E is going to be a rather short entry. I don’t like many things that start with E. E sucks.
Music: Enjoy Every Sandwich
As a huge fan of Warren Zevon, I was gutted when he died in 2003, not long after I’d really gotten into his music. His final album, The Wind, was a masterpiece and I was delighted when it was followed a year later by Enjoy Every Sandwich, a tribute album. The album features loads of Warren’s best songs with a good mix of different artists. Some sing the songs straight, like Jackson Browne’s rendition of Poor Poor Pitiful Me, whilst others put their own spin on the song, like the Pixies’ rendition of Ain’t That Pretty At All.
Here’s a recording of the Wallflowers singing Warren’s classic, Lawyers, Guns and Money:
The Wallflowers are fronted by Bob Dylan’s son, Jakob, and are accompanied in this video by Warren’s son, Jordan Zevon.
Book and Film: Ender’s Game
If Ender’s Game were released today, it would fit firmly into the current swathe of fantastic young adult novels. The author has confirmed that although he did not write it with this audience in mind, the novel has garnered a strong young adult following:
For many years, I have gratefully watched as Ender’s Game has grown in popularity, especially among school-age readers. Though it was never intended as a young-adult novel, it has been embraced by many in that age group…
It deals with many of the same themes that we see in the modern YA genre whilst being fundamentally better written than most of the other offerings.
The story deals with a gifted young boy, Ender, who is accepted into a prestigious battle school to be trained as a general for the coming war against an alien threat. We see Ender overcome bullies, develop his physical and tactical abilities and become a leader to his fellow cadets. We also see him transform, hardening and becoming capable of terrible things whilst still remaining, in some ways, emotionally sensitive. It’s an amazing story. There have been several sequels in the series, frequently referred to as the Enderverse, but none really match up to the original novel.
A few years ago, they got around to making a film based on the book:
Harrison Ford is pretty bad in it. The Ender’s Game movie has garnered a lot of criticism, but I really like it. It does boil the story down to pure YA fodder, but this is fine, it’s all good. Like any of these adaptations (and A Game of Thrones is another good example) I think you need to realise that the book and the film are two different entities, optimised for their different mediums. Or something, I don’t know, I just think it’s a cool film!
Board Games: Elder Sign
Arkham Horror and Eldritch Horror are pretty cool games. They are vast experiences that capture the feeling of Lovecraftian horror. They also take a longass time to play. Like, really. Well, Eldritch Horror is a little more streamlined, but still, it’s a big game. Elder Sign is a smaller, simpler dice game that oozes production quality. The cards, pieces, dice, tokens and so on are all perfectly themed, even if the mechanisms of the game itself don’t quite capture the theme as effectively.
The game can be played cooperatively, and is also viable for solo play, if you are inclined to play with yourself. It comes with a variety of scenarios and the difficulty is determined by which cosmic evil you choose to face, such as Yig, the King in Yellow or Cthulhu himself. There is also an expansion to add further diversity and an excellent digital edition on Android:
As with many digital editions, this is the best way to play the game solo, eliminating a lot of the practical ‘housekeeping’ inherent in most board games. The app is quite polished and is a good and faithful rendition of the game. It’s on iOS too, but who actually cares?
Next week, we move on to F. I imagine I will be able to say more for F. F is a decent letter and doesn’t think it’s better than you in the way that E does. E just revels in his vowel status. Dick.