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October 26, 1994 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-10-26

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8 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, October 26, 1994

'Hand' loses its grip on its readers


It is a land where, instead of open-
ing the trunk of a car, you open "the
boot," where getting stuck in a line of
cars while riding in a taxi is unheard of,
but stopping in a queue of cars while in
a lorry is the norm. When someone

Hand In Glove
Robert Goddard
Washington Square Press

the pace and characters of this novel
did not provide me with nearly the
same amount of satisfaction. The plot I
can't complain about; Goddard did an
excellent job of leading the reader down
several long and convoluted pathways
which I thought would end in revela-
tion, but when I reached the point of
enlightenment, I realized I was merely
starting down a new and even more
mysterious road.
The only problem with telling his
tale in this manner was that there were
numerous dull and long lulls in the plot
as Goddard set the stage for his next
revelation. This 428-page novel could
have easily been cut down to a 250-
pager, making it the fast-paced thriller
"Hand In Glove" had the potential to
be. Of course, it probably didn't help
that some of the slower portions re-
sulted from Goddard's attempt to draw
the reader into feeling sympathy for the
characters involved, namely Charlotte
and Derek. Since Charlotte and Derek
were very predictable, cardboard
people, I had absolutely no interest in
reading as Goddard expanded on their
thoughts and concerns.
Derek and Charlotte were drawn
together through a series of tragedies,

beginning with the murder of
Charlotte's aunt and the framing of
Derek's brother. While they attempted
to unravel the mystery, a kidnapping
and another murder were added to the
list of wrong-doings inflicted on the
innocent duo. As is obvious simply
from the fact that Goddard chose to
focus on a male and a female character,
each of whom was actively looking for
someone to trust and care for, Derek
and Charlotte's relationship evolved
from distrust to friendship to love. They
took an exceeding long time to decide
how they felt about each other, a pro-
cess which I found boring. Their court-
ship only served to strengthen my feel-
ing that they were both single-level,
uninteresting characters. It also rein-
forced my doubts that these lack-luster
people would have put themselves
through such great danger in order to
solve the mystery Goddard cooked up
for them.
As a person who normally takes
pleasure in reading British novels, I
found myself quite disappointed with
Goddard's story. It was a shame that
such an interesting and intricate plot
had to be wasted in this dragging and
tedious book.

who is eager to meet you catches sight
of you, his face lights up like "a train-
spotter catching his first sight of a long
sought-after locomotive." What is this
prim and proper land? None other than
good old England, the site of a murder,
a kidnapping, and some twisted secrets
whose answers can only be revealed by
reading Robert Goddard's "Hand In
DidIpique your interest? My apolo-
gizes if I did, for though I enjoyed
reading the strange manners in which
the English twist our shared language,


"Killing Zoe," the ultra-stylish, ul-
ta-bloody, ultra-pretentious new me-
langed'excess from Quentin Tarantino
buddy Roger Avary is as subtle as a
gunshot and about as welcome. Steal-
ing from every cheesy action film ever,

by Roger Avary t
with Eric Stoltz,
Avary proves, in one false move, that
the line between horrific violence and
mindless exploitation is a thin and eas-
ily crossed one. Video store cronies the
two filmmakers may have been, but
that's where the similarities end.
Be forewarned: this is a boy's film.
Not a "man's" or a "guy's," but an
insecure little boy's fantasy. Guns go
bang bang. Whores fall in love with
their johns, cooing "You're the first

client I've ever had an o
scraps of broken Englis
lectual wimps kick m
pack of cutthroat thiev
lots of blood and stuff
Only problem is, the
violence in the story i:
that it's almost funny. F
that "Video Dead" or'
are funny. Funny in th
Ha Ha. I can't believe
this." The one succes
scene - involving a fen
- appears so late in
utterly cancels itself ou
tripping over himself.
hard that he's not gettir
What's frustratingi
could have been good. A
safe-cracking genius na
Stoltz) high-tails it to F
with old pal Eric (
Anglade) and his band o
ing, intellectual, gun-tot
They're going to rob a
need someone to open t
The first, most lo
might be how did the sui
Zed make it all the wa
since logic and "Zoe" do

'Zoc' dies hard
)rgasm with" in the same universe, let's move on to the
;h. Nerdy intel- more substantial problemssuch as bad
ore ass than a guys, or the general lack of believable
ves and there's ones.
Eric, as the leader of the pack, is evil
.majority of the and reckless. Or so we are told. He
s so farfetched whirls into Zed's hotel room, kicks out
unny in the way a wet and naked Zoe (Julie Delpy), the
"Phantasm III, aforementioned whore, drags Eric off
e sense of "Ha to shoot-upandthen casually announces
e I paid to see that he has A.I.D.S. While this random
sfully graphic revelation succeeds in explaining his
male bank teller devil-may care attitude, it fails to jus-
the action, it tify his near-manic zest for money.
t. Avary keeps It is when the crooks do bust open
He's trying so the bank the next morning that the
ng anywhere. already withering narrative starts to
is that the film unravel. While the inept gang tries to
n unemployed, hold it together upstairs, Eric is busy
med Zed (Eric going loony downstairs, randomly
aris to join up shooting anyone who makes a bad yo'
Jean-Hughes mama joke. Just to add a twist, Zoe's
fheroin-shoot- day job turns out te be ... yep, you
ting neophytes. guessed it, a bank teller. Oh, the exis-
bank and they tential angst for poor Zed. This cheap
he door. Thus, stab at creating a Bonnie and Clyde or
Mickey and Mallory au Paris is just a
gical question further indication of Avery's lack of
pposedly broke innovation.
y to Paris, but As played by Anglade("LaFemme
o not coexist in See ZOE, Page 9


Continued from page 5
make plenty of money doing what we
do. That over-the-top kind of success
is really beside the point to me. My
life, right now, is fine. We're not suf-
fering. I make plenty of money and I
hang out with my friends. It's great,"
he smiled.
It's pretty clear that Coyne doesn't
buy into the "starving artist" ideal of
toiling in obscurity. As with most
things, he is unfazed by the Lips'
move to the gigantic Warner Brothers
label. In fact, he seems downright glad
to have the major's power behind him,
as he explained: "I'm happy to be on
any label that lets me do what I want to
do. It's like, would you like to have
rich parents or poor parents? I'd rather
have good parents. And if they were

rich and good, so much the better. I
mean, who would pick poor parents?
The label gives us money and lets us do
whatever we want."
But one thing the increased public-
ity around the Lips hasn't changed is
their iconoclastic way of making mu-
sic. Asked to describe the Flaming
Lips' creative process, Coyne laughed,
"our songs are just Flaming Lips songs
- God knows where they come from!
But we have no limitations whatso-
ever," he added more seriously. As an
example of just what "no limitations"
means, he illustrated, "we were record-
ing in this guy's kitchen, and the refrig-
erator door had a nice "thunk" to it, so
we EQ-ed the sound and used it as a
kick drum." He went on, "we have the
freedom to do that. We don't go out of
the way to do these things; they just
come up in the course of recording.
And I hope that always happens."

Hopefully itwill, if the bandcan get
off the road long enough to see the
inside of a studio anytime soon. Coyne
said he hopes to start recording an
album in January or February, with a
summer release date. As for his
philosopohy about making music, h@
says, "having bands around that make
good music makes life fun. It's like
good food; because you eat something
good doesn't mean that it inspires you,
but it's why you're alive. Experiencing
good things, like a good movie or get-
ting drunk, is why we stay alive." The
Flaming Lips are definitely one of those
opening for Candlebox at their three-
night stand - beginning Friday,
October 28 and running through
Sunday, October 30 - at the State
Theater in Detroit. Tickets are sold
out for all three shows.

If you're tired of all of the abstract productions the University's School of Music has been cranking out lately, then
Ann Arbor Civic Theatre has just the thing for you. Their production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's "South Pacific"
sails onto the Mendelsson stage this Wednesday night.
"South Pacific," based on James Michener's Pulitzer prizewinning "Tales from the South Pacific" is filled with 4
everything that made American musical theater great. With two sets of lovers, a raucous chorus of Navy men, and a
comedic old woman; "South Pacific" has all the elements of a great, classic show.
Also, don't worry about not being able to hum the songs as you leave the theater, as this show is filled with some
of Rodgers and Hammerstein's most popular work. With songs like "There's Nothing Like a Dame," "I'm Gonna
Wash that Man Right Outta My Hair," and the ever popular "Some Enchanted Evening." The "hummability factor"
should be high enough to please even the lowest grade of musical palates.
So treat yourself to some classic musical theater this weekend and remind yourself what made American musical
theater great. With the rate of revivals making their way back to the Great White Way, "South Pacific" is bound to be
up there soon. See it before ticket prices are 75 bucks a pop.
SOUTH PACIFIC is at the Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre October 26-29 at 8 p.m. Tickets for Wednesday and Thursday*
and the Saturday matinee at 2 p.m. are $16, $15 students. Friday and Saturday tickets are $19 center sections and $17
- J. David Berry

On Wednesday, November 2, join Share Our
Strength at Writers Harvest - the nation's largest
annual series of readings to benefit hunger
relief - sponsored by American Express. You'll
hear talented writers and poets read from their
work, and Share Our Strength will direct 100%
of event proceeds to hunger relief groups in

your community.

You can also help fight hunger from November 1
through December 31 through American Express'
Charge Against Hunger program. Every time you
use the Card, American Express will make a dona-
tion to Share Our Strength - up to $5 million by
the end of the year.*

Together we can all make a difference.

T .Le

Nt lohal


Come to the Writers Harvest reading at the
Rackham Amphitheater on November 2 at
7:30pm, and be a part of the solution.
Writers will include Charles Baxter, Betty Louise



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