“The Final Cut” and “My Antonia”

I’ve done two things my friends have been raving about: signed up for Netflix and read an electronic book.  I enjoy movies, but tend to read more.  I figure I need to watch two a month to get my money’s worth, and more would be better. Three is the best I have done so far.

Tonight’s was “The Final Cut.”  I think it is in my queue because Science Fiction is one of the categories I had checked and it was recommended. I knew nothing about it.  An intriguing concept: people have a device implanted that records all their actions and memories. At their death the cutters edit the thing and instead of a memorial service, there is a “rememory.”  There are protesters who get rather violent.

I won’t say more of the plot–I don’t like to do spoilers. It did make me wonder how inhibiting it would be to know one had an implant recording all the time. Or would one forget about it and just live life. Judging by scenes shown of lives, people must have forgotten about them. Of course that makes a better movie.

The second thing was downloading an electronic book. I learned late about a book group meeting last night. The tangible book was not available, but electronic versions were.  Probably anyone reading blogs knows all about them, but libraries lending electronic books was new to me.

I had to indicate my library and type in my card number. Then downloaded the book–which was much faster than I expected since my connection isn’t all that fast.  Then downloaded the software to read the book. Somehow the first link had me download the wrong software, and I still couldn’t open the book. I retraced all my steps and saw the different program and clicked some more.

Finally I was reading “My Antonia.”  I’d missed it when it was popular and it hadn’t come up in any of my American Lit classes. At first I kept waiting for something to happen.  Or when there was a murder/suicide expected more of a mystery and solution, but it was just dropped.  But it seemed we just kept getting to know some of the characters better. And since they were enjoyable to get to know (most of them), that was okay.

Willa Cather made the stark setting so vivid.  I had the question I always have, wondering how people could have survived so well against such odds.  This one wasn’t even about original settlers–roads had been built already and small towns constructed.  Still the farming was so harsh that survival was not guaranteed.

I still like to feel the book in my hand and turn the pages; however, in this case, when getting it NOW was an issue, electronic is a good option.  I liked it enough to place a hold on another electronic book.

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