Wednesday, 28 September 2016


Five days into autumn, I report that the most disappointing beach read of my summer was Ultimatum 2. I know you both liked the book... at least I think you both liked the book, but I was a bit let down. It's nowhere near as good as the original - which I will remind you we graded 'C' - nor is it as memorable. How well I remember the sexy Deputy Premier of Nova Scotia of Ultimatum; how little I remember of the "amazing, sharp-minded, cool-tongued black woman" who serves as Secretary of State in Ultimatum 2.

Here's looking forward to Ultimatum 3. And why not? After all, Ultimatum is the one Rohmer title that Canadians of a certain age remember. Why stop at two? Coppola didn't. Sure, the premise of Ultimatum 2 wasn't nearly so interesting as Ultimatum, but that isn't to say that there aren't ideas out there. Some suggestions:

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Reading Richard Rohmer in The Walrus!

I'd like to think that we've reached new heights, but as my agent will attest, I'm not one for promotion.

Is evidence required?

Consider the simple fact that I'm only now mentioning my 29 June article for The Walrus.

Remember when Michael Cimino was still alive?

Yeah, it's been that long.

You'll find the piece here:

Sunday, 19 June 2016

If you judge a book by the cover...

Ultimatum 2 arrived on my desk the same week The Lexicon of Love II was released. You see the similarities, right? Each looks to capitalize on the greatest hit, beginning with the cover.

Because The Guardian is very keen on The Lexicon of Love II, I'm going to force myself to give it a listen.

Because I'm committed to reading Richard Rohmer, I'll be forcing myself to pick up Ultimatum 2. Before I do, I've got a few things to say about it as an objet. 

A few days ago, I wrote you guys an email in which I referred to Ultimatum 2  as a "competent-looking production."

It's not.

Let's look at the cover, which I'll describe charitably as an homage to the original.

I'm certain that the change in the red, white and blue stripes has no meaning. The placement of  "MAJOR-GENERAL" is evidence of ineptitude. Laziness comes in the form of the Russian coat of arms - though "RUSSIA" is helpful to those not familiar - and the old eagle and Canadian flag design used on the cover of Ultimatum... the mass market paperback edition.

C'mon, 300dpi minimum, guys.

A few lessons in Photoshop would help. 

You know it's true.

Saturday, 28 May 2016

How to Read a Be$t $eller

Seriously, Brian, do you want me to mail you my copy of Ultimatum 2?
Stan, do you want me to send back your copy of Raleigh on the Rocks?
With my daughter Emma attending the University of Toronto this Fall, and God as my witness, we will obtain The Building the CN Tower and The Building of the SkyDome/Rogers Center.

Monday, 23 May 2016

Anticipation 2

Waiting for Brian Busby to receive and read his copy of Ultimatum 2 is like waiting for the last person at work to finish watching Breaking Bad.  Except lots of people like Breaking Bad.  So it's not exactly like that.

I can't believe he's reading Rainbow Country novelizations instead.  Yes, those stories feature a floatplane and thrilling-but-repetitive adventures in the great Canadian outdoors, but do the characters ever negotiate business deals or drill for anything? No, they do not.

They do not satisfy.

It's like trying to drink whisky from a bottle of wine.  Or vodka, without eating bread.