The Saffron Kitchen
Really disappointing, Crowther's novel is completely passionless. Maryam's story should be one of great pain and suffering, however, it leaves one feeling nothing but contempt for her choices. Her suffering should be indicative of that of all Iranian women and yet there is a complete hypocrisy in her holier than thou self righteousness. Ali is presented as the complete antithesis of the stereotypical Iranian male and he comes across as a cardboard cutout goodie-two-shoes. It's written solidly but fails in conveying a sense of truth within the dialogue; it's almost as if the novel has been translated and by its end this reader couldn't relate very much at all. It sadly ends up being a bit of a non-event.
The Social Network
An interesting if overrated film about the social networking phenomenon, Facebook, this David Fincher-helmed vehicle is completely stolen out from under his feet by a superb Jesse Eisenberg. Touching on issues of social awkwardness, greed, sexism, apathy and an overall disregard for human consequence, The Social Network aims high, however, by its end it falls victim to the very vapidness of its subject.
Equal parts Martika, La Roux and Marina And The Diamonds, this American electronic pop duo have popped up with their second LP and it’s a good ‘un. Stringing Caroline Polachek’s lead vocals through the entire gamut of emotions of the upbeat to the downright melancholic they’re not wringing with originality but what they do they do supremely well. Considering its release date (January 24) it’s a very early contender for the top of the pile come year’s end.