Friday, June 27, 2008

New Sale

A lovely surprise this morning waiting in my Inbox. Avalon love my latest submission. This will be book number 3 for them and I am absolutely thrilled. The release date is April 2009.

I'm not sure whether the working title "Stuck" will . . .umm. . . stick ( sorry) but that's what the book is about. My characters become stuck in all manner of ways--physically, by mental attitude, lifestyle, work choices. The hero is a single dad trying to handle daughters-- a rebellious 12 year old, a sweet 5 year old--plus a kitten, and the sophisticated, upwardly mobile, child averse heroine.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Painted Veil

I've finished the book now and can report that the movie quite dramatically changed the relationship between Walter and Kitty from the original. They both chart Kitty's growth both in maturity and emotionally but the movie turns the marriage into a late blooming love affair when it never is in the book. Interesting. Basic events remain the same but the movie fills in a lot of detail, particularly to do with the cholera epidemic-- treatment, causes, cultural impediments etc--which is very interesting and adds to the story, really. We learn much more about the character of Walter through his work. In the book Kitty comes to admire him greatly for his skill and compassion but says several times she could never love him.

I think this is a case of a movie enhancing a book but adding the love affair part was probably a marketing device. Kitty's spiritual awakening isn't such a drawcard perhaps!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Books and films

My book group has devised a course of meetings where we read a book and see the film version for comparison. Our first one is The Painted Veil by Somerset Maugham.

I read a lot of S Maugham when I was in my twenties. Absolutely loved his depictions of the British colonial life and his succinct sparse prose which cut straight to the heart of his characters revealing all their weaknesses and foibles. His short stories are wonderful. He deals with life's basics--love, loyalty, hate, fear, greed. Emotions which cross all boundaries of time, culture and race.

I enjoyed The Painted Veil as a movie but hadn't read the book. I'd forgotten just how good a writer he is. So far, the movie is a very faithful rendition. Naomi Watts and Edward Norton are easy to picture, as I read, in their roles of Kitty and Walter Fane. Similarly the countryside of China is beautifully filmed and having been to China twice I can visualise the sights and sounds, see the local people. Some things in rural China won't have changed very much since the 1920s.

Some book/film transitions are woeful eg I couldn't bring myself to watch Captain Corelli's Mandolin. Couldn't get my head around the concept of Nicholas Cage having anything to do with such a wonderful book. From the snippets I have seen it seems the story was absolutely gutted.

So far so good with The Painted Veil.

Anyone else read and seen it? Or have any other pet hates/loves?