"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
Spending a couple of hours in the car each day driving to and from work, I've become addicted to books on tape. Sometimes I chart my course by the libraries along the way that carry this or that audiocassette, the thought of having to rely on talk radio, shuddering.
In my view, the reader makes all the difference. I agree with Katherine Powers that Simon Prebble is the man for Dick Francis, though Tony Britton will do in pinch. Anything read by Edward Herrmann is usually good. Michael Jayston is the one for PD James.
Currently I'm on a Bernard Cornwell kick, recently having discovered his Richard Sharpe stories (well read by the late David Case) that tell the adventures of a British rifleman in the Napoleonic Wars, and are great swashbuckling fun.
Sharpe's Rifles and the public TV program it inspired are compared in a review at Brothers Judd:
Here they fight in Spain with the partisans against the French, and their particular mission comes to be flying an ancient battle gonfalon -- the banner of Santiago Matamoros (St. James the Moor slayer) -- over the French-held town of Santiago de Compostela, in order to provide the sort of miracle that will summon the Spanish people to rise up against Bonaparte.
…Sharpe's Spanish ally is Don Blas Vivar and they are opposed by the Don's brother, the Count of Mouromorto. When the brothers duel in the television version they exchange words that make it quite clear that Vivar represents all the tradition and religiosity of Catholic Spain while his brother represents the cold reason of Enlightenment France. The contrast is somewhat less forthright in the book, but:
A Spanish Sergeant held the great banner that had been hung from a cross-staff on a pole. He waved it so that the silk made a serpentine challenge in the dusk.
The Count of Mouromorto saw the challenge and despised it. That streamer of silk was everything he hated in Spain; it stood for the old ways, for the domination of church over ideas, for the tyranny of a God he had rejected...
A nice Burkean touch that, the godless French forces against the Christian Brits and Spaniards. And in the book the "miraculous" nature of the mission is played to the hilt. You can't go wrong with book or movie and ought to enjoy both.