Thursday, November 26, 2009

Trawling The Depths Of Human Misery

I didn't consciously realise when packing my holiday reading selection what a concentrated heap of evil, spite and awfulness I had gathered.....

Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen : Little rich girls mope around

Catcher In The Rye - J D Salinger : Spoiled rich kid hates everything

Lord Of The Flies - William Golding : Lost boys amuse themselves with murder

On Chesil Beach - Ian McEwan : No sex please we're English and uptight

Night - Elie Wiesel : The Holocaust as seen by a survivor

Push - Sapphire : Incest, rape, brutality and the death of joy

Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte : The endless Gypsy's curse

No Country For Old Men - Cormac McCarthy : Everyone's gotta die, by shotgun

Good Lord, it's lucky I'm a fairly happy person, because that was a few thousand pages of evil and sadness, only slightly alleviated by reading a couple of Armistead Maupin's light and frothy San Francisco soap operas in between.

On a slightly surreal note, I just noticed this sticker on the cover of Push..."WINNER - Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival", right, so the film of the book is thought to be great, but that does not actually say anything about the book itself. You cannot draw a line between a film based on a book and the book itself, otherwise you would have to assume that the brilliant and wonderful Hellblazer (filmed as the execrable Constantine) is a huge and steaming pile of manure. If the book has won an award, then it is sensible to indicate that, but to point out that a film translation of the book is award winning seems odd to me.

That said, having read Push, I would be interested in seeing Precious, as the book has been re-named for film. I would imagine that some scenes, in fact quite a few scenes, will be upsetting and unnerving.

Has anyone seen either The Road or No Country For Old Men ? Are they any good ?

I did see a few movies when I was away, the Disney/Pixar animation Up was pretty good, I enjoyed The Imaginarium Of Dr. Parnassus, and Sam Rockwell is very good playing two versions of the same man in the nicely paced and thoughtful SF drama Moon. The next film I'm really keen to see, in all its 3D glory, is Avatar, I do like a bit of Sci-Fi.


  1. All those books, when did you have time for the holiday?

  2. I'm a quick study when it comes to reading.

  3. The Lurker4:00 pm

    No Country for Old Men is very good Mick! Dark, with not a lot of dialogue, but good nonetheless!

    You home now?!

  4. Paddy8:17 am

    Yeah no country.. is very atmospheric and features some great performances.

  5. i've not read The Road yet - but i intend to on the strength of your recommendation in a previous entry. i didn't realise they'd made a film of it though...??!

  6. I think The Road has the bloke that played Aragorn in it.