Snapshots - #37: It, Breathe, Mark Felt – The Man Who Brought Down the White House

It (2017), (♦♦♦♦): Four inseparable friends in middle school bond with other three newcomers. They all have in common that they are bullied by the same people. Over the course of one summer they'll fend off bullies and face a centuries-old demon in the form of a clown, named Pennywise, whom has been disappearing kids and terrorizing the town of Derry, Maine, every twenty-seven years since the town was founded.
Based on Stephen King's novel of the same title, It is a movie with a smart script and a sympathetic ensemble of nerds that deliver light humor, and deep thrills. It doesn't hurt that each and every character has his or her own arc, thus one gets to know their motivations and fears before Pennywise enters head on into the picture.
In a nod to 1980s movie classics such as The Goonies, and the Brat Pack ensemble, the newest adaptation of It takes place at the end of that decade, when it seems, at least from the Hollywood perspective, that every kid harbored a genius insi…

A Death in Vienna by Daniel Silva (♦♦♦♦½)

Gabriel Allon is in Venice restoring an altarpiece when Ari Shamron pays him a visit to tell him that Eli Lavon’s –an old friend and colleague-- office in Vienna has been bombed and he is in comma. In the incident two girls who worked for Lavon ended up dead.

Gabriel travels to Vienna to investigate the events surrounding the bombing of Lavon’s office. He finds in the hospital an old man named Max Klein who believes he is the reason why Lavon has been attacked. Max Klein tells Gabriel the story of his survival of the Holocaust during which he met a SS man named Erich Radek who he has recently encountered after sixty years, a man then responsible for many deaths and for burying evidence of the genocide who is now an accomplished and respected businessman living under another name.

As Gabriel digs deeper, he finds a survival account from an unlikely source, and suddenly the Radek affair becomes more troublingly personal.

I really liked this book. The fourth in the Gabriel Allon series, and the third novel dealing with the Holocaust theme, A Death in Vienna is a heart pounding adrenaline ride and the best novel among the first four books in the series. This book is part exposé and overall a terrifying account of the horrors experienced by Jews during the Holocaust and the guilt and the sense of abandonment of the survivors who in many cases didn’t know how to keep on living (like Gabriel’s mother). For others, like Shamron and the PM, bringing down the culprits to justice became their reason for being.

A Death in Vienna relates how many Holocaust survivors stopped believing in God altogether because they felt He had abandoned them. Although in A Death in Vienna Radek is a symbolic character, his bringing to justice meant that neither the dead nor the survivors’ suffering had been forgotten.


  1. Hi there Carmen, I also posted with a Vienna theme recently. Hope you are having a good week.

  2. I saw your post and read. Thanks Carole for stopping by.


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