Saturday, March 26, 2016

Episode 5: The Sword of Shannara

We take a break from military history to tackle our second love, fantasy.  What better place to start than one of the first books written using the new theme of "mundane heroism" started by JRR Tolkien. Sure, The Sword of Shannara has its flaws but it does hold a special place in history as one of the earliest books in the fantasy genre to reach 125,000 sales in the first month of its publication.  Therefore it proved that the fantasy genre could sell and be profitable for a publisher, and it also showed that there were a lot of us fantasy fans out there in the real world. Author Terry Brooks had the right books at the right time in history.

 The book is part of a trilogy that includes The Elfstones of Shannara and Wishsong of Shannara.

Perhaps the new series The Shannara Chronicles on MTV may rekindle some interest in these books.
Hey, you gotta like that Hildebrandt Brothers cover painting anyway.  Look at that sword glow.

Audio clips for this episode are provided by FreeSFX at  
The music for this show has been provided by Purple Planet.  
We would like to thank our dramatic readers Rick Hollander, Darryl McDaniel, and Adam, Aaron and Megan Kleinschmidt

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Sunday, March 6, 2016

Episode 4: The Fall of Berlin 1945

We believe the book we are discussing tonight The Fall of Berlin 1945 has been re-issued as Berlin: The Downfall 1945 Or maybe that is the European title of this well researched work of non-fiction.  Either way it will equip you to be able to give an historical rebuttal to your friends who insist that Adolf escaped to South America and lived out the remainder of his days in peace and margaritas. You will need a strong stomach to read this horribly fascinating book by Antony Beevor, that recounts the astonishing terror that accompanied the end of the Third Reich. The following quote from Beevor's webpage sums it up nicely....or should we say tragically? 

"The Red Army had much to avenge when it finally reached the frontiers of the Reich in January 1945. Political instructors rammed home the message of Wehrmacht and SS brutality. The result was the most terrifying example of fire and sword ever known, with mass rape, tanks crushing refugee columns under their tracks, pillage and destruction. Hundreds of thousands of women and children froze to death or were massacred because Nazi Party chiefs, refusing to face the reality of defeat, had forbidden the evacuation of civilians until it was too late. Over seven million fled westwards from the terror of the Red Army."

 After this sad historical study we will present something much lighter for you, our listeners, a book review of The Sword of Shannara and the John Boorman film Excalibur

The music for this show has been provided by Purple Planet.  

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Friday, March 4, 2016

Episode 3: Stalingrad

The topic of today's discussion is Stalingrad the 1993 film told from the German perspective. This movie provides many dramatic battle scenes in a gritty and realistic depiction of the Battle of Stalingrad. Although this is a German film it also provides a sympathetic view to the Soviet side of the battle. We are happy to be joined by our usual guest Mike Lembke and our special guest Renee Schiemann for this review.

This film follows a unit of soldiers from their R&R in Italy to the streets, sewers, and outskirts of the Soviet city of Stalingrad.

We may digress a bit from the central topic and hope that you do not mind hearing some spoilers along the way.  In order to discover what this film is like you will need to give this episode a listen. If you do not prefer WWII material, never fear, we will soon delve into our second love, Fantasy films and novels.
In the meantime, on to Stalingrad!

We hope you are looking forward to the next episode of Spine and Sprocket.

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