Lagrandil.com exists as a media review and story resource.
Reviews, Essays, and Novels
I hold a BA in English from Bemidji State University. I have college education in foreign affairs, history, and religion. Lagrandil.com is an ongoing media review blog aimed to provide professional critical reviews of books, movies, and television.
What you will see here:
*Professional criticism; Framing, exposition, characterization, verisimilitude, plotting, they’re all fair game. I incorporate classical, archetypical, and reader-response schools of criticism. I look at a lot of science-fiction, fantasy, urban fantasy, mystery, and thrillers for my fiction. In non-fiction I look at history, theology, apologetics, science, languages, sexuality, relationships, and world events. The current schedule will have at least one review per week.
*Conflict and relational emphasis; Any story worth writing about has characters we care about, doing their best to achieve the goals they care about, and I tend to have something to say about these issues in anything that I review.
*Action; As a lifelong martial artist, and sometime fight choreographer, I have loved action all my life. Adventure novels, action movies, kung-fu epics, westerns, military history, I read and watch it all, so it will form a plurality if not a majority of the reviews here.
*Traditional Christianity; I’m a life-long Christian whose theology is largely 16th-century in nature, with a few nods to Bonhoeffer and others who had to put up with the modern world.
*Essays: Short essays will be interspersed through the critical reviews. Essays will be less frequent than reviews, but I plan to have a fresh essay every month.
*Novels; I’ve written 10 novels in the last 15 years. The most recent novels are for sale as e-books. Novels will be made available as time permits.
*Fun; I got my degree to spend my life doing what I love. I’m going to love it, or I might as well dig ditches for a living.
What you won’t see here:
*I believe that Political Correctness has about as much place in the arts as McCarthyism, which is to say, none. Thought control/speech codes are just as oppressive from all sides of the aisle, and I have little patience for either. I will attempt to treat all topics with respect and that’s as far as I can go.
*Word counts and age recommendations. I’m an author and a critic, not a babysitter or parental filter. I’m not going to count how many times someone says a naughty word, or whether or not sex is present. Neither am I going to say what age someone should or shouldn’t read something. I believe that any attempt to do so is flawed because every human being, of any age, varies widely in experience, tolerance, and temperament. Know your child, and you’ll know. If you don’t know your child, no one can do this for you. I will cry foul on gratuity of any sort, profanity, sexual, political, whatever. Story is key.
*Circled Wagons or quotas. I read and review widely. I also make it a point to read and watch items outside of my own niche. So you won’t find only one side of any issue in reviews. Neither do I read by quota, a form of literary affirmative action. I read what interests me or what has relevance, and sometimes that means reading opposing viewpoints. I don’t promise equal time to any viewpoint when a simple Google search will provide one. I don’t promise to avoid any topic if it’s relevant or well-done (or should have been in case of a bad review) and interests me.