Some tablets dating to the reign of Nebuchadnezzar II mention an official named Nabonidus, which might refer to the future king. Some of these texts suggest Nabonidus was a contentious person with an abrasive manner. One states that he ordered the beating of a man who had made a seemingly innocuous inquiry about orders relating to the robe outfitting the statue of a god. But the future king was also, some sources report, a skilled diplomat. According to the fifth-century B.C. Greek historian Herodotus, Nabonidus may have negotiated a peace treaty between the Iranian people called the Medes and the Lydians of Anatolia.
During this first phase of his rule, Nabonidus claims to have rebuilt the walls of Babylon, a boast made by nearly every Babylonian king, and to have ordered the rebuilding of temples throughout Mesopotamia. As part of these temple renovations, he was particularly interested in recovering ancient religious cuneiform dedications and statues, and ordered special excavations to hunt for them. He was already making the worship of Sin the centerpiece of his rule. In the second year of his reign, he rededicated the temple of Sin in Ur during a lunar eclipse. He also established his daughter as the main priestess there, evidence of how much he valued his personal connection to the god. Perhaps he wanted to be sure he had a close relative keeping an eye on the priests of the god to whom he was so devoted.
Set in 1204, the story involves Haakon, the illegitimate infant son of a recently assassinated Norwegian king, who becomes the object of pursuit by the Baglers, largely comprised of the aristocracy and the clergy and intent on seizing the throne. Attempting to spirit the toddler to safety are Torstein (Hivju) and Skjervald (Jakob Oftebro), two soldiers representing the Birkebeinar, the impoverished faction of the people whose name was derived from the birch bark they supposedly used to make their shoes and skis. Their treacherous journey through the snowy wilderness has become legendary in Norway, which still honors it today via such sporting events as an annual ski run.
The story has suspense elements which I enjoyed a great deal. Although you know from the start who the villain is you never get bored. I wanted to see it all play out in the end and let me tell you, Beckett is also a little badass. There are secondary characters in this book I'm pretty sure we'll get stories about and I'm very much looking forward to them all. Next up is Frank, who is an enigmatic real estate mogul with a secret side career that has me intrigued. I loved Frank's and Beck's bromance in The Last King! From what I've seen of Journey, Beck's cousin, will give Frank a run for his money. Too bad I'll have to wait until 2019 to get these two in my hands!
One night during a traditional Hindu ceremony in a community on Nusa Penida (a small neighbor island to Bali) the supernaturally power demon, Dalem Bungkut, causes chaos, disrupting the ceremony and causing sickness and misery among the people. The village leader must travel to Bali to request the assistance of King Dalem Dimade in driving out the demon. The king agrees to help and sends his trusted minister, Jelantik Bogol, and his wife, Ayu Kaler, to challenge the demon in an epic battle of physical might, technical skill, and spiritual powers. Will the revered Last King of Bali and his emissaries have the power to overcome the demon Featuring punakawan (clown characters), dramatic love scenes, and epic battles, this story comes to life through shadow puppetry, stylized acting, and dance, all accompanied by original live gamelan music.
The last king of America, George III, has been ridiculed as a complete disaster who frittered away the colonies and went mad in his old age. The truth is much more nuanced and fascinating - and will completely change the way listeners and historians view his reign and legacy.
Most Americans dismiss George III as a buffoon - a heartless and terrible monarch with few, if any, redeeming qualities. The best-known modern interpretation of him is Jonathan Groff's preening, spitting, and pompous take in Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda's Broadway masterpiece. But this deeply unflattering characterization is rooted in the prejudiced and brilliantly persuasive opinions of 18th-century revolutionaries like Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson, who needed to make the king appear evil in order to achieve their own political aims. After combing through hundreds of thousands of pages of never-before-published correspondence, award-winning historian Andrew Roberts has uncovered the truth: George III was in fact a wise, humane, and even enlightened monarch who was beset by talented enemies, debilitating mental illness, incompetent ministers, and disastrous luck.
In The Last King of America, Roberts paints a deft and nuanced portrait of the much-maligned monarch and outlines his accomplishments, which have been almost universally forgotten. Two hundred and forty-five years after the end of George III's American rule, it is time for Americans to look back on their last king with greater understanding: to see him as he was and to come to terms with the last time they were ruled by a monarch.
George III was both intellectually curious and curiously close-minded. Passionate about the arts and scientific discovery, he never traveled to America or even Ireland or the industrializing north of England. Granted, travel at the time was neither comfortable nor easy, but Roberts speculates whether firsthand observation might have affected how he addressed the huge changes taking place in his realm.
Forest Whitaker embraced just such a challenge in making the film The Last King of Scotland, which opens in theaters on Wednesday. Whitaker plays Idi Amin, the late Ugandan dictator who took control of the former British colony in the 1970s and ruled with an iron fist.
Whitaker spent months in Uganda interviewing the dictator's family members and also with former government officials. He talked with those who had suffered at the hands of Amin. He even learned enough Swahili so that he could ad-lib dialogue with the Ugandan actors and extras working on the film.
Harrowing and provocative, THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND traces the rise of Idi Amin by taking the perspective of the young Scottish doctor. While the device could seem hackneyed, it's instructive here, for the film never lets viewers forget that the doctor comes to Africa to \"play the white man,\" as Amin puts it, careless and self-indulgent.
Until recently, there wasn't much reason to care about Tyga. The 22-year-old Compton-born MC's biggest claim to fame was that his cousin is that guy Travie McCoy from the emo-rap band Gym Class Heroes. His 2008 debut album, No Introduction, was executive produced by Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy and was a weird, mall-punk take on Black Eyed Peas-ian hip-hop. He signed to Young Money a few years back, but apart from appearing on the label's 2009 posse album, he mostly stayed quiet, releasing a string of mixtapes into the ether. Lacking the star power of fellow YMCMBers Nicki Minaj and Drake, Tyga seemed destined to remain on the sidelines.
Forest Whitaker delivered a performance of a lifetime as Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland, exemplified by a nerve-shaking post-assassination scene that is a glorious cinematic representation of madness and paranoia. With exemplary camerawork, Kevin Macdonald frames the reality of the country's brutal massacres through the eyes of Amin's fictional personal physician, Nicholas Garrigan (James McAvoy). In its entirety, the picture is a wonderful exercise of subjectivity in film, with its dizzying cuts and quickfire transitions taking the viewers into the power-hungry leader's own shoes as he revels in his insecurity.
Nicholas Garrigan, a fresh medical graduate from the University of Edinburgh, is bored by the career opportunities at his home in Scotland. Seeking adventure and a change of atmosphere, Garrigan decides to pick a random country to practice his profession and chooses the African country Uganda as his destination. As he soaks in the cultural shift, Garrigan acquaints himself with the newly installed president of the country Idi Amin by treating his hand from an accidental injury. Hostile at first, Amin softens his tone when he finds out that the physician is Scottish, and grows fond of him.
This fear-inducing quality of the protagonist is heightened by the picture's cinematography. Whenever Amin breaks into his Mr. Hyde-ish transformation into the mass-murdering tyrant, there is a significant change in the way the images are framed. The camera shakes, distorting the viewers with just enough movement to induce a feeling of being disturbed. It is an artistic display of subjectivity, making the audience feel the same emotions as the character they see on screen. The film is riddled with these peeks into the mind of Amin, but it is in perhaps the most pivotal scene of the movie, the aftermath of his failed assassination, where the film truly puts his shoes on the feet of those watching.
The Last King of Scotland of the title is none other than former Ugandan dictator Idi Amin Dada, the psychopath who ruled this African nation from 1971 to 1979. He felt a particular affinity with the Scots -- having been treated well by them, learned from them, and believing to have a common enemy with them in England. The hero of Giles Foden's book -- insofar as it is not Idi Amin himself -- is a hapless Scottish doctor, Nicholas Garrigan. Coming to Uganda as an idealist he inadvertently finds himself pulled into Amin's orbit, becoming his doctor. In this position -- though it always remains a peripheral one -- Garrigan becomes witness to Amin's atrocities. Foden paints an excellent picture of the horrors of Amin's Uganda, almost all of it told through the veil of Garrigan who does not really want to see what is happening around him. Foden also very adeptly captures the creeping horror which appears only intermittently and slowly. Evil is not as obvious as we would like to believe (or readers of John Grisham insist). In this Uganda black and white mix in continually but only gradually darkening shades of grey. Even rolly polly Amin is portrayed as the charismatic (and in many respects appealing) figure that he was. Garrigan is the perfect observer, marked by his inaction. The British eventually want him to try to kill Amin, but here as elsewhere he begs off. He does not want to be involved, preferring his entirely passive position. This is useful through much of the narrative, but it is also enervating. Garrigan is too hapless, too peripheral, too ineffectual. The reader wants to shake him into action, frustrated by his almost complete passivity. The book is also a bit too carefree in placing Garrigan at the center of history. He arrives on the eve of Amin's takeover, he tries to flee the country from Entebbe airport the day the hijacked plane lands there, and so on. What is surprising then is the almost trancelike passing of this whole ignominious episode of history. Before we even realize it Amin has been deposed (with guess who riding in with the victorious Tanzanian forces). The historical moment that Amin represented is given little weight, the complex socio-political factors involved only lightly touched upon, and the international forces and interests involved largely only alluded to. This is acceptable, but makes it difficult for those who are not familiar with Ugandan history (though Foden explains the state of Uganda and its pre-Amin difficulties fairly well). For what it is, though, it is an excellent book, and the picture of Amin striking. Foden captures the ogre well, and uncomprehending Garrigan is a useful foil. The atrocities that are shown (including a horrific passage through Amin's private torture chambers) are well done and seem entirely appropriate. Several reviewers complain about the humor in the book being inappropriate to the subject matter. We did not find any aspect of the book that was actually funny. Garrigan is pathetic, not a bumbling fool, and only Amin is an occasionally comic figure -- but the comedy is in his unpredictableness, which is as much a part of what is terrible about him. Garrigan does faint a few times too often for our liking (come on, Giles, you can do better than that), and he \"forgets\" one or two episodes that Foden apparently couldn't figure out how to write. Otherwise the book is very, very well written, with a number of haunting scenes and a solid ending. We particularly like the distant, dreamlike way Garrigan sees Uganda -- while acknowledging that this is also one of the books weaknesses. We do recommend this book highly. It helps if the reader is familiar with Uganda (one reviewer asked his students what the name Idi Amin meant to them, and they responded that they did not know who that was, which would make enjoyment of the book a bit more difficult), but it is a very well-written book in any case. There are some scenes in it which will disturb the squeamish, but we find them entirely appropriate and justified. Recommended for those interested in Africa, those interested in the banality of evil (about as banal as we have ever come across, and almost perfectly conveyed as such), and those seeking a decent, entertaining read. Note that the English reviews were generally considerably more favorable than American ones, i.e. it seems to be more to English tastes than American ones. 59ce067264