Tuesday, December 27, 2011


It’s still the day before Christmas as I write this bloggy thing.
I’ve finished everything I have to finish for tomorrow and I have
the house to myself for a few hours.  I don’t feel like reading or
watching anything right now, so my choices have come down to two:
sleeping or writing.  And how could I possibly sleep when I am but
hours away from my Worst...Christmas...Ever?


Turok, Son of Stone, the 2008 animated feature, was recommended
to me by one of my bloggy readers.  I put in a request for the DVD
via the Clevenet library system and, within a few days, received notice it
was waiting for me at my local Medina library.  Not bad considering
the entire 100-library system only has two copies.

Based on the long-running Gold Key comic-book series of the 1960s,
Turok barely follows that continuity.  The movie opens on a teenage
Turok competing with his brother for the affections of a beautiful
young woman.  They are attacked by warriors from another tribe and,
consumed by a savage blood-lust, Turok kills all their enemies and,
by mistake, almost slays his brother.  His own tribe fears him and
he is banished. 

Decades later, the other tribe has acquired firearms and launches
a new attack.  Turok arrives in time to save Andar (his nephew) and
to take up pursuit of the warrior who has kidnapped Andar’s mother
(his old flame).  The chase and subsequent events land all four of
them in a lost land of dinosaurs, beast-men, and a tribe that may
be related to them.

Written by Tony Bedard from a story by Bedard and Evan Baily, Turok
runs a tight 73 minutes.  However, despite the use of the Gold Key
logo, the film is not kid-friendly.  There’s considerable blood and
violence and even a quick hint of cannibalism.

Turok is far from a classic animated feature, but it entertained me
for its running length.  Decent writing, acting, and animation.  I
don’t hesittate to recommend it to you.


Les Roberts has a new book out: The Strange Death of Father Candy.
I became a Roberts because of his Cleveland-based Milan Jacovich
private eye novels. Milan’s a working-man P.I. of Slovenian descent
and no stranger to getting clobbered, physically and romantically,
in pursuit of his cases.  Milan has aged during these books and, in
the most recent novel, took on a much younger but no less working-
class assistant.  I’m intrigued by this addition to the cast and am
looking forward to what comes next.

Having read the 15 Jacovich books, I got this newest novel through
the library system.  Set in 1985, the driving force of this story
is the unfathomable suicide of a beloved priest.  Though everyone
seems inclined to mourn large and then get on with their lives, the
padre’s younger brother, who abandoned Youngstown for a government-
sponsored stay in Vietnam and then Chicago, can’t let it go until
he finds out why his brother took his own life and if he actually
did take his own life. 

Dominick Candiotti’s moral code is far more flexible than that of
Jacovich.  Then again, Youngstown is a city where everyone, police
and politician and civilian, plays ball with the two Mafia families
who call the town their own.  The mobs coexist with some difficulty
and the occasional outbreak of bombings and killings. 

The writing is intense from page one.  Candiotti’s barely-checked
rage drives the story up to and through the violence that follows.
The novel reads like a one-off until the final chapter, which could
lead to a sequel.  I’d read it.

If you like the Milan Jacovich, you’ll probably enjoy The Strange
Death of Father Candy
as well.  I did like it and it has heightened
my desire to read Roberts’ other novels.

ISBN: 978-0-312-56633-3


We’re approaching the time when this old blogger mouse should not
be stirring.  I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff.

© 2011 Tony Isabella


  1. Tony, for my Christmas present I received Rise Like Lions by David Mack. This is the best Star Trek novel I've read in twenty years. It takes place in the Mirror Universe. Like all Mirror Universe stories the characters are not the same as the regular uninverse counterparts. It has so many twists and turns that makes it an un-put-downable book. If you like the Star Trek genre, you'll love this book.

  2. I'm glad you enjoyed TUROK, Tony. I thought that it might be a bit too violent for your tastes. You are absolutely right that it is not appropriate for younger viewers.


    Andrew L.