May 21, 2009

olive kitteridge

I don't know why my mind as of late has insisted on playing casting director for the as-yet-unmade movie version of every book I read (Danny Strong as Owen Meany - OK, that was made, several times but ...), and don't even get me started on what I see as the DEFINITIVE cast of The Babysitters Club, to trump every "cinematic" attempt ever made), but I can really see Frances McDormand playing the unapologetic Olive Kitteridge. Henry, her ever-beneficent husband, leaves me stumped, though. Get back to you on that one.

You will marry a beast and love her, Olive thought. You will have a son and love him. You will be endlessly kind to townspeople as they come to you for medicine, tall in your white lab coat. You will end your days blind and mute in a wheelchair. That will be your life.

It's really not all as Andrew Beckett as the passage above. Not done with the book yet, so can't give a really good review, but can say I love it. You know those moments where you read or watch something and can immediately identify with the character - "I'm Carrie Bradshaw!" - I had one or two of those moments with Olive Kitteridge. And if you read the book, you'll know that chances are that revelation is not a Personal Best Moment. But it's okay. (Isn't it?)

I just read the vignette called "Tulips," which chilled me to the bone. The dozens of ways family members can hurt each other in the delivery of a few sentences, the horror of a person's total insanity plastered over by the most desperate desire to appear loved and needed. Had to stop and take a breather. Next up: "Basket of Trips."

Should be finished soon - the cast of characters is long and the town "family tree" slightly convoluted. If I had read more reviews before reading the book (which I never do, for obvious reasons) I would have known that I should have been treating it as completely separate stories with one common thread (Olive) rather than trying to piece every single person and every single event together.


May 3, 2009


Today FLW recommends Margaret Millar's Beast in View, which from Amazon's sneak peek seems intriguing - but here's my Sunday Secret: I'm horribly afraid of multiple-personality movies and books, and with all the teasers I've read, I'm afraid BIV might turn out to be one. I'd prefer a straight-up murder mystery (well, not too straight-up, or I guess there's really limited mystery potential).

I ordered it from PBS anyway. :P

Speaking of PBS, stuff has been coming in amazingly fast. Yesterday I discovered that sending paperbacks via Media Mail is not always the smartest way to go. For an additional 20 cents or so (if it's a reasonably-sized paperback) you could opt for first-class, which will place the book in the receivers hands in less than a week, as opposed to MM's 4- to 6-week wait ...

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