I liked the special effects, of course, but on the whole
the film [a Schwarznegger movie] bored me. Like many of these American
films, it had one good idea and clung to it so hard that it seemed poor
in emotion and range. The scenes seemed flat because even in the most
dramatic moments the American actors spoke quietly to each other, as if
they were discussing the price of onions. And there were no songs.
Finally, ultimately, most American films were sparse and unrealistic,
and didn’t interest me very much.
That is from one character in Vikram Chandra’s Sacred Games, my early pick for novel of the year.
Otherwise I am learning just how good a writer Roberto Bolaño
can be, I see Bogota women run into the men’s room to avoid even a
slight line at the ladies room, and I’ve figured out how to eat well
here, it is fundamentally a baking culture.