The Master's Book Tour Schedule
Title: The Master's Book
Author: Philip Coleman
Publisher: MuseItUp Publishing
Release Date: March 15, 2013
Sean moves to Brussels to a house that is a crime scene...
In 1482 Mary, the last Duchess of Burgundy, lies on her deathbed in a castle in Flanders. She is only 25. In her final moments she makes a wish that, 500 years later, will threaten the lives of a boy and a girl living in Brussels.
The Master’s Book is the story of Sean, an Irish teenager, just arrived in Brussels to a house that is also a crime scene. Together with Stephanie, his classmate, he finds an illuminated manuscript, only for it to be stolen almost at once.
Where did this manuscript come from? Who was it originally made for? Is there a connection with the beautiful tomb Sean has seen in Bruges? Above all, why does someone want this book so badly that they are prepared to kill for it?
Part thriller and part paper-chase, this book is aimed at boys and girls of twelve and over.
I love movies and, as with books, if I particularly like a movie I will almost certainly watch it more than once. Consequently it was difficult to come up with a top ten, and it would have been impossible if I had tried to rank them. So, in no particular order, we have:
1. Sophie Scholl, The Final Days
The Nazis executed many of their own citizens for offering passive (or violent) resistance to the regime. However, because of her gender and youth, Sophie Scholl stands out as an icon. This beautifully acted movie, starring German actress Julia Jentsch, depicts the last five days of her life, spent in captivity, before she, her brother and a friend were guillotined for distributing anti-Nazi literature.
2. Pan’s Labyrinth
This wonderful fantasy is set in the same period as Sophie Scholl, against the background of another oppressive regime; that of Franco’s Spain. Ofelia, the stepdaughter of a sadistic army captain, retreats into a fantasy world in an effort to save her sickly mother, who is expecting another child.
3. Double Indemnity
This classic film noir came out in the same era in which the preceding movies are set. It was based on a novel by James M Cain, scripted by Billy Wilder and Raymond Chandler, and directed by Wilder. One critic, whose name I can’t remember, described it as “hardboiled cynicism raised to the level of art”.
4. Blade Runner
Also a film noir of sorts, I regard this as the best sci-fi movie I’ve ever seen. It’s depiction of futuristic Los Angeles is scarily convincing, making it a feast for the eyes. Even knowing the story I am compelled to watch it again and again.
Jeunet and Caro are best known for their romantic comedy, Amélie. However, I prefer this dystopian comedy, which is anything but romantic. It is hard to believe that a movie concerning cannibalism could be so funny.
6. Tampopo (or Dandelion)
Billed as a Japanese western, this is also a movie for foodies. It concerns two men who drive into a town and decide to rescue the business of a widow who is struggling to run a noodle bar, helping her to create the perfect noodle soup.
7. Philadelphia Here I Come
Among Irish movies I would probably pick this one, the American Film Theatre’s adaptation of the play by Donegal Playwright Brian Friel, which concerns a father and son who could not communicate to one another. It stars the late Donal McCann, one of the greatest Irish Actors I’ve had the privilege to see on both stage and screen.
8. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf?
This is basically a prolonged on-screen brawl between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, with George Segal and Sandy Dennis as the guests who get caught in the cross-fire. It is compelling viewing, for the intensity of its acting and the craftsmanship of its dialogue.
9. The Toy Story Trilogy
Among animated movies these would have to be my favourites. Funny, charming, clever and touching, especially the latter two.
10. Planes, Trains and Automobiles
No matter how many times I watch this I still laugh. In my opinion, Steve Martin is much better as the straight foil to the late John Candy, than he ever was in any other movie. This is also Candy’s best work; what a loss.
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About the Author
Philip Coleman has worked as a biologist for most of his life—in Ireland, Belgium and now in Switzerland. Having been an avid reader all his life, he took up writing only in 2006. This is his first published novel. He drew his inspiration for the story from the period he spent working for the EU in Brussels. He has a grown-up son and daughter (who were roughly the same ages as Sean and Maeve during the time in Brussels but otherwise aren’t a bit like them at all!). He now lives in France.
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