Books & Flicks Note: I am not a book or movie reviewer. And I don’t strive to be one. It would take all the pleasure out of reading and watching movies for me. I must admit this is much like notes I might jot in my journal. My intent is to briefly summarize what I’ve read and watched and maybe inspire someone else to pick up the same books or watch the same movies that I enjoyed.
A Wild Surge of Guilty Passion
By Ron Hansen
This book was based on a sensational murder case from the 1920s in which a disgruntled housewife cons her salesman lover into murder.
Ruth Gray weaves a deadly web with her beauty and sexual proclivities that sends her married lover over the deep end.
The lover, Judd Gray, kills Ruth’s husband.
But the murder is so sloppy that Ruth and Judd end up convicted and sentenced to die. The book ends with Ruth in the electric chair.
A well-told tale that is depressing in showing the seedy side of life and how a glamorous, exciting love affair goes deadly wrong.
The Tiger’s Wife
By Tea Obreht
I wonder if some of the popularity of this book is simply because she so succinctly gives us insight into the Balkan war-torn world in an entertaining way.
A series of stories bordering on folk tales remembered by a young female doctor who is at the same time remembering her late grandfather’s life.
Interestingly enough, I read that Tea Obreht, although born in Belgrade in 1985, moved before the war took hold. She landed in the United States before she was 12.
Because she didn’t actually experience the events she writes about, she has been lauded for her ability to write about them as if she had.
Plot & Structure
by James Scott Bell
Slowly reading this, doing the exercises and taking notes.
The Long Goodbye
by Raymond Chandler
I’m a bit embarrassed to confess this was my first Raymond Chandler book. What on earth was I thinking? I should have read him years ago.
He is such a master of the genre.
Now my sole goal this week is to buy up every second-hand copy of his books I can find and then devour them, study them, mark them up and treasure them.
I haven’t had time to watch very many movies.
I did catch these:
Murder, My Sweet
Based on a Raymond Chandler book. Again, this shows why he is the master. Some of the one-liners: She had a face like a bucket of mud.
I adored this movie, which has been compared to Before Sunset.
I love Juliette Binoche. This mind bender movie had me pondering what was reality and fantasy in what I was watching, but I ultimately decided that it didn’t matter and just enjoyed the movie for what it was.
Midnight in Paris
Fun movie. Before viewing this, I made a point to avoid any reviews. Even so, I couldn’t escape the hype. I hate to admit that I was disappointed this film didn’t move me more. But it was entertaining and lovely to watch. Who wouldn’t want to see every scene set in Paris with parts of it during the 20s and then a portion of the Belle Epoque. Costumes and sets were amazing.
Worst Line: I’m fairly certain that Adriana, played by Marion Cotillard made a huge faux pas. But then I wonder if it was a mistake since the directors and editors obviously let it stay. She is from the 20s in this movie and during one scene she travels to the Belle Epoque era and is offered a job modeling costumes (I think that is what the offer was). Anyway, it is a dream come true for her. Her response? Worst line: “Oh my God.”
Best Line: Owen Wilson’s fiancee’s father doesn’t like him and calls him a communist. When the couple breaks up, Owen leaves. As the door closes behind him, the father says, “Say hi to Trotsky.”