In _Sarah's Key_ the chapters alternate between the war era and the time sixty years later. We watch as a reporter tries to find out mor...moreAdded 11/8/09.
In _Sarah's Key_ the chapters alternate between the war era and the time sixty years later. We watch as a reporter tries to find out more about what happened during the 1942 round-up of Jewish people in France (known as the "Vel' d’Hiv’ Roundup") (Vélodrome d'Hiver). We also watch the actual round-up as it is happening. The alternating views keep you reading as the suspense builds up.
This is a heartbreaking piece of fiction. It brings home the horror of those Holocaust days and warns that the events of that time must not be hidden away and forgotten.
Below is a quote from a review at Amazon: “This is a remarkable historical novel, a book which brings to light a disturbing and deliberately hidden aspect of French behavior towards Jews during World War II. Like Sophie's Choice, it's a book that impresses itself upon one's heart and soul forever.” –Naomi Ragen, author of The Saturday Wife and The Covenant
I finished reading this book in a very short time (for me). It's so compelling. I think I'll remember it for a long time.
PPS-The movie was well done. I watched it in January 2012 via a Netflix DVD. The young actress, Mélusine Mayance, who played Sarah as a little girl was terrific. Below is a link to her IMDb page: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3274621/(less)
Re: Life of Pi by Yann Martel Date added: 1/5/10. I loved this book. Below are some comments I made while reading.
Life of Pi has me in a state of awe o...moreRe: Life of Pi by Yann Martel Date added: 1/5/10. I loved this book. Below are some comments I made while reading.
Life of Pi has me in a state of awe over the obvious intelligence of author Yann Martel. So far he has me spellbound by his wonderful prose and his deep interest in his subject (e.g., zoo animals, among other subjects) and his ability to instill that interest in the reader.
Right now, Pi is stranded in the middle of the Pacific Ocean on a lifeboat with a tiger! He's trying to figure out a way to stop the tiger from eating him. He tells you all about it. Pi is an intellectual, like the author, Yann Martel.
If you like learning about animals, you will like this book. Not only is it a good suspense story, but it's told in a unique way. You feel as if Pi is telling you the story, one on one. The book has that kind of intimate feel to it. Hard to explain.
About Life of Pi, there are parts of it that seem like science fiction. What a great imagination the author has! The book is full of surprises. A very unusual presentation.
I'm at the end, but will read the beginning again to cement my understanding of the entire storyline. There were some vague parts in the beginning (purposely so, I surmise). As you read, those parts become clearer. I'm very impressed by this book and recommend it highly.
Believe it or not, I'm still finishing up the last few pages of _Life of Pi_. It's still full of surprises!
BELOW ARE SOME SLIGHT SPOILERS BUT THEY DON'T TELL THE ENDING OF THE STORY:
Before I started reading this book, I had heard about the tiger in the lifeboat with a boy. I wondered how that could have happened. In case you want to know... it's not really a spoiler, but perhaps you'd like to find out on your own... (view spoiler)[It happened while zoo animals were being transported across the ocean and the ship sank. (hide spoiler)]
Did you know that the protagonist, "Pi", took on that nickname because his real name was an embarrassment? So he told people his name was "Pi", as in the math pi symbol which stands for 3.14... http://www.gradeamathhelp.com/math-pi... By using the pi symbol to explain his nickname, he insured that folks would remember his name. Clever boy!
I'll try to duplicate the symbol here: π
Wiki says: Pi represents "the ratio of any circle's circumference to its diameter..." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pi (I used to know more about this.) LOL
Of course, "pi" is the 16th letter in the Greek alphabet.
Martel explains all this so much better! LOL He says that the symbol for pi (π) "looks like a shack with a corrugated tin roof" (p.24). How's that for a simile! :)
Edit - 4/20/13 I finally saw the movie adaptation of this book. I think they did a good job with it.
IMO, the movie can be better appreciated if the book is read first.
I agree with the following comments by several Netflix members: ==================================== "A powerhouse blurring the line between natural wonder and hallucinatory beauty. Surprisingly philosophical ..., the movie tackles topics of God and faith with elegance and heart, with symbolism and subtlety begging for repeated viewings.A visual phantasmagoria with inspiring spirit at its center." [bolding of the text is mine]
"The movie was visually amazing... "
"... the animals are not real, but are computer generated images used in a powerful way to drive forward the drama and action." ====================================
I didn't see it as a story about religion or faith especially. Instead it goes beyond that and gives a wider philosophical scope. The character, Pi, is immersed in all religions due to his background. He accepts all the different gods including Jesus because he has a broad view of life. So no one religion is embraced; instead he seems to make use of all religious ideas and adapts them to his own world view. In the movie he says: "Faith is a house of many rooms". I get the sense that we all choose our own illusions. And yet, Pi says that his story will make the listener believe in God. I didn't find that to be true.
At the end of the movie it is suggested that the viewers choose whichever version of Pi's story they prefer. He presents a couple of versions, one being the symbolic approach. Pi says: "And so it goes with God." Food for thought!!!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Bonham's character hides a soldier in her "chambers" and the story goes on from there. It's a bit wordy and melodramatic but I suppose that was the style back in the 1890's.
To me it seemed very silly. But I stuck with it because it's considered a classic and I had always heard the name but never knew what it was about.
I usually love romantic comedies but this one seemed corny to me. Perhaps it was the acting. The casting could have been better, IMO.
6/17/13: I've been thinking about why we might nowadays consider the theme of Arms and the Man silly. We no longer have the strong class distinctions which were prevalent in the late 1800's when the play was written. The play was actually making fun of those silly class distinctions. Shaw was way ahead of his time in seeing how silly they were. So he wrote a play which pointed out the culture's senseless restrictions, especially when love wasn't considered a necessary requirement for marriage.
The book description at shelfari.com says: "Like his other works, Arms and the Man questions conventional values and uses war and love as his satirical targets." http://www.shelfari.com/books/223381/...
Added 4/8/09 - Read in July 2009 This book was slow torture right to the very end. I wish I had never read it. For my comments please see my topic at: ====>...moreAdded 4/8/09 - Read in July 2009 This book was slow torture right to the very end. I wish I had never read it. For my comments please see my topic at: ====> http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1...
Edit-5/29/11: Description from IMDb: "Anna Fitzgerald looks to earn medical emancipation from her parents who until now have relied on their youngest child to help their leukemia-stricken daughter Kate remain alive."
PS-I did see the movie via Netflix in July 2011. I gave it 4 stars out of 5. I guess I had I learned to deal with the heaviness of the theme.(less)
2/18/11 - I've finished reading this book. I have to say that I enjoyed the film more. The plotline with the Coalhouse W...moreRe: _Ragtime_ by E.L. Doctorow
2/18/11 - I've finished reading this book. I have to say that I enjoyed the film more. The plotline with the Coalhouse Walker, Jr. character was diluted in the book because the book (as opposed to the film) included more characters and subplots. Much of the text was taken up with the blending of the fictitious characters with the true-life historical personages and historic events. Although it was interesting the way Doctorow wove the fiction and non-fiction together, I could have done without all those details which became tedious or dry in spots. One GR review said: "...there were quite a few extended tangents ... that could have been stricken without the book suffering from it." I agree.
I also feel that there could have been more paragraph breaks. The long paragraphs seem to run things together too much. I don't appreciate that aspect of Doctorow's writing style.
I'm glad I had watched the film first because the scenes in the book about the Coalhouse Walker, Jr. plot were much more vivid to me.
I'm not sure I want to read any more of Doctorow's books because I find his writing a bit tedious in certain parts. However, when he pulls you in, he REALLY pulls you in!
I've read descriptions of a few of Doctorow's other books and, sorry to say, the subject matter didn't appeal to me.
Below is a link to an interesting review by a GR member: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/... (Excerpt from above link: "The most powerful portion of the novel is devoted to Doctorow's fictitious character, Coalhouse Walker ... This is an amazing story and I wish Doctorow had centered his whole novel on this amazing tale.")
According to librarything.com, this book received the following awards and honors: National Book Critics Circle Award (Fiction, 1975) Time's All-Time 100 Novels selection The Modern Library's 100 Best Novels: The Board's List (86) New York Times Best Books of the Year (1975) New York Times bestseller (Fiction, 1975) Nebula Nominee (Novel, 1975) 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2006/2008/2010 Edition) Academy Award for Writing Adapted Screenplay Nominee (1981) The Modern Library: The 200 best novels in English since 1950 (1970s)
2/15/11 - I watched the film last year. Now I'm reading the book (large print version).
Critic Roger Ebert wrote: ===================================================== "He (the director) decided to set aside the book's kaleidoscopic jumble of people, places, and things, and concentrate on just one of the several narrative threads. Instead of telling dozens of stories, his film is mostly concerned with the story of Coalhouse Walker, Jr., a black piano player who insists that justice be done after he is insulted by some yahoo volunteer firemen." FROM: http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/p... ====================================================
I found this movie (set America in the early 1900s) totally absorbing. It has a great cast. I especially enjoyed Howard E. Rollins, Jr., who played the black pianist. (Too bad Rollins died comparatively young, at the age of 46.)
RE: _The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo_ (Millennium, #1) (2008) by Stieg Larsson Added 3/12/11
4/18/11 (my final estimation): IMO, the plot about the missi...moreRE: _The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo_ (Millennium, #1) (2008) by Stieg Larsson Added 3/12/11
4/18/11 (my final estimation): IMO, the plot about the missing girl was the best part of the book. It was an absorbing mystery. I liked the way it ended.
If they had left out the entire subplot about the Wennerstrom financial fraud, it could have been a very satisfying story. The Wennerstrom subplot made the book dull and boring. It ruined the beginning and the ending of the book which was overly drawn out. The investigations never seemed to end. They were unnecessarily complicated. I grew tired of the tedious financial talk and the dull computer tech talk. Also, there were too many character-names, some thrown in who didn't matter much at all.
Furthermore, IMO, Lisbeth Salander is not a believable character. She's about as believable as Wonder Woman was in the old comic books. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ September 2010: I streamed the movie from Netflix in September 2010. I gave it 3 stars. I liked the ending. MOVIE: http://movies.netflix.com/WiMovie/The...
4/7/11 I am currently listening to an audio version of this book and at the same time I'm following along in the book. I find that it helps me to digest the details. (BTW, Simon Vance is a terrific reader! He dramatizes each part so well, often in a different tone of voice and/or accent. He enhances the entire experience!) [Edit: After a while I stopped listening to the audio and continued reading without the audio. It was faster without the audio.]
The first two chapters are very dry, dealing with financial fraud details. Hard to get through. (I've read through them twice now.) Things are picking up now, but the only reason I'm staying with it is because I want to find out why the book is so very popular. It does create suspense but so far I don't feel a strong attachment to any of the characters. This type of writing has never been my favorite thing. Too many unnecessary details, too many names.
BTW, even though I know the ending, there is still an element of suspense. So knowing the ending hasn't hurt the reading for me. In fact, in some ways, it enhances it because I can see where the characters' suspicions are mistaken and also because... (view spoiler)[ and also because I know the ending is a happy one and the book isn't as dark as it might have been for me. (hide spoiler)].
4/12/11 I'm coming to the end of the book. IMO, it was unnecessarily complicated. It also has too many characters to keep track of. After a while I got tired of all the investigations and technical talk. The story seems to go on and on as if it will never end. It became very tedious. Just like _The Da Vinci Code_, the twists and turns get tiresome after a while. Certain parts were compelling but the other parts left me wondering why so many people are raving about it.
As for all the different names, some of them were too similar to other names used (e.g., Malm, Malin, and Dahlman). Also, the author used the first name of a character sometimes and other times he used the last name. That made it difficult to keep track of the characters. These devices sometimes seemed to be a deliberate attempt to make the reading difficult.
The book didn't seem worth the time I put into it. Perhaps it's just not my kind of book.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
See my comments about the book below these comments about the movie.
"We Were the Mulvaneys" (2002) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0313769/ http://dvd.netflix.com/Movie/We-Were-... NETFLIX DESCRIPTION: "In 1976, in the small town of St. Ephraim, N.Y., the Mulvaney clan lived what most people would consider the American Dream. But mum's the word when one year, a tragic incident occurs that the family -- and townspeople -- vow never to mention again. Beau Bridges and Blythe Danner star in this sensitive drama based on the novel of the same name by Joyce Carol Oates."
Once I got into it, I was riveted. Tammy Blanchard played the young girl, Marianne Mulvaney. She gave a sterling performance. Brought tears to my eyes which doesn't happen often during a movie.
Not all the member reviews at IMDb or Netflix were favorable but the story was engrossing and I was glued to the screen. Dark stories aren't my usual fare but I was curious about this one because the book was by Oates and I probably will never read it. Now at least I have an idea of what it was about.
One of the IMDb member reviews says: "The story is about a family that functions at a high level - as long as there are no bumps in the road. When the family is tested, not every family member has the inner strength or character to keep the family together." I thought the rest of review was good too. It's at: http://www.imdb.com/user/ur1840086/co...
Another IMDb member review had an interesting comment as well: (This may be a bit of a *spoiler* but not much.) ------------------------------ "It might be difficult for the younger generations to understand the progression of this movie's plot. We know now that women have rights, too, that they are sometimes violated against their will, and that hidden secrets have a way of coming out against our will."
"But people just a few decades ago did not know that. Just three decades ago, a women was presumed to have invited a man to have sex with her if she cried rape. Sexual abuses were hushed, pregnant girls sent away in group homes."
"I suspect that women from past eras will find this film provoking, and the younger ones will do well to see how much progress has been achieved since. We still have a long way to go, of course." FROM: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0313769/r... ------------------------------
BTW, IMDb did not have any "External Reviews" on this movie. That might mean that it wasn't too well received by the critics or it might mean something else. I dunno.
Addendum: Group member, Margaret wrote: ================================== "Joy, it sounds from the experience you're describing with TGD [The Gravedigger's Daughter], as if We Were the Mulvaneys is another of JCO's [Joyce Carol Oates] novels you'd find very satisfying." "It's also driven primarily by character and narrative, and isn't so much weighted down by the author's enormous brain! I do sometimes think that her reputation can be more intimidating than many of her books really are - she has a magnificent imagination, and she's a tremendous stylist, and I always feel that very confident, literate writers are 'easy' to read even when they're tackling pretty esoteric material." ==================================
6/9/13 - ADDENDUM: I've begun reading the book, We Were the Mulvaneys. I love all the author's descriptive details as well as the slant she takes on all her characters, really fleshing them out. I'll be a while reading this one!
7/2/13 - ADDENDUM: I have finished reading this compelling story. It held my interest all the way. The San Francisco Chronicle wrote: "Rarely has such an acclaimed writer made such a startling and inspiring statement about the value of hope and compassion."
The only reservation I have is that the premise seems to be weak. (view spoiler)[ It's hard to believe that a father would disown his daughter (and never want to see her again) because she was raped. (hide spoiler)] The whole story is based on that premise. The plot that unrolls afterwards is riveting but you have to accept that one weak premise.
The GR review of Goodreads member, Sherry, deals with the weakness of the premise. See her review at: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/... Note the "Spoiler Alert".["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Added 6/23/13. I didn't read the play but I watched a 2004 film adaptation entitled A Good Woman.
WIKI SAYS: "A 2004 film adaptation, entitled A Good Wo...moreAdded 6/23/13. I didn't read the play but I watched a 2004 film adaptation entitled A Good Woman.
WIKI SAYS: "A 2004 film adaptation, entitled A Good Woman, switched the setting to the Amalfi coast of Italy, made the Windermeres Mr. & Mrs., and updated the time frame to 1930. The film stars Helen Hunt, Mark Umbers, Scarlett Johansson, Stephen Campbell Moore, and Tom Wilkinson." FROM: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lady_Win...
More from the link above: ==================================== "The story concerns Lady Windermere, who discovers that her husband may be having an affair with another woman. She confronts her husband but he instead invites the other woman, Mrs Erlynne, to his wife's birthday ball. (view spoiler)[ Angered by her husband's unfaithfulness, Lady Windermere leaves her husband for another lover. After discovering what has transpired, Mrs Erlynne follows Lady Windermere and attempts to persuade her to return to her husband and in the course of this, Mrs Erlynne is discovered in a compromising position. It is then revealed Mrs Erlynne is Lady Windermere’s mother, who abandoned her family twenty years before the time the play is set. Mrs Erlynne sacrifices herself and her reputation in order to save her daughter's marriage. (hide spoiler)] The best-known line of the play sums up the central theme: "We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." -Lord Darlington =====================================
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0379306/?... "While retaining her secret identity, the illustrious Mrs. Erlynne (Hunt) saves Lady Windemere (Johansson) from making a grand social faux-pas with the scoundrelly Lord Darlington (Moore)."
http://movies.netflix.com/WiMovie/700... "While seductress Mrs. Erlynne (Helen Hunt) takes up with rich aristocrat Robert Windermere, his young, fragile bride, Meg (Scarlett Johansson), is pursued by the caddish Lord Darlington, setting all tongues wagging."
I gave the film 3 Netflix stars out of 5. I enjoyed the story but at times the film didn't seem to make clear what was happening and it was slow-paced.
One of the Netflix member-reviews said: ======================================= "It would have earned 5 stars, but the lead actresses are overrated and have a limited emotional range. As you might tell, I am not an admirer of Helen Hunt who always does a pleasant job but always plays her roles the same predictable way with the same monotonous vocal intonations. I don't like being mean but of the two of them, Hunt is far superior to Johannson who gets by with a vapid look on her face in all of her roles." ======================================= I have to agree. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Added 1/2/11. While reviewing my GR shelves, I realized that I had read this book quite a while ago, but failed to include in my GR list of books read....moreAdded 1/2/11. While reviewing my GR shelves, I realized that I had read this book quite a while ago, but failed to include in my GR list of books read. I remember enjoying the book. I also remember that, as usual, the movie didn't come up to the book, for me.
January 29, 2012: As to the meaning of the book title "Bonfire of the Vanities", GR member, Margaret [ http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/13... ] sent me a message which said the following about the title: =================================================== "... it comes from the fanatical religious practice, especially in Renaissance Italy, of creating huge public bonfires out of things that were thought to lead Man into Sin - a pretty broad definition that included everything from hand mirrors to books to paintings.
"The biggest and most famous one was staged by the wild-eyed monk Savonarola in 15th century Florence.
"I think Wolfe is drawing a parallel with the shallow, materialistic, pleasure-seeking zeitgeist of wealthy New Yorkers in the 1980s, and putting them in a situation where all that metaphorically goes up in flames.
SUMMARY: (view spoiler)[The entire story was an apology for spoiling the lives with a lie. The lovers died during WW2 & the rest of the story was what might have been. (hide spoiler)] [from a post at a newsgroup June 2008:]
Each had its good points. IMO, the movie did a better job of explaining the ending, which in the book was very hazy.
Otherwise, I liked the book a bit better. Actually, it's a toss-up between the two because certain things were clearer in one than in the other.
It was great fun comparing the movie to the book!
Quote from a review: "The ending packs an emotional punch." -Film Review by James Berardinelli
Below are some raw notes about _Atonement_" which I copied and pasted from various sources: ============================ -"good story, but too full of spiritual / metaphysical / psycho babble" - Joy H.
-"an ending that blindsides us with its implications." -Roger Ebert review
-"the tome’s metaphysical depth" -Variety movie review by By DEREK ELLEY
-"the book’s perpetual shuffling with time" [ibid][bold type mine]
-the ending (wherein lies the book's full, brutal power) "The ending packs an emotional punch" -Film Review by James Berardinelli
-"The story is told ... from several points of view. -customer review of book at amazon.com
-"It was difficult for me to get into and while some moments seemed to drag on for 50 pages, others seemed to pass in a paragraph. I found myself skipping over pages and saying to myself "Ok, I get it already, move on". -another customer review at amazon.com [By T. Wolff - title of review: You'll Love It or You'll Hate it", June 3, 2008]
-"the writing is over-detailed to the point that it makes a reader struggle to remember what is actually happening in the story. It is with great regret that I am forced to add another book to my "Unbearable" list, and hope that no more innocents are trapped into reading Atonement." "unable to finish" [customer review, amaz.com, By Nicole Loew "Bibliophile"-title of review: "Abandon all Hope ye who Enter Here" 6/1/08]
-"it takes about 75 pages until it starts to get readable." [customer review at amazon.com:]
-"I just could not get in to this book at all." [customer review, amaz.com:]
-"Absolutely hated this book. I didn't read it all the way through, but I figure 260 pages of literary torture was enough. How this book has been so well received and turned out a movie is beyond my comprehension. This book was entirely inaccessible and boring. I hated the long winded laments on architecture and gardens and I hated and didn't identify with any of the characters. This has been the worst book I've read in a decade at least." [title of review "Literary Torture, May 8, 2008 By Katherine A. Kennedy:]
-"My final note would be that the film did a much better job at revealing its final twist than the book - it was acted in such an outstanding way that you felt the weight of the final revelation that much more..." [customer review, amaz.com:]
-"I wasn't keen on the paragraph-long sentences and the overwrought descriptions of just about everything..." [cust review-amaz:]
-The most inane denouement I've ever read. I actually felt cheated and this is a feeling I don't often get with my reading. And this is the twist/ending that practically everyone was saying was brilliant?! I actually re-read the last section just to make sure I didn't miss anything; perhaps some nuance that slipped by me, etc. Nope. Read everything, understood everything, and still felt cheated. Deflated doesn't even come close to describing what I felt. [customer review-amazon.com:] ================================ See the above comments at: http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/2...["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
RE: _Snow Falling on Cedars_ (1994) by David Guterson The story centers around a court case in which a Japanese man is charged with the murder of a man...moreRE: _Snow Falling on Cedars_ (1994) by David Guterson The story centers around a court case in which a Japanese man is charged with the murder of a man who was found drowned off the side of his fishing boat. The story takes place in the state of Washington, USA.
3/14/11 - I streamed the film (made in 1999) based on this book and didn't remember a thing about the book because I had read it so long ago. The story was a good one but I didn't care for the way it was presented. In some scenes I had no idea what was happening, especially when the camera panned in too close and you couldn't see the whole picture. There were a lot of quick scene changes with things jumping round too quickly. I found it confusing. However, the critics gave it favorable reviews. See excerpts from their reviews below (underlining is mine): ============================================ Excerpts from Roger Ebert's review: "The story unfolds in flashbacks, overlapping dialogue, half-understood events, flashes of memory, all seen in a variety of visual styles. ... [The director] sees his stories as a whole, circling to their centers instead of starting at the beginning and trekking through." FROM: http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/p...
Excerpts from James Berardinelli's review: "... the director employs a non-linear, multi-layered structure that is characterized by flashbacks and flashbacks-within-flashbacks ... Hicks also goes overboard in the sound mixing department*, often utilizing a sort of echo-effect where lines of dialogue overlap as they are repeated several times in a row. ... Visually, the film is nothing short of stunning. The outdoor snowscape scenes are examples of cold, breathtaking beauty. ... [The director's] use of fog towards the beginning is impressive in the way it generates a sense of ominous uncertainty." FROM: http://www.reelviews.net/movies/s/sno... ============================================
*Another thing I didn't like about the movie was the overly haunting chorus singing in the background in several places. I found it annoying. As Berardinelli says, it went "overboard" (no pun intended). :)
The acting was excellent. I enjoyed the characters and actors.
When I read the book, I found it fairly compelling.
8/24/11 - Today I watched the Netflix DVD of "Never Let Me Go" (2010). The movie was adapted from the book.
It's a dark story about (view spoiler)[children being raised to be donors of body parts (hide spoiler)]. I can't remember how closely the movie followed the book. I didn't find the movie as compelling as I remember the book. I watched it more because I was curious, not because I thought it was a good story. The love between the boy and the girl was touching toward the end of the movie, but on the whole, the story was a downer, IMO.
Perhaps the book was more compelling than the movie because in the book the reader learns the truth about the students' fates very gradually. When I watched the movie, I already knew what their fate would be.
I tend to think there were differences from the book in the way the movie handled the story, but I can't be sure. For example, the movie mentions a song called "Never Let Me Go". I don't remember anything about a song in the book.
The only valuable thought I came away with was the final comment of one of the characters in the movie: "Maybe none of us really ... feel we've had enough time."
Of course, the whole idea of (view spoiler)[ raising children to be donors is a horrible one (hide spoiler)] but it's not inconceivable when one contemplates the horrors human beings have been known to be capable of.
PS - Below are my comments about the cast in the movie:
IMO, actress Carey Mulligan ( http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1659547/ ), didn't show enough variety of emotion as she played the role of Kathy. Her facial expression remained the same for so much of the movie. For some reason, it annoyed me.
In other words, only Charlotte Rampling's characterization really struck home with me. I was more or less indifferent to the other characters. They were OK, but I wish they had made a stronger impact in their roles. Perhaps what was missing was a certain chemistry between the performers.
Exactly what creates chemistry between certain people seems to be a mystery. It was there between Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart in "Casablanca". We only know it when we see it. I didn't see it in the film version of "Never Let Me Go".["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I enjoyed reading _Nobody's Fool_. As I was reading it, I couldn't help but picture Jack Nicholson playing the part of Sully. In fact, to me, the rasc...moreI enjoyed reading _Nobody's Fool_. As I was reading it, I couldn't help but picture Jack Nicholson playing the part of Sully. In fact, to me, the rascally Sully *was* Jack Nicholson. This idea popped into my mind, spontaneously and unbidden. In fact, I expected everyone who read the book to have the same idea. A short survey proved me wrong. That puzzled me because I was convinced that the choice of Nicholson would be obvious to everyone. So I was a bit disappointed when Paul Newman was chosen to play Sully in the movie. Even though I love Paul Newman, it seemed to me that he portrayed Sully in a quiet, low-key manner. I had pictured Sully as more of a lively and lovable rascal. To this day, I wish that I could see how Jack Nicholson would play Sully. I'm still looking for someone to agree with me.
BTW, this was the first and only time, while reading a book, that I imagined a specific actor in the part of the protagonist.(less)
This is a wonderful suspense story. This particular film version is very lush in scenery and dress. Beautiful Kristin Scott Thomas draws you in and you can't stop watching. Forget reading the summaries. Just start watching and let the story unfold. That's the best way to watch it. It starts out in a benign manner and then slowly draws you in.
Wiki says: "In the film, subplots were added to expand the material to feature film length, which reviewers and cinemagoers criticised." I saw no problem with any subplots. In fact, I didn't even notice them as such.
An online description of the book says: "Erotic, haunting, and maddeningly suspenseful, Up at the Villa is a masterful tale of temptation and the capricious nature of fate." I agree! Those words are at: https://play.google.com/store/books/d... You can read a sample via the link above.(less)
http://dvd.netflix.com/Movie/Winter-s... "Mark Helprin's novel provides the basis for this film starring Colin Farrell as a thief who breaks into an ill girl's home and then falls for her. As the action shifts between past and present, the burglar also acquires a flying-horse guardian angel."
Cast: Colin Farrell, Russell Crowe, Will Smith, Jennifer Connelly, Matt Bomer, William Hurt, Jessica Brown Findlay, Eva Marie Saint, Lucy Griffiths
Footnote: This novel is not related to the play, "The Winter's Tale" by William Shakespeare.(less)
Added 1/14/12. I tried reading Atlas Shrugged but couldn't get into it. There didn't seem to be enough of a hook to draw me in.
There's a movie adaptati...moreAdded 1/14/12. I tried reading Atlas Shrugged but couldn't get into it. There didn't seem to be enough of a hook to draw me in.
There's a movie adaptation. "Atlas Shrugged: Part I" (2011) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0480239/ "A powerful railroad executive, Dagny Taggart, struggles to keep her business alive while society is crumbling around her. Based on the 1957 novel by Ayn Rand."
http://movies.netflix.com/WiMovie/Atl... "Ayn Rand's controversial bestseller is the basis for this potent drama about Dagny Taggart, a fiercely independent railroad tycoon determined to use innovative technology and enterprising partners to revive her business, no matter the personal cost."
EDIT - 2/11/12: I watched the movie via a Netflix DVD. Below are the various comments which I made at my GR group: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Not sure it's my kind of movie. There are too many undeveloped characters and I couldn't remember who was who. The plot is more about intrigue and business shenanigans rather than relationships. I prefer more of the latter.
No famous stars in it either. Most of the performers have no charisma, IMO. Hank Reardon is the more likable character, I think, and the fellow who plays him at least has some charisma. The leading female leaves me cold as a performer.
I didn't enjoy this movie. My main criticism, besides those above, is that the movie didn't make clear the point of the story. The point is expressed clearly in the Wiki quote below: ============================================== "In the novel's ideology, the industrialists of America were a metaphorical Atlas of Greek mythology, holding up the Earth, whom Galt persuades to "shrug", by refusing to lend their productive genius to the regime any longer." FROM: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Galt ===============================================
Wiki sums up the plot as follows: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx "The book explores a dystopian United States where many of society's most productive citizens refuse to be exploited by increasing taxation and government regulations and disappear. They are led by John Galt. Galt describes the strike as "stopping the motor of the world" by withdrawing the minds that drive society's growth and productivity. In their efforts, these people "of the mind" hope to demonstrate that a world in which the individual is not free to create is doomed, that civilization cannot exist where every person is a slave to society and government, and that the destruction of the profit motive leads to the collapse of society. The protagonist, Dagny Taggart, sees society collapse around her as the government increasingly asserts control over all industry." FROM: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlas_Sh... xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
It is only after I read the above at Wiki, that the point of the movie became clear. The movie was too vague and cryptic, IMO.
Another aspect of the movie which confused me was the way people kept "disappearing". While watching the movie, I didn't catch on to what was happening to them. (view spoiler)[ I thought perhaps they were being murdered. After reading the Wiki explanations (see above), I then understood the reason for the disappearances. The productive citizens were withdrawing from society as a way of going on strike against government controls. This caused the downfall of the economy. (hide spoiler)] The movie never made that clear, as far as I could tell. Don't know if the book did.
As I've said before, I tried reading Rand's book, Atlas Shrugged, but didn't find it interesting enough to finish.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Added 4/11/12. Below is from a post I wrote in my GR group 4/11/12:
Just by chance I've stumbled on a good thing. Someone somewhere mentioned Malgudi Da...moreAdded 4/11/12. Below is from a post I wrote in my GR group 4/11/12:
Just by chance I've stumbled on a good thing. Someone somewhere mentioned Malgudi Days (first published 1942) by R.K. Narayan. It's a book of engaging short stories set in India, "revealing the essence of India", as the GR description says.
I didn't think I'd be interested in reading it at first. So I did the next best thing... ordered the movie adaptation from Netflix. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0244911/ http://movies.netflix.com/Search?v1=M... =================================================== "Based on R.K. Narayan's literary works, this vivid 13-episode series captures daily life in the fictional southern Indian town of Malgudi. Originally broadcast on India's National Channel, director Shankar Nag's warm and engaging series shares universal themes -- ranging from love and hate to religion and daydreams -- played out by a cast representing the spectrum of society: beggars, servants, masters, rich and poor." (from the Netflix description) ===================================================
Well, as I got into it, I decided to get the book from the library. Now, when I see that the DVD has an episode which is also in the book as a short story, I read the story first and then watch the episode. It's really interesting to see how the story is treated on film, right after you read it in the book. It certainly helps in the appreciation of the story and the characters.
As the description above says, the stories are "warm and engaging". The haunting Indian music in the background (played on a flute-sounding intrument) sets the atmosphere so well. The characters are so well drawn, both in the book and the movie. They're simple characters with universal emotions. Highly recommended for something a little bit different from what we're used to. It's indeed an escape to another world, so different from ours.(less)
I read somewhere a while back that Proulx's writing style is considered to be...more_The Shipping News_ by Annie Proulx
I enjoyed reading this touching book.
I read somewhere a while back that Proulx's writing style is considered to be spare. I didn't think about that while I was reading but I now I realize that it's true. Now I'm wondering how many other writers have a "spare" writing style like that. I'm also wondering where I heard that comment about her style. EDITED: PS-I found the following about Proulx's style at LibraryThing's member reviews: "Clipped. Spare. But descriptive writing." "The style, vivid but spare. Freely uses sentence fragments, both to represent interior monologue and to enlist the reader's complicity in supplying the missing parts." FROM: http://www.librarything.com/work/3049...
Added 2/6/13. I am about to watch the film adaptation of this book. One of the reviewers at Netflix called it: "tedious, incomprehensible prattle". I hop...moreAdded 2/6/13. I am about to watch the film adaptation of this book. One of the reviewers at Netflix called it: "tedious, incomprehensible prattle". I hope not!
Edit 2/8/13: I watched the movie. I, too, found much of the movie "incomprehensible". There's a lot of religious talk about faith and God, etc., which often seemed too ambiguous to follow.
The priest is always gloomy. He's sick and his parish doesn't accept him. He tries to help people but seems ineffectual.
PLOT EVENTS: ===================================== An sad old lady dies but before she dies, the priest's rambling religious talk with her helps her to feel less sad. She dies contented.
A father is having an affair with the governess. She attends mass and seems sad. So what. The daughter in that family hates her father. So what. There are lots of scenes showing gloomy or mysterious expressions on characters' faces. Boring.
A young bratty girl makes fun of the priest and then helps him when he's sick. ====================================
That's about it. It all seems very disjointed. There's not enough to support a good plot.
WHY IS THERE SO MUCH PRAISE FOR THIS MOVIE?
IMO, the movie doesn't do a good job of engaging the viewer. I kept watching to see if I could understand the point of the movie, but I still don't understand what the point was. Most of the time you're watching the priest walking through dark woods or mooning around in some other gloomy place. Too much mood and not enough plot.
I tried listening to the commentary offered on the DVD. Some of the analysis is too far-fetched. For example, you see the priest on the outside of a door, looking through a glass window in the door. The commentary explains that this symbolizes the priest's separation from the world. Looking through a window of a door doesn't seem to have that much meaning to me. Are they reading too much into it?
"Diary of a Country Priest" (1951)(Journal d'un curé de campagne)(original title)
Netflix: http://dvd.netflix.com/Movie/Diary-of... NETFLIX DESCRIPTION: "The priest of Ambricourt (Claude Laydu) is a reserved and dedicated young man whose inability to mesh in social situations causes him to feel isolated from the very population he's supposed to be serving. Adding to his troubles are his health problems, which make him unable to carry out his obligations. Growing ill and ever more confused as to what his life really means, the priest is further distanced from his village and from God."(less)
March 2010 - I couldn't get into this book. The excerpts below, from a GR review, express my impressions of the book perfectly: =======================...moreMarch 2010 - I couldn't get into this book. The excerpts below, from a GR review, express my impressions of the book perfectly: ==================================================== BELOW ARE EXCERPTS FROM A GOODREADS REVIEW BY MIKE OLSON: "... All of these sections have a very surreal quality. They jump around in time, different eras have glimpses into the past and future. Everything that happens is completely bizarre and makes no sense. It explores much more difficult topics, such as the nature of life, love, and art, and is in general much more philosophical and harder to get your head around. ... "The weird thing about this book is that, at least for me, it gets frustrating to read the author's crazy attempts at philosophy. He wanders around so much, it seems like he is trying to write a little mini-story for every emotion he's every experienced in his entire life. ... "The incoherence of it all becomes a part of the greater logic of the novel... ... "I can't help but be annoyed by its weird narrative and pointless philosophical musings, but given that it bathes itself in its own strangeness, it raises itself up and becomes a pretty awesome book." FROM: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/... ===================================================== An amazing 32 people liked the above review, including myself. The review is obviously written by someone of great intelligence and if he says that "everything that happens is completely bizarre and makes no sense"(initially), then I don't feel so bad about not being able to get into the book. Even the reviewer says "it gets frustrating".
The most I can say about the book is that it's a challenge. :)
PS-Some other complaints by me about the book: Sections of it are in caps. Hard to read. Other sections are in italics. Annoying to read. Parts of it are written in the fractured English of a non-English speaking person. Annoying after a while.
Today (1/4/11) I am starting to read Snow Flower and the Secret Fan (2005) by Lisa See. I recently read Lisa See's book, Shanghai Girls (2009) and enjoyed it. (Both books were NY Times bestsellers.) Someone at our library book group mentioned that she felt that the Snow Flower story is even better than the Shanghai story. She liked the characters more. So I thought I'd give it a try.
The Washington Post Book World called it a "beautiful, heartbreaking story." The Denver Post wrote: "Both hearbreaking and heartbreakingly lovely... The characters and their surroundings come vibrantly alive."
Today (1/9/11) I finished this book. I didn't really enjoy it. I found much of it boring. I also found it repetitive, especially in its descriptions of the Chinese customs. The plot was thin even though it covered many years in the characters' lives. There was no real depth to the characters. Basically, it was the story of a friendship gone wrong and the sorrows suffered by the protagonists. The writing seemed stilted or perhaps that was just the style of writing. It didn't appeal to me. I kept reading just to see where the story was going. The ending wasn't satisfying; it seemed flat. I liked Lisa See's _Shanghai Girls_ better. However, the ending to that book wasn't satisfying either.
PS-I just found out that a film is being adapted from this book in 2011: "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan" (2011) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1541995/ http://movies.netflix.com/WiMovie/Sno... The Netflix description says: "Paralleling the story of Snow Flower and Lily, who communicate by writing on the folds of a white fan, are the modern-day tribulations of Sophia and Nina, who struggle to maintain their relationship."
(I don't recall the parallel modern-day story being part of the book. Perhaps it was introduced in the film only. I could be wrong.)(less)
Added 11/13/11. I did not read the book but I viewed two different film adaptations. See my comments below.
I've posted the following at my Goodreads gr...moreAdded 11/13/11. I did not read the book but I viewed two different film adaptations. See my comments below.
I've posted the following at my Goodreads group: =============================== 11/13/11: I am currently streaming from Netflix the 1985 film adaptation of Charles Dicken's _Bleak House_ (first published 1853), starring Diana Rigg. Masterpiece Theatre: Bleak House (TV mini-series 1985) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0088485/?... It also stars Denholm Elliott who has a familiar face but until now I wasn't familiar with his name. Below is a link to his photo: http://www.britmovie.co.uk/wp-content... A great face!
The film has a wonderful atmosphere, evoking the feeling that you are really in a different time and place, the world in which Dickens lived and wrote about. I'm keeping track of the many characters by referring to the character list at Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bleak_House Wiki says: "Bleak House is the ninth novel by Charles Dickens, published in twenty monthly installments between March 1852 and September 1853. It is held to be one of Dickens's finest novels, containing one of the most vast, complex and engaging arrays of minor characters and sub-plots in his entire canon."
I hope I can stay with this film. It's slow-moving but very atmospheric. One thing about streaming from Netflix is that I can watch it a little bit at a time and Netflix, with just a click, brings me back to the exact spot where I left off.
BTW, I'm watching on my computer screen (my fairly new computer) and it's not bad! ============================================ UPDATE - 10/18/13 I posted the following at my Goodreads group:
I'm currently streaming (from Netflix) a film adaptation of Dicken's "Bleak House" (the 2005 film version). It's a fascinating story and the acting is great. Wonderful characterizations! They keep me watching!
The actress (Anna Maxwell Martin) who plays the orphaned girl, Esther, is someone you can truly sympathize with. She has the perfect face for it. Here's her photo: http://www.bbc.co.uk/drama/bleakhouse...
NETFLIX LINK: http://movies.netflix.com/WiMovie/Ble... "An orphaned girl finds a happy home with a wealthy man and his wards, never suspecting the truth about her origins -- or knowing her fate. But as the plot thickens, a suspenseful yarn of legal justice unfolds in this drama miniseries."
Added 3/27/11. _Thousand Pieces of Gold_ (1983) by Ruthanne Lum McCunn
GR reviewer, Sarah, wrote: "This is about one of Idaho's most famous pioneers, P...moreAdded 3/27/11. _Thousand Pieces of Gold_ (1983) by Ruthanne Lum McCunn
GR reviewer, Sarah, wrote: "This is about one of Idaho's most famous pioneers, Polly Bemis.". GR reviewers indicate this is easy reading and interesting, but the writing is poor.
Adapted to film (1991): http://movies.netflix.com/Movie/Thous... http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0100774/p... "In 1880's China, young Lalu is sold into marriage by her impoverished father. Rather than becoming a bride, Lalu ends up in an Idaho gold-mining town, the property of a saloon owner who renames her China Polly and plans to sell her as entertainment for the locals. Refusing to become a whore, Lalu ultimately finds her own way in this strange country filled with white demons." IMDb trivia: "Based on the true story of "China Polly."
Sample Google eBook (same title, different book, about Chinese proverbs): http://books.google.com/ebooks/reader... Meaning of Book Title: The third chapter is entitled: "One Written Word is Worth a Thousand Pieces of Gold". (Chinese or Japanese proverb)
There's a modernized version with Gwyneth Paltrow but the names of the characters are different and the plot is probably only a parallel of the original. I've never watched it: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119223/
RE: _The Lord of the Rings_ by J.R.R. Tolkien Posted 10/8/10: I got well into the first book of the trilogy years ago (_The Fellowship of the Ring_) an...moreRE: _The Lord of the Rings_ by J.R.R. Tolkien Posted 10/8/10: I got well into the first book of the trilogy years ago (_The Fellowship of the Ring_) and then started floundering. At first I was wrapped up in it, but as it went on, there were just too many characters and the different episodes kept going on and on without giving me any real satifaction. So I threw in the towel.
Added 2/7/14. (The book was first published in 2003.) Adapted to film. Great dialogue! Below are links about the film: "Charlie Wilson's War" (2007) http...moreAdded 2/7/14. (The book was first published in 2003.) Adapted to film. Great dialogue! Below are links about the film: "Charlie Wilson's War" (2007) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0472062/?... http://dvd.netflix.com/Movie/Charlie-... "Texas congressman Charlie Wilson sets a series of earth-shaking events in motion when he conspires with a CIA operative (Philip Seymour Hoffman, in an Oscar-nominated role) to aid Afghan mujahideen rebels in their fight against the Soviet Red Army."
"A drama based on a Texas congressman Charlie Wilson's covert dealings in Afghanistan, where his efforts to assist rebels in their war with the Soviets have some unforeseen and long-reaching effects."
Director: Mike Nichols Writers: Aaron Sorkin (screenplay), George Crile (book) Stars: Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Philip Seymour Hoffman
Added 1/23/14. _The Tenth Man_ by Graham Greene. (keeping it in mind)
This book (first published in 1985) was adapted to film (1988 TV Movie). The movie...moreAdded 1/23/14. _The Tenth Man_ by Graham Greene. (keeping it in mind)
This book (first published in 1985) was adapted to film (1988 TV Movie). The movie (which I viewed on the MGM TV channel) was compelling. Anthony Hopkins was excellent in the role of the tenth man. Kristin Scott Thomas was perfect in a supporting role. http://www.amazon.com/Tenth-Man-Antho... "Anthony Hopkins stars in this glossy TV adaptation of Graham Greene's The Tenth Man. The scene is Paris, during the Nazi occupation. Hopkins plays a French lawyer who is sentenced to be executed as a reprisal for the activities."
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0096243/?... "Based on the novel of the same name by Graham Greene, this is a story of a French advocate Chavel who, while imprisoned by the Germans during the occupation, trades his material possessions to another prisoner in exchange for his life when condemned to the firing squad."
I've always enjoyed books by Graham Greene. I should try this one. I first heard about it via the MGM Channel when they were airing the film on 1/23/14.
Summary (from my local library online catalog): "Two proper, middle-class English women, bored with their lives and their passionless husbands, spend a month on vacation in a medieval villa on the Italian Riviera. The idyllic hideaway holds a special magic, and they find ways to live and love that have long eluded them."
There is another book which is an adaptation of the original. The adapted version is: The Enchanted April (Intermediate Level) by Margaret Tarner (Adaptor), Elizabeth von Arnim (original author) GR Description: "This is an Intermediate Level story in a series of ELT readers comprising a wide range of titles - some original and some simplified - from modern and classic novels, and designed to appeal to all age-groups, tastes and cultures. The books are divided into five levels: Starter Level, with about 300 basic words; Beginner Level (600 basic words); Elementary Level (1100); Intermediate Level (1600); and Upper Level (2200). Some of the titles are also available on cassette."(less)
Added 7/10/12. I haven't read this book but I watched the film adapted from the book. I streamed it from Netflix. It was great! I love Joan Plowright! h...moreAdded 7/10/12. I haven't read this book but I watched the film adapted from the book. I streamed it from Netflix. It was great! I love Joan Plowright! http://movies.netflix.com/WiMovie/Mrs... http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0421229/ "All but abandoned by her family in a London retirement hotel, an elderly woman strikes up a curious friendship with a young writer."
I shall look for more books by this author, Elizabeth Taylor. The GR description says: =================================== "Taylor's work is mainly concerned with the nuances of "everyday" life and situations, which she writes about with dexterity. Her shrewd but affectionate portrayals of middle class and upper middle class English life won her an audience of discriminating readers, as well as loyal friends in the world of letters." Also: "Elizabeth Taylor (née Coles) was a popular English novelist and short story writer. Elizabeth Coles was born in Reading, Berkshire in 1912. She was educated at The Abbey School, Reading, and worked as a governess, as a tutor and as a librarian." FROM: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/... ====================================(less)
Added 8/2/12. I didn't read this book but I did watch, via a Netflix DVD, a film which was based on this book and also based on collected letters 1917...moreAdded 8/2/12. I didn't read this book but I did watch, via a Netflix DVD, a film which was based on this book and also based on collected letters 1917 to 1961.
The film was: "Hemingway" (1988) - TV Mini-Series - Biography http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0094476/ NETFLIX DESCRIPTION: ================================== ""Stacy Keach plays Ernest Hemingway, the larger-than-life writer whose spartan prose unlocked the complex and rich world of his colorful characters. A classic troubled soul, Hemingway drank his way into oblivion, even as he lived a life that's infinitely more dramatic than his stories. This miniseries looks at his adventures in Europe and Africa and his four marriages." FROM: http://dvd.netflix.com/Movie/Hemingwa... ==================================
Stacy Keach won a Golden Globe Award for his performance: "Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Special". One online review says: "It has lavish sets and costuming and a wide variety of on-location sites all over the world..." [ http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/3608/h... ]
The cinematography was great because it was filmed on location in France, Spain, Italy (including lovely Venice!), Switzerland, Kenya, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. There were scenes of the Serengeti and Murchison Falls in Africa.
I enjoyed all the lavish sets and it was easy way to get a retrospective of Hemingway's life.(less)