The first edition of Complete Idiot's Guide to Bridge by H. Anthony Medley was the fastest selling beginning bridge book, going through more than 10 printings. This updated Second Edition includes some modern advanced bidding systems and conventions, like Two over One, a system used by many modern tournament players, Roman Key Card Blackwood, New Minor Forcing, Reverse Drury, Forcing No Trump, and others. Also included is a detailed Guide to Bids and Responses, along with the most detailed, 12-page Glossary ever published, as well as examples to make learning the game even easier. Click book to order.  

The Reader (9/10)

by Tony Medley

Run Time 122 minutes.

It was in the 1950s that French New Wave director Jean-Luc Godard said, “If ever a film is to be made about Auschwitz, it will have to be from the point of view of the guards.” In 1995, Bernard Schlink published just such a novel and it became an international bestseller, even in Germany.

It is brilliantly told through the eyes of a young boy, Michael Berg (David Kross), and when he is a grown man (Ralph Fiennes). In 1958, he falls seriously ill on a bus but is helped by a woman, Hanna Schmitz (Kate Winslet). She seduces him and they begin an affair, even though she is twice his age (approximately 36 to 18). She likes him to read to her and we get the idea that she is illiterate. Then she suddenly disappears. A few years later he is a law student and attends a trial where he sees that she is a defendant. As he listens to the testimony, he realizes that he knows facts that will acquit her.

David Hare has written a compelling script that, in his words, “works both as a love story and as a harrowing metaphor for Germany’s own infatuation with Nazism.” This is much more than a story of one woman and one man’s relationship with her. It is a film that demands the viewer to think.

Winslet gives another one of her exceptional performances as the illiterate Hanna, but the real delight of the film is Kross, who was 15 when he first starting working on the role. He not only had to learn English for it, he then had to endure many nude lovemaking scenes with Winslet, who seems to make a point of appearing stark naked in all her films, poor guy.

This is a touching look at a complex, emotional issue by director Stephen Daldry, one of the best films of the year.

December 8, 2008