Books

My Favorite Short Story Ever

And with a title like that, I don’t think it needs an intro. The piece below is from a collection of short stories titled Revenge of the Lawn by Richard Brautigan.

I was Trying to Describe  You to Someone

I was trying to describe you to someone a few days ago. You don’t look like any girl I’ve ever seen before.

I couldn’t say “Well she looks just like Jane Fonda, except that she’s got red hair, and her mouth is different and of course, she’s not a movie star…”

I couldn’t say that because you don’t look like Jane Fonda at all.

I finally ended up describing you as a movie I saw when I was a child in Tacoma Washington. I guess I saw it in 1941 or 42, somewhere in there. I think I was seven, or eight, or six.

It was a movie about rural electrification, a perfect 1930’s New Deal morality kind of movie to show kids. The movie was about farmers living in the country without electricity. They had to use lanterns to see by at night, for sewing and reading, and they didn’t have any appliances like toasters or washing machines, and they couldn’t listen to the radio. They built a dam with big electric generators and they put poles across the countryside and strung wire over fields and pastures.

There was an incredible heroic dimension that came from the simple putting up of poles for the wires to travel along. They looked ancient and modern at the same time.

Then the movie showed electricity like a young Greek god, coming to the farmer to take away forever the dark ways of his life. Suddenly, religiously, with the throwing of a switch, the farmer had electric lights to see by when he milked his cows in the early black winter mornings. The farmer’s family got to listen to the radio and have a toaster and lots of bright lights to sew dresses and read the newspaper by.

It was really a fantastic movie and excited me like listening to the Star Spangled Banner, or seeing photographs of President Roosevelt, or hearing him on the radio “… the President of the United States… “

I wanted electricity to go everywhere in the world. I wanted all the farmers in the world to be able to listen to President Roosevelt on the radio….

And that’s how you look to me.

RB

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Gone Girl: Book VS. Movie

GoneGirl-1

***Spoilers ahead.***

Yes, Amy was the personification of the phrase “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.” Yes, she was manipulative and I felt that she even deceived me, the reader. But also, yes, I liked her. For once, I couldn’t predict the actions of a female character. She didn’t play the part of the all too common feminine archetypes. She wasn’t the housewife, the best friend, the cafe employee, or the innocent airhead (as played by Andie). She wasn’t even the common bitch. She was Amazing Amy.

Hearing about David Fincher (director) taking on the project made me further anticipate the film adaptation. The movie included all the major and critical parts to the novel’s plot. Viewers didn’t know who was to blame in the beginning, and Nick seemed questionable at various parts before Amy’s true character was shown.

I wasn’t one of those that wasn’t content with the book’s ending. I thought it suited the characters. However, I wasn’t sure what about the film I found to be unsatisfying. I wanted there to be more. Granted, the details couldn’t be given, but it was altogether unsatisfying.

I understand Hollywood’s need to be as crude and visual as possible, but the film took it to the next level (especially when compared to the novel). I’m sure it was also the music that added the movie’s gloomy tone.

The casting was great, so I can’t place my finger on what about the movie seemed off. I understand readers’ high expectations of a book adaptation to a film, but I’m not usually one of those types. Granted, I had the disadvantage that I could no longer be surprised by the pot twist, but even the ending had a different effect on me than the novel did.