The Jack Reacher books too - arrives in small town in the middle of nowhere, suspects something dodgy is going on, gets into a fight with some of the local heavies and beats the crap out of them, meets attractive female who tells him something dodgy is indeed going on, kills bad guys and moves on.
I believe that was a curse muttered by one of Tolkien's fellow 'Inklings' - often attributed to CS Lewis.
(Edit: A quick search suggests that it was actually Hugo Dyson, who, after falling asleep, woke with a start and emitted the aforementioned comment when he realised he was still listening to Tolkien's recitation.)
Freeman Dyson, Visionary Technologist, Is Dead at 96
Freeman J. Dyson, a mathematical prodigy who left his mark on subatomic physics before turning to messier subjects like Earth’s environmental future and the morality of war, died on Friday at a hospital near Princeton, N.J. He was 96.
His daughter Mia Dyson confirmed the death. His son, George, said Dr. Dyson had fallen three days earlier in the cafeteria of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, “his academic home for more than 60 years,” as the institute put it in a news release.
As a young graduate student at Cornell University in 1949, Dr. Dyson wrote a landmark paper — worthy, some colleagues thought, of a Nobel Prize — that deepened the understanding of how light interacts with matter to produce the palpable world. The theory the paper advanced, called quantum electrodynamics, or QED, ranks among the great achievements of modern science.
But it was as a writer and technological visionary that he gained public renown. He imagined exploring the solar system with spaceships propelled by nuclear explosions and establishing distant colonies nourished by genetically engineered plants. ...
Isaac Arthur has made a tribute video for Freeman Dyson here. Note that Isaac has used my Dyson Sphere image (with permission) as the front image for the video, even though it doesn't actually appear in the clip.
Tom Sharpe's Throwback, the Wilt series and the South African ones were laugh-out-loud hilarious. I remember reading Wilt on a crowded tube train and getting some funny looks when I couldn't contain my guffaws. Was hoping for more of the same with The Midden, The Gropes and Grantchester Grind. They were, as you say , pretty formulaic and dull though.
The city of Munich mourns the loss of Elisabeth Hartnagel, the sister of Hans and Sophie Scholl from the White Rose resistance group. Hartnagel had died last Friday - one day after her 100th birthday.
Munich Mayor Dieter Reiter (SPD) paid tribute to Hartnagel. "With her death the window closes, through which she gave us, as a contemporary witness, a look at the historical events," said Reiter. "The responsibility to keep the memory of the events alive now passes to us who were born later."
Hungarian swimmer Eva Szekely who's died aged 92. She barely escaped the Nazis and went on to win Olympic gold and silver and 44 Hungarian national swimming titles. It's worth reading to the end of the obit for something that's genuinely bone-chilling.
(It's also highly possible that my uncle would have met her or her husband. My uncle competed in water polo for Australia at later Olympics and in Eastern Europe and their paths would have crossed.)
I think most of them had their shall we say foibles. One was incredibly boring, one you would cross the road to avoid as he seemed to have no tolerance for anyone but himself, one had no time for anyone but himself (I think that is the one you mean), and so on!