Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Best of the Year... According to Me

No, I haven't read every book that came out this year. No, I haven't seen every movie, TV show or listened to every album. However, that will not stop me in announcing the best of the year. So, let's get to it.

Best Book: Money Shot

Man, I absolutely fucking loved this book. I had read a couple of mediocre crime novels that left me rather depressed about the state of the genre before I received Christa Faust's book in the mail; but after I raced through the damn thing, not only did I think the book was incredible, but Faust had single-handedly infused my soul with faith for crime fiction and made me feel foolish for even questioning it.

When I think of the novel, it amazes me how she brilliantly maneuvered across the razor blade thin line between timidity and exploitation in dealing in a setting (the porn industry) that offers a seemingly infinite number of ways to turn the story into something that either sanitizes that business and the people in it or something completely salacious. OK, it may not be for everyone, but they should get over their puritanical inhibitions and just enjoy this masterpiece of modern noir.

The bonus for me this year was actually meeting Faust and telling her how much I loved the book.

Runner-up: Y:the Last Man

The tenth, and last, volume of Brian K. Vaughn's smart, semi-apocalyptic epic came out this summer and it did not disappoint.

Best Movie: The Dark Knight

Three letters sum up my reaction to The Dark Knight: Wow. Not only was this the best comic book movie ever, it was also one of the best crime films of the past twenty-five years. Put this right up there with The Departed. I seriously doubt the film will grab a Best Picture nomination, but it should.

Runner-up: WALL-E
In a year of seeing just about every kid movie released (most of which were pretty decent), WALL-E proved that the genre can produce great cinema that deserves recognition among the more "prestigious" films out there.

TV Show: Pushing Daisies

And thanks to the idiots of network television, that's what this delightful, ingenious show will be doing. If only there were someone in TV Land who had Ned's magic touch. Now there is barely any reason to watch NBC, CBS, ABC or Fox.

Runner-up: Mad Men

Bold, brilliant and moody. What more could you want in a show?

Music: Erykah Badu, New Amerykah Part One (4th World War)

Oh, the sweet voice of she with the impressive hair.

Runner-up: Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend

Go gives a fuck about an oxford comma? I do.


paul d brazill said...

Steve, with you all the way regarding MONEY SHOT. Mega!

pattinase (abbott) said...

Nice list, Steve.

Scott Parker said...

Money Shot. It shot through my head like hot lead. It was my favorite book of the year until I read The Dawn Patrol by Don Winslow. Since that book produced a tear in my eye, that nudged Dawn Patrol ahead of Money Shot by a nose.

The Dark Knight - Brilliant. Nuff said.

Music: Vampire Weekend! Love this band! Best CD by a new band of the year. I discovered Alejandro Escovedo and his "Real Animal" is my favorite New-to-Me discovery.

Barrie said...

I haven't read Money Shot. Thank you for the rec!