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Allen Adams

Allen Adams

edge staff writer

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While the NBA postseason is rapidly hurtling toward its ultimate crescendo, the league isn’t quite done considering the regular season accomplishments of its players and coaches.

The league has announced the finalists for its six primary regular season awards – MVP, Rookie of the Year, Sixth Man of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Most Improved Player and Coach of the Year – with the ultimate winners set to be announced on June 24.

Considering that the playoffs tend to feature a lot more space between contests than we see during the season, a discussion of these finalists is a welcome way to keep talking basketball even if you aren’t particularly invested in any of the teams still standing.

And so we’re going to do just that, offering up a basic look at a few of the award races and the contenders for each particular crown. Then, just for fun, I’ll pick a winner, though considering the casualness of my NBA fandom, we should be sure to call it what it is – a moderately underinformed prediction.

Wednesday, 22 May 2019 12:32

Winging it with Wingfest Maine

BANGOR – One of the area’s tastiest fundraisers is set to take flight once more.

The United Way of Eastern Maine will be hosting Wingfest Maine at the Cross Insurance Center. Some 20 vendors will be cooking up thousands of wings for your dining pleasure – all for a great cause. The event takes place on May 30 from 5-8 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 the day of the event; kids aged six and under eat free. Tickets and more information can be found at www.wingfestmaine.com.

Creating a cinematic franchise from scratch is HARD. If it wasn’t, studios wouldn’t be falling all over themselves in an effort to find preexisting intellectual properties to convert to the big screen.

And yet, that’s precisely what has happened with the “John Wick” series, which just saw its third installment – “John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum” – hit movie theaters nationwide. With this latest offering, the biggest and brashest of the series thus far, star Keanu Reeves and director Chad Stehelski have ensured that the creep of sequel fatigue will have to wait once again.

This new film embraces everything that made the two previous films such a success; the intricate, intimate fight scenes, the sweeping action set pieces, the meticulously constructed mythology, the kinetic hyperstylized aesthetic – it’s all here. And while it’s all much, MUCH bigger, it all scales up comfortably; the smaller moments aren’t lost. If anything, they’re accentuated even more by their massive surroundings.

In short, “John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum” kicks ass in every way you expect … and a few that you don’t.

Full disclosure: I love dogs. Love love LOVE dogs. I love the teeny tiny puppers and the big thick doggos and all the adorable floofs out there.

Being the font of canine adoration that I am, it’s clear that I fit squarely into the target demographic of “A Dog’s Journey,” the sequel to 2017’s “A Dog’s Purpose.” It’s the story of one good boy’s spirit as he lives multiple lives, all of them focused on doing right by the one he is sworn to watch over – a duty whose subject changes in this sequel.

(It’s worth noting that while there’s no in-movie connection between these two movies and “A Dog’s Way Home” from earlier this year, all three films are based on novels by the writer W. Bruce Cameron, so don’t be shocked by tonal or thematic similarities.)

It’s a chance to follow one dog’s devoted spirit seek endlessly to track down the person that they are meant to protect, no matter what. It isn’t always easy, but a good dog will do whatever it takes. And since they’re ALL good dogs, well … they’re going to make it happen.

Wednesday, 22 May 2019 12:15

Don’t miss ‘The Missing Season’

There are some people who will simply never give young adult fiction its due. These people, for whatever reason (*coughcoughsnobberycough*) will dismiss out of hand any work that happens to bear that label. And that’s too bad, because they are missing out on some phenomenal work, all to satisfy some sort of literary holier-than-thou nonsense.

They’re missing out on the work of Gillian French.

The Maine-based author’s latest book is “The Missing Season” (HarperTeen, $17.99). It’s a well-crafted mystery that also delves into what it’s like to be young. It’s about being the new kid and having crushes and coming of age in the midst of a small town’s slow fade. It’s about what it means to be afraid, whether it’s of the boogeyman in the woods or the secrets of those closest to us.

And it’s very good.

If you haven’t already heard of Gillian French, well … it’s just a matter of time.

The Maine author’s latest offering is “The Missing Season.” It is her fourth YA novel – her previous works are “Grit,” “The Door to January” and “The Lies They Tell” – and one for which she will likely receive levels of acclaim similar to (if not greater than) those achieved by those earlier books.

It’s a wonderful piece of work, one that once again demonstrates French’s taut prose and storytelling acumen.

(Editor’s note: Check out our full review of “The Missing Season” elsewhere on the site.)

Ahead of the release of “The Missing Season,” French was generous enough to take the time to answer a few questions from The Maine Edge. The author shares thoughts regarding the craft of writing, her process and – of course – her new book.

Our love for celebrity couples in this space is well-known at this point. No one digs on a famous romance quite like we do – we’re all about the portmanteaus! Most of the time, these pairings fizzle out after a few months; the truth is that celebs hook up and break up all the time. So when it looks like something’s going to have some legs, we love to celebrate it.

To that end – congratulations to Scarlett Johansson and Colin Jost on their engagement.

Wednesday, 22 May 2019 11:37

Weird National Briefs (05/22/2019)

Valuable vino

LONDON - A British restaurant has given some customers an unexpected treat, accidentally serving them a 4,500-pound ($5,760) bottle of red wine.

The Hawksmoor Manchester said on Twitter it hoped the diners “enjoyed your evening” after getting the 2001 bottle of Chateau le Pin Pomerol instead of the 260-pound ($333) bottle they had ordered of Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande 2001.

A restaurant spokeswoman says “it was a very busy night at the restaurant and a very simple mistake. A member of staff picked up the wrong bottle” of Bordeaux. The restaurant told the employee that “one-off mistakes happen” and added “we love you anyway.”

The report sparked a flurry of amused responses on Twitter, with many people asking for a table served by the same waiter and others praising Hawksmoor for its comments to its employee.

Tasting notes for Chateau le Pin Pomerol on wineinvestment.com note the wine’s deep ruby/plum/purple color and read: “A tremendous effort ... an extraordinary perfume of creme de cassis, cherry liqueur, plums, licorice, caramel and sweet toast.”

TME – At least no one is whining about it.

Wednesday, 22 May 2019 11:36

Criminal Mischief (05/22/2019)

Cocaine bust in Machias

MACHIAS – Three people have been arrested on drug charges in Machias.

Maine Drug Enforcement Agents arrested three people in Machias on the night of May 16 and charged them with selling cocaine. The investigation centered on the acquisition of the drugs from New York City being distributed in Hancock and Washington counties.  

MDEA agents assigned to the Downeast District Task Force, based in Ellsworth, recently purchased drugs from suspects at a multi-unit apartment building on Main Street in Machias. At around 9 p.m. on the night of May 16, MDEA agents, assisted by deputy sheriffs and state troopers, served a search warrant on that apartment and seized approximately 64 grams of cocaine base (crack) and over $13,000 in cash.

Arrested and taken into custody were: 44-year-old David Dowling and 36-year-old Angela Ward, both of Machias, and 30-year-old Jeffrey Sherrills of New York, New York. All three were taken to the Washington County Jail and charged with Class A Aggravated Trafficking in Cocaine Base.

Bail was set for each of them at $250,000 cash.

Speculative fiction tends to shine its brightest when it is given space to grow. World building is a key component to the most successful fantasy or sci-fi offerings – those fully-realized backdrops can grant the reader the immersive experience they often seek from this sort of genre offering.

Alternate history – a personal favorite – benefits no less from such world-building efforts, though a higher degree of delicacy is required, thanks to the real-world foundation upon which the narrative realm is built. If it goes awry, it can rudely yank a reader out of a story. But if it’s done right, well … you’re in for a treat.

And S.M. Stirling does it right.

His new book is “Theater of Spies” (Ace, $16), the sequel to last year’s excellent “Black Chamber” and – one can only hope – just the latest installment in what deserves to be an ongoing series. It’s the continuing tale of an alternate World War I and the espionage agency – also named the Black Chamber – tasked with protecting the United States and her interests both home and abroad during wartime.

Marrying meticulously-researched alternate history with a spy thriller sensibility, “Theater of Spies” is both propulsive and compulsive in its readability. Like the best work within the subgenre, it strikes that oh-so-delicate balance between fact and fiction and creates a world both fascinating and familiar.

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