make that real easy. But going the other way will be hard as hell.

In this case, the sales argument to pointy haired bosses will be "did evil admins set up Linux infrasctucture on your network without you knowing? No problem. We can move that back to a supported platform. Microsoft. Where do you want to go today ?(TM)."


It also exposes the virtualized Linux sessions to the full power of Microsoft's partners, the malware vendors.


This is like the Sith saying, "We can do everything you can do, but now tremble before the power of the Dark Side!"



In the post-Microsoft world, I, for one, welcome our communist carcinogenic Linux overlords



Linux is really the flagship for the battle between freedom of information and big-business' inability to cope with change. Open source software has problems yes, but it sets up a playing field where 16 year olds from Turkmenistan can compete with one of the largest corporations in the world. There is a sea change in that is flattening out the World thanks to the wonders of the computer age. The Army of Penguins is ready to leave fipper-shaped welts on the backsides of the mighty Empire and Slashdot readers want to be on the front lines, ears to the ground, sharpening our beaks, er swords, er motherboards..?

Oh, and you know they're running scared when they trot out the old "socialism is communism" argument. Pfff, by their definition labor unions and organized sports are communist


Virtualization: From Desktop To The Enterprise/Erick M. Halter The Linux Uprising : How a ragtag band of software geeks is threatening Sun and Microsoft-and turning the computer world upside down/Spencer E. Ante Mastering Windows Server 2003/Mark Minasi UNIX and Windows 2000 Interoperability Guide/Alan R. Roberts Hackers and Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age/Paul Graham

Monday, April 11, 2005

Overbooked - A web site for ravenous readers

Overbooked.org is a fine site dealing with books. In existence since 1994, it covers much ground in the field, from a reader's perspective.

Maintained by a librarian, it has a variety of features, such as Author Connections - a means for authors to talk to readers. Numerous readers' lists abound.

My favorite section is the Hotlist - which lists almost every book of note coming out this year, with ISBNs, ratings, etc. - an easy way to plan, or look forward to new material.

The best books expected in 2005 - 3 or more stars in the list:

Isabel Allende's "Zorro" - an innovative tale of Zorro, the masked adventurer, from close up.

David B.'s "Epileptic" - One of the best graphic novels ever written, the first translation to English of "L'Ascension du Haut Mal" - a memoir of the artist/author's impressionistic escape from a mad world.

Philip Caputo's "Acts of Faith" - A tale of aid workers in the Sudan by a master chronicler of world affairs.

Umberto Eco's "The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana": A new Umberto Eco is a literary event indeed. This book tells the tale of a book-dealer with an unusual ailment - he suffers from an amnesia of his life and public events, but perfect memory of cultural and literary works - from Star Trek to Moby Dick. To rediscover himself, he returns to his family home to sift through archives of memory and culture.

Glen Duncan's "Death of an Ordinary Man": "Desparate Housewives" for historians - the ghost of a history professor appears at his funeral to hover over his family and watch as their lives unfold post his death, and to unravel the mystery of his death.

David Anthony Durham "Pride Of Carthage": A tale of Hannibal and his march on Rome in the Punic Wars.

Jonathan Safran Foer "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close: A quest that searches for a lock, given the key - much like the search for the Question in "HHGTTG" - this is set in an all too real world - post 9/11 New York.

Nicole Krauss "History Of Love": A tale about a Polish refugee in New York and his intersection with another family, and a book, lost for 60 years, now found that inspires many adventures. "He fell in love. It was his life."

Rattawut Lapcharoensap "Sightseeing": A collection of stories set in modern Thailand that blends the old with the new, West with East, and life with love, death and anger.

Ian McEwan's "Saturday": A tale of a world forever changed, of danger, and of tension between science and art. Very topical, very contemporary.

Francine Prose "A Changed Man": An ex-skinhead is taken in by a Holocaust survivor. Can people really change?

Good reading ahead. All we need is a new Rushdie, methinks.

Also at blogcritics.org

Zorro : A Novel/Isabel Allende Epileptic/DAVID B. Acts of Faith/PHILIP CAPUTO Death of an Ordinary Man : A Novel/Glen Duncan Pride of Carthage : A Novel of Hannibal/David Anthony Durham The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana/Geoffrey Brock Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close/Jonathan Safran Foer The History of Love: A Novel/Nicole Krauss Saturday/Ian McEwan A Changed Man : A Novel/Francine Prose

Friday, April 08, 2005

Amores Perros: Love's Bitches

Dog-fighting is a terrible sport. So is Love. The juxtaposition of the two, and the scrabbling, lustful existence in the ubercities of the world constitute the subject matter of the Oscar-nominated "Amores Perros".

Alejandro González Iñárritu applies his skilful crosscutting of multiple stories, arcs of intent and fluidity of time, also seen in his film "21 Grams". The inter-related stories unfold around the focal point of a horrendous car accident in Mexico City, involving a young, unemployed male on the run from a dog-fight gone bad, a model who has perhaps found true love, and an assassin with a love for dogs.

These three people are social constructs, representative of different experiences of life in the city. Rosario, the young man, is emblematic of disaffected youth, rootless, looking for meaning, amoral. He is lustful for his sister-in-law, even showering her with the winnings from the blood-money he earns from his dog-fights. This buys him naught, however, when his brother, a Wal-martian, wife-beater, and small-time gangster, decamps with his family, and the money, after a beating from the dog-gone mafia, or is that mafia-gone-dog?

Valeria, the model, represents a different Mexico, one of glitz and glamour. She typifies, through her ill-fated love affair, the impermanence of love as experienced by the Other Woman, who will always remain the Other, unsure, half-a-wife. Royal concubinage had its merits, for no concubine dared think herself the empress, for fear of death, or worse. The common mistress has no such fear, and thereby no sense of danger, until it is too late to pull out. When Valeria is '0wnzored' by her lover, an advertising rep - "a piano player in a whore house", as the apocryphal saying goes - she is ecstatic - her unfortunate accident just after, leaves her a cripple, destroying her professional career, and turning her bitter and insecure. Her dog, too, suffers a fate which is ludicrous, yet tragic - it is trapped below the false flooring in her new apartment, at one with the rats and beams.

The third, and perhaps most complex character, is El Bicho, or The Goat. Nominally a homeless man who cares for a variety of dogs, he has left behind a life of prosperity, and a family, after a prison sentence, perhaps in connection with a guerilla movement. He is now an assassin for hire, one who might never be suspected or noticed, much like the great unwashed masses are overlooked by the more fortunate. The news of the death of his erstwhile wife draws him into an obsessive, voyeuristic relationship with his daughter.

The three tales are connected by a cast of dogs and bitches, some in heat, some hot-blooded. Rosario's prize fighting Rottweiler, Cofi is shot by a jealous rival, resulting in a car chase, which causes the crucial accident. El Bicho rescues the dog, and tends to him. He discovers a strange similarity with the animal - they seem to share a bloodlust and an alienation that is not easily satiated. It is this realization that culminates in the final, satisfying walk into the sunset of El Bicho and Cofi - while Rosario fails to get his love, and Valeria confirms that Love's a bitch indeed.

Rich, complex film-making - variegated acting - powerful emotions.

Also Recommended: Amores Perros - a book-length study of the film showing the film's relationship to contemporary Mexican culture

This article is available at blogcritics.org

Amores Perros 21 Grams Amores Perros (Bfi Modern Classics)/Paul Julian Smith Two Dogs Fighting over Plastic Disc, Getty Images, Ryan McVay, 16 x 20 The History of Fighting Dogs/William Charlton A Lover's Discourse : Fragments/Richard Howard The Bitch in the House: 26 Women Tell the Truth About Sex, Solitude, Work, Motherhood, and Marriage/Cathi Hanauer

Doom 3: The Game Of The Year?

There is a cavalcade of great games being released over the next few months for the XBox - the only console that matters in the current generation of gaming consoles. These range from Jade Empire to Forza Motorsport, and the XBox version of GTA: San Andreas (for which I will gladly trade Halo 2, as promised).

ID Software released Doom 3 for the XBox in two versions this week - the Ultimate Edition is the better version - it comes with XBox updates of the original Doom games - Ultimate Doom and Doom II. There are also interviews, a photo gallery, etc.

Doom 3 is a striking, powerful, freakingly scary game. It fully utilizes the rich surround-sound capabilities of the XBox, and the ability to render darkness, light and narrow. cramped, claustrophic cargo holds of spacestations in a manner that you wish you were not there.

The storyline is basic, placing the player on a space installation as a sort of security dude/investigator, who is forced to defend and fight his way out when the residents turn into zombies and monsters - some borrowed from the original Doom (the wookie-type monster who shoots balls of fire, for example). You can only hold one weapon at a time, and it is often necessary to switch to your flashlight to peer into the dark spots. That takes the weapon out of your hand, a difficult situation, and a step back from the two-handed fighting of Halo 2. A PC Mod apparently exists for this difficulty, none that I am aware of, or would want to apply, for the XBox.

Not a game for kids or the faint-hearted, the sounds are very effective at creating a dark, corrosive atmosphere of dread. The game can also be played on XBox Live, although the matchmaking interface is terribly clunky, and commonly tries to connect you to games that have ended or are not available. The very cool feature on XBox Live of showing you which games your friends are currently playing tells me however, that many of my Halo 2 friends and clansmen have deserted the Covenant for the gates of Doom. A very cool feature on XBox Live is co-operative gaming, a first, I believe.

I also picked up a nice, low-priced anniversary collection of all 10 Megaman games - these were N64 titles that featured Megaman jumping, kicking and fighting his way through a series of sidescrolling levels against a variety of heavies, and set against varied backdrops. This nostalgic update is interesting in showing how far games have already come, from their humble beginnings. A willing suspension of disbelief is more easy now, gaming having become, in many cases, relatively indistinguisable from film-making.

The gaming industry is setting up for a Doom-like battle of their own. Over the next couple of years, the three big players are slated to release next generation versions of their consoles. Microsoft may be the first in this generation, with indications that XBox 360 will be demo-ed at E3 in May. Sony has already published plans and some details of the microprocessor termed 'Cell' that will power their device, and it seems that it will deliver on all quarters. Even Nintendo has a console in the works, after earlier reports that they may not release another console for a while. The elusive Phantom may still appear, too.

From the industry's perspective, an upgrade cycle is overdue. The average gamer can be expected to spend between $500 to $800 on games, etc. over the life of a console, a number I'm pulling out of my hat after reasoned deliberation and an overview of the good games of this generation. The introduction of the XBox Live service provided a separate and valuable reveneue stream for Microsoft, although their share of the low subscription fees is likely split among the game vendors. Technologically, too, the gaming consoles, particularly the now-ancient PlayStation 2, have less than half the computing power of modern PCs, leave alone gaming rigs, like those from Alienware. Further, the convergence of media, technology and entertainment is ahead of the curve of gaming consoles, except again, the XBox, which has more home-theater-related features.

Wishlist features for nextgen gaming consoles:
> Multi-core, 64 bit processors
> Large hard disks, supporting TV-in, DVR and CD ripping
> Gaming profiles stored on the network, allowing anywhere, anytime gaming
> Kick-ass, immersive, visually rich games
> The end of franchise-driven game releases
(Doom 3 comments at blogcritics.org)

Doom 3 Collector's Edition Doom 3 Halo 2 XB MEGA MAN ANNIVERSARY COLLEC XB Jade Empire (Limited Edition) Forza Motorsport Xbox Core Console USM The Black Art of Xbox Mods/Jonathan S. Harbour Hacking the Xbox: An Introduction to Reverse Engineering/Andrew Huang

Monday, April 04, 2005

The World Is Flat

The New York Times Magazine has an article by Thomas Friedman this Sunday adapted from his new book "The World Is Flat" on globalization


"It was in late February of last year, and I was visiting the Indian high-tech capital, Bangalore,

working on a documentary for the Discovery Times channel about outsourcing. In short order, I interviewed Indian entrepreneurs who wanted to prepare my taxes from Bangalore, read my X-rays from Bangalore, trace my lost luggage from Bangalore and write my new software from Bangalore. The longer I was there, the more upset I became -- upset at the realization that while I had been off covering the 9/11 wars, globalization had entered a whole new phase, and I had missed it. I guess the eureka moment came on a visit to the campus of Infosys Technologies, one of the crown jewels of the Indian outsourcing and software industry. Nandan Nilekani, the Infosys C.E.O., was showing me his global video-conference room, pointing with pride to a wall-size flat-screen TV, which he said was the biggest in Asia. Infosys, he explained, could hold a virtual meeting of the key players from its entire global supply chain for any project at any time on that supersize screen. So its American designers could be on the screen speaking with their Indian software writers and their Asian manufacturers all at once. That's what globalization is all about today, Nilekani said. Above the screen there were eight clocks that pretty well summed up the Infosys workday: 24/7/365. The clocks were labeled U.S. West, U.S. East, G.M.T., India, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, Australia.

''Outsourcing is just one dimension of a much more fundamental thing happening today in the world,'' Nilekani explained. ''What happened over the last years is that there was a massive investment in technology, especially in the bubble era, when hundreds of millions of dollars were invested in putting broadband connectivity around the world, undersea cables, all those things.'' At the same time, he added, computers became cheaper and dispersed all over the world, and there was an explosion of e-mail software, search engines like Google and proprietary software that can chop up any piece of work and send one part to Boston, one part to Bangalore and one part to Beijing, making it easy for anyone to do remote development. When all of these things suddenly came together around 2000, Nilekani said, they ''created a platform where intellectual work, intellectual capital, could be delivered from anywhere. It could be disaggregated, delivered, distributed, produced and put back together again -- and this gave a whole new degree of freedom to the way we do work, especially work of an intellectual nature. And what you are seeing in Bangalore today is really the culmination of all these things coming together.''

At one point, summing up the implications of all this, Nilekani uttered a phrase that rang in my ear. He said to me, ''Tom, the playing field is being leveled.'' He meant that countries like India were now able to compete equally for global knowledge work as never before -- and that America had better get ready for this. As I left the Infosys campus that evening and bounced along the potholed road back to Bangalore, I kept chewing on that phrase: ''The playing field is being leveled.''

''What Nandan is saying,'' I thought, ''is that the playing field is being flattened. Flattened? Flattened? My God, he's telling me the world is flat!''

Here I was in Bangalore -- more than 500 years after Columbus sailed over the horizon, looking for a shorter route to India using the rudimentary navigational technologies of his day, and returned safely to prove definitively that the world was round -- and one of India's smartest engineers, trained at his country's top technical institute and backed by the most modern technologies of his day, was telling me that the world was flat, as flat as that screen on which he can host a meeting of his whole global supply chain. Even more interesting, he was citing this development as a new milestone in human progress and a great opportunity for India and the world -- the fact that we had made our world flat! "


Further thoughts on reading the book, which is on pre-order now

Friday, April 01, 2005

Stephen King Awarded Nobel Prize for Literature

The Trustees of the Nobel Foundation today announced on April 1,2005 that they were awarding noted American writer Stephen King the Nobel Prize for Literature - they acknowledged his creative genius and neglect by the literary committee. They also said the award was held in absentia due to a fatwa against Mr King from JK Rowling for purloining her 'sneetches' for his Dark Tower series.

king diploma

Mr King, in his speech to the Academy on April 1, 2005, sent from an undisclosed location just outside the Calla, said, "I am delighted, and honored. THe appeal of my books goes beyond horror fans and Red Sox team members. The face of American popular fiction and culture has been remade by me and authors such as Jack Ketchum. Yet the men in the high castles of literature refuse to admit us into the keep."

Books cited in the award include It, the Dark Tower series, and his most recent, much awaited, It Returns

He was recently awarded the National Book Critics award in 2003, a exercise in mental masturbation by a sinister cabal of American critics.

The Dark Tower (The Dark Tower, Book 7)/Michael Whelan The Colorado Kid (Hard Case Crime)/Stephen King The Nobel Prize : A History of Genius, Controversy and Prestige/Burton Feldman 100 Years of Nobel Prizes/Baruch Aba Shalev On Writing/Stephen King

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Time traveler, world traveler, book reader