Free books and media – days 18 to 22

Longer than I realised since the last post. I have not done a lot of reading, nor watched much video, but I have realised, once again, that there is more out there than I thought, especially in terms of films.

The most notable books were those I did not read: George Gissing’s New Grub Street had an unremitting quiet desperation in all its characters that was simply too much for me to enjoy. The Rainbow started off well, but, like all of DH Lawrene’s novels, I could not complete it. Lawrence can right powerfully, but he does go on, and on, and on.

At least they were free downloads so I had not wasted any money on them!

JM Barrie’s (as in Peter Pan) The Admirable Crichton was familiar, and I suspect I have read it a long time ago.

William Morris’s A Dream of John Ball and A Kings Lesson are as much political manifestos as stories, but, like Chesterton, Morris manages to make this enjoyable, and his depictions of people and places are beautiful.

I went back to some SF with Philip K Dick’s The Variable Man. This is not out of copyright in most countries, but is in the US. It is fun, makes an outwardly ordinary man its hero, and has an element of critique of a society drifting towards discouraging mental agility.

I discovered a great many interesting films, but only had time to watch The Lionshare, which is a superb film: original, touching, funny and full of energy.

Given that film making is supposed to be expensive, I am amazed at how many free films there are that are at least as good as their big budget Hollywood peers.

One of the reviews of it realised that my rules for this experiment neglect one important point. What about cases where piracy is encouraged by the copyright holders of the creators of a work? This is the case with the very interesting looking Ink. Not only have they said they “embrace the piracy”, but they even have a donate button on their website so that those who enjoyed a pirated copy can contribute financially.

Anyway, even though I have not watched, as the reviews are good, and their attitude is good, here is their trailer: