Balconeers discussion

Choosing our next novel/film

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message 1: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Loe | 53 comments Mod
Any suggestions for our next novel to read that was made into a well-loved film? I'd thought that Executive Suite might keep us going on the Mad Men-inspired theme, but it's actually pretty slow going. I'm not to the Barbara Stanwyck skull-clutching screaming yet, but it's driving me there.

So, suggestions?

message 2: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie | 9 comments This may seem a bit quaint, but how about "Rebecca" by Daphne duMaurier? Soooo gothic. Miss Danvers has been creeping me out since I was a kid, and in the movie she is over the top.

message 3: by KC (new)

KC | 42 comments Goodness - I can't seem to think of any books from the era. Movies galore - but no books. I keep coming back to THE APARTMENT. Is there anything on those lines...more office politics, sexual liberation in early 60s, that kind of thing?

message 4: by Modbon (new)

Modbon | 25 comments What about The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit by Sloan Wilson? I think this might be the inspiration for part of the Mad Men backstory (army vet coming back, nightmare war flashbacks, commutes to The City...Don, is that you?). I never read the novel, and have only seen the film once, ages ago.

Rebecca sounds fun, too--I just got a lovely trashy pulp edition from the 50s. :)

message 5: by KC (new)

KC | 42 comments I love Man in the Gray Flannel Suit. Well the movie. Rebecca I haven't read in years. Or we could go way out there and read something that Hollywood completely ruined - like Breakfast at Tiffanys, Little Women, Memoirs of a Geshia. Stop me. The list is toooo long.

message 6: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Loe | 53 comments Mod
How about TMitGFS first, then Rebecca? I don't think I've read either one.

message 7: by Modbon (new)

Modbon | 25 comments I'm up for it--I'm almost finished with my current series of mysteries. Gray Flannel first, and then after I've read the book, I'll try watching the movie again, it's been ages.

message 8: by KC (new)

KC | 42 comments Gray Flannel it is! And I think I still have a copy of Rebecca somewhere. When is that man with a truck just going to go to IKEA and get me my bookshelves??? :)

message 9: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie | 9 comments I am putting TMitGFS on my list, and bump it up to #3.

Books that Hollywood ruined would be a great topic. Pride and Prejudice with Keira Skinnybones (shudder).

message 10: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Loe | 53 comments Mod
Are we getting close to a start date for reading The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit? We need to do something to celebrate the Mad Men/Jon Hamm Golden Globes wins! (And I note that AMC is starting reruns of the season one, for those of you who may have missed it.)

message 11: by KC (new)

KC | 42 comments I started it last night. It's very good so far.

message 12: by Modbon (new)

Modbon | 25 comments Eek, I have to drag myself away from my Fallingwater book :) But I'll start this week, fer sure!

message 13: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie | 9 comments I am starting TMITGFS this week and have the movie on my Netflix queue. Since I did not watch Mad Men the first time around, I watched the rerun of the pilot episode and was pleased. Hooray! 3 new things for me.

message 14: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Loe | 53 comments Mod
I rewatched the first episode myself and holy moly the subtext there! This series is definitely rich enough to watch multiple times.

I checked it out of my library yesterday and found a sequel TMitGFS II and something called What Shall We Wear to This Party?: The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, Twenty Years Before & After. I'd say Sloan Wilson milked this pretty well!

message 15: by KC (new)

KC | 42 comments Oh Stephanie, you are in for a treat. We love Mad Men. Jon Hamm is so yummy.

message 16: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie | 9 comments I finished TMITGFS in one night. Cool story. I like how Tom ends up working on the cause of mental illness while failing to remark on what we now know to be post traumatic stress in both his father and himself, and whatever the heck was going on with his boss, Ralph. I will try and find the sequels.

Now I can watch the movie.

Having watched only one episode of Mad Men, I don't see a big connection beyond the army experience. Don works in a different field and is more like Ralph in the book, a brilliant overachiever who lives a separate life from his family in the suburbs.

I am glad you recommended it it, and I have added the series to my DVR schedule!

message 17: by Nancy (last edited Feb 05, 2008 02:25PM) (new)

Nancy Loe | 53 comments Mod
Well, I found TMitGFS to be rather a slender reed (read? ha!). Maybe it's because the film was faithful to the book, but it all seemed rather pedestrian to me. I seem to recall in the movie that Rath doesn't know he fathered a child until the elevator guy tells him - maybe because one can't imagine somebody as upright as Peck abandoning a lover to fate, like Book-Rath does.

Not sure I'll invest the time in the sequel, since the original was somewhat disappointing.

Now rewatching MAD MEN - that's a good investment of time! I can't wait for season 1 on DVD. And the writers are back at work on season 2 after a side deal was reached. Yay!

message 18: by KC (new)

KC | 42 comments I liked TMITGFS at the start. I was pretty engaged until the story began to become about his work and Tom's struggle to either be honest and risk losing his new job or be a brown nose. It didn't seem like a new struggle to me.

Like Stephanie, I found the ending interesting...the mental health connection and the denial of PTSD. There were times I reflected on my father while reading it. He wasn't a man in a grey flannel suit. He was a blue collar guy who never finished high school. I wondered how he felt about those guys and whether he envied them.

Anyway - I'm glad I read it. But it didn't give me a lot of new insight.

message 19: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Loe | 53 comments Mod
I think this is a good example of a novel that struck a chord because of the time in which it was published, but it now seems to lack depth.

I'm reading _The Group_ right now - I hadn't realized I'd never read that one. McCarthy seems to be channeling Clare Boothe Luce with extra helpings of depressive situations.

message 20: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie | 9 comments Has anybody read or watched Rebecca?

message 21: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Loe | 53 comments Mod
I started it last nght, Stephanie. I'm ashamed to say I've never read it before.

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