Friday, September 26, 2008

Steve Berry-The Romanov Phrophecy


I remembered glancing this book at Gramedia BIP Bandung along with other Steve Berry`s book, "The Amber Room". Unfortunately I`m kind of person who prefers to borrow novel instead of collecting them :P. Lucky for me I found this book in PTSL UKM :D

Russia.. an inspiration for Steve Berry to create his novel “The Romanov Prophecy”. Tsar Nicholas and his long lost direct descendant combined with An American hero involvement and a nasty secret organization surely create some “thrill” :D So whats the story?

After experiencing communism and capitalist democracy, Russian finally opt revert back to tsarist form of government. Sounds weird? Well just like comment from Peter The Great at the opening page of the novel,
Russia - A country in which things that just don`t happen, happen..
Anyway.. so the people set up a committee to choose appropriate candidate with blood ties to previous tsar as their new tsar, similar like a selection in a pop idol contest.. So, In this sort of revolution, a nasty unnamed organization consists of representative from discontent Russian military and bureaucracy, Russian “mafiya” as well as “the new rich class” (yeah, I know what all of you thinking, sort of Roman Abramovich… :O ) tries to influenced the outcome of the selection process in favors of their candidate or I should say, their puppet candidate named Stefan Baklanov.

In this situation, our hero emerge.. an Atlanta lawyer named Miles Lord. Initially, he is ordered to perform a background check to Baklanov to ensure that there is nothing wrong with Baklanov`s claim to the throne and there is no one with stronger claim to the throne other than Baklanov.. unknown to him, his bos (Taylor Hayes) collaborate with the nasty organization. Then puzzle solving begins.. starting from Rasputin’s prophecy about the collapse of Romanov dynasty and its restoration, Felix Yussoupov and Kolya Maks with their Holy Band and finally the search of Tsar Nicholast long lost descendant in America…. The ending? Well you should read it for yourself

What become interest for me is the front cover blurb and author`s foreword page. It mentions Dan Brown name although it is not a “Da Vinci Code” type novel (kind of novel who is thought or maybe aim to reveal a shocking hidden facts about your religion). Until I realize some similarities between this novel and The Da Vinci Code. For both novels, the main protagonists consist of a man and a woman (Lord-Petrova vs Langdon-Neveu). The main protagonists are betrayed by someone they regard as their close allies (Taylor Hayes vs Sir Leigh Teabing). Two secret organizations, the good one and the nasty/thought to be nasty one (holy band-unnamed nasty secret organization vs priory of sion-Opus Dei). The nasty/thought to be nasty secret organization hires assassin(s) to eliminate the protagonist (Droopy,Cromagnon and Inspector Orleg vs Silas). There are puzzles to solve (Yussoupov riddles vs Priory of Sion riddles). Part of the puzzles or riddles are hidden in a bank safe deposit box (Commerce and Merchant Bank vs Bank of Zurich). and finally both conclude in a shocking revelation (long lost direct descendant of Tsar Nicholas II vs secret Jesus descendant). Wew.. what a similarity.. :D

Despite that similarities, there is of course some differences. The one that I notice from beginning is Berry`s decision to eliminate the secrecy of Hayes act of betrayal at the early stage of the novel. Thus there is no element of "whodunnit" in this novel. Moreover, in Romanov prophecy, the nasty secret organization is nasty for real :P but in the Da Vinci Code, it is revealed that Opus Dei is being "used" by Sir Teabing.

thats all for my book review.. looks longer than the previous one :p

Useful links
- Wikipedia-Da Vinci Code
- Steve Berry`s website

NB : it seems that the lost 2 bodies of Tsar Nicholas family has been solved. see here for the detail
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Friday, September 5, 2008

For the love of the game

Now let`s talk about football out of life in Emirates Stadium :D

Tonight is Capello first competitive match with England. And lucky for him, they will against Andorra who ranked by FIFA at 186th. But who knows that the part timers can upset the profesionals just like Andorra did when eight years ago they forced mighty France to win only by last minute penalty :D

part timers? yeah most of Andorra players are part timer. Here are some of them

Koldo Álvarez de Elaute (GK) = school football coach
Joseph Manuel Ayala (MF) = builder, he built the Andorra`s town hall!
Julia Fernandez (DF) = work in tourist business
Oscar Sonejee (MF) = salesman
Antoni Lima (DF) = football administrator
Jordi Escura (DF) = physiotherapist (looks like they don`t need off field physiotherapist)
Marc Pujol (MF) = student

The list was reported at March 2007, I don`t know if one of them change his job or become full time footballer.

It has been a general knowledge that football has become a giant industry. Some of the player can be categorized as millionaire, such as Frank Lampard with his 151,000 Euro per week salary. So.. it`s not a strange phenomena if nowadays some football players are branded as "play only for the money". I wont mention a name but all of you could think one from many examples of football player of this type :D

Back to the Andorra case, before their tonight match against England, I`ve found an article in that really touch me :) particularly at the last sentence when Manolo Jimenez, one of the other Andorra part timers, said

“I’m not a full-time professional, I play for free, for the love of football,"

Manolo Jimenez
Manolo Jimenez (left) in an Euro 2008 Qualification Match against Croatia (September 2007)

Yeah he play for free.. just for love of the game. I imagine that every weekend at Andorra National league which only comprise of 8 team, he plays with FC Andorra with such a joy that cannot be described by money lover footballers :D

- Andorra`s amateur dare to dream
- Andorra National team page at wikipedia
- Andorra`s weapon of Mac`s destruction
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And the new midfielder is........

All of you must know the answer... (as usually another late posting from me :P )

yeah right.. it was neither Barry nor Alonso or Inler, de Guzman, Appiah and Robinho (Have we ever bid him anyway? :lol: )

So at least until January 2009, the available midfielders have to be utilized. Seems like it wont be a problem if Fabregas the maestro is fit all the time :D but what if he injury, let say for a month ? Another Craven Cottage display? hopefully not...

Now.. the question is who will be second to Fabregas in maintaining Arsenal creative display? In my point of view it could be either Denilson or Nasri. How about Ramsey? Since Wenger prefer playing Eboue than him in two initial EPL matches, I think Ramsey will need prove his skill at reserve and Carling Cup matches first ;)

Hopefully everything will run smoothly until next transfer window :D And we could see perhaps Arsenal won`t need a new midfielder at all.. ;)
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