Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Reading and viewing

While away I finished the Elmore Leonard book that I'd started a couple of days before, read one Dennis Lehane book, and started another Lehane. This second one I have yet to finish, but if I have a little time to myself today I should be able to. I also went to the pictures.

So what were the books?

Elmore Leonard, Mr Paradise
I gotta say, I'm not a big fan of the way Leonard writes. This is the second of his books that I've read. The first was Rum Punch, the basis for the movie Jackie Brown, but I don't remember that one being written quite so badly. To be honest, though, the only things I really remember about Rum Punch are that the book was way better than the film, and that what I considered the best scene in the book didn't make it to the film. Still, despite the fact that I didn't like how Mr Paradise was written, I enjoyed the story. It didn't rock my world, but what does?

Dennis Lehane, Prayers for Rain
Lehane, conversely, writes wonderfully. This guy knows how to make you wanna turn the page. He is the writer behind the book Mystic River, which was turned into a film a couple of years back. Great book; frankly disappointing movie. Prayers for Rain tells of a young, prim-and-proper woman who throws herself naked from a building and to her death. Like several of Lehane's books, it's a Kenzie and Gennaro thriller, the two protagonists being private detectives. I suppose ideally these K&G books should be read in order, which is something I haven't done but will attempt to start doing. Lehane writes solid thriller/mysteries that keep you guessing much of the way. They don't really move into the realm of the ridiculously implausible, and they are great holiday reading. (Not that there's anything wrong with ridiculously implausible; much of Palahniuk is just that, and I love him!)

Dennis Lehane, Darkness, Take My Hand
I'm still reading this one, and I'm really enjoying it. I think it's better than Prayers for Rain. Another K&G book, but this one predates PfR and as such I should have read it first. Oh well, no biggie. On the subject of Lehane, though, his Shutter Island is one of the best books I've ever read. I loved it, and I recommend it wholeheartedly.

And the film, pray tell?

The Da Vinci Code
So, my cognato (brother-in-law) asked if we were interested in seeing this at the flicks. Wife wasn't that interested, just as she hasn't been in reading the book really, but I figured, What the hell? The multiplex we went to was showing the movie in Italian, but -- and this is a first for me -- they also offered headphones playing the soundtrack in the original language. Although I have sat through several films in Italian in the past, I thought I'd give this novelty a go. Not only because I wouldn't be able to follow so well in Italian, but also because the original language is always best. The film was not as bad as the reviews had led me to believe, although it goes without saying that the book is considerably better. As conspiracy-type movies go, this isn't up there with JFK, but if you've got a spare couple of hours you might consider it. At the very least the core subject matter is fascinating.

And now you're all up to speed on my holiday reads and views.

7 Comments:

Blogger d34dpuppy said...

mister* put a mix of 1/2 water n 1/2 white vinegar on ur sunburn it will make it stop hurtin rite now!

20 June, 2006 15:47  
Blogger Martha Elaine Belden said...

I really like Lehane. I read Mystic River right after the movie came out (mostly because I was somewhat confused by the end of the movie and wanted to find out what was going on) and fell in love with his writing. I'm glad to know the books following Mystic River are good, as well... MR was his first. Anyway, this is kind of a pointless comment... I just wanted to echo that he's a fantastic writer.

Oh and echoing ...puppy's sunburn advice... I recently got a horrible sunburn and found that a towel soaked in cool water, tea tree oil and lavender is extremely soothing.

20 June, 2006 17:38  
Blogger Ranting Dullard said...

Hmm What did you think of 'Haunted'?
Chucks latest?

20 June, 2006 20:00  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Thanks DP and Martha. The pain has pretty much gone already; now I'm just red. But it's going brown slowly...

Martha, I'm not sure that MR was Lehane's first. I've not looked deeply, but I'm sure MR was 2003 and something else I read was 2000. I'll check it out. And you should check out some of those other books, for sure.

RD: I'm reading Haunted on and off. It's been sitting on my shelf for months. So far, I like it. Will keep you posted.

21 June, 2006 10:21  
Blogger Martha Elaine Belden said...

I'll definitely check out some of his other books. And wow do I feel like an idiot that I thought that was his first book. I used to work at Barnes & Noble, and I think someone TOLD me that it was his first book... they were talking about how great it was that the first book he'd ever written got turned into a movie. I usually look stuff like that up before I start spreading it around... now I know why :)

I can't wait to read some of his other stuff though. I didn't even realize he had so much out there.

21 June, 2006 16:23  
Blogger Candy Minx said...

I'm glad you enjoyed Da Vinci Code, it was much better than the critics said it was and can you believe it's topped out The Passion? Wow. (and I'll tell you a secret...shhh...I had tears in my eyes at the end when Hanks figures out where the goddess was buried...I got all choked up. I beleive that sums up the real power of the story and its fan base.)

21 June, 2006 20:32  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

No worries, MEB! We're all guilty of assuming people know what they're on about!

Candy, you big softie!

23 June, 2006 11:38  

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