I went with Election just because I'm kind of in the mood for something funny and satirical, and I had no idea it was a book.
I chose these books based around the theme of "book's you didn't know were movies". Meaning I didn't know, or I don't think most people know that these books were movies. I welcome all feedback about the choices, the theme, suggestions for future themes or books, or whatever. The poll will run for 7 days and reading will begin on the chosen book.
Edit: That should have read "movies you didn't know were books." Fuckin Obama.
Drive by James Sallis (Movie title: Drive)
I drive. That's what I do. All I do." So declares the enigmatic Driver in this masterfully convoluted neo-noir, which ranges from the dive bars and flyblown motels of Los Angeles to seedy strip malls dotting the Arizona desert. A stunt driver for movies, Driver finds more excitement as a wheelman during robberies, but when a heist goes sour, a contract is put on his head and his survival skills burn up the pavement. Author of the popular six-novel series set in New Orleans featuring detective Lew Griffin (The Long-Legged Fly, etc.) and such stand-alone crime novels as Cypress Grove, Sallis won't disappoint fans who enjoy his usual quirky literary stylings. Reading a crime paperback, Driver covers "a few more lines till he fetched up on the word desuetude. What the hell kind of word was that?" Lines such as "Time went by, which is what time does, what it is" provide the perfect existential touch. In this short novel, expanded from his story in Dennis McMillan's monumental anthology Measures of Poison, Sallis gives us his most tightly written mystery to date, worthy of comparison to the compact, exciting oeuvre of French noir giant Jean-Patrick Manchette.
Election by Tom Perrotta (Movie title: Election)
A far cry from Sweet Valley High, this wry, engaging story of a 1992 high-school election in a New Jersey town "a couple of exits" away from Glen Ridge is observant and sly, if less amusing than the battles over pop-musical taste in Perrotta's quirkily humorous first novel, The Wishbones. The candidates for school presidency of Winwood High are an uninspiring bunch campaigning for what almost everybody knows is an empty office. Ambitious Tracy Flick is a hot bundle of raw political ambition and a bad reputation, who campaigns with cupcakes against Paul Warren, a jock with a pretty face and high PSAT scores who is urged to run by his history teacher (and sometime narrator) Jim McAllister. Paul's nihilistic sister Tammy (who enters the race in a despairing rage because she's in love with Paul's girlfriend) is the single fresh and original character here?and she gets herself suspended before Election Day. The results are blessedly far from feel-good, and Perrotta casts a wonderfully cool eye on his ostensible protagonist, "Mr. M.," even if the hints of true political satire remain just that, tantalizing hints. Despite six alternating narrators, this is a simple, spare story?designed, perhaps, with moviegoers in mind as well as readers. (Mar.) FYI: A movie version already is in production with MTV Films/Paramount, featuring Matthew Broderick as McAllister.
Wiseguy by Nicholas Pileggi (Movie title: Goodfellas)
Growing up in Brooklyn in the 1950s Henry Hill aspired "to be a gangsterto be a wise guy." This book chronicles Hill's criminal successes beginning with his being a gofer for neighborhood mobster to his part in the 1978 $6-million Lufthansa Airlines robbery. Smuggling, hijacking, union racketeering, credit card fraud, robbery, bribery, drug dealing, prison, marriage, and assorted girlfriends take up most of Hill's time and this story. The author may have faithfully portrayed his subject but neither Hill nor any of his activities provokes much interest. The result is a plodding, episodic account which would have made a better magazine article than book. Hill's career ends with his becoming the ultimate wise guy as an informer under the Federal Witness Program. Jerry Maioli, Western Library Network, Olympia, Wash.
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (Movie title: The Handmaid's Tale)
Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are only valued if their ovaries are viable.
Offred can remember the days before, when she lived and made love with her husband Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now..
The Tenant by Rolond Topor (Movie title: The Tenant)
The Tenant chronicles a harrowing, fascinating descent into madness as the pathologically alienated Trelkovsky is subsumed into Simone Choule, an enigmatic suicide whose presence saturates his new apartment. More than a tale of possession, the novel probes disturbing depths of guilt, paranoia, and sexual obsession with an unsparing detachment.
It was between that and Drive for me, but I went with Drive because Tom Perrotta's "Leftovers" was pretty mediocre to me.
The Tenant looks the most interesting out of the bunch to me.
It's either Kafka-esque or horrible paranormal nonsense.
I voted for the Tenant so I can selfishly read in its french original!
Solid theme Chaos however I am blinking a little at people not knowing 'A Handmaid's Tale' was a book before it was a film.
I didn't know it was a movie to not know it was a book originally. Is it some kind of anime or scifi original or something? Did I just miss its importance while growing up?
I voted Drive because I despised the movie and other people did not so the book might redeem it all.
Last edited by suineg; 06-22-2014 at 10:04 PM.
oderint dum metuant
I was not carping btw. Like I said, solid theme. I was just surprised is all.
Reading begins immediately upon the vote ending. After this month I will try and line that up with the first of the next month, this time it will be the 27th just because of when it started. If you have trouble finding the books on ebook/pdf you can ask me via PM. No posting to torrents or whatever.
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