From Page to Screen

If my posts on Petrona seem disjointed, that’s because they are. It is an exception to sit down and write one uninterrupted from beginning to end. The previous one was interrupted by the need to go and collect Cathy from a friend’s house. The one before that had Jenny’s tea made in the middle of it. And so it goes. I need to go and do something else now so do not have the time to write any sensible thoughts about movies made from books, so I’ll just link to this post about it. According to to Alex Diaz-Granados, author of:  From page to screen: 10 of the best films made from novels, the cream of the crop are (10) From Here to Eternity, Jurassic Park, Die Hard (?!), Schindler’s List, Stand By Me, The Bridge on the River Kwai, The Guns of Navarone, The Enemy Below (?), The Hunt for Red October (I have not seen this but do know it has Viggo in it — even so, ???) and (1) Jaws.

Plenty to argue about there, I submit. And at least The Godfather isn’t on the list. But I think very few of these movies would make it onto any list I tried to make. Harry Potter 4 was a reasonable stab at the book, if rather brisk and breathless. The Lord of the Rings movies (extended editions) are sublime. And what of the classics such as Far From the Madding Crowd or more recent varieties like Pride and Prejudice? If you had to choose a Stephen King book-turned-movie, what of Shawshank Redemption or Carrie? As usual with these lists, one could go on for ever.

Gotta go!

Lukewarm verdicts

I think I am going to have to stop reading genre fiction for a bit, as I think I may be getting jaded. I haven’t really enjoyed the last few books I’ve read; either it is the books or it is me, but they have all seemed rather mechanical.

I just read two "legal thrillers" : Dirty Blonde by Lisa Scottoline and Solomon vs Lord by Paul Levine. Both came highly recommended by various reviewers, but I found both uninvolving. Not bad, by any means, but the first in particular seemed very mechanical. Both would make good movies, I think, but the plots took precedence over characterisation. In the former, a glamorous judge is caught out doing a "Looking for Mr Goodbar" at the same time as one of her cases turns into murder. The author does not make an attempt to address why her main character acts this way; the behaviour seems merely there as a plot device and is forgotten as soon as it is no longer necessary for that purpose. In the latter, two lawyers of opposite disposition are forced into partnership, and the "sparks fly" (or try to). Both books feature a child with disabilities in that (to me) sentimental and over-romanticised, respectful style beloved of mainstream American movies but rather far from the realities.

Neither book is bad, exactly, just superficial; either would make a good holiday read. I’m going to have a bash at Anita Shreve’s latest paperback next, though, for a change of pace.

In Over My Head

Please welcome another new(ish) blog, In Over My Head. I say new(ish) becuase it has been going since the weekend, and I know that 2 days is old news in the blog world.

In Over My Head has an interesting life-history already. On Sunday, Susan went over to have a look at deblog to check if anything was happening, and it was — Debra had posted that her daughter Rebecca has started her own blog. Susan went over to take a look, tried to comment, and — found herself proud owner of her own blog!

Anyway, please do go over to take a look, it is a really nice blog and has a beautiful picture on it of the view outside Susan’s back window which is just breathtaking.

(Rebecca’s blog, the Rebecca Files, can be found by clicking here.)

Greek update

Breaking news in Kingston upon Thames:

Borders did not let us down: after a quick trip inbetween the hailstorms, Jenny now has "The Wooden Horse", numbers 51 – 100 of the Greek myths, and is reading it avidly. She’s also persuaded me to update Petrona’s design. Not sure if I like it so it might change again, but here we are in forest green for the moment.