Midwest Book Review Weighs in on “A Man Too Old …”

The venerable Midwest Book Review published a review of A Man Too Old for a Place Too Far in their online book review magazine “Small Press Bookwatch” in April 2018.

They categorized A Man Too Old under the Fantasy/SciFi heading and had this to say about it:

“Critique: A unique, entertaining, and deftly crafted novel by an author with a genuine gift for imaginative and engaging storytelling, “A Man Too Old for a Place Too Far” is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that “A Man Too Old for a Place Too Far” is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.99).”

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
A Man Too Old for a Place Too Far
Mark W. Sasse
CreateSpace
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781979948289, $13.99, PB, 322pp, http://www.amazon.com
If you haven’t read it yet, you can order your copy HERE!
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“A Man Too Old” Gets Another Great Review!

Michelle James posted her review of A Man Too Old for a Place Too Far, and it’s a great one! Here’s a short excerpt:

Michelle writes, “This story is well fleshed out with notes of magical realism, suspense, and history.  For me, this is a perfect combination.”

Please head over to her fantastic website and check out the full review – and her thoughts on other books! Michelle James’ Review

Remember, A Man Too Old for a Place Too Far is only part one of the brand new Forgotten Child Trilogy.  Book two is scheduled for a June release, so if you haven’t read book one yet, here’s your chance. It’s available on Kindle and in paperback.

Available on Amazon

Free Shipping Worldwide with The Book Depository

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NEW REVIEW of “A MAN TOO OLD…” by THE BOOK CHICK!

Marica from THE BOOK CHICK posted a great review of book 1 of my new trilogy A Man Too Old for a Place Too Far. 

Here’s an excerpt of what she had to say. Please check out the full review at the link below from THE BOOK CHICK.

“I was a little skeptical when I started the book but now I’m happy that I gave it a shot. I’m pleasantly surprised with the book and its story and Sasses unique way of writing. It was refreshing and new …”

“It is an intriguing story and Mr Sasse do (sic) not give the readers much to figure out how it all fits together until the end. The language is easy to read and understand and the book keeps the same flow through and through. All the characters are great and keeps evolving deeper in the story and the whole book just captivates you …”

Check out the full review at THE BOOK CHICK!

AMAZON:  Ebook & Paperback HERE!

The BOOK DEPOSITORY: Paperback with FREE SHIPPING WORLDWIDE

 

 

REVIEW: ANASTASIA on BROADWAY

VENUE: Broadhurst Theater, 42nd Street, Manhattan

Open Run, Tickets starting at $109 (certain shows cheaper)

BOTTOM LINE: The newly opened Anastasia on Broadway is a top-notch, classical style musical. Memorable music, soaring performances, and spectacular effects make this a must-see production. So don’t delay!

The Production: Anastasia makes innovative use of video to create a seamless and often times breath-taking effects. From the beautiful scrim which opened the play, to the majestic pillars which provided the visual structure of the various scenes, to the back LCD panels which created terrific visual effects, the production is tight, and moves the story along at a beautiful pacing.

The Story: I was curious how the plot-lines would incorporate both the Ingrid Bergman movie and the hit 1997 animation film, and I was pleasantly surprised that the plot moved away from the mystical elements of the animated film. No magical Rasputin putting a curse on anyone. The story played up the realistic drama of the Bolshevik Revolution and the aftermath of the new Russia. The villain, played by Max von Essen, was not a crazed lunatic set on revenge against the Romanovs but a loyal guard of the new Soviet order, who simply wanted to see the communist utopia come to fruition – and that meant that any Romanov sighting had to be dealt with brute force. As the young Anya, who has no memory of her past, is set to try to convince the Dowager Empress that she is indeed the lone surviving member of the Romanov monarchy, the loyal Soviet agent makes his way to Paris to put an end to the nonsense once and for all. With this high danger in the background of the story, the focus remains on Dmitry and his sidekick Vlad as they work to convince Anya that she is indeed Anastasia, so the two con men can receive a sizeable reward offered by the Dowager. But as Vlad remarks as Dmitry and Anya are prepping for the con, “they never should have danced” because that leads to the romantic undertones of the story, setting up a conflict between the con man Dmitry who is confronted with the choice of reward money or love.

The Performances: Christy Altomare and Derek Klena give spectacular performances as Anya and Dimitri, but it’s truly the most experienced actors on stage, John Bolton as Vlad and Caroline O’Connor as Countess Lily, who steal the show with comedic and unabashedly joyful performances that brought the house to its feet during curtain call. Mary Beth Peil also plays the Dowager Empress flawlessly. I always enjoyed her sense of command in her role as Jackie on the long-running TV show “The Good Wife,” and she brings the same solemn and solid form to the role of the Dowager. I must also add that another highlight was the short piece from Swan Lake performed as Anya and Dmitry try to get access to the Dowager while attending the theatre. The director rightfully treated the Swan Lake moments seriously, creating a beautiful interlude to the story as the audience was mesmerized by the talented ballet performers.

The only drawback that I noticed was a quick and somewhat forced ending. The theme of love was underplayed as was Dmitry’s conflict of refusing the reward and leaving when he thinks love is over.

Anastasia – a worthy Broadway addition. Go see it!

Movie Review: Dunkirk

I mean, really. Who am I question the artistic decisions of Christopher Nolan?

“Dunkirk” is Nolan’s self-penned, produced, and directed rendition of the English evacuation from Dunkirk in the early parts of World War II. I use the word rendition rather than story on purpose, because Nolan has chosen to strip away the human elements of the story, the typical sentimentality which brings patriotic and nostalgic folks to tears, in order to provide a more sterile and emotionally distant film to show what happened.

The show is, of course, impressive. The cinematography is breathtaking and many intense scenes of peril and struggle as the British and French tried to hold off the Germans’ advance before the small private English boats get upwards of 35,000 soldiers to safety in England.

The script follows the happenings of several individuals: a private boat hired on the English side to go to Dunkirk and retrieve some men, a couple of privates on Dunkirk who take their chances by trying anything they can to get on a ship for the homeland. The fighter pilots who battle the Germans in the air as they try to protect their countrymen on the sea and beach below.

But what Nolan doesn’t do is tell us who they are. We don’t know their stories. We don’t know about their loved ones at home. We don’t what they’ve been through. We are simply given a tableau of action that describes their ordeal of Dunkirk. For this reason, some moviegoers will not enjoy this film. It may seem confusing at times and distant, lacking real human connection.

But this is, obviously, how Christopher Nolan wanted it to be, and he achieved his goal in grand ways. Anyone who watches the movie understands what happened at Dunkirk. What we don’t see is the heart and human stories that we experience in other war movies such as “Hacksaw Ridge.”

My son said that he wished he knew it was going to be like this before he went to see it because it would have helped. I agree. “Dunkirk” is a good historical film produced by one of the film masters of our generation. It’s just not the kind of film which will grip your soul. If you know that ahead of time, I think you’ll appreciate the movie even more.

Shakespeare Demystified: MacBeth

I had the opportunity to see “MacBeth” performed in the accessible and always enjoyable stylings of the KL Shakespeare Players’ Series Shakespeare Demystified. This troupe brings Shakespeare to life for the modern audience by engaging the viewers by interspersing backstory and context into the original language of the Bard. It’s a terrific way to make these plays enjoyable and accessible to a modern audience who may not be too fond of the archaic and enigmatic ways of Shakespeare verse. I’ve seen many of their shows over the years including last year’s The Merchant of Venice, Hamlet, and my favorite The Merry Wives of Windsor. Once again, the troupe did not disappoint. They gave a spirited and engaging performance with minimal props and lighting changes. They did include wonderful live sound effects courtesy a troupe member on the bongo drum adding some wonderful sensory rhythms and effects to the experience.

The show began a little “thick” and slow as we tried to figure out who this MacBeth character was. Was he a hero as they tried to portray him? His heroic nature seemed a little overshadowed in this production, most likely because of time, making him seem less a tragic figure and more a villain, or perhaps a pawn of his evil wife.

But all of this mattered not because of the terrific chemistry between actors and the high energy performances which demanded justice for MacBeth’s treachery. And yes, he received it.

I’m a big fan of seeing Shakespeare live, and the KL Shakespeare Players’ once again provided a gripping and thrilling evening of theatre which I cannot recommend enough. They put a lot of work into this production, so at least you can do is spare a little of your cash for a great night of entertainment.

The run at penangpac finished yesterday, but they head to Kuala Lumpur to be featured at KLPAC so do make your way to support this superb show!

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Review: “La La Land” – Just go enjoy it!

I’ve been itching to see “La La Land” since it came out in Malaysia nine days ago, and it finally happened today.

Verdict? It’s lovely, fun, exuberant, smart, nostalgic, and just plain terrific. Go see it!

It’s a classic love story of two artists, one a jazz pianist and other aspiring actress, who find each other, fall in love, inspire each other to reach for the stars, and end up attaining those dreams, but not in the way the audience might think.

I won’t provide any spoilers, but the chemistry between Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone is electric. The music is an infectious, toe-tapping romp through many musical genres, but especially raw, robust jazz and heart-warming show tunes, which high school drama troupes will be singing for decades to come.

This picture is very much a throwback to the classic old musicals from Hollywood’s heyday. There are so many lovely visuals and magical moments that you’ll swear that Fred Astaire is going to pop out and tap dance on top of a car roof or something.

This movie is a Broadway mega-hit ready to happen. I have no doubt that it will. Once it debuts in New York then London, give it a few years, and it will be standard high school fare. That’s not a criticism, by the way. It’s an acknowledgment of the scripts universal themes, nostalgic feel, and lively music, which will make it a winner for years to come.