My judgement is utterly coloured by that fact that I saw the film adaptation first and adored it.
There was never any chance that the novel could liveMy judgement is utterly coloured by that fact that I saw the film adaptation first and adored it.
There was never any chance that the novel could live up to the memories I already had in my mind's eye when reading it. So, for me at least, this is one of those very rare occasions upon which the film gets five stars, the book only four.
T. C. Boyle is an accomplished and skilful novelist, whose ability to make the past seem real and immediate is extraordinary. However, in terms of pace, Alan Parker's script turns Boyle's leisurely exploration of life at John Harvey Kellogg's Battle Creek Sanatorium into a laugh-a-minute romp. You should see the movie if you have the chance.
Of course, this should take nothing away from the success of the novel itself.
Boyle's treatment of the subject matter is far more in-depth and his character studies, which appear to follow a good deal of prior research, are brilliant. If you like fiction that's based on historical fact - my faves would be Shogun, Aztec and Lonesome Dove among others - then you ought to lap this book up.
In terms of style and use of language, Boyle is a master and the book is a work of art. I love the intertwining threads of story because all of them turn on the anxieties, neuroses and dishonesties that bubble below the surface - most especially in 'polite' society.
So, I think you'll have fun with what is a sardonic yet well-observed trip back in time; a story that lays bare the birth of the Health and Wellbeing obsessions society still suffers from - yes, suffers from - today: They are as much an illness as illness itself. ...more
I've been waiting to read a novel by Paul Meloy for a very long time.
His exquisite command of imagery and language is unparalleled and his ability toI've been waiting to read a novel by Paul Meloy for a very long time.
His exquisite command of imagery and language is unparalleled and his ability to make you see things that aren't there, things that perhaps only he has witnessed, is nothing short of masterful.
The Night Clock chronicles the unceasing war that takes place within each of us, that constant clash of angels and demons that is, in fact, the unfolding of the self. And the question, as it is in all Meloy's fiction, is do we destroy ourselves or do we have the strength to face the darkness within and triumph?
The novel reads like a dream within a dream within a dream and my one grumble is that I wasn't smart enough to always be certain which dream I was in! Nevertheless, The Night Clock has been worth the wait and I hope it will be the first of many more novels from the unique and transcendent talent that is Paul Meloy. ...more
There is so much to love about this novel. The premise alone was enough to hook me:
A tribe lives in the shadow of a giant tree. After training for aThere is so much to love about this novel. The premise alone was enough to hook me:
A tribe lives in the shadow of a giant tree. After training for a series of trials and tests, a group of young women are chosen to circumnavigate the base of the tree. It's a huge responsibility because they'll be taking the tribal children with them and the journey back to where they set out from takes five years. Everything learned along the way will form the children's education.
Ace idea, right? Who or what will they encounter along the way? Will they all make it home?
The story buzzes with mystery right from the outset and all the way through I was wracking my brain to try and work out the book's secrets before I reached the end. All I can tell you is that I didn't manage it and I was glad not to. I read the book on holiday; first book I've been able to read 'properly' for many, many months. The fantasy and wonder Warren conjures contributed to making my time away an absolute joy.
I'm a sucker for trees and the human relationship with nature, so Walking the Tree was right up my street. A lot of Fantasy, a little SF and an ocean possibility; a truly delightful book. ...more