Denise Hamilton

Author Denise Hamilton

Above is the link to Denise Hamilton’s UK touring dates – London looks like 20 March with venue to be announced. Must revisit this page before then to check for details. Denise writes excellent crime fiction books: her main character is Eve Diamond, a Californian journalist. I bought her first book, The Jasmine Trade, through a book club offering a "new talent" selection. Since then, I have read the next two in the series and am waiting for the third to come out in pb in the UK. I imagine that Denise’s tour is to promote that as well as the hb publication of her next book, Prisoner of Memory.
Denise is also a generous poster on the Dorothy L list, being very encouraging of the work of other authors. I sent her an email in response to one of her postings, and she was kind enough to reply recently with the information about her UK tour.
Eve Diamond appeals to me becuase you get three for one of my favourite topics: crime fiction, journalism plot (I just love books set in newspaper or magazine offices), and politico-ethical themes, so far about issues involving immigration and ethnic minorities. Sounds dull? Well it isn’t.
While on the subject of novelists I’ve discovered via Dorothy L, and the journalism-ethics-politics sphere, another excellent writer is Elaine Veits. She is more comic than Denise but her Francesca Veirling series is plenty hard-hitting, with an insider’s perspective on journalism office politics. Great! And such a nice person, too.
I had to leave the Dorothy L list, however. Not only was it providing me with far too many books to read (do all the people who post on it spend 24-hour days reading?), but it does not have an rss feed, so is not convenient to read/scan. This is particularly marked when something happens, eg the London tube/bus bombings of last year, when the members seemed to feel the need to express their empathy with us plucky Brits endlessly. Off topic in spades! If Dorothy L gets a rss I would be delighted to resubscribe via Bloglines.
The very nicest person I met on this list (and there are some really great people on it) was Jann Brieschar. When she read on DorothyL that I could not get hold of one of Elaine V’s books via Amazon in the UK and that Amazon US postage is prohibitive (more than the book), she mailed me her own copy of the book as she had read it! In return I sent her a couple of Donna Leons from Amazon UK, which she couldn’t get in the US. But what a very nice person!

Collected Miscellany: Books versus films

Collected Miscellany

This is a blog entry about films of books. The author says that books are generally better, and I agree. If one sees a film where one has read the book, best to try to put the book completely out of one’s mind for the duration.
The question asked in CM’s blog entry is whether the new "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" movie is better than the old one, thus is not inviting debate on the "film vs book" question, which has presumably been much debated already.
He does mention in passing, though that he enjoyed the book of the Lord of the Rings more than the films. I kind of agree, but having tried and given up on the book when a child and never having gone back to it, I found that the films were very good at providing context for the reader. The book was very wooden in places, and described some dramatic events in cursory detail (see my earlier posting on 27 December 2005). "Ultimately", to use a cliched term, I did find the book far richer than the films despite its occasional lapses, and more satisfying, but I probably would not have done had I not seen the films first. Does this make sense? (And CB does not say whether he saw the EEs of the LOTR films, or the theatrical versions, which makes a big difference. It also makes a difference if you saw the films a year apart each, or if you saw them relatively close together.)
One film I thought almost as good as the book was John Schlesinger’s "Far From the Madding Crowd". Apart from one or two small details (I recall that Julie Christie as Bathsheba Everdene had blonde hair instead of black), it was both a faithful adaptation of the book and dramatically absorbing. I remember enjoying the movie a lot, but probably not quite as much as the book.

The Passion of C.S. Lewis

The New York Review of Books: The Passion of C.S. Lewis

The above is a link to an article by Alison Lurie, about which there has been some discussion on Light Reading (Jenny D’s blog). Apparently the NYRB article is free access so let’s hope the link will link to the article in perpetuity ;-).

Frank Wilson said…

Starting with her reference to "the death and rebirth of Christ" (it’s resurrection, Alison) and continuing right through to her unattributed reference to Thomas Frank’s addle-pated What’s the Matter With Kansas? (the mindset "that makes people vote against their own economic and social interests"), it seems evident to me that Lurie hasn’t a clue as to what actually takes place in the mind of an intelligent and informed practicing Christian. She probably doubts that we exist.

10:31 PM