Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Murky Waters

I almost missed this one. You can peruse my latest review at the Rocky Mountain News, which is a brief but charitable examination of The Water's Lovely by Ruth Rendell. I know I should like it. Most other reviewers have liked it. It's well-written, tartly toned and acidic in that manner that only the British can convey. For my part, though, it's not terribly exciting. To borrow an observation from Eddie Izzard, it's much like a Merchant Ivory mystery in which characters spend whole chapters moving books slightly to the left. If you'd like a second opinion, though, there's a good one written by the wicked smart Jennifer Reese in the latest Entertainment Weekly.
In other news....

Warren Ellis has started penning an extemporaneous weekend column at Suicide Girls called The Sunday Hangover. His debut novel, Crooked Little Vein, hits the streets this week, which seems to have led to many, many profanities over at his website, most of them directed at one particularly well-liked children's book character. The first chapter of CLV is up at Amazon. You decide.

In other iconoclastic bulletins, the soft-spoken cyberpunk godfather William Gibson is starting to do a few interviews about his forthcoming novel Spook Country.

Oh, god, they're going to remake Bullitt. With Brad Pitt as Frank. There is no earthly way not to screw this up. Just shoot me now. I think Suicide Girls said it best with their headline: "Steve McQueen's Corpse Rolls Over, Cocks Loaded .45."

You've probably seen the trailer for Gone, Baby, Gone, the adaptation of one of the Patrick Kenzie/Angie Gennaro novels by Dennis Lehane, directed by...uh...Ben Affleck. The Boston Herald says Lehane approves, apparently. Crimespree Cinema also has a few tidbits and comments by Kevin Smith. I think the jury is still out on the movie and that creepy little brother of Affleck's, but I was wrong about Joaquin Phoenix as Johnny Cash, too, so I'm not placing my bets yet.

In other literary-to-film-back-to-literature adaptations, James Bond's keepers at the Fleming Foundation has chosen Sebastian Faulks (Charlotte Gray, Birdsong) to pen a continuation of the Fleming novels set in 1967 that mimics Fleming's style. Entertainment Weekly (when did these guys become journalists?) managed to get a few details out of him. This is a notoriously tricky act to pull off (ask John Gardner and Kingsley Amis, among others). If you want to catch up, you can read my breakdown of the Bond canon at Bookslut called "The Spy Who Didn't Suck." I am glad to see that Daniel Craig and the filmmakers will be coming home to the UK to film at Pinewood Studios for the next movie.

Finally, former screenwriter Liza Lutz is allowing a pair of screenwriters to adapt her novel The Spellman Files. Their credits include the forthcoming Dane Cook / Jessica Simpson comedy "Good Luck, Chuck." This does not bode well for Izzy and the family.

I'm off to finish reading Joseph O'Connor. Wake me when the sun goes down.

1 comment:

R. H. Baker said...

I watched the trailer for Gone Baby, Gone three times. I really did. I didn't recognize either of the main characters (or at least who I thought were the main characters), especially Angie.

On the other hand, Ed Harris was riveting, and Morgan Freeman wasn't far behind. Why don't they just get rid of the two lackluster leads, and go with the old pros?