Never Let Me Go / Kazuo Ishiguro

   While I haven't yet seen the new Spiderman movies, I can attest to Andrew Garfield's acting skills due to the viewing of Never Let Me Go and Boy A. Both those movies are worth your time, and both are adaptions from books. When I saw that Never Let Me Go / Kazuo Ishiguro was on the 1001 Book You Must Read Before You Die list, it put me over the edge and I finally got around to reading it.

   Cue tears of remorse over never reading anything by Ishiguro before.

   So: Kathy is writing a memoir of sorts, recounting her time at school with Ruth and Tommy, and what happened to them after they left Hailsham. Kathy is in her late 20's and works as a Carer, and is anticipating becoming a Donor and eventually completing. We learn quickly that Tommy and Ruth have both completed by the time Kathy is writing, and as a result she is largely friendless and alone. The book is slow, somber, and has an underlying foreboding.

   I spent the first half of the book trying to decide just how unreliable of a narrator Kathy is, and I never really arrived at a conclusion. And isn't that how first-person perspective books should be? Fun fact: a person is never 100% unbiased. It's a revelation, I know. I kept wondering if things were as significant for the other characters as they were for Kathy, or if Ruth really meant that in that way, or if Kathy thought something was clearly communicated when it wasn't. All this questioning of Kathy reminded me of situations in my own life where events have been interpreted and remembered very differently by different people, and can I just say: kudos to you, Kazuo Ishiguro.

   Time to get a copy of The Remains of the Day. Maybe I should start going through the Man Booker winners.


moving pictures

Imagine that I am the cat and the vacuum is a scary movie and you have a good idea of what it is like to watch scary movies with Glynis.

  The answers!
  1. Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
  2. Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (2008)
  3. Noah (2014)
  4. Snow White and the Huntsman (2012)
  5. The Fall (2006)
   Have you ever watched/read a version of a fairy tale and wished that the evil queen was really evil instead of narcissistic and vaguely corrupt? Well my friends, may I recommend Snow White and the Huntsman. Yes, Kristen Stewart, yes sure whatever who cares.I've only ever seen her in this one movie and she's perfectly fine. Moving on: wow the costuming. There are a few movies that I watch based largely on the design and costumes, and this is one of them. Not only are they amazing and sumptuous, but they mesh with the characters to a t. Charlize Theron is triumphantly good as the Queen. Sinister! Crazy! Actually evil!

   Speaking of costumes that I would like to see/own in real life: Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day. It's a joyful romp with, once again, excellent design. The first time I saw this movie was when I had finished watching Pushing Daisies and wanted to see more of Lee Pace's work, and stumbled on this delightful number. It's funny and charming.

   Am I going to talk about design with every movie?? PROBABLY. If you haven't seen Bonnie and Clyde you are doing yourself a disservice. If you've ever said to yourself "I wonder just how desolate and hopeless the situation was during the Depression in the Southern States" well, friend, look no further than this film. "It's a classic for a reason" and all that. It evokes the time in a way that feels dusty, somehow. Does that make sense? It's a gritty, daring, dusty movie. Also: every time I see it I want it to end differently. But it never does and my heart breaks every time.

   I'm not going to say much about Noah, because it's been written about and debated over and I don't need to add to that discussion.  I will say that it is a cinematic masterpiece and Darren Aronofsky is probably some sort of wizard. Noah is beautiful and poignant. At one point Noah tells his family the story of Creation and it made me cry.

   Okay: The Fall. If you've known me for long you have probably heard me talk about this movie, or read something I wrote about it, or something like that. How can I describe this movie to you??? Imagine what your imagination would look like if you had never seen a movie. Would it be different? Would it be more expansive? Can you really know for sure? Imagination is at the center of this film, as well as childhood and friendship and trauma and forgiveness and on and on. This is one of the most visually stunning movies I've ever seen.

   If I were to make a list of films I think you absolutely must see, three of these would be on it: Noah, The Fall, and Bonnie and Clyde. 



   Can you guess them all?

The Bear / Claire Cameron

   Once again: oh boy, a month between posts. My excuse is school, also again. All my better-scheduling intentions came to nothing and I've ended up swamped. Next semester, I will be better.

   Anyways, I've been consuming more movies than books lately (a post about them will come soon) but here it is folks: a post about BEAR ATTACKS. Well, a post about a book about children who escape from a bear attack.

   Remember when I read In The After and was all "ugh, precocious children." WELL LET ME TELL YOU The Bear / Claire Cameron does indeed have children but they are not uncommonly skilled/knowledgeable/savvy, and I love it. Warning: if you can't handle books about children in danger then do not read this one. (Once when my sister was pregnant she asked me for some books to read and I said "any stipulations?" and she said "I don't want to read any where mothers, fathers, or children are in danger or die." at which point I said "hehhhh...okay" and delved into my bookshelves which feature a preponderance of murder, danger, and death. I ended up lending her The Art of War and Alive, which is about a soccer team that crashes in the Andes and then resorts to cannibalism (it's a true story). Good work, Glynis.)

   SO! Anna is out camping with her family, when things go terribly awry. She and her brother have to evade a bear after it kills their parents, and the book follows them from the little island where they're camped to the moment when Anna returns to the site as an adult. The book is written from the perspective of five-year-old Anna, and it is riveting; the adult reader understands the situation better than the narrator does, which makes for some compelling reading. Anna's narration is first-person present-tense, which usually drives me batty right along with precocious children. However, taking into account the age of our narrator, the choice to shy away from past tense makes perfect sense. It works.

   As an added bonus, I definitely tweeted at Claire Cameron after finishing it, and not only did she reply but she also followed me. I then proceeded to tweet about what I was thinking about, which was shape-shifting aliens, so she might not be following me any more. (Is someone in your life acting out of character?? They are probably a Skrull, or other type of shape-shifting alien.) Also: the book is set in Canada and written by a Canadian.

   If you aren't adverse to reading about bear-maulings, I encourage you to get your mitts on this wee novel. It's short, it's enjoyable, it'll strike a chord.