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Posts Tagged ‘movie adaptation’

33. “The Road,” Cormac McCarthy

October 31, 2011 Leave a comment

A father must protect his son as they try to scrape together a life in this sparse post-apocalyptic tale.

I think it is pretty well established that I get a little too involved with dystopic novels and might sometimes get confused about whether or not they are really happening. But I read most of this book in the cold on my front stoop while I was locked out of my house and smoking to keep warm, and, yeah, I kept thinking I was the only person carrying the fire. Even as parents with toddlers and small dogs strolled past me.

Page count: 287
Total pages: 10,452

8. “Misery,” Stephen King

January 14, 2011 4 comments

Big time author Paul Sheldon celebrates finishing a new book– the first since he killed off the character, Misery CHastaine, who made him famous, but whom be grew to hate– with a bottle of champagne behind the wheel of his car in a blizzard. When his car spins out of control, he is pulled from the wreckage by Annie Wilkes, his number one fan. Annie nurses Paul carefully back to health, treating him as best she can with his badly mangled legs. Soon, though, Paul realizes that she is a dangerously ill woman and as her mental health slips, he finds himself more and more under her power. The two are locked into a battle of minds and wills Paul cannot afford to lose.

I meant to go to sleep more than an hour and a half ago. But I still had that much time left in this audio book and I could. not. stop. I legitmately let out a small, dry sob of terror somewhere near the end of the book. Okay, twice. Maybe three times. And there was one moment where I was so dizzy with fright I thought I might faint. I sunk my entire day into this book and don’t regret it.

If you listen to this audiobook, which I highly recommend, definitely listen to the version read by Lindsay Crouse, which is really well done and gives Kathy Bates a run for her money.

Page count: 352

Page total: 2,217

45. “The Road,” Cormac McCarthy

July 12, 2010 Leave a comment

A father must protect his son as they try to scrape together a life in this sparse post-apocalyptic tale.

This was part of the extremely anxious night I had. I played “Resident Evil 4” for like nine solid hours, to the point that it was all I could see when I shut my eyes. Then I read this book in my empty apartment and I was pretty sure the world had ended– except for a handful of rogues who would attempt to catch me and chain me in their basement so they can slice off and consume slices of my flesh.

Page count: 305
Page total: 11,583
LOC call number: PS3563.C337R63 2006

31. “Flashforward,” Robert J. Sawyer

May 25, 2010 Leave a comment

The show is better. Yeah, I said it.

Page count: 319
Page total: 7,853

2. “The Diving-bell and the Butterfly,” Jean-Dominic Bauby

November 12, 2009 1 comment

It was good!

This is the memoir of Jean-Dominic Bauby, the editor of the French fashion magazine Elle. It recounts his experiences with Locked-In Syndrome, which he experienced following a stroke. It is written in a series of short chapter’s. Bauby’s writing is lyrical. Each of the chapters feels almost like a stand-alone story– a function of Bauby memorizing each chapter in the early mornings before his transcriber came. She then would say the letters of the French alphabet in descending order of frequency and he would blink when she hit the appropriate letter. An entire book written this way! According to Wikipedia, the book took about 200,000 blinks to write and an average word took approximately two minutes.

Page count: 144
Page total: 218

58. “Shutter Island,” Dennis Lehane

August 31, 2009 Leave a comment

This was a pretty quick read. I liked it a lop better than the previous book I read by Lehane, “Mystic River.”

The story is set in the mid 1950s and is about two US Marshals, Teddy and Chuck, who are dispatched to an island that is home for the “criminally insane,” a bullshit phrase that implies that being crazy is criminal. Most patients are schizophrenic or have other serious mental illnesses and when one escapes, the Marshals are called to help to locate the patient. Along the way the discover some fucked up Nuremberg shit and have to try to figure out a way to get off the heavily-patrolled island. In the middle of a hurricane. It’s being made into a movie and looks pretty good. I secretly love Leonardo DiCaprio.

Lehane was, by the way, my undergrad commencement speaker. He was very good– both funny and poinant.

Page count: 400
Page total: 23,429

54. “Blindness,” José Saramago

August 20, 2009 Leave a comment

Really interesting, but very problematic– frequently sexist and blindness exists only as a metaphor for the worst side of human nature. People who experience this white blindness quickly become animals, shitting their beds, hording food, lashing out violently. In fact, the author has them referring to one another as animals: when one character asks the other his name, he responds “what use would names be to us, no dog recognizes another dog” by name (52). So throughout the story, people are referred to by a descriptor. Predictably, the married women are referred to as [whoever’s] wife, and not as autonomous beings. Even the doctor’s wife, whom I will refer to as the woman who could see, is nothing more than her husband’s job.

Liat Ben-Moshe breaks down the problematic theme of blindness in “Disability Studies Quarterly.” I also came across a blog that asks What Sorts of People Should There Be? that comments on a few of the advertising techniques employed by the movie promoters.

Stylistically, Saramago does not use punctuation marks to set off dialog, nor does he use carriage returns. Paragraphs are often quite long. This makes the book difficult to put down, because there are very few natural pauses. I don’t mean difficult in a bad way, nor in an entirely positive way. It took some getting used to each time I returned to it, but once I figured it out, it kept me reading. It also augments the confusion of not yet having learnt how to navigate blind in a seeing world, as the speech sees to overlap and sometimes it is hard to sort out who is saying what.

I did find the book engrossing– while reading I experienced the odd blurring between life and reading and kept forgetting that neither my friend nor I were blind. In my defense, for a lot of the time that I was reading, he was sleeping half-sitting up in the same room, there but not seeing. Also in my defense, I am ridiculous and apparently don’t understand the difference between having your eyes shut and being physically unable to see.

Page count: 352
Page total: 22,864