Mt. Holz Science Fiction Society
01/25/08 -- Vol. 26, No. 30, Whole Number 1477

 El Honcho Grande: Mark Leeper,
 La Honcha Bonita: Evelyn Leeper,
All material copyright by author unless otherwise noted.
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        Downloading Personalities (comments by Mark R. Leeper)
        Dracula and the Bee (comments by Mark R. Leeper)
        Top Ten Films of 2007 (comments by Mark R. Leeper)
        CLOVERFIELD (film review by Mark R. Leeper)
        THE HIDDEN FAMILY by Charles Stross (book review
                by Joe Karpierz)        
        THE MAN WHO SAVED BRITAIN by Simon Winder (book review
                by Mark R. Leeper)
        Automatic Cars and Political Films (letter of comment
                by Taras Wolansky)
        Preston (letter of comment by Kip Williams)
        This Week's Reading (Correction, THE INNOCENTS ABROAD
                (book comments by Evelyn C. Leeper)


TOPIC: Downloading Personalities (comments by Mark R. Leeper)

There has been some discussion in science fiction circles of the
future capabilities for uploading and downloading personalities
from one person to another.  I would resist this technology.
Sooner or later everybody would have exactly the same
personality.  There would be only one personality left in the
entire world.  And it would be the personality of one
particularly industrious hacker.  [-mrl]


TOPIC: Dracula and the Bee (comments by Mark R. Leeper)

There is one very bizarre scene in the 1931 DRACULA that nobody
seems to notice.  I mean, I have mentioned it to fans of the film
who know the film and they do not know what I am talking about.
I asked Forrest J. Ackerman, who considers himself an expert on
the film and has seen it dozens of times, and he had never
noticed the scene.

In the scene when Dracula and his wives are awakening there is a
shot of a bee coming out of a miniature coffin.  It makes very
little sense.  Is this supposed a vampire bee?  It isn't even a
queen bee.  It is a worker.  How exactly does a bee become a
vampire?  When could it have been bitten since bees only come out
of the hive in the daytime?

I have never found anyone who noticed this without me pointing it
out to them.  People with digital copies can find it at 5:55 on
the timer.  The Spanish-language version has another shot of the
bee and the coffin.

Has anyone else noticed this?  Anyone care to comment?  [-mrl]

[P.S.  I am told that it is not a bee but a Jerusalem cricket.


TOPIC: Top Ten Films of 2007 (comments by Mark R. Leeper)

It took a while to prove itself, but 2007 eventually became a
good year for film.  December had some very good releases and
circumstances allowed me to see several good films in one short
spurt.  These are the best films I saw over the course of the

A woman develops a new personality in her twilight years as
Alzheimer's Disease robs her of her memories and her former
nature, but has not yet robbed her of mechanical function.  Her
affectionate husband is bewildered by the initial loss, by the
new personality, and by choices she is making.  Based on the
story "The Bear Came Over the Mountain" by Alice Munro, this very
personal film is a deeply affecting work from Sarah Polley, a
good actress becoming an even better writer and director.  Julie
Christie is excellent, but veteran Canadian actor Gordon Pinsett
is even better.

Marc Forster who directed MONSTER'S BALL and FINDING NEVERLAND
directs a haunting adaptation of the Khaled Hosseini novel.  Two
boyhood friends in Afghanistan, Amin and Rahim, are separated by
an incident and each's reaction to that incident.  The incident
hangs over both of their lives until years later when Amin, now
living in California, has an opportunity to return to his
homeland to amends.  The story has a powerful theme of the
necessity to confront evil and oppose it.

Sean Penn writes and directs the true story of Chris McCandless
(Emile Hirsch) who cut his ties with his wealthy family and lived
on the road seeing the real country.  Knowing he is very self-
sufficient, he gives himself the test of living off the land in
the Alaskan wilderness only to find it is one challenge that may
be beyond him.  The story has drama, suspense, and memorable view
of western America.  It is nice to see a good role for Hal
Holbrook and one for the current Bart the Bear.

Neil Gaiman's STARDUST, directed by Matthew Vaughn, comes to the
screen as a first-class fantasy film--one of the best I have seen
in a long time.  The story is humorously convoluted but not
really confusing.  A young man from our world is on a quest to
win his love ends up being the fulcrum in a battle for the rule
of a kingdom in a magical parallel world.  Gaiman is a fresh and
a different voice in fantasy writing, so the film is full of
surprises and some genuinely funny jokes.

Valerie Harper plays Golda Meir, former Prime Minister of Israel,
in a one-actor play by William Gibson (who also wrote the classic
play THE MIRACLE WORKER).  Golda Meir in retirement reminisces
about her life, the history of Israel, and the most important and
difficult decision she ever had to make.  Jeremy Kagan directs.
Some of the visual style is distracting, but Harper carries the

A London midwife is threatened by the actions of the Russian
Mafia in this new thriller from David Cronenberg.  Cronenberg
brings back Viggo Mortensen from his A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE into
another intense action role.  Double-crosses, violent fights, and
secret plans make the film feel like a good episode of the
Sopranovs.  This could well be Cronenberg's best film of this
decade, atmospheric and exciting.

Mira Nair covers about thirty years in the life of one Indian
family.  She gives us a film about the pull of one's native
culture and the desire of the next generation to be free of it.
This is a realistic story without a pre-packaged message.  The
film is intelligent and moving.  Perhaps the telling is just a
little rushed.

A young private investigator takes a job of looking for a little
girl whose kidnapping has become a media event.  This
investigation will prove not just to be violent and shocking, it
will also raise some complex moral questions.  Ben Affleck's
first feature film as director turns out to be a much better film
than most of the movies that he has acted in.  This is a strong,
well-directed film and the debut of what could be a very
promising director.

Jess has a terrible life at home and at school. But the situation
gets much more bearable and better when the new girl in town
moves in next door and is enrolled in his class.  She opens for
him a whole new world of intellect and art and fantasy.  The two
are social outcasts, but form a rich (platonic) relationship
together that strengthens Jess for some of the emotional wrenches
to come in his life.  This is a film that is by turns wonderful
and heart-breaking.  Do not expect a big special-effects fantasy.
Fantasy as a source of emotional strength is one theme among
several well-presented themes.  This fantasy-etched story is more
intelligent than most films made for adults.

SWEENEY RAZORHANDS.  One of Broadway's best and most
controversial musicals comes to the screen as a vehicle for the
Tim Burton and Johnny Depp team.  This version glories in the
gory more than the stage version did.  Depp's singing limitations
rob the character of Sweeney of his all-important contagious
savage fury.  Burton shows the audience a lot that could not be
shown on stage, not all of which was a good idea to show.  Still
the music will haunt you.

The following films got a high enough rating to make my list, but
there can be only ten films on a Top Ten list.  So I would like
to recognize that I was also impressed with RESCUE DAWN, BEOWULF,

More importantly I would like to recognize three films from
previous years that I saw in 2007, too late to make my list for
their years though they probably should have been on previous top
ten lists.

THE LIVES OF OTHERS is about an officer and interrogator in the
Stasi, the Communist East German Secret Police, spying on
innocent citizens and becoming involved in their lives.  Ulrich
Mühe plays Captain Gerd Wiesler who is extremely good in a job he
comes to wish did not exist.  The actor Mühe was dying of stomach
cancer as he made the film and his last performance is strong and

PAN'S LABYRINTH is powerful as a fantasy film and as a story of
the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War.  This is Mexican director
Guillermo del Toro's best film to date and is really a modern
masterpiece of the fantasy film.

BLACK is very unusual in many ways.  It is a high quality
production coming from the Bollywood film industry, but it is one
that avoids the traditional Bollywood style.  The film breaks
neatly in half at the intermission.  Before the intermission it
retells the story of the training of a deaf and blind child.
This is very close to being a remake of Arthur Penn's film THE
MIRACLE WORKER, the story of the monumental effort to teach the
concept of what words are to a young Helen Keller.  After the
intermission writer/director Sanjay Leela Bhansali fictionally
continues the story of the blind and deaf woman trying to reach
her teacher who has fallen into the abyss of Alzheimer's Disease.
The photography and art direction are things of beauty.



TOPIC: CLOVERFIELD (film review by Mark R. Leeper)

CAPSULE: There have been dozens of Japanese films depicting giant
monsters attacking large cities.  CLOVERFIELD tries to show what
such an event would be like more realistically.  The results are
violent and frankly unpleasant to watch, but deliver on what they
promise: a realistic depiction of what it would be like if a
giant monster really did attack Manhattan.  The photography is
jarring, but not as jarring as the realism.  Rating:  +2 (-4 to
+4) or 7/10

In 1954 the Japanese Toho Studios made the first Gojira/Godzilla
film GOJIRA.  This was effectively a terrifying monster in large
part because we saw the monster not from his eye level but from
ours.  Our viewpoint was as a human, not as another monster.
Toho continued to make kaiju (or "giant monster") films but made
them more romps shot from the monsters' eye level.  They might
follow individual characters but they might typically be
newspaper reporters with comic sidekicks.  They stopped trying
for realism.  Godzilla might grab a building and it would
collapse under his strength.  But it did limited damage.  On
September 11, 2001, the world discovered that urban destruction
could be very dangerous and scary for bystanders.  Until now
nobody has really associated that sort of urban hell with what we
had been seeing for years in monster movies.  Godzilla movies
after 1954 never associated the kind of destruction we saw on
9/11 with monsters in cities.  And, of course, there was no real
reason it should be taken seriously and realistically.  The
Square-Cube Law in physics says that any animal that is several
building stories high would really have to be fairly weak and
docile if it existed at all.  Kaiju are creatures of fantasy.
CLOVERFIELD asks what it would be like if there really were
something like a Godzilla that attacked Manhattan but everything
else in the film was realistic.  What kind of destruction would
such a beast do?  What would it be like being a human getting
little information as to what was happening and seeing the
destruction from a distance until it advanced to engulf you?

There is not much to say about the plot of the film.  Rob Hawkins
(played by Michael Stahl-David) is the guest of honor at a
surprise party the night before he is flying to Japan to take a
really nice job.  Everybody at the party is waiting for the
arrival of the lovely Beth who was Ron's girlfriend and one-night
lover.  The "one night lover" part is the big news at the party.
Beth comes late to the party and leaves early.  Then there is
some sort of earthquake followed shortly by explosions in the
distance.  As people run into the street things really start to

The movie is shot with very shaky photography from what is
supposed to be an amateur hand-held camera.  The entire film then
is jerky and short.  It had to be short enough to fit on one
camera cassette.  The film is supposed to all be what was on the
one tape.  The jerky style and apparent in-camera edits give the
film more of a feeling of immediacy and realism, not unlike what
was done with the BLAIR WITCH PROJECT.  The film itself is only
73 minutes long, not counting twelve minutes of credits at the
end.  Going into the movie that seemed a little short for a
feature film.  But the action and violence are so intense and so
immediate that one is really looking forward to it to end.  The
party footage at the beginning is really a little dull, like the
ride up the first ramp on a roller coaster.  When the film
finally does let go it is one heck of a ride.  Those who look to
Kaiju film for fun and action may well find the action but not
the fun.  The film suggests that being near a giant monster
attack is much like being near a terrorist attack.  There is
panic and confusion and people dying.  There is a struggle to
stay alive that has no guarantee of success.  There is little
idea of what is going on and less of what to do to survive.  The
monster itself is seen only in quick snatches.

The long credit sequence at the end credits a very large number
of songs.  But I remember no music from the point the camera
leaves the party to when the end credits roll.  The music under
the end credits is original but seems to borrow some musical
effects from the scores of Toho monster films, which was probably
the inspiration for much of the end theme.  With no familiar
actors and the inexpensive shooting style the film came in for a
reported 25 million dollars.  It only proves that writing and
ideas can do more for a film than special effects can.  Matt
Reeves directed the film from a screenplay by Drew Goddard.  The
producer is J.J. Abrams, the creator of TV shows "Felicity" and
"Lost".  My showing also featured a trailer for the eleventh
"Star Trek" movie to be directed by the self-same J.J. Abrams.

The innocuous-sounding title of CLOVERFIELD seems an exercise in
reverse psychology or at least irony.  The pleasant sound
suggests that the film will be anything but pleasant.  And on
that reverse promise the film does deliver.  I would rate
CLOVERFIELD a +2 on the -4 to +4 scale or 7/10.

Film Credits:



TOPIC: THE HIDDEN FAMILY by Charles Stross (copyright 2005, Tor,
$7.99, 327pp, ISBN 0-765-35205-2) (book review by Joe Karpierz)        

After beating my head against a wall for 600 or so pages via the
reading of FATAL REVENANt, I needed something lighter and more
fun.  I reached into my ever-growing to-read stack and pulled out
the second book of Charles Stross's "Merchant Princes" series,
THE HIDDEN FAMILY.  It fit the bill quite nicely.

THE HIDDEN FAMILY continues to follow the exploits of Miriam
Beckstein, tech journalist from Boston, as she continues to
explore the alternate worlds (I'll get to that) she discovered
back in THE FAMILY TRADE.  Last time, she was the victim of more
than one assassination attempt, presumably by members of the Clan
who wanted her dead because she was upsetting the balance of
things.  One of her would-be assassins had a locket just like
hers, except that it enables travel to yet another world--so, if
you're keeping score at home, we're up to three.

A little bit of background.  There were six brothers in the Clan.
One of them went west and disappeared, never to be seen again.
Well, they're back--and hence the name of the book.  But of
course, nothing is that simple.

As I said in my review of THE FAMILY TRADE, Miriam wanted to
change things in both her real homeworld and now the newly
discovered third world.  She decides to do this by setting up a
business in the third world that deals in ideas, not raw items
and materials, the idea being that those items are finite in
quantity, but that real wealth is added by ideas and the humans
that implement those ideas.  She believes that by selling and
patenting some ideas in the third world she can make a lot of
money, and make that business a Clan subsidiary.

The problem is, of course, that not only do Clan people want her
dead or at least out of the picture, people from the new world
are attempting to assassinate folks from the Clan for abandoning
them when they were out west.  So, all sorts of murder attempts
and mayhem take place, and of course there are plots within plots
within plots, and we find a few surprises along the way which
make life much more interesting.

Like THE FAMILY TRADE, this one is fun, light, and a fairly easy
read.  If you need a break from reading heavy stuff, I recommend
you read the "Merchant Princes" series by Charles Stross.  The
third book is out in paperback, and I believe the fourth is out
in hardcover.  The series is not over, and for once, I think
that's a good thing.  [-jak]


TOPIC: THE MAN WHO SAVED BRITAIN by Simon Winder (book review by
Mark R. Leeper)

42666-8) is a meandering but nevertheless engrossing quadruple
history.  The cover of the American edition is an early piece of
James Bond poster art.  Sean Connery is looking suave with a long
gun and a half-naked blond.  The book itself is a little more
serious than the cover makes it look.

Simon Winder informally goes back and forth among four threads of

1) British history in two World Wars and since;
2) Ian Fleming's life;
3) the James Bond character and series from its antecedents in
    the works of H. Rider Haggard, John Buchan, Sax Rohmer and
    W. E. Johns through a history of Bond in books, films, comics
    etc. and other series that were inspired by Bond; and
4) Winder's own life and his experiences with the James Bond

Winder's main thrust (if there is one) is to explain why the
James Bond series in books have meant so much to him, his friends
and to the people of Britain in general.  In a nutshell, the 20th
century did not go well for Britain, as their empire dissolved
and the wars seriously damaged their economy.  Bond was a hero
and object of admiration and envy in multiple ways.  He was
obviously used to the finer things in life.  He had the finest
cigarettes, the finest wines, and the finest women.  He was the
man many men in Britain (and the United States for that matter)
wanted to be.  And Bond was all these things in the 1950s when
the British economy was still reeling from the war.  Britain had
large debts from the war and a stagnant economy.  They lacked
basics like sugar, meat, eggs, and fruit long after the war was
over.  James Bond had not just these things but a taste for the
better things in life and was a sort of suave consumer.  Winder
sees Bond's eating of an avocado in the book CASINO ROYALE as an
important event for Fleming's readers.  Avocados were apparently
little known and unobtainable in Britain to that point.  People
emulating Bond may have acted as a jumpstart to the economy.

And Bond had the privileges of a hero.  Winder succinctly sums up
much of the situation in one paragraph on page 190. "As the 1960s
progressed, Bond's ability to maim and kill foreigners became a
great consolation to millions of embittered and confused people
whose traditional world picture had changed with alarming speed.
Bond in fact became in the 1960s pretty much the only British
national capable of damaging anybody at all."  Fleming's James
Bond books and the films made from them were a salve to British
pride.  They were a relief from the precious tweedy-ness and
cable-knit sweater and coin boxes on heaters.

The film LIVE AND LET DIE was Winder's first exposure to Bond.
And he loved it at the time and now rightfully sees the film as
inferior.  In my opinion he got interested in Bond films at just
about the wrong time.  The whole stretch from the previous film
DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER through MOONRAKER are in varying degrees all
dreadful.  Ironically, Winder wrote his book between the releases
of the films DIE ANOTHER DAY and CASINO ROYALE and he dreads
seeing the possibility that CASINO ROYALE would have John
Cleese's Q giving Bond more features on the invisible car.  It
did not and one rather suspects that Winder would have been
rather pleased with CASINO ROYALE's new approach.

The author's observations seem to wander.  The book is informal
and conversational in tone.  Winder discusses the books' love-
hate relationship with the United States.  He will discuss how
Bond's Epicurean tastes work well for the readers, but seem out
of place in such a hired killer who would need to maintain a low
profile.  Characters like Rosa Klebb and Oddjob seem less likely
to be interested in the quality of pots of jam.  Winder goes on
at length about Bond villains and how nuclear weapons made global
domination actually possible where it had not been before.  Some
of his fact-checking could be better.  For example he does not
think Joseph Wiseman had much of a career outside of playing the
title character in DR. NO.  Wiseman actually had a fairly busy
career in both film and TV.

THE MAN WHO SAVED BRITAIN by Simon Winder rambles quite a bit.
It rambles more than it should, perhaps.  But it is entertaining
for those of us who enjoyed the whole James Bond mythos.  A more
serious and better book was quite possible, but Winder apparently
wanted to keep the book engaging.  Winder does commit one of
transgressions that frequently bother me with non-fiction books.
His book really needs an index.  He very much limits its use as a
source of information by making that information so hard to find.


TOPIC: Automatic Cars and Political Films (letter of comment by
Taras Wolansky)

In response to Mark's article on automatically driven cars in the
01/11/08 issue of the MT VOID, Taras Wolansky writes, "Some SF
writers have predicted a time when manual driving is illegal.  And
some of us may live long enough to see this.  After all, computers
and software improve faster than we humans can breed better
drivers.  It doesn't have to be perfect, just better than us.  An
intermediate step, already under way, is computer-assisted
driving; for example, anti-lock brakes.  And a few luxury cars
have automatic parking systems."  [-tw]

And in response to Evelyn's comments on political films' box office
receipts in the 01/18/08 issue of the MT VOID, Taras writes,
"Evelyn writes, "CHARLIE WILSON'S WAR had Tom Hanks; THE KINGDOM
had Jamie Foxx ..."  And LIONS FOR LAMBS had Tom Cruise, Meryl
Streep, and Robert Redford.  It made $15 million, compared to
KINGDOM's $44 [million] and WILSON'S $60.5 [million] and
counting."  [-tw]

Mark responds, "Of course, I don't know if that is good
considering they cost $80,000,000 and $75,000,000 respectively.
I think your case was that conservative-themed films do better at
the box office than liberal ones.  That goes against the common
belief.  That is really too small to be significant.  If I read
the IMDB correctly RESCUE DAWN, with a somewhat conservative
theme, did not do very well.  (That is a pity.  I enjoyed the
film, if 'enjoyed' is the right word.)  They are all blown away
by FAHRENEHIT 9/11, which cost $6,000,000 and grossed
$119,000,000.  Actually, one of the things people were looking to
LIONS FOR LAMBS to do is show if Tom Cruise is now a box office
liability after his weird off-screen shenanigans.  He may be
particularly a bad choice for a film with a political viewpoint.
I am not sure that the public ever saw Tom Cruise as a voice of
much authority."  [-mrl]


TOPIC: Preston (letter of comment by Kip Williams)

In response to the correction on Preston Foster and Preston
Sturges in 01/18/08 issue of the MT VOID, Kip Williams writes,
"Sure, there's another Preston.  For an animation fan, the first
one to come to mind is often Preston Blair, veteran animator and
creator of some of the best how-to books (in the Walter Foster
series) about animating.  There's also press-on nails, but they
only work in the past tense."  [-kw]


TOPIC: This Week's Reading (book comments by Evelyn C. Leeper)

David Goldfarb writes, "In the latest MT VOID you wrote: 'Tor's
"Starlight" series was excellent while it lasted, but ceased
after five volumes.'  My first reaction was to wonder wildly how
I had missed volumes four and five when they came out.  My second
was to speculate whether you were channeling King Arthur from

No, I was just confused.  I either misremembered, or looked up
the wrong series to check the numbers.

Our book discussion group chose THE INNOCENTS ABROAD by Mark
Twain (ISBN-13 978-0-451-53049-3, ISBN-10 0-451-53049-7) for
January.  This was Twain's first book, but showed the beginnings
of the sarcasm (and even vitriol) that Twain became known for.
The trip, on the steamship Quaker City, was the first
transatlantic pleasure cruise (according to Twain biographer
Albert Bigelow Paine), and lasted five months.  Twain visited
Gibraltar, Spain, France, Italy, Greece, "the Holy Land", and
Bermuda--and pretty much disliked all of them.  (Well, except
Bermuda.)  Every place he went, he found (or claimed to find) the
people dirty, lazy, and greedy; most of the sights over-rated;
and the governments corrupt.  Now of course sometimes he was
right: it is impossible that all the pieces of the True Cross he
saw were pieces of the True Cross.  (In fact, at least one writer
claims that after Twain's book came out, guides in Europe found
they had to be a bit more restrained in their claims about
relics, as tourists were much more skeptical.)

One complaint voiced at the discussion group meeting was that
Twain was sometimes serious, sometimes satirical--and it was not
always easy to tell which one a particular sentence was.  There
is some truth in this, and also to the fact that Twain is
somewhat of a bigot.  It's not racism per se, because he pretty
much looks down on anyone who is not Anglo-Saxon.  Of course, one
can argue that he pretty much looked down on the Anglo-Saxons as
well, at least those in the Quaker City party, what with his
descriptions of them stealing fruit, defacing monuments, and
running away from danger while boasting of their bravery.

A sample:

[Of the Church of Holy Sepulchre] "When one stands where the
Saviour was crucified, he finds it all he can do to keep it
strictly before his mind that Christ was not crucified in a
Catholic Church.  He must remind himself every now and then that
the great event transpired in the open air, and not in a gloomy,
candle-lighted cell in a little corner of a vast church, up-
stairs--a small cell all bejeweled and bespangled with flashy
ornamentation, in execrable taste."


"And so I close my chapter on the Church of the Holy Sepulchre--
the most sacred locality on earth to millions and millions of
men, and women, and children, the noble and the humble, bond and
free.  In its history from the first, and in its tremendous
associations, it is the most illustrious edifice in Christendom.
With all its clap-trap side-shows and unseemly impostures of
every kind, it is still grand, reverend, venerable--for a god
died there; for fifteen hundred years its shrines have been wet
with the tears of pilgrims from the earth's remotest confines;
for more than two hundred, the most gallant knights that ever
wielded sword wasted their lives away in a struggle to seize it
and hold it sacred from infidel pollution.  Even in our own day a
war, that cost millions of treasure and rivers of blood, was
fought because two rival nations claimed the sole right to put a
new dome upon it.  History is full of this old Church of the Holy
Sepulchre--full of blood that was shed because of the respect and
the veneration in which men held the last resting-place of the
meek and lowly, the mild and gentle, Prince of Peace!"

In addition to cementing Twain's literary reputation, the trip
had another lasting effect.  One of the other passengers was
Charles Langdon, who had brought a miniature of his sister
Olivia.  Twain saw the miniature and was smitten.  On his return
he arranged to meet Olivia, and eventually convinced her to marry

I had heard good things about THE REMARKABLE MILLARD FILLMORE
(ISBN-13 978-0-307-33962-1, ISBN-10 0-307-33962-9).  It was
supposedly very funny, but it just fell flat with me.  It's
possible that "For the first ten years of his life, Fillmore did
not attend school, education not being encouraged by his parents,
who, due to a misunderstanding, believed it to be a cause of
goiter" might seem humorous to some, but I am not one of them.
And while there is an index, it is largely fictitious.  For
example, one entry is "Hun: Attila the, 76-78; unless you've got
buns, 4".  Needless to say, pages 76-78 and 4 have no such
references.  The only real truth in the book is in the notes at
the end, explaining how the bare facts of the narrative, stripped
of their silliness, are true.  The description on the back says
"Humor", but the Library of Congress classification is American
history.  I suppose it is history, in some sense, but I doubt I
would shelve it there--or anywhere else in my collection.  [-ecl]


                                           Mark Leeper

            We can destroy ourselves by cynicism and
            disillusion, just as effectively as by bombs.
                                           -- Kenneth Clark