Snapshots - #42: Thor: Ragnarok, Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool, LBJ

Thor: Ragnarok (2017), (♦♦♦♦½): Thor has saved earth twice by now and has, for the last two years, wandered the universe searching for infinity stones. He hasn't found any. He has, however, become prisoner of an enemy of Asgard, Surtur, who tells Thor that his visions of Asgard engulfed in flames is a premonition of Ragnarok—the destruction of Asgard, which is already in motion. Thor frees himself and arrives at home to find Loki sitting on the throne, passing as Odin, and neglecting his duties to protect the Nine Realms. With Odin's exile, Asgard's enemies have been reassembling, but Odin's death may just free Hela, a goddess against whom neither Thor nor Loki are enough.
It was in Thor: The Dark World where Loki, an antagonist, first threatened to steal the show. He became the villain that Marvel fandom loves to hate. While Loki is at his most charming in this film, the director, with the help of a sparkling screenplay, has very much exploited the great chemistry of t…

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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