Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Read: "The Possiblity of You" by Pamela Redmond Satran

Read: The Possibility of You by Pamela Redmond Satran, 2012, 9781451616422.

Committee book.  Not my kind of thing but interesting.  Spoiler-iffic content lies ahead.

Three stories from 1916, 1976 (or so) and present day.  Three women all having child or abortion issues.  1916 is an Irish nanny whose charge dies of polio.  Nanny leaves her controlling and wealthy boss to marry and raise kid.  Her husband dies in WWI and she is destitute with young son.  Begs job back from wealthy woman.

1976 is 19-years-old and her drunk father dies in Berkeley, CA.  She discovers letters from her grandmother.  Girl thought she had no family.  Girl follows best pal over to NYC to meet grandmother.  Best Pal says he is gay but goes both ways.  Girl gets pregnant from Best Pal and gives child up for adoption.

Present Day.  Present-Day Lady is 35-year-old foreign affairs journalist.  Present-Day was adopted.  Present-Day gets pregnant by married dude.  Present-Day has to decide whether to keep the child or get an abortion.  Present-Day decides to find birth mother.  Present-Day's adoptive parents are worried.

Decent story but you could see everything coming.  I suppose there were not meant to be any surprises.  This is following people along as they deal with tough decisions. 1916 was more a mother than her boss was and was broken apart when the boy died.  She gives over her own son to Boss and stays as housekeeper and nanny.  1916 thinks her child will be well cared for with all the money but things do not turn out well.

1976 is young.  1976 cannot care for a kid.  1976 has no job or resources and is dependent on her wealthy and manipulative grandmother.  1976 gets massive post-partum depression.

Present-Day finds out 1976 is her mom.  1976 signed her away in midst of her depression and left to get her head together.  1916 arranged adoption of 1976's child by her 1916's cousin who was childless.  1916 was active in 1976's life but died when 1976 was only four (or so).  By time 1976 came back to NYC Present-Day. 

Listened: "The Good Cop" by Brad Parks

Listened: The Good Cop by Brad Parks, 2013, download.

2013?  Dang, this is brand spanking new.  I read the first in the series off a paperback or ARC I picked up somewhere.  This is the fourth book but two and three are not currently available at Overdrive.  I should see if they are available to purchase from Overdrive and I can add them to the catalog.

Carter Ross is still a reporter for the Newark Eagle-Examiner.  Ross still likes his work and knows the city.  Ross is still a bit of an annoying smart-ass (to me and many of his fellow characters).  Ross is still in a complex would-be-relationship with his hot chick editor. Ross is currently shagging the newspaper's librarian who likes risky sex in public places.

Ross catches a story about a dead cop.  Ross scores a coup when he meets the widow and the family and writes a hagiography.  Then Ross finds out cop is dead by suicide.  The newspaper's editor never covers suicides.  Damn, a good story down the drain.  But, Ross thinks the suicide does not fit the guy.  Ross digs deeper.

Ross meets Newark people.  Ross talks Newark politics.  Ross talks New Jersey politics.  Ross talks Newark history.  Ross figures cop was murdered.  Parks talks illegal gun dealing to give the motive to the murder.  Ross's Sexy Editor is jealous of Sexy Librarian.  Ross has sexy sex with Sexy Editor.

Ross meets people. Ross cracks wise.  Ross has illegal gun dealers trying to kill him.  Everyone lives happily ever after except for two dead people, the victims' families, and all the corrupt cops who go to prison for life.

1.  Fun listen.  Nothing too exciting but worth my time.  I like the cynical (or realistic) view of New Jersey politics.
2.  Much talk about dead trees versus online news.  The newspaper's online news desk is called the All Slop desk.  Standards are lowering, there are less reporters, and the budget to hire stringers is gone.

Done: "Pronto" by Elmore Leonard

Done: Pronto by Elmore Leonard, 1993, 0385308469.

Dang.  This novel is twenty years old.  I went through the stacks looking for a Leonard book and not many were in general fiction.  I don't recall if I looked in the mystery section.  I was going to pass on this one but figured I liked the original Raylan short story so much that I should try this out.  I did not like the recent novel, Raylan.  Almost all the stories in Raylan were already used by the TV show.  That or they were used during the television season after the novel released.

The problem I had while reading this is that the television show is done so well.  Timothy Olyphant is so good as TV Raylan that I have difficulty reconciling him with Print Raylan.  Anyway.

Raylan is looking after a Miami bookmaker who has been set-up by the FBI.  An unscrupulous FBI agent forced someone talk to the mob boss in charge of Bookmaker.  That Someone told Mob Boss he just paid off a $10,000 bet to Bookmaker.  Mob Boss never got his cut.  Mob Boss is mad about being scammed by the skim.  Mob Boss cannot lose face.  Mob Boss sends a hitter from the Everglades and Bookmaker guns down Everglades hitter in parking lot.

Bookmaker arrested for murder (the Everglades guy's gun went missing while Bookmaker hustled back inside). Bookmaker on bail.  Raylan sent to watch him.  Raylan likes Bookmaker but Bookmaker skipped out on Raylan five years ago at the Atlanta airport when Raylan was escorting him to a Chicago grand jury.  Bookmaker never got in trouble for skipping out but Raylan was hurt professionally by that skip out and his feeling were hurt.  Conversation ensues.

Bookmaker skips out on Raylan again.  Bookmaker goes to Italy.  Raylan makes a deal with the bail bondswoman for reimbursement if Raylan brings Bookmaker back from Italy.  Bookmaker hires expatriate American in Italy as bodyguard.  Things happen.  Conversation ensues.

Real Italian Mobster works for Miami Mob Boss follows Bookmaker to Italy.  Real Italian Mobster is a bad dude.  Real Italian Mobster and Raylan are in race to find Bookmaker.  Raylan finds Bookmaker first.  Raylan gets hot for Bookmaker's much, much younger lady companion.  Conversation ensues.

Raylan kills an Italian goon.  Expatriate is caught by Real Italian Mobsters pals who are also Real Italian Mobsters.  Bookmaker skips back to Miami. Expatriate murdered right in front of Raylan.  Raylan is not happy.  Raylan returns to Miami.  Real Italian Mobster returns to Miami.  Raylan tells Italian Mobster to leave the County within 24 hours.  Raylan kills Italian Mobster.  Raylan is lovey-dovery with Much Much Younger Companion.  [Raylan then gets in trouble for killing Italian Mobster, is sent to Kentucky, and becomes the TV Raylan we know and love.]  Conversation ensues.

1. Miami.
2.  Detroit.
3.  Personality quirks.
4.  Conversations that Leonard rarely describes.  No adjectives for Leonard.  You figure out the dialogue on your own.
5.  I wrote some brief comments on an index card I was using as a bookmark.  That index card is missing.  I was out Webelo Scout camp in Janesville when I finished this on Monday.  There was a big storm after midnight on Tuesday morning.  Lots of lightning and very loud thunder.  That stuff is scary when you're inside a tent.
6.  Some lady just said "Cool beans" to me.
7.  Bail bBndswoman may be the one Raylan who was murdered last season on the show.
8.  Raylan warns a guy to not take another step or Raylan will shoot the guy.  Guy steps.  Raylan shoots.  Exactly like Season One or Two.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Read: "Close is Fine" by by Eliot Treichel

Read: Close is Fine by Eliot Treichel, 2012, 9781932010459.

Committee book.  Good stuff.

Eight short stories of rural northern Wisconsin.  Some sad stuff in here of people who cannot get ahead of their trouble.  People who put themselves into trouble, and know they are doing so, but cannot stop.

My favorites?  I don't know.  How about the ones I liked the least?  I'll call them "least liked" because of the unsettling content.  That is intended by Treichel so this first list could be called Most Effective.

Least Liked:
1.  Good Potato Soil.  Two drunks at a rundown farm drink too much and like to break stuff.  The farm's owner goes back to jail and owner's ex-wife drops off their young daughter.  Daughter is left to care of these two shit heels who cannot take care of themselves let alone a 7-year-old.  Kid eats mostly nothing and is stuck with a television as a sitter. 
2.  We're Not That.  Young girl finds her dog eating young mice in a mouse den.  Girl rescues a couple of them and nurses them.  Her dad finds the mice and says they have to go back into nature.  Girl sees dad dump the mice out for the dog to eat.

Least Unsettling:
1.  Lumberjack's Story.  A lumber camp in winter circa 1900 and a big dude and small dude are paired together.  Small dude works the big dude into exhausting as revenge for a prank.  Interesting look at lumber camps.  Hard work, no showers, nothing to do at night.  

There is a question and answer between Treichel and some guy named Tyler McMann.  (I see no other mention of McMann and have no idea who the hell he is.)  Treichel gives a Donald Ray Pollock recommendation.  Treichel mentions Wilco's I Am Trying to Break Your Heart and how he, "thought, well, if I could just do that, if I could make if kind of sad."  He is right on.

Listened: "The Winter of Frankie Machine" by Don Winslow

Listened: The Winter of Frankie Machine, 2006, download. 

San Diego born Frank Marchiano (a guess at the spelling since this was an audio) is a teenaged surfing bum.  After high school Frank gets hired off a tuna boat to do small work for the mob as a driver and gofer.  Frank witnesses a mob killing and joins the Marines.  Frank goes to Vietnam.  Frank returns to San Diego and ends up with the mob again.  Frank does a murder.  Frank starts doing killings for hire and earns the Frankie Machine sobriquet from his killer pal.

Fast forward 40 years and Frank is mostly retired from the mob but called on for help.  Frank is 62 but fights off and kills two assassins.  Frank has to figure out who wants him dead and why.  Flashbacks ensue.  Hunt and run ensues.  Winslow-ness writing style ensues.

Good story.  I have read recent discussion about whether a character should be likeable.  The argument against this is that a character should be compelling and interesting.  I suppose Frank is those things but I did not much like the guy.  Frank loves his family.  Frank is very loyal to his mob co-workers.  Frank has legitimate businesses that he runs as legitimate businesses.  Frank is not a goon.  But, Frank is still a hired killer. 

Sure, Frank only killed other criminals in the criminal life but he also killed friends.  Frank never makes it big in the mob.  He is an "earner" but most money goes up the chain to the San Diego boss, to the Los Angeles boss, to the Detroit boss.  Frank is used as much as the next guy.  Frank remains loyal to people who turn on each other like snakes.

1.  More Winslow Surfer Love.
2.  More San Diego corruption.  Winslow and T. Jefferson Parker should write a novel together.
3.  Incorporates a fictionalization of the Danielle van Dam murder.  I remember that case pretty well.  I don't know if coverage was nationwide or if Phoenix coverage was big because San Diego is close by.
4.  Winslow often uses real events in his books.  I wonder what else in here is based off true events.  Las Vegas mob dealings.  A war between strip bar owners. Savings and Loan scams mixed with mob scams.

Finished: "A Door in the Ocean" by David McGlynn

Finished: A Door in the Ocean by David McGlynn, 2012, 9781582438290.

Committee book.  Memoir.  This is not the type of book I usually read.  I credit the author's skill and talent at keeping me interested and engaged.

Short version:

High school swimmer in Houston has a blended family and wants to move to California with his dad.  Swimmer has best pal and they are together for two swim team practices a day, almost every school class, most spare time.  Best pal is murdered in his own home along with his brother and father in an execution murder.

Swimmer is traumatized.  Swimmer turns to evangelical religion.  Swimmer copes for years.  Swimmer ends up in Wisconsin and worries about water damage to his 60-year-old home up around Appleton.  Reader laughs at Swimmer's water worries.  Reader starts worrying about his own home's foundation, again.  Reader thinks about the porous brick used for part of the 120 year old foundation.   Reader then starts thinking about his home's crap insulation.

Thankfully Swimmer ends the story before he has to make a really expensive home repair and send Reader into a tizzy.  Reader is glad that when his toilet's wax seal started leaking that the sewer stack did not crack upon repair like Swimmer's toilet did and that Reader did not have to call, and pay, a plumber.

Long version:
Much more interesting than I expected and quite different than I was led to believe.  I thought this was a story about a guy's lifelong swimming with some philosophical treatise on meditation and exercise and open water swimming.

No, this is McGlynn's best pal getting murdered.  This is McGlynn turning to religion as a salve and protection from violence.  McGlynn's pal was a normal suburban kid.  The murder goes unsolved and unexplained.  The murder happens a couple blocks away.  The murder happens 15 minutes after McGlynn and his pal chatted on the phone.  The murder happens right before McGlynn's sister is dropped off by his pal's mom and the mom goes home to find her murdered family.

McGlynn devotes himself to evangelical Christianity while knowing he never really fits.  He promises himself to the cause and connects that promise to protection.  That McGlynn's parents partly broke up over religion is a big part of this.  McGlynn is 14 at the time of the murder and McGlynn's father and new stepmother are very religious.  Joining the church and following evangelical believes is a key part of McGlynn staying close to his father.

McGlynn sticks to swimming.  He has a scholarship to UC-Santa Cruz (I think it was Santa Cruz) and devotes four years to classwork, teammates, and bible study groups.  He does not date much.  He has little money.  He spends a couple months in Australia as a missionary but knows it is not for him.  McGlynn does not have the boldfaced personality to walk up to a stranger and start talking up Jesus.

McGlynn talks frankly and freely about sexual abstinence.  His pledge to "remain pure" until marriage lasts into his mid-twenties and grad school in Utah.  That purity promise dogs him mentally and he takes a few years to reevaluate the church's teachings and beliefs (example: no Disney because they have a gay day at DisneyLand).  McGlynn meets his wife at a pool and they end up switching churches - which means switching lifestyles and social contacts.  Switching churches also means rejecting his stepmother's strong beliefs.

The abstinence talk is impressive for McGlynn's truthfulness and sincerity about a very private issue.  The importance of sexuality and desire are buried away.  Kids - even college kids - acknowledge these desires and talk to each other about them.  They also watch each other to make sure the vows are not broken.  In Australia the missionaries all live together and supervise the behavior of paired-off couples.  McGlynn talks about his Mormon undergrads.  Students who meet in the first day of class and are married by Thanksgiving.  How the Mormon kids have abstained, abstained, abstained and then they bolt into marriage at the first chance.

Trauma hits everyone differently.  Everyone recovers differently.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Listened: "On the Wrong Track" by Steve Hockensmith

Listened: On the Wrong Track by Steve Hockensmith, 2007 (print), OverDrive download.

Book two and another fun entry into the adventures of Big Red and Old Red Amlingmeyer.

1893 and Big and Old have been traveling west after adventures of book one.  They've been cow punching for money while trying to catch work as detectives.  Old has been deeply influenced by Sherlock Holmes and the Holmes method of 'deducifying'.  The Pinkertons won't hire them but at a Utah Pink office they meet famous range detective, Old Guy (I forgot his name) who sends them to see a guy at Southern Pacific Railroad.

Old and Red are hired on as railroad cops even though there Kansas farming roots left a deep hatred for railroads.  Old and Red are given badges and sent to San Francisco on the express train.  Told to stay undercover they are to act if there is trouble from the Give'em Hell Boys who have been robbing SP trains.

Old Red suffers acute motion sickness and while Old is puking off the back of the train both Reds see a bouncing human head.  The baggage car handler has been murdered.  Old and Big immediately clash with a blowhard and bossy conductor.  Old and Red meet the teenage news 'butch' who loves to talk.  Old and Red meet passenger named Diane.  Big swoons for Diane.

More things happen.  Old tries to 'deducify' the strange clues in the baggage car.  The train is robbed by the Give'Em Hell Boys.  Old continues 'deducifying'.  Big Red is thick when it comes to clues and deduction.  Big Red knows this.  Big Red talks a lot.  Old and Red suffer a surprise snake attack.  More things happen.  Big and Red solve the crimes.  The express train crashes. Big and Old take the blame from SP and get $5 each for three days wages.

1.  I just read a review about the audio version and the reviewer was initially annoyed by the big voice of William Dufris.  Heck, Dufris performs these books.  Dufris gives plenty of character and voice to the boisterous, friendly, talkative, and sometimes naive Big Red.
2.  More history:  Train travel.  Pullman cars and staff.  Cultural mores and behavior.  "Long riders".  Farmers versus train companies.  Chicago Exposition (a trip there comes up in one of the following novels.
3.  The crime has an inside guy and I figured him out early but I really enjoyed the path to his reveal.
4.  Diane reappears in book three but I do not know if she is in the others.
5.  Theme of Big and Old Red fighting against established people who do not believe they are capable.  Big and Old are assumed to be stupid cow punchers.  The established authorities are usually hiding something.
6.  Theme of young and enthusiastic sidekick.  Book one had the Englishman pining to be a six-gun shooting cowboy.  Book two has the news butch and his love for dime novel westerns and crime stories.  Book three has the Chinese translator who escorts Big and Old around Chinatown.
7.  I presume the Give'Em Hell Boys are a riff off Cassidy and Sundance's Hole in the Wall Gang.
8.  Reminder, Sherlock Holmes is real person in these stories.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Done: "Safe Within" by Jean Reynolds Page

Done: Safe Within by Jean Reynolds Page, 2012, 9780061876943.

Yes and no.  A Committee book and not something I would normally read.

Married couple move back to her family home as hospice care for him.  Their grown son returns for the dad's death.  The dad, Carson, has kept a tight relationship with his mother, Greta, even though the mother has completely rejected the wife, Elaine, and son, Mick, for the past 23 years.  

Carson dies and everyone grieves.  Greta is almost blind and lives with her best pal and maid, M(something).  M(something) has a stroke and goes to hospital.  Greta cannot stay by herself.  Elaine and Mick are Greta's only family.  Elaine decides she has to help Greta out.

The family feud is because uptight Greta never much liked Elaine and her dirty, hippie parents.  Elaine is best pals with the son of Greta's former best pal.  Elaine and Son of Former Best Pal are accused of shagging.  Elaine is pregnant and Greta presumes the child is Son of Former Best Pal. Son of Former Best Pal digs dudes.  Elaine and Mick keep the dude digging a secret since they live in rural and judgmental North Carolina.  Carson maintained a relationship with his mom.

Meanwhile, Mick is a shiftless 23-year-old with a mathematics B.S.  Mick pines for a dead ex-girlfriend.  Mick is hot for a living 18-year-old. Mick only met his grandmother when Mick was four-years-old and she wrenched Mick off her porch. Mick has mixed feelings.

Other characters move around and interact.  Elaine and Mick work on the Greta situation.  Greta realizes Mick is her grandson.  Greta's guilt is deep.  Greta cannot face up to the guilt and 23 years of missed opportunity.  Mick has a paternity scare.  Elaine's elderly neighbor gets hot for Greta.  Elaine gets a dog and gives the dog the horrible name of "Hobo". 

No final resolution but Greta is slowly changing, adapting, learning and accepting.

1.  I wanted more about Greta.  She has these good qualities of friendship and humor mixed with this horrible rejection of her grandson and daughter-in-law. 
2.  That the son and daughter-in-law would not explain the conditions of the marriage and boy's heritage is absurd behavior. 
3.  But, and this is important, this is not unbelievable.  People make poor decisions all the time and refuse to change because of pride and shame.  Families split over small events that turn into schisms.  Slights provide reason for splits.
4.  Something just reminded me of a diner we ate at in Milwaukee with Erin's parents a year or two ago after a museum trip.  It was near UW-Milwaukee and we sat in a corner booth.  Why did I recall that? 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Poems: "Sailing to Babylon" by James Pollock

Poems: Sailing to Babylon by James Pollock, 2012, 9780986533877.

Committee book and, so far, best of the poetry ones.  These are more relatable to me than the poetry in ROTC Kills.  Blogger spell check does not like 'relatable'.

Some short ones.  A long one.  Several poems regarding explorers of Canada and the Northwest Passage.  Reminding me how much I enjoyed listening to Simmons's The Terror a few years ago.

Favorites?  Glenn Gould on the Telephone Was Good.  Told by Gould on tour.  Gould ends up in Tel Aviv and the desert air has provided him a substandard instrument.  He flees to the beach in frustration and imagines being back in the cold of Canada.  A vivid memory of his home takes control and he drives back to the concert hall and plays his piece as if he is physically removed from the place.  His head is in Bob and Doug McKenzie-land but his arms are in Israel.

Quarry Park is the long one.  Pollock's memory of walking through a park with his 2.5 year old son.  Pollock's mind wanders to his own time as a kid in the woods.  Thoughts on insects killing one another.  The history of the park and how a family lived there and planted many of the trees.

Many of the shorter poems are brief in content.  I mean to say Pollock takes a single, brief event and gives his thoughts and impressions of that single moment.  At least, that's what I got from it.  Case in Point is Amelia Island, Florida where Pollock's wife, child, and Pollock visit the beach and his four-year-old has great time running back and forth amongst each parent and the ocean waves.

Listened: "Killing Castro" by Lawrence Block

Listened: Killing Castro by Lawrence Block, 1961 (2008 audio edition off Hard Case reprint), OverDrive download.

Another re-release of a novel written by Block during his salt mining days.  First published 50 years ago.  I'm glad he's putting these out again.  Block's even happier, he's getting the dough.

These older books are doubling interesting to me.  One, they are well done and bring back the question, "Did Block ever write a bad book?"  Two, I enjoy seeing the world through the thoughts and actions of a different, but same, culture.  So many things change and so many things stay the same.

Five guys are hired to murder Fidel Castro in 1961.  They are hired by Cubans in Miami and sent to the island in two pairs and one single.  None of the guys fit together and all came to the job separately.  I don't recall all the character names because I don't retain that info from audio books.

- Guy #1 is on the run after murdering his cheating girlfriend and her sex partner.  He takes the offer of the $20,000 bounty on Castro to pay for an escape to Brazil.
- Another killer is out to revenge his dead brother who fought with Castro and was then executed.
- One guy is an experienced assassin and wants nothing to do with the other wahoos.
- Fourth guy is a hard-case who does muscle work.
- The last guy has terminal lung cancer and is out to do something besides wither away in his teller cage at the local bank.

Block employs the Blockensian Method of taking us through each character and also detailing the rise of Castro.  The Blockensian Method is so dang effective.  Block takes a very short amount of space to flesh the guys out.  You quickly learn their personalities and motives.

The five guys head to Cuba.  Things happen.  One pair teams with a rural resistance group planning an ambush.  The second pair goes to Havana and plans a bombing.  The skilled assassin hangs out in the high-class part of Havana and plans to shoot Castro during a speech.  Other things happen and the assassins are killed or change their plans.

1. Group sex.  Hookers.
2.  I really liked Block's neat biography about Castro's youth and rise to power.  A couple of the the assassin characters know nothing about Castro and Cuba.  I suppose many readers in 1961 were the same and Block wrote the Castro information to add some context.
2.a. The biography had plenty of 1961 questions about Castro and his motives.  Is he sincere?  Was he sincere?  Is he out for himself and just wants power and control?  What's with those six hour speeches?  The problems that a successful revolutionary has when transitioning to a political leader.  (Castro's main problem was that he kept killing people and followed no law.)  
3.  There has been 50 years of this stuff in real life.  Expatriots attempting coups and assassination.  The United States attempting assassination and undermining the government.  Local attempts of the same style.  How many stories have been kept secret by Cuba or the U.S. or former Cubans?  How many bombings, shootings, poisonings, car wrecks, etc. were performed or attempted over the decades?  How many people were lined up against the wall?
4.  Other Cuba related novels I can recall.  Ellroy's '60s triptych.  Martin Cruz Smith Arkaday novel with a planned coup.  Mickey Spillane's and Max Allan Collins's Morgan the Raider novel.  John Sayles's Los Gusanos
5.  Albany, NY.
6.  The assassination operation is horribly planned.  The Florida Cubans say, "We'll give you $20,000 a piece if you kill Castro," then they arrange transit to Cuba.  That's it.  No planning on how, when or where.  No planning on escape.  No funding.  The guys are just sent there and picked up by locals anti-Castro groups.  The killers have to succeed and then find their own way back to Miami to claim the cash.
7.  Did Block ever write a bad book?  He was a heavy drinker for a while and I presume that must have effected his work. I suppose if he did do a hack job he just won't put it out again.
8.  Castro dies in the end.  The killer out for revenge throws a bomb and the killer is then beaten to death by the audience.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Forced: "ROTC Kills" by John Koethe

Forced: ROTC Kills by John Koethe, 2012, 9780062136022.

Committee book.  Poetry.  Not for me.  I did enjoy a couple poems.  Maybe the ongoing theme of a guy in his mid-sixties ruminating on memory, time, place, and philosophical questions of time and memory don't connect over the 20 year age difference.

I enjoyed Eggheads and his take on the popularity of stupidity on present day television and politics versus discourse when he was younger..
The poem Alfred Hitchcock was interesting and about the four Hitchcock flicks Koethe (or the poem's character) was influenced by as a kid.  Vertigo was the most important.
Red Shoes from when he was 11-years-old and would wander the San Diego State College campus when his mother attended class.  He caught a filing of Red Shoes.