Robert Stone won the National Book Award in 1975, for his second novel, Dog Soldiers. Since then, he's twice been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and nominated for or the recipient of a florist's display of other honors. Recently, when I asked some writers and English professors at a party to name the best novel ever written about Hollywood, Stone's Children of Light was the top choice.
Bill Watterson brought an end to Calvin & Hobbes in 1995, after just 10 years of writing and drawing the comic strip. But to his many devoted fans, that shockheaded boy and his tiger are as important today as they were when they first appeared in daily papers all around the country.
The International Space Station is a pretty great backdrop for a music video, and Commander Chris Hadfield didn't waste the opportunity as he was orbiting the Earth (at 17,500 miles an hour) back in the spring of 2012. The Canadian astronaut performed his own rendition of David Bowie's "Space Oddity" — and also tweeted and blogged from orbit, making him the de facto ambassador from Outer Space.
Since Hadfield sang about Major Tom in space, we've invited him to answer three questions about some lesser-known Toms.
Late last week, Typhoon Haiyan tore through the Philippines, leaving rubble for wake and cities in shambles. It was among the strongest storms ever recorded. In the days that have followed, the death toll exacted by the storm has reached breathtaking levels — more than 3,500 fatalities by last count — and the economic devastation must be measured in the billions.
Philomena is the true story of a retired Irish nurse (Judi Dench) whose child was put up for adoption — against her will, by the nuns at the convent where she gave birth — when she was a teenager, and unwed. Fifty years later, a journalist grudgingly joins in her search for that son. The British comedian Steve Coogan, who also produced the project and co-wrote the screenplay, plays the reporter.
There are about a dozen reasons I really wanted to love Alpha House, an original comedy series about four U.S. senators sharing a home on Capitol Hill. It premieres on Amazon — yes, Amazon — on Friday.
The biggest reason: often-underrated star John Goodman, playing a politician up for re-election who knows exactly what voters value in a legislator:
Last month, I saw the trailer for Alexander Payne's Nebraska, and only the fact that it was a Payne film made me want to see it.
The premise seemed a dead end: Bruce Dern plays an elderly man named Woody Grant living in Billings, Mont., who gets a letter saying he's won $1 million. All he needs to do is call a number and maybe buy a magazine subscription.
Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 2:27 pm
New Year's Eve 1995 fell on a Sunday, and given that it was before we all started reading our news on LCD screens, chances are pretty good you had a Sunday paper delivered. And that day's paper had something special wrapped up inside.
On this week's show, we are lucky enough to be visited in the absence of our buddy Glen by the lovely Audie Cornish, who, in her spare time, is one of the hosts of a little afternoon show called All Things Considered. Audie took some time away from the Actual Hard News beat to chat with us about a few things and to gracefully accept a surprising comparison to Ron Burgundy. (It's a long story.)