Thumper Posted January 16, 2010 Report Share Posted January 16, 2010 Hello All, Since there don’t seem to be a lot of books coming across my desk, no less books that I want to read. So, this past summer I have been all over the map with my reading. I had started a new trend of reading books that are the basis of many of our classic movies. Naturally, I thought of my Ol’ Grayhead because I know he loves movies as much as I do. I began this kick after reading Nina Revyor’s marvelous novel, The Age of Dreaming. The Age of Dreaming is a novel that tells the life story of a Japanese actor who eventually became a Hollywood movie idol during Hollywood’s silent screen era. The book is Revyor’s masterpiece. I had reviewed Revyor’s previous two novels, The Necessary Hunger and Southland. I loved both of the novels. I was going to submit a review of The Age of Dreaming but couldn’t honestly do it because there were no African American characters in it. After reading the novel, I got to thinking, how many of the movies I love are different from the book. It is a standard belief that the books their motion picture counterparts are based on are better than their movies. I am one that holds this belief, so I do my utmost to read the current books that are made into movies before I see the movie. Oddly enough, I have not read the books that the classic movies are spawned. I set out to change that oversight. I started with All The Kings Men by Robert Penn Warren. The movie version featured Broderick Crawford, who won the Best Actor Oscar for his performance as the corrupt governor Willie Stark. The movie was awfully close to the book. I thought, OK, this is going good. So, I moved on to Goodbye, Columbus by Phillip Roth. I got turned on to this book because I had seen a Steve McQueen documentary on the Biography channel and Ali McGraw was discussed, which lead me to thinking about McGraw’s first picture that brought her to prominence; Goodbye, Columbus, costarring Richard Benjamin. I am not a fan of the movie, but I LOVE the book! Now that Phillip Roth is in my sights, do not be surprised if I begin a Phillip Roth kick. One night, I was flipping channels and ended up on the Fox Movie Channel and watched the last half of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. I wondered if before it became a movie, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie was a book. I hopped on the internet, hit Amazon.com and discovered that there was a book which the movie was based, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Sparks. I loved the book, which is better than the movie! Sparks is a remarkable writer, which kinda surprised me. Sparks is a British author. I find many British authors’ writing style stiff and suffocating. Sparks writing is simple, elegant and to the point. Fortunately for me, I bought the Everyman’s Library edition of the book which is hardcover and includes a few more novels by Sparks since Sparks believes in writing short novels. Now, I’m cooking with gas and now James M. Cain and Patricia Highsmith are up. James M. Cain wrote The Postman Rings Twice, Double Indemnity and Mildred Pierce. Patricia Highsmith wrote The Talented Mr. Ripley. She also wrote the Hitchcock classic Strangers on a Train. I’m going to have to get Strangers on a Train. Now, I’m at the beginning of The Postman Rings Twice. Except for John Garfield, the rest of the cast is NOTHING like the characters in the book. I love it. The storyline of The Postman Rings Twice in the movie stayed pretty close to the movie. But Double Indemnity was a total flip. The first quarter of the movie was real close to the book, but then everything flipped. The ending to Double Indemnity in the book pimp-slapped the hell out of me. There has not been that many times where an ending of a book rendered me speechless, and Double Indemnity is the latest addition to the short list. I am not going to tell it because you have to read it for yourself, but I have no doubt that it’ll get you too. Cain is one helluva writer! I haven’t had the chance to get to Patricia Highsmith yet. There are some awfully interesting AA books coming down the pike, so Ripley is going to have to go on the back burner for a minute, probably until the summer when I usually go on my Winter Wonderland reading vacation. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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