That time when the movie was as good as the book…

In honor of the climax of award season, here is a list of (some of) my favorite books to film:

  1. Fight Club – Ed Norton, Brad Pitt, and Helena Bonham Carter bring to life Chuck Palahniuk’s greatest work. A brilliant mind warp. I’d say more. But. The first rule of fight club is…
  2. American Psycho – …speaking of brilliant mind warps. Christian Bale was born to play Bret Easton Ellis’ perfectly psychotic Patrick Bateman. An on screen performance that still gives me chills, and a novel which brings to light the pitfalls of a materialistic society. Oh. And one of my favorite reviews (click herefrom last year.
  3. The Hunger Games Trilogy – I don’t read a ton of YA, but Suzanne Collins killed it (no pun intended) with The Hunger Games, and the screen versions did the books justice. Fantastic acting all around, and Mockingjay was actually improved on film.
  4. Election – The first of Tom Perrotta’s novels to be brought to a movie theater near you. A quirky piece of literature that leant itself masterfully to the big screen. The intertwining narratives, high school politics, and midlife crises, made for unique and poignant film experience. Reese Witherspoon’s interpretation of Tracy Flick went beyond my wildest dreams. 
  5. Little Children – My favorite of Tom Perrotta’s novels to be brought to a movie theater near you. Perrotta’s mastery of narrative jumping is executed flawlessly on screen in this exploitation of suburban living. Stand out performances from Kate Winslet (bae), and Jackie Earle Haley. The last paragraph of the novel still makes me cry.

 

Look out for a new review on Wednesday!

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REVIEW: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe has provided further proof why C.S. Lewis is quickly becoming one of my all time favorite authors. I opted to revisit this classic because my recollection of it was scant. In addition, I have recently developed an appreciation of Lewis’ genius and style (see my reviews of his works from last year here and here).

Lewis tackles the worlds of children’s lit and fantasy in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe  so skillfully there is little room for critique. In this brief novel Lewis accomplishes the creation and establishment of a vividly and intricately described fantasyland inhabited by richly imagined characters. Narnia is a world that easily draws in children, while keeping parents on the edge of their seats. Much of the novel obviously alludes to Christ and various aspects of the New Testament, in a manner that avoids preachiness; a quality of Lewis’ I’ve frequently noted. Lewis also weaves elements of mythology and folklore into the story with a variety of characters, adding an interesting depth, often eschewed in children’s literature.

Pleased with my decision to rediscover this novel as an adult, I am eager to continue my journey through Narnia to continue exploring a new love.

 

Rating: 5 Turkish Delights

REVIEW: An Episode in the Life of a Landscape Painter

In An Episode in the Life of a Landscape Painter, Cesar Aira once again creates a one of a kind reading experience – painting (see what I did there?) for the reader a dreamlike world based on one man’s truth.

Aira escorts us on a journey through Latin America with landscape painter Johann Mortiz Rugendas; recreating Rugendas’ real life progress and survival through a fantastical lens. Aira uses a technique similar to Marquez’s in …Shipwrecked Sailor, the balancing of a strong realistic core with the romance of drama. During Rugendas’ excursions he faces trauma and an altered sense of his own reality; Aira shines light and perspective through a generally dark experience.

An easy, short read, An Episode in the Life… gives you a quick escape from the monotony of daily life into the joys of surrealism.

 

Rating: 4 Brush Strokes

The Music Teacher

In a world where I was

Always

Second Best

 

I never had to prove

Myself

To you

 

My spirit

My intellect

My light

My Talent

 

Your heart broke as you watched them

Shatter

 

But I held on tighter

because of

you

 

I came back stronger

because of

you

 

You understood 

How fragile

We  were

 

You knew

The power

You held

And never abused it

 

I think of you

On the days 

I feel 16 again

 

But mostly 

On the days

When I see

how

brilliant

I’ve become