I picked up this book free somewhere. I doubt if I will get too far with it. So many other things are on the docket...moreAdded 2/22/14. Billy Bathgate (1989)
I picked up this book free somewhere. I doubt if I will get too far with it. So many other things are on the docket these days. I have read only the first chapter so far.
Doctorow presents details in such a skilled manner that you tend to keep reading in amazement over his masterly use of words. To one who loves words, his prose is a pleasure. I'm not sure I will be able to keep up with his long sentences, but I will try. The brutal crime theme may be a deterrent for me as well.
BTW, here are the words with which the book jacket describes Doctorow's prose: "... prose that astonishes with its lyric intensity".
This book was adapted to film in 1991. See: http://dvd.netflix.com/Search?v1=Bill... "This gangster epic details the rise and fall of mobster Dutch Schultz as seen through the eyes of his protégé, Billy Bathgate. As ambitious Billy is seduced by Dutch's crime world, he finds himself grappling with issues of trust, murder and survival." Cast: Dustin Hoffman, Nicole Kidman
Added 2/20/14. I watched "The Dead" via Netflix streaming. It's a film adaptation of one of the short stories in Joyce's book, Dubliners (first publishe...moreAdded 2/20/14. I watched "The Dead" via Netflix streaming. It's a film adaptation of one of the short stories in Joyce's book, Dubliners (first published 1914).
The movie bored me. The last 10 minutes of the film is the most interesting part, even though it was very low-key without much to it except for some touching talk about the past.
Basically, most of the film is simply gatherings of people talking about mundane subjects (e.g., did you like the food; did you like the theater) You have to sit through boring "recitals", musical and vocal. Finally, the last 10 minutes gets to the more interesting part and is related to the title about "the dead". (view spoiler)[After a dinner party, a couple goes home. The wife (Angelica Huston) is very sad and tells her husband that the song sung just before they left the party had made her sad. It reminded her of a young boy she knew when she was young. The boy had died at the age of 17. She tells the story of how he died. The husband realizes that the boy had loved his wife very much and she had thought highly of the boy. The husband does a soliloquy about how we are all just passing through (my interpretation) and about how special it must be to have such a love as the boy did for her. (hide spoiler)] At any rate, the movie bored me even though the ending was something to think about.
INTERESTING COMMENT FROM AN ONLINE ARTICLE: "Gretta is prodded into remembering her long-dead lover. She tearfully reveals to her husband (Donal McCann) that the deceased boy may well have died on her behalf. Her tale of woe bespeaks the sentiment shared by James Joyce: no matter how long in their graves, the dead will always influence the living." FROM: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/the-d...
The movie seems to have been a "Huston" project. John Huston directs it. It was his last film. It was released posthumously. His daughter, Anjelica, stars in it. Tony Huston, his son, wrote the screenplay for which he was nominated for an Academy Award. I gave the movie one Netflix star out of 5 because it bored me and dragged on and on.
John Huston won the 1988 Independent Spirit Award for Best Director. Anjelica Huston won the 1988 Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female. See all the awards and nominations for the film here: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0092843/a...
See the Wiki page about the film at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dead...["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)
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)
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)
Added 2/17/14. RE: The World Of O. Henry (Collected Short Stories by O. Henry) I listened to a good number of stories from this collection via an audio-...moreAdded 2/17/14. RE: The World Of O. Henry (Collected Short Stories by O. Henry) I listened to a good number of stories from this collection via an audio-tape. I didn't enjoy them at all. There didn't seem to be a smooth flow of plot. I found most of the stories difficult to follow. Too many names and uninteresting details. Many of the stories are told with annoying "country" speech patterns.
Most of the GR reviews are positive but I found the following negative reviews:
_The Gift of the Magi and Other Short Stories_ by O. Henry Robin's review - Oct 03, 08 - 2 of 5 stars "I was not all that impressed. Some of the short stories were good but on the whole I found the author to be a bit over descriptive and wordy. I had to look up the meanings of several words and didn't care for the story interuptions from the author." FROM: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
_The Complete Works of O. Henry_ by O. Henry Michael C's review - Sep 13, 12 - 2 of 5 stars "Well written, but very monotonous, and over-reliant on the twist ending gimmick. If you've read "The Gift of The Magi", then you get the idea." FROM: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
_Complete Works of O. Henry Volume I_ by O. Henry An Odd1's review - Jul 11, 12 - 2 of 5 stars "Nigh on a foreign language from centuries gone. Often first person, related about a pal, a girl, a romance gone wrong, from his real life observations, about hombre, outlaw, drunk, drifter, grifter, shopgirl, in slang western, hobo, massah, obfuscatory, sometimes incomprehensible to those ignorant of train hop, horse, carriage, side gun, hat, and separate collar." FROM: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
NOTE: Definition of "obfuscatory": Tending to obfuscate; intended to conceal the truth by confusion
Added 2/14/14. RE: Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe I listened to the unabridged audio version of this book, read by John Lee. I had always wondered what...moreAdded 2/14/14. RE: Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe I listened to the unabridged audio version of this book, read by John Lee. I had always wondered what the book was like. Now I know. It's 11 hours long but it keeps your attention. At times it's a bit long-winded but, considering that, it's well-paced. Each time you think that there just couldn't be another phase to the story, Robinson Crusoe, who is the narrator, manages to come up with a new phase to his adventures. I liked the way Daniel Defoe made Robinson Crusoe's story seem very up close and personal. Four Netflix stars.
THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND ABOUT THIS BOOK:
"Robinson Crusoe marked the beginning of realistic fiction as a literary genre." -Wiki
"Written nearly 300 years ago [pub. 1719], it deserves every merit it can receive." -From a GR member comment(less)
Added 2/13/14 This book is a series of interesting sketches about the famous people Frank Langella has known. I listened to the audio version which is...moreAdded 2/13/14 This book is a series of interesting sketches about the famous people Frank Langella has known. I listened to the audio version which is read by the author himself. Langella is very frank and open. His personal evaluations and observations are very compelling. He's good with words. Recommended for people who are interested in interesting people.(less)
The film won many awards: Awards included Academy Award Oscars for: -Best Cinematography -Best Art Direction-Set Decoration -Best Costume Design -Best Music, Scoring Original Song Score and/or Adaptation Nominations included: -Best Picture -Best Director -Best Writing SEE AWARD DETAILS HERE: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0072684/a...
Although Ryan O'Neal didn't receive an award, I thought he did a good job playing the part of Barry Lyndon in an understated way. At times he seemed emotionless but perhaps that's what the part called for. I can't imagine how another actor would portray the character.
The film left me wondering how much of Barry Lyndon's fate was his own fault and if he deserved the way life treated him. Wiki says that the book provides more details about Lyndon's background. Perhaps they might help the reader understand Lyndon's actions. I am left feeling sorry for Barry Lyndon even though the plot descriptions call him a rogue.
Wiki says that the film doesn't include plot details about the beginning and latter part of Lyndon's life. The book provides more details which might put a different perspective on the character.
http://dvd.netflix.com/Movie/Barry-Ly... "Based on William Makepeace Thackeray's novel, this gorgeously painted tale yields a slow-moving portrait of a young Irishman (Ryan O'Neal) who moves up the social ladder through soldiering, spying and a marriage to a wealthy countess (Marisa Berenson).
See a good review at: http://www.humanistsofutah.org/2000/a... BELOW IS FROM THE LINK ABOVE: ============================ "The vignettes take the form of a reporter for a New York public radio station who visits with historical people [he visits with 21 dead people] including: Clarence Darrow, John Brown, Adolf Hitler, Isaac Newton, James Earl Ray, William Shakespeare, Isaac Asimov, Kilgore Trout (who isn't actually dead yet, but then he has lived only in Vonnegut's pages), and others. The reports were designed to fit 90-second interludes on WNYC.
"The 79-page book is a joyous treat, humor and thought provoking prose from one of the 20th Century's greatest fiction writers. I encourage you to get a copy and enjoy it!
"Of interest to humanists is the forward section of the book: Vonnegut notes that he is a humanist who believes in neither heaven nor hell. He also offers several short definitions of humanism: "I have tried to behave decently without any expectation of rewards or punishment after I'm dead." Again, "humanist' is nothing more supernatural than a handy synonym for 'good citizenship and common decency."
WIKI SYNOPSIS: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "The premise of the collection is that Vonnegut employs Dr. Jack Kevorkian to give him near-death experiences, allowing Vonnegut access to heaven and those in it for a limited time. While in the afterlife Vonnegut interviews a range of people including Adolf Hitler, William Shakespeare, Isaac Asimov, and the ever-present Kilgore Trout (a fictional character created by Vonnegut in his earlier works)." FROM: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_Ble... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~(less)
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
I discovered this book in an online ad at the Goodreads site. The plot desc...moreAdded 2/4/14. _The Consequences_ (The Affair, #2) (2014) by Colette Freedman
I discovered this book in an online ad at the Goodreads site. The plot description sounds very interesting. The "three different perspectives" should make it even more interesting.
Book Description: "Colette Freedman explores the aftermath of infidelity from three different perspectives--husband, wife, and mistress."
The description says that this book is a follow-up to her acclaimed debut novel : The Affair (The Affair, #1) (2013)
The story drew me in and compelled me to finish it. (That pertains to both books, #1 and #2). However, the repetition was annoying for two reasons: 1. The second book had to summarize the first book as it went along. 2. Things had to be repeated because the same story is told from 3 points of view.
Added 1/31/14. I added this book to this Goodreads website on 1/31/14. See my explanation below (copied from my post at my GR group). ==================...moreAdded 1/31/14. I added this book to this Goodreads website on 1/31/14. See my explanation below (copied from my post at my GR group). ===================================== 1/31/13 - Today, for the very first time, I have added a book to the Goodreads listings! See its page at: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...
Yes, I've been learning a bit about how to add info to Wikipedia. So far, so good. In the past I've added info re David Halberstam (who graduated from my H.S. with me in 1951) and now I've added the info re Richard Morgan.
BTW, I just found out that the book is listed at WorldCat: http://www.worldcat.org/title/tasmani... I found that out via a link at the new book page I added. I clicked on the "Libraries" button and there it was at WorldCat.
Added 1/24/14. Storm Front (The Dresden Files, #1) (first published January 1st 2000) by Jim Butcher.
I'm currently listening to an audio version of thi...moreAdded 1/24/14. Storm Front (The Dresden Files, #1) (first published January 1st 2000) by Jim Butcher.
I'm currently listening to an audio version of this book. I LOVE the narrator/reader, whose name is James Marsters. He's got a type of English accent which seems perfect for the writings of Jim Butcher. [See correction below.] Butcher's style of writing is droll. Marsters gives a spot-on rendition. It keeps me listening. A sample of Marsters reading the book can be heard at: http://www.audible.com/pd/Sci-Fi-Fant...
CORRECTION: I have to correct myself. James Marsters does NOT have an English accent. I'm confusing him with another reader whom I'm currently listening to as he reads _Robinson Crusoe_. That reader is John Lee. You can listen to a sample of John Lee as he reads _Robinson Crusoe_ here: http://www.audible.com/pd/Classics/Ro...(less)
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.