Friday, May 9, 2008

BDL the movie.

Been sorta absent recently. Busy with getting everything ready and finishing work -- I'm leaving this city in about a week, so it's crazy.

Forgot to mention that I went to Tribeca Film Festival this past weekend and caught the last showing of Ball Don't Lie.

The movie was very well shot, and it was nice to see it brought to life on screen. There were some big names on screen, some tear inducing moments. Great cinematography. Awesome basketball scenes. Some scenes I just thought were pretty awesome.

The film stayed pretty true to the book, but to be honest, I felt that what worked in a book didn't translate nearly as well on to the screen. The movie began to lose momentum 3/4 of the way through. Also, a lot of the things I liked about the book - diving deep into all the characters and backstory - couldn't be captured on film due to time restraints. Flashbacks, which work well in the book due to chapter breaks, don't work as easily on screen because it can become confusing at times. It also made the story arc feel a little more awkward, stagnant in the present esp.

Nonetheless, I thought it was a job pretty well done. A lot of attention was paid to details, making sure things looked right, locations were picked. It gave a good representation of the world in which Sticky lives in and was artful in itself. I liked it. Congrats to all involved!! Must feel amazing.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

My heart just broke into a million pieces.

I just finished The Book Thief and I can't stop crying.

Goddamn you, Zusak.

I mean, why, WHY, torment me with telling me the tragic ending before it's even over? To soften the blow? I don't know. But it still broke my heart, maybe even more, because I knew it was coming, and I couldn't bear it. How can a YA book end so unhappily? How can someone lose so much and yet continue to lose more?

Because it's war. Because this is what happens. Because this war in particular caused so many unhappy endings.

I liked this book a lot. I did find the prose gimmicky at times, but if you can get me bawling by the end, I'll forgive all your trespasses.

[I don't know if I can pass this book along to my 14 year old sister though. I don't know. My heart is breaking, and hers might just shatter into a million pieces.]

I liked that it took a new perspective on the war. That it showed how being a German in Nazi Germany could be like. Beyond the focuses we often see in other books, this brought something new and fresh. Not to mention, narrated by Death himself. Sometimes I found the metaphors too much, too vague, not things I could hold on to. But again, I ran with it. I don't mind the abstract. I liked the lyrical. And at times, this was indeed very lyrical.

I want to say more, but the ending just killed me. How incredibly heartbreaking. To have to say all you left unsaid for when it's too late. To witness the loss of everything dear to you.

By the way: "There would be punishment and pain, and there would be happiness, too. That was writing." (pg. 525)

Also: I liked the theme of words. How words are simultaneously beautiful and dangerous. How they can be powerful weapons, or a tool of healing. The double-edged sword. Seduction and lies vs. truth and beauty. Because that's what we as writers constantly think of, no? Words are malleable and its power is in its wielder.

I don't know what else to say. I probably have thoughts on craft, etc, but it's all been swept from my mind because I'm so numb with sadness.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

YA vs. adult fiction: Is it all marketing?

I got bored with Savage Detectives so I took a break from it and began Book Thief.

I like it so far. The style of writing almost gets me. I say almost because it's sort of got that interesting, different narrative style, like History of Love or JSF type experimentation that usually gets me going. But not quite. There's something that doesn't click as well as when NK or JSF do their thing. But I still quite like it.

My other initial thought is, reading this, I wonder why this book got marketed as YA and other books with young protagonists (JSF's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close for example) don't. This book clearly works as either, and I think is sophisticated enough in terms of subject matter to fit into adult fiction. But that's just my thought.

I love books though, so of course I like this book so far.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Reading Alert: Michael Chabon

This one was mostly for Moonie. But I already told her about it...

Michael Chabon (Yiddish Policeman's Union reading now that it's in paperback)
Union Sq. Barnes & Noble
Tuesday, May 6 - 7 PM

I may or may not attend (just bought the paperback!) but it IS Michael Chabon.