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When Casper goes kakie, don’t go

10 Sep

One of the unwritten rules of being regarded a proper Afrikaner is that you do not dare enjoy the comedy of Casper de Vries. It’s not hard to understand why – the guy’s material is not exactly classy. Sex, toilets, vaginas and new ways to use the word “f*k”. That’s what Casper’s all about.

Thus – me admitting right now that I liked the guy enough to spend good money on his latest show is embarrassing. I say “liked” because the show ruined him for me. And I’m admitting my status as a former fan so you don’t make the same mistake.

Attention: Fellow closeted toilet humour fans – don’t waste your time on the comedian’s first English show, Casper goes kakie.

Why? The second language thing makes for a second-rate performance – Casper goes kakie is nowhere near the blush-a-minute standard of his former work.

This is how you'll feel during the show

This is how you’ll feel during the show

Don’t buy a ticket unless:

• You want to hear the same old jokes – but badly translated. The birth video joke was unfunny to start with. Having to sit through it in stunted English is close to unbearable. (If you don’t know it, it’s all about a tannie stumbling upon her neighbours watching their daughter’s birth and mistaking the footage for Fear Factor. Like I said – Casper likes making fun of vaginas.)

• You would find a mini lecture on the world’s greatest atheists entertaining – Casper forgets that the audience is there to laugh, and spends a good 10 minutes giving us examples of inspirational atheists. Dude, we get that you have issues with your lack of faith – don’t take it out on paying fans.

• You think paying to watch someone demonstrate just how bad their English vocabulary is, is money well spent.

Casper goes kakie is disjointed.One gets the strong impression that the comedian is simply making things up as he goes along – telling random old jokes, showing less than entertaining childhood photos, literally losing his train of thought on several occasions and blaming it on the fact that he is continuously translating from Afrikaans.

During our show, at least 20 people got up and left in not-so-offensive parts – they left because they were bored.

If you were thinking of getting tickets, don’t bother.

The show would have been more aptly titled if the last two letters were omitted.

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I never thought I’d say this, but Vikas Swarup’s latest book SUCKS

1 Jun

I don’t ever judge books by their covers. Instead, I judge them by their first pages. Whenever I find myself in a bookshop (which is probably more often than is healthy), I grab a couple of novels in the genre I fancy, skim the blurb, and read page 1. If the style doesn’t grab me, I move on. It’s a simple, efficient method that has worked for me with great success.

About two weeks ago, I broke my own rule. I bought a book without even opening it. Featuring a girl in ugly sweat pants running into a grey blur of traffic, what made this cover stand out was the name of the author. In larger-than-humble, bright and tacky purple capitals, a gleeful me was informed that VIKAS SWARUP had published another of his adventure stories.

I was elated. This dude is, after all, the writer who got me into all things Indian. His vivid portrayal of the country and its people was what led me to discover other literary favourites like Shantaram and The god of small things.

Vikas Swarup is the rare sort of writer who can use a completely unbelievable premise for a story and just weave such realness into in. Or at least, he used to be that sort of writer. Where Slumdog and Six Suspects were bloody brilliant – the type of books that cause a happy suspension of eating, sleeping and having sex – this new one, The Accidental Apprentice, may as well have been written by a 12 year old with average talent. It’s PATHETIC.

The worst book you'll read all year

The worst book you’ll read all year

Telling the story of Sapna Sinha (a not-too-pretty but heart-of-gold TV salesgirl), the book follows her through seven tests she has to perform in order to become the CEO of an eccentric gazillionaire’s multinational company. Yup, you read right – the story is about a shop assistant in a HiFi Corporation who gets picked to become the CEO of something like BHP Billiton. What utter shit…

Still – it has the makings of a good Vikas Swarup story.

1. Ridiculous premise – check!
2. Underdog main character – check!
3. Tests / quiz questions to base the chapters on – check!

I expected something like Slumdog – that the seven tests she is given are somehow informed by her life experience, each chapter telling the story of how she had come to possess the knowledge and skill to pass the given test.

I was wrong. The tests aren’t even tests, but instead random things that just happen to her. Plodding along slowly, we see Sapna pass “test” after “test”.

Each and every time, the same crap is repeated:

Step 1: Something unlikely happens. The language used to describe this something unlikely is painfully bad.

Step 2: Sweet, syrupy Sapna does “the right thing”. The language used to describe this right thing is painfully bad.

Step 3: The gazillionaire dude summons her and informs her that – boom! – she has passed yet another test. The language used to describe this is painfully bad.

Step 4: She is baffled by how he could have known about yet another good deed she did, and decides to go back to selling TVs. You guessed it – the language used to describe this is indeed painfully bad.

To illustrate:

The “Integrity Test”:

The lame-ass electronics store Sapna works for is visited by Bollywood’s biggest star. I’m talking Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Aniston kind of big. The star thinks a TV shop is the perfect place to announce her engagement to the press. She somehow loses her boulder-sized diamond. Sapna finds it and returns it, even though the star was mean to her. Yay, Sapna!

The gazillionaire summons her. She has passed the test of integrity. She is baffled and goes back to selling TV’s.

(Plot-fail alert! Why the hell would the Cameron Diaz of Bollywood announce her engagement at a HiFi Corporation? In fact – why would she even BE there?? Everyone knows only D-grade losers like Kurt Darren do “public appearances” in local shops. LAME!)

The type of celebrity that visits Hifi Corporation

The type of celebrity that visits Hifi Corporation

The type that doesn't.

The type that doesn’t.

The “Courage Test”:

Sapna visits a small village to help them plug in their new TVs. (No. I’m not kidding). On the bus there, she sits next to the Ruda Landman of India – a hard-hitting journo on her way to expose how young girls are forced to marry men they don’t love. She shows Sapna how she uses her cellphone to stream live footage to their CNN-ey website.

Sapna gets to the village and shows them how to plug in their TVs. She meets a girl who will be forced to marry an old perv. She saves the girl by going into the toilet and switching on her phone’s video camera. The girl’s family miraculously calls off the wedding because dear, sweet Sapna recorded them slapping her around a bit, and managed to stream it live to her bus-buddy’s website. The whole world sees, and the girl is free! Yay, Sapna!

The gazillionaire summons her. She has passed the test of courage. She is baffled and goes back to selling TV’s.

(Plot-fail alert! Since when can members of the public simply record random videos and stream it live to news sites?
At best, Sapna would have had access to her own Twitter account. And given how bloody annoying she is, that would only have reached about 14 people.)

Let’s stop this dismal summary right here. The truth is, I couldn’t get further than halfway through the book. I only got as far as I did because I was reading at a hair salon that did not offer me any magazines. And I only bought it at all because I was stupid enough not to read the first page.

Perhaps it’s a bit unfair to condemn a book I didn’t even finish, but I don’t care.

Don’t. Buy. This. Book.

Why Meredith Grey kicks Emily Thorne’s ass

3 Mar

I’m unashamed to admit that I enjoy trashy drama shows way too much. Anything with good-looking people living good-looking lives, and there’s me – schlomped in front of the laptop chomping down on microwaved Easter eggs and tea, tea, tea.

This year has been disappointing in the drama series department, though. It’s as if the shows I enjoy have reached their expiration dates, but are stubbornly hanging in there just for the sake of it. The one exception – thank the stars – is Grey’s Anatomy.

Wise as ever. Bless old Meredith's heart.

Wise as ever. Bless old Meredith’s heart.

The rest have kind of let themselves go. Like 40-something women wearing animal print and too much make-up, the shows are trying too hard to maintain something that just isn’t there anymore.

I’m talking specifically about Revenge and 90210. (Gossip Girl also ended pathetically – the big twist being that the title character had a penis all along – but at least it’s ended.)

The current seasons of Revenge and 90210 have succeeded in downgrading both shows to bad soapies. Such a shame.

I suppose 90210 never had much to work with in the first place – all it ever was, was good-looking richkids, their schemes, their clothes and their sex lives. It was inevitable that it became a stinker.

Eye candy. Only.

Bound to be a stinker

The bigger disappointment is Revenge.

Because damn – the first season was bloody brilliant.

My theory is that success is pretty much the worst thing that can happen to a series based on a particular premise rather than on strong characters.

Look at Grey’s – very much a character-driven show, and getting even better as it goes along. You don’t care about what happens in Grey’s – you care about how it affects the people in Grey’s. And so the show is still as gripping in its current season as it was when I first watched it.

Now look at shows like Prison Break and Revenge. Absolutely, addictively brilliant first seasons, based not so much on a cast of characters but rather a well-developed plot. It was never about Michael Schofield or Emily Thorne, but rather about their plans.

Michael needed to break his bro out of jail; Emily wanted to screw over the Graysons. Good stuff.

Thing is, these ideas weren’t made to last longer than a single season. At the end of season one, it was pretty much “mission accomplished.”

Michael had pretty much run out of tattoos; Emily had pretty much run out of people to cross off that photo.

But no – of course it didn’t stop there. Instead, we have the TV equivalents of movies like Legally Blonde 2. Stuff so very average that it almost ruins the fun of the original. Where movies like that should go straight to DVD, series like the second season of Revenge (and the who-know-whateth season of Prison Break – Back in Prison, this time in South America!) belong under the label of SOAPIE.

We have people coming back from the dead, family fights about who gets to be CEO, and even corny green-screen sequences of characters racing along in motorboats to save their friends from an evil man in the middle of the ocean. Groan.

The meticulous and well-paced plot of the first season has given way to more of a day-to-day observation of characters, along with too many go-nowhere subplots.

You know something's wrong when your poster is more gripping than your plot

You know something’s wrong when your poster is better than your plot

Gripping enough for a Friday evening at home, but a disappointment as far as expectations went.

Plus, Daniel Grayson somehow became gross. He was hot stuff in season one. I think my little sister even went so far as to say that he was better than Chuck Bass. Not so in season two – there’s a poolside scene where he is topless and toneless as a middle-aged trucker. Eww.

Age old cliché for the screen writers involved? Quit while you’re ahead.

Grumpy humour: A top 10

20 Feb

I’m a sucker for grumpy humour. Where most people stopped watching My Family when Nick disappeared, I happily carry on watching because of my favourite character – the universally disliked Ben Harper – is still there. A grumpy old dentist who basically hates his life and everything in it, he’s TV’s ultimate grumpy old man.

But this post is not about Ben Harper – it’s about a book that reads as if it was written by him: Is it just me, or is everything shit?

Ben Harper - the grumpiest, funniest bugger on TV

Ben Harper – the grumpiest, funniest bugger on TV

This book is not to be found on any current best seller list, and is probably not even easily available at the shops anymore. I found it at an Exclusive Books sale years ago, and rediscovered it this week.

Almost 300 pages of pure disgruntledness about, well, everything.It’s fabulous when you just hate the world and all its Polyannas. (It’s also the sort of thing the Erasmus and Snyman cousins find hilarious – so here’s to Carli, me, Iranda, Caroline and Lara. I’m not sure why we have such a sick sense of humour, but I love it.)

Allow me to share my personal Top 10 entries:

1. Unnecessary Greeting Cards

“For my wife…On Mother’s Day.” Such messages are presumably intended to carry the subtext “For my wife on Mother’s Day, because, as you know, I tend to think of you as my mother.”

“Congratulations on your divorce!” Presumably comes with the message: “Roses are red / Violets are blue / You didn’t get the house / But you did get the canoe!”

“Congratulations on your teeth whitening!”

2. The Markets’ Reaction

Whenever a new terrorist catastrophe hits a major Western city, the first thought on every citizen’s mind is: Hmm, I wonder how my shares are doing. Oh, that’s right, I don’t have any. Still, I wonder how other people’s shares are doing… This is why, after the 7/7 bombings, news networks speedily escorted viewers away from the sites of the atrocities and toward the City of London to discover how “the markets” might be affected. And what did our correspondents tell us? Stocks remained “resilient.” Thank G*d.

Rich douche

Rich douche

(As a personal side note – I’m writing this in a coffee shop in Johannesburg. Often work from here. Table next to me has 3 typical “big city” JHB idiots who probably DO consider the markets’ reaction before anything else. Don’t expect any less from people who spend coffee with friends bragging about their stock portfolios and bank balances. Groan.)

3. Paying off your mortgage in 2 years

Top tip to save money to do this: Kill yourself.

There’s no surer way to spend less than being dead. As a bonus, any insurance policies you hold will be paying out like a fruit machine with three triple bars on hold… Irony is free, so treat yourself to a highly poignant death by smashing your brains open against the window of your bank… Now, for insurance reasons, it needs to look like an accident. You’ll need a big run-up to get enough force to kill yourself, so start from the other side of the road while looking down the street and smiling and waving into the distance, as if you have just seen an old acquaintance and have become distracted. Just keep running until you hit the bank and hopefully die… Also remember, in the days leading up to killing yourself, that you can save money by not eating anything or turning on any lights.

4. Sex tips

Some people are so expert at sex that they become “sexperts”. Some of the most common sex tips include the following:

Breathe on each other. As one of you breathes in, the other breathes out, so you inhale each other’s breath. Breathing – it rocks!

Don’t underestimate the erotic power of the elbow. Find out what you can do with yours and before long your love buddy will be dragging you upstairs as soon as you walk in the door!

Sexy!

Sexy!

Lather up each other’s pubic regions with shampoo to make amusing shapes. Laughter is a great way of creating a sexy atmosphere!?!?

Stuff each other’s mouths full of cheese – then lick each other all over. You’ll be amazed at the new sensations you both experience!

5. Kitsch Knickknack shops

“Ooh”, people think, “a present shop. Maybe I can get a present in this shop for presents and thus satisfy my present-buying needs.” Then they go inside and remember it’s actually a festival of shit with price tags on. You can find:

George Bush fridge magnets – you can dress him up as either Shirley Temple or Wonder Woman

Numerous cards featuring a picture of a 1950s housewife and a rude slogan – something like, ON SUNDAYS, DOREEN ENJOYED NOTHING BETTER THAN A GOOD SPIT ROAST

1950's housewife

1950’s housewife

A monkey. With the head of a monkey.

Of course, no-one actually wants this crap. But they get it anyway…

6. Celebrity perfumes and product lines

Celebrity fragrances have rubbish names. There’s Lovely by Sarah Jessica Parker; David Beckham’s Instinct; True Star Gold by Beyonce… Sean John’s scent is Unforgivable. By which we don’t mean that it’s unforgivable, although it probably is.

Pop sensation Usher has his own line of credit cards aimed at impressionable teenagers. Sort of like saying, “Hey kids, if you enjoyed my album Confessions, you’ll love a life of debt!”

7. Ads for credit cards

Your life is not exciting enough, quite simply, because you haven’t borrowed enough money. That much should be self-evident. Borrowing money may make you taller. You will have a nicer smile, and have read more books – while still finding time for that all-important Jet-skiing holiday.

8. Baby name books

Nobody has ever found a good name in a baby book because most of the entries are things like Hadrian, Dylis, Mortimer, and Binky. Oh yes, and Adolf.

The UK’s Collins Gem version genuinely point out that the name has never been popular and received a further setback with the rise of Adolf Hitler.

Setback? I’ll say.

9. Porsche SUV’s

Want an SUV so you can loom over other road users like the US Army? But also want something sporty to accelerate ludicrously away from the lights before suddenly braking at the next roundabout?

Then the Porsche Cayenne is the car for you: two utterly pointless vehicles in one. No-one likes you.

10. Yummy mommies

Don’t just lie there! It’s been two hours since you’ve given birth. Get on that treadmill now. Or you’re never going to “snap right back” by the end of the week. Society expects!

Naughty, naughty!

Naughty, naughty!


Also, if you don’t spend on your child in its first 3 months the same as a yearly wage, then your child will be ugly and stupid. And who wants that?

***

Absolutely loved this book – treat yourself and find it online. The authors are Steve Lowe, Alan McArthur and Brendan Hay.

Why it’s okay to snub the Oscar buzz and go romcom

12 Feb

With Oscar season well underway, I should be positively ashamed of my choice of film this past weekend. Did I go for Les Mis? No. Lincoln? No. Beasts of the Southern Wild? Hell, no. I ignored every single “worth-it” film, and bought tickets for Klein Karoo instead.

Screw that - I'm watching the romcom

Screw that – I’m watching the romcom

And you know what? I’m glad.

(To my foreign readers: The exotic sounding Klein Karoo is not the sort of artsy African film trying too hard to be too edgy. It’s not the sort of thing that will be mentioned in the same sentence as the word Cannes. It does not deal with the usual slit-my-wrist themes of poverty, oppression and hope symbolised by the rising African sun. It does not feature quotes by Nelson Mandela, though it does feature many smiling little black children. It’s a fun, formulaic Romantic comedy about two people who start out mildly annoyed with one another and end up falling in love. Films from Africa can be innocent and fun, too.)

I felt like going to the movies, but I did not feel like chomping down on an extra large popcorn combo while watching Anne Hathaway starve. I needed a feel-good chick flick, and Klein Karoo promised exactly that.

Not a face to enjoy your popcorn to...

Not a face to enjoy your popcorn to…

Plus, I loooove 7de Laan (foregin readers’ note: The greatest soapie of all time), and just had to see good old Annelie and San-Marie in action on the big screen. That girl who used to do work in the pet shop with the nerdy outfits and thick glasses is also in the movie – she looks equally freaky this time, but in a good way.

The plot is pretty predictable, but the movie is as good as any American romcom – if you like your fluff, you’ll like this.

The difference between Klein Karoo and your typical Yank romcom is the fact that the plot succeeds without having a character even show as much as cleavage. That’s right – a romcom that actually acknowledges that Love and Romance is not about sex and “looking hot”. Take ANY American romcom, and you’re pretty much guaranteed to see some first date sex and hear some tasteless sex jokes. If you’re watching a “more conservative” film, you’ll no doubt hear reference to that bizarre American belief that sex is due on date number three.

(Huh? Where does that belief come from? Is it really applied, or is it a Hollywood land thing? I’d appreciate if someone could answer…)

Scene from your typical American romcom. Shameful, I tell ya!

Scene from your typical American romcom. Shameful, I tell ya! 😛

Klein Karoo does not contain a single sex scene. The kisses are not of the bedroom-eyed, suggestive type. The outfits are stylish, but proper. As my gran would have said – dis nou ‘n mooi, skoon storie. (Translation: Now that’s a nice, clean story.)

I found it a refreshing movie – the sort of thing you can watch with your mother and not get uncomfortable.

Though the characters are without exception one dimensional, the film nonetheless succeeds in making the audience care about them. Plus, there’s plenty of (fully clothed) eye candy. The number one romcom rule is, after all, that the fall-in-lovers must be sexy.

Some eye candy for the ladies

Some eye candy for the ladies

It’s impossible to write even a sentence about the plot without giving it away, but no-one watches a movie like this to be intrigued. You watch it to smile. So, in a nutshell:

Boy gets dumped. Girl is engaged to an asshole. Boy meets girl. Girl dumps asshole. You know the rest…

Highly recommended viewing for women looking for something lighthearted. Remember to take your guy with – no better payback than a chick flick to get him back for dragging you to the latest, tasteless Leon Schuster fart comedy…

Now showing at a cinema near you :)

Now showing at a cinema near you 🙂

If the mob had me on speed dial, I’d also say I made it all up…

6 Feb

Last Saturday night was one of those that party people like my ex-self would find categorically ‘sad’. I stayed in and read. In fact, except for sulking my way through some shopping, I stayed in and read pretty much the whole day. Book lovers would know the feeling – you find a novel that is both so long and so good that you have no choice but to put life on hold.

In this case, it was Gregory David Roberts’s Shantaram, recommended to me by my friend and fellow bibliophile, Jana. At almost a 1000 pages, I think it’s the longest novel I’ve ever finished (unless Harry Potter was longer? I’ve never been able to get into Tolkien, so embarrassingly Lord of the Rings doesn’t feature on my list).

Anyway – the book is bloody brilliant and I would recommend it to anyone who:

• Is obsessed with reading books about India (that’s me);

Likes their love stories to be complicated, messy and not have one dimensional happily-ever-afters;

• Likes their adventure stories to be layered and rich and just plain hardcore;

• Has a morbid fascination with the mob (if this is ever made into a movie, they better pick someone hot for the mobster called Abdullah); and

If you like your messed-up bad boys, you've just found your favourite character

If you like your messed-up bad boys, you’ve just found your favourite character

• Lives a humdrum desklife and uses such cheats as books and movies for some
vicarious excitement (that’s me again).

Also – to anyone who would like to know what life is like as a gun smuggler / heroin addict / slum dweller / mobster / prisoner / too many characters to fathom for one lifetime. Because the writer’s life is friggin CRAZY.

For those of you who don’t know – the book is Roberts’s semi-autobiographical account of a decade of living in India after escaping from an Australian prison. I’m not going to write a review – there are literally hundreds on goodreads.com – but suffice it to say that I cannot think of another book that combines such a rich plot with writing that brims with such descriptive poignancy and wisdoms.

The setting of our tale

The setting of our tale

What I wish to write about is my disappointment at realising that the book is semi-autobiographical (and then to leave you with some quotes that made me think).

You see, I spent the whole way through under the impression that the novel was pretty much the truth. Sure, us writers all like to edit and embellish our tales as we go along, but for the most part the truth stays intact.

Not so here. I suppose it shouldn’t matter – the book is amazing regardless of whether it is true – but it lost some of the magic it held for me after I found out that the characters were made up.

According to the writer, the events are based in truth, but the characters – so well written and so damn real – are not. Despite the events being pretty darn exciting, the heart of this book is its characters. Also – the events are so closely interlinked with the people involved that I am still finding it difficult to wrap my head around the fact that the two can be separated.

I’m especially disappointed that Karla is imaginary. Without giving anything away, she is Roberts’s love interest and the biggest reason I kept reading – like a typical girl, I wanted the guy to get out of jail / get off heroin / not get gangrenous frostbite in Afghanistan just so he could finally get back to friggin Karla. And now I find out Karla doesn’t even exist?? It sucks, I tell you.

Kind of what Karla is supposed to look like

Kind of what Karla is supposed to look like

(Karla is also the wisest and wittiest imaginary woman you’ll ever know – to realise that her words were actually made up by a male writer sucks ass.)

What Roberts claims her to be...

What Roberts claims her to be…

My personal theory is that Roberts is lying to us. I may just be in denial (or I may have become like those deluded old tannies who cannot separate fact and fiction, hobbling up to hapless soap actors to kick them in the shins when their character did something sucky on last night’s episode), but hear me out.

The characters MUST have been based in fact. There is simply too much woven into them not to be. If Roberts wanted to write fiction, why choose his own life as a template? More importantly, why link his own story squarely to the wills, worlds and intentions of other characters? A major theme in the book is that of fate and predetermination – of being connected to plans and people and purpose. Yet we are expected to believe that the events were real, but the people were not…

Our life stories are written by the people in our lives and how we interact with them – without the people described in the narrative, Roberts’s personal life events (the true part, he says), would never have come about.

Again – he may just be one helluva creator of characters, but I just don’t buy it.

I’m going to choose to believe that he never thought his text would take off and sell like it has, and was then forced to make a statement to protect the people he wrote about. They’re not exactly Mary Poppins and Winnie the Pooh – even Karla killed a guy, and the rest of them did worse.

All I’m saying is – if the mafia had my number on speed dail, I’d lie to protect them, too…

If this guy tells you to lie, you damn well do it

If this guy tells you to lie, you damn well do it

***
Now read these quotes slowly and let them sink in. There is SO much more – but I think this post is long enough already…

“There’s a truth deeper than experience. It’s beyond what we see, or even what we feel. It’s an order of truth that separates the profound from the merely clever, and the reality from the perception. We’re helpless, usually, in the face of it; and the cost of knowing it, like the cost of knowing love, is sometimes greater than any heart would willingly pay. It doesn’t always help us to love the world, but it does prevent us from hating the world. And the only way to know that truth is to share it, from heart to heart, just as Prabhakar told it to me, just as I’m telling it to you now.”

“Indians are the Italians of Asia and vice versa. Every man in both countries is a singer when he is happy, and every woman is a dancer when she walks to the shop at the corner. For them, food is the music inside the body and music is the food inside the heart. Amore or Pyar makes every man a poet, a princess of peasant girl if only for second eyes of man and woman meets.” (I love this!)

“If fate doesn’t make you laugh, then you don’t get the joke.”

“The truth is that there are no good men, or bad men,’ he said, ‘It is the deeds that have goodness or badness in them. There are good deeds and there are bad deeds. Men are just men —it is what they do, or refuse to do, that links them to good or evil. The truth is that an instant of real love, in the heart of anyone —the noblest of man alive or the most wicked— has the whole purpose and process and meaning of life within the lotus-folds of its passion. The truth is that we are all, every one of us, every atom, every galaxy, and every particle of matter in the universe, moving toward God.”

“Luck is what happens to you when fate gets tired of waiting.”

“The truth is a bully we all pretend to like.”

“Some of the worst wrongs, were caused by people who tried to change things.”

***
Absolutely friggin brilliant book.