Last Update 7/11/18

A Brief History of Mexico by Lynn V. Foster, Facts on File, 1997

I knew a good deal about Mexico’s early history, so I was particularly interested in events in the 20th Century. Unfortunately, this book is twenty years old. This feels more like a collection of very short essays than a unified book so there is little narrative impetus. There are some interesting photographs in the first half. In view of recent events, it perhaps behooves us to pay a little more attention to our neighbors to the south. 7/11/18

I Am Legend As American Myth by Amy J. Ransom, McFarland, 2018, $45, ISBN 978-1-4728-6833-8

Even in my unsophisticated high school days, I recognized this as - among other things - a metaphor for alienation. It was the first novel I'd read by Matheson and I was always disappointed that he wrote so few of them, although his many superb short stories made up for it, almost. Although this book necessarily deals with the novel as such, it is primarily a discussion of the three film adaptations that have been made - so far - and the different themes that have been grafted onto the original material. It is clearly well suited, for example, as a commentary on racism, and I would not be surprised to see a fourth that used it to comment on our current insane phobia about immigrants. The changed people have already been vampires and mutants. The author is an academic and this is not a light examination of film making but rather a more serious attempt to explore the different ways the same story can be told, with lots of references to other critical work. A bit tough going at times for the casual reader, but a great deal of it is very thoughtful. 7/2/18

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