Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Book Review and a Movie Review

I thought I'd share two things worth checking out. If you don't mind reading long books you'll love "The Story of Edgar Sawtelle" by David Wroblewski. It is 562 pages of gorgeous writing and an unusually beautiful story of a boy and dogs - but it much more than that. It is reminiscent of a Shakespeare tragedy. Set in 1950's Wisconsin, the Sawtelles raise a fictional breed of dogs. Edgar is mute but not deaf. The reason for his inability to talk is never answered. When Edgar's father dies suddenly and his uncle Claude insinuates himself into his life and that of his mother, Edgar, in his grief, makes some mistakes that change everyone's lives. Wroblewski took ten years to write this masterpiece and it was worth it. (And it's his first book!) The language, the story, a tiny bit of magical realism, and the setting will all entrance you.
I'm not a big movie watcher. The movies we rent on Netflix now are mostly so forgettable. Recently I've enjoyed having the Turner Movie Classic channel and especially watching some old Spencer Tracy/Katherine Hepburn movies. So I cannot remember how long it's been since I saw a newer movie I would actually recommend. This one is a couple years old, so many of you have probably already discovered it, but if not - see "Pan's Labyrinth." It is called an adult fairy tale. The setting is World War II Spain. (It is subtitled - but that won't scare readers away, now will it?) The movie brilliantly combines the realistic horrors of war with a child's fanatasies. The special effects are wonderful and the story is compelling. The little girl, Ofelia, is amazing in a way only child actors can be. There are fairies and a faun that somehow seem completely believable in the horrible life of this young girl. The ending is tragic and satisfying all at once. I won't give any more away.

If you have books or movies to recommend I'd love to read about them.


Liquid said...

I just love your recommendations!

Come need of some positive loving energy!

S.L. Corsua said...

I've watched "Pan's Labyrinth." It's a film viewers will surely remember, especially for the scene in the lair of the pale monster motionless (at first) in front of a table filled with lots of tempting food. I remember the scene (until the special door closed) with a shiver. ;)