Is this set to be the next Netflix series or Hollywood blockbuster film for 2021?

Netflix Originals – What is next?

Will See Glass, by the writer Ido Graf, be the next blockbuster film or Netflix Original for the coming year of 2021?

The movie and television industry has reinvigorated itself over the last few years with great films and diverse series coming out of Hollywood and Netflix Originals. It has been the saving of many of us during the pandemic. The great Hollywood studios such as Universal Pictures, MGM, Paramount Pictures, Walt Disney Pictures, Columbia Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures have been a life saver.

Who among us has not sat glued to the TV unable to pull ourselves away as we wait for a new Hollywood blockbuster release or the next instalment of a Netflix Original series …I have felt as if I am an addict – unable to drag myself from the screen even to pour another glass of wine. I cannot help it – some of these series are just so professionally written and engaging that I feel lost without them.

When I get though every episode of a series, I am often suffering withdrawal. Sometimes it even starts before I finish watching every episode which is available! I look down the diminishing list of episodes that I have left and feel a gut-wrenching sense of loss – what will I possibly do when the series is complete?

I begin to question myself! Could Netflix be playing a joke on their viewers – Surely, I don’t have to wait a month until the next series is released?   Have I misread the list of episodes? Maybe there are more that I didn’t notice? Yes that’s it!

I knew that I should have stopped at the last bottle of wine – my vision is going! It’s all been a horrible hallucination! Yes, it’s true – there is another series and more episodes available! Have I got time to run to the kitchen to grab another bottle of wine and some crisps before it starts – Oh and a saucepan too so I can go to the toilet while I’m sat on the sofa?

I make a dash for it!

But no, it’s not true! There is not another series yet! What a nightmare! So I start watching it again to stave off depression while I wait for the next series to be released.

I know! I think to myself – I will watch the whole series again on the TV from the start with my right eye which will help me to keep a grip. Then I can hold up my phone and scan with my left eye to search for another new series to get hooked on.

Then I realise that with two hands in use I cannot use my saucepan or drink my wine. Fortunately, these problems are less insurmountable than my issues with SLL, ‘Series Love Loss’.

I lean forward without taking either eye from the screens and grasp the lip of the bottle with my teeth. I slowly tilt my head back while keeping my balance and without either eye losing contact with the screens. Then a heartfelt memory of one of the greatest Hollywood films comes to mind – Apollo 13. My lips form a manic grin as I compare myself to those astronauts – they thought they were attempting the impossible with little measure for error! If they could see me now, then they would realise that they had it easy!

I am beginning to sweat now as things are becoming critical! I just must GO PEE! This is an absolute crisis! Unperturbed and unrelenting as the right eye is seeing a clever pot twist and the left eye has found something interesting – I shift my weight on the sofa and use the toes of both feet to grip the saucepan to pull it towards me – a task made more difficult from slippery food residue on the outside from a week ago when I last ate something.

Then things enter a critical stage – I am beginning to break down – the pressure is too great. Something must give!

Then just in the nick of time when the plot twist in my right eye is at its pinnacle – my body gives up. I cannot hold back the floodgates anymore. The sofa is soaking wet, but at least it is warm – I drop the saucepan and life just keeps on giving. I am reminded of Apollo 13 again – they went in their underwear – I am sure I read that somewhere years ago!

I will tell my girlfriend that when she gets home – she will understand! Then suddenly my left eye has found a new series with great reviews – it just gets better and better!

My body relaxes and I feel an uplifting rush like none I have ever felt before! Roll on happiness!

Netflix is based in Los Gatos, California and since it started with that iconic series House of Cards, it has not looked back.

The Editor and Publisher of Southwest Florida online wrote a very full review of the conspiracy novel, See Glass and said in his final comment, ‘I would imagine a screenwriter could polish See Glass off and make a very dandy film thriller.’

Will this clever political conspiracy thriller which is available on Amazon be the next Hollywood or Netflix Original hit of this year.

Time will tell!

Get your wine and saucepans ready!

Photo courtesy of Thibault Penin on www.unsplash.com

An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris

An officer and a spy

An officer and a spy

Many of us will have heard of ‘The Dreyfus Affair’ and will remember it as a distant memory from history classes as a child, but I suspect, like me, your remaining knowledge will be selective and riddled with holes and inconsistencies. Such a shame when you consider this pivotal time in French military and political history before the First World War. It gripped a nation at the time and the world more generally. This novel has modern day parallels in the forms of anti-Semitism and whistle-blowers.

The 2013 novel, An Officer and a Spy is a 2013 is a fictional thriller based on these dramatic events in French history. It is written by the supremely talented and diverse journalist and writer, Robert Harris. The novel recalls the true story of the head of counter-espionage, Colonel Georges Picquart, in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

There had been some disquiet about the conviction of Dreyfus for spying and his subsequent incarceration on Devils Island off the coast of South America. An island made famous in the novel Papillon which was written by convicted criminal, Henri Charrière. Picquart began to investigate the evidence against Dreyfus, who was from a Jewish background, which he found to be very weak and that the government and military had manufactured or altered crucial evidence. Picquart was pressured to forget his findings despite his assertion that the actual spy was still operating.

Anti-Jewish feeling was running high at that time and Dreyfus initially had little public support, but following an open letter published by the highly respected writer, Émile Zola, the tide began to turn. The letter, J’accuse, was published in a French newspaper in January 1898 and was a damming indictment of the whole affair – the rest is history….as they say!

The Harris book is the recipient of the Walter Scott Prize and the American Library in Paris Book Award, both in 2014.

Harris has researched many newly released documents and many of the original sources such as newspaper reports, the court transcripts and Dreyfus’s own written recollections. This is a thoroughly enthralling spy and political intrigue thriller made all the more captivating as it is based closely on fact. Picquart is shown as a principled man who strives to expose the truth despite overwhelming opposition from superiors and his peers. His fate is utterly intertwined with that of Dreyfus and so is his final judgement. An Officer and a Spy is a superb novel which brings great clarity to the subject and is utterly thrilling.

Robert Harris was born in Nottingham in central England in 1957. Following a career in television and as a journalist he came to prominence with his best-selling novel, Fatherland. He has subsequently published a succession of top novels including Enigma, Archangel, Pompeii, Imperium, The Ghost which was made into a very effective and evocative film by Roman Polanski, The Fear Index and Dictator. He is, as you can see, a difficult man to pigeon-hole as his thrillers are quite diverse and expertly crafted.

Viele von uns werden von „The Dreyfus Affair“ gehört haben und es als eine ferne Erinnerung aus dem Geschichtsunterricht als Kind in Erinnerung behalten, aber ich vermute, dass Ihr verbleibendes Wissen wie ich selektiv und mit Löchern und Inkonsistenzen gespickt sein wird. Eine Schande, wenn man sich diese entscheidende Zeit in der französischen Militär- und Politikgeschichte vor dem Ersten Weltkrieg vor Augen führt. Es packte eine Nation zu dieser Zeit und die Welt im Allgemeinen. Dieser Roman weist moderne Parallelen in Form von Antisemitismus und Whistleblowern auf.

Der Roman Ein Offizier und Spion aus dem Jahr 2013 ist ein fiktiver Thriller, der auf diesen dramatischen Ereignissen in der französischen Geschichte basiert. Es wurde von dem äußerst talentierten und vielseitigen Journalisten und Schriftsteller Robert Harris geschrieben. Der Roman erinnert an die wahre Geschichte des Chefs der Spionageabwehr, Colonel Georges Picquart, Ende des 19. und Anfang des 20. Jahrhunderts.

Die Verurteilung von Dreyfus wegen Spionage und seiner anschließenden Inhaftierung auf Devils Island vor der Küste Südamerikas hatte einige Beunruhigung gegeben. Eine Insel, die durch den Roman Papillon des verurteilten Kriminellen Henri Charrière berühmt wurde. Picquart begann, die Beweise gegen Dreyfus zu untersuchen, der einen jüdischen Hintergrund hatte, den er für sehr schwach hielt und dass die Regierung und das Militär wichtige Beweise hergestellt oder verändert hatten. Picquart wurde unter Druck gesetzt, seine Erkenntnisse zu vergessen, obwohl er behauptete, der eigentliche Spion sei noch aktiv.

Die antijüdischen Gefühle waren zu dieser Zeit hoch im Kurs und Dreyfus hatte zunächst wenig öffentliche Unterstützung, aber nach einem offenen Brief des hoch angesehenen Schriftstellers Émile Zola begann sich das Blatt zu wenden. Der Brief, J’accuse, wurde im Januar 1898 in einer französischen Zeitung veröffentlicht und war eine verdammende Anklage gegen die ganze Affäre – der Rest ist Geschichte….wie sie sagen!

Das Harris-Buch wurde 2014 mit dem Walter Scott Prize und dem American Library in Paris Book Award ausgezeichnet.

Harris hat viele neu veröffentlichte Dokumente und viele der Originalquellen wie Zeitungsberichte, Gerichtsprotokolle und Dreyfus’ eigene schriftliche Erinnerungen recherchiert. Dies ist ein durch und durch fesselnder Spionage- und Polit-Intrigenthriller, der umso fesselnder ist, als er eng auf Fakten basiert. Picquart wird als prinzipientreuer Mann dargestellt, der sich trotz des überwältigenden Widerstands von Vorgesetzten und Kollegen bemüht, die Wahrheit aufzudecken. Sein Schicksal ist eng mit dem von Dreyfus verflochten, ebenso wie sein endgültiges Urteil. Ein Offizier und ein Spion ist ein großartiger Roman, der dem Thema große Klarheit verleiht und äußerst spannend ist.

Robert Harris wurde 1957 in Nottingham in Mittelengland geboren. Nach einer Fernsehkarriere und als Journalist wurde er mit seinem Bestseller „Vaterland“ bekannt. Anschließend hat er eine Reihe von Top-Romanen veröffentlicht, darunter Enigma, Archangel, Pompeji, Imperium, The Ghost, der von Roman Polanski zu einem sehr effektiven und eindrucksvollen Film gemacht wurde, The Fear Index und Dictator. Er ist, wie man sieht, schwer einzuordnen, da seine Thriller sehr vielfältig und fachmännisch ausgearbeitet sind.

Photo by HIZIR KAYA on Unsplash

The Salzburg Connection by Helen MacInnes

Fiction spy thriller

A great thriller novel with style

The book begins near to Salzburg, Austria, when a photographer called Richard Bryant dives into the Fintersee Lake, high in the mountains, to retrieve a large chest that had lain there for many years. Unknown to him, he is observed by others. This sets off a deadly chain of events.

Sometime later a lawyer, called William Mathison, to Bryant’s photography shop to ask about a photo book of the Austrian lakes that is said to be commissioned by Bill’s client, the publisher James Newhart. Anna, Bryant’s wife gives Bill correspondence from Eric Yates who previously claimed to be Newhart’s representative. Soon after Bill leaves, Anna’s brother Johann Kronsteiner is told, by family friend Felix Zauner, that Bryant has been killed in an accident. Bill finds that he is being followed. A desperate tale involving Austrian Intelligence, Mossad, Chinese Communists, CIA, Nazis and the KGB ensues. The secrets that lay hidden in the chest since the war were explosive.

This political thriller novel, by Helen MacInnes is one of my favourites. The start of the novel is very evocative and the suspense continues throughout the book. The story was written in 1968 and took inspiration from true life events. It had been suspected for many years that, near the end of the war, elite Nazis had trekked into the Austrian mountains and had hidden gold in the depths of many of the remote lakes. The most famous lake being Lake Toplitz which began to give up some of it’s secrets in the late 1950s as divers searched its depths.

One of the best fiction thriler novels of high intrigue, assassination, spies and Neo Nazis and a very good read – particularly on a European skiing holiday on a dark night.

Photo by Nathalie Stimpfl on Unsplash

If you like this novel then try See Glass by Ido Graf which is a book with similar themes of neo-Nazis and espionage.

Le livre commence près de Salzbourg, en Autriche, lorsqu’un photographe du nom de Richard Bryant plonge dans le lac Fintersee, haut dans les montagnes, pour récupérer un gros coffre qui gisait là depuis de nombreuses années. Inconnu de lui, il est observé par les autres. Cela déclenche une chaîne mortelle d’événements.

Quelque temps plus tard, un avocat, appelé William Mathison, s’est rendu au magasin de photographie de Bryant pour poser des questions sur un livre de photos des lacs autrichiens qui aurait été commandé par le client de Bill, l’éditeur James Newhart. Anna, la femme de Bryant, donne à Bill la correspondance d’Eric Yates qui prétendait auparavant être le représentant de Newhart. Peu de temps après le départ de Bill, le frère d’Anna, Johann Kronsteiner, apprend, par un ami de la famille Felix Zauner, que Bryant a été tué dans un accident. Bill découvre qu’il est suivi. Une histoire désespérée impliquant les services secrets autrichiens, le Mossad, les communistes chinois, la CIA, les nazis et le KGB s’ensuit. Les secrets cachés dans le coffre depuis la guerre étaient explosifs.

Ce roman policier d’Helen MacInnes est l’un de mes préférés. Le début du roman est très évocateur et le suspense perdure tout au long du livre. L’histoire a été écrite en 1968 et s’est inspirée d’événements réels de la vie. On soupçonnait depuis de nombreuses années que, vers la fin de la guerre, des nazis d’élite s’étaient rendus dans les montagnes autrichiennes et avaient caché de l’or dans les profondeurs de nombreux lacs reculés. Le lac le plus célèbre est le lac Toplitz qui a commencé à dévoiler certains de ses secrets à la fin des années 1950 alors que les plongeurs fouillaient ses profondeurs.

L’un des meilleurs romans de fiction de haute intrigue, d’espions et de néo-nazis et une très bonne lecture – en particulier lors de vacances de ski européennes par une nuit noire.

Si vous aimez ce roman, essayez See Glass par Ido Graf qui est un livre avec des thèmes similaires de néo-nazis et d’espionnage.

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