Monday, July 28, 2014

Read 'Em Before You See 'Em: Books into Movies


          Liam Neeson is becoming the go-to guy for thoughtful action heroes.  On September 19, he’ll be starring  in “A Walk Among the Tombstones,” playing Matthew Scudder, Lawrence Block’s recovering alcoholic PI.  In this case, Scudder is hired to find out who kidnapped and murdered the wife of a drug kingpin.

·         Patricia Highsmith is probably best known for her novel  The Talented Mr. Ripley which was made into the movie with Matt Damon.  Another of her novels is coming to the screen in “The Two Faces of January,” starring Kirsten Dunst and Viggo Mortensen, about a con man. It opens August 28.

·         A highly anticipated movie is “Gone Girl,” from the recent best-seller by Gillian Flynn.  The book caused much discussion in our Nevermore Book Club! Love it or hate it, it did have people talking. Ben Affleck stars in this film about a man whose wife disappears, and who may know more than he’s telling the police. The movie opens October 3.

·         Nicholas Sparks continues his string of books into movies with “The Best of Me.” Two high school sweethearts reunite after many years apart.  This is a Sparks book, so take lots of tissues to the October 17th opening.

·         Cheryl Strayed’s memoir “Wild” became a book club favorite and now it’s a movie starring Reese Witherspoon.  After a number of problems including a divorce, Strayed decided to try and rediscover herself with an impulsive thousand mile hike on the Pacific Crest Trail. The movie is scheduled for December 5.

·         Fans have been waiting a year for the final installment of J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit:  The Battle of Five Armies.  On December 17 the wait will be over at last.  Probably enough said about that, because if you don’t know the book or movies by now, this is probably just not your genre!
Having some big films open on Christmas Day seems to be something of a new tradition.  This year one such anticipated film is “Unbroken,” which tells the true story of a young man who became an Olympic runner and a Japanese POW.  Louis Zamperini’s story is an inspirational story of the human spirit.  The book Unbroken was written by Laura Hillenbrand who also wrote Seabiscuit. Angelina Jolie directed the movie.

      The film version of  Joe Hill's creepy novel  Horns has Daniel Radcliffe in the role of Ig Perrish, a young man who awakens after a wild night to find that he has grown horns. People also seem compelled to tell him dark secrets. The movie is slated to appear in theaters on the appropriate day of October 31. (Joe Hill is Stephen King's son, by the way.)

Finally, for those of us who don’t make it out to the theaters much, there’s some exciting TV news.  Hallmark Channel is rebranding itself as Hallmark Movies and Mysteries, and as part of that move they are filming Charlaine Harris’ Aurora Teagarden books.  “Roe” is a librarian with a taste for mysteries who becomes involved with crimes.   The books are:
1. Real Murders
2. A Bone to Pick
3. Three Bedrooms, One Corpse
4. The Julius House
5. Dead Over Heels
6. A Fool and His Honey
7. Last Scene Alive
8. Poppy Done to Death  

Harris is best known for Sookie Stackhouse/Southern Vampires/True Blood books, but there’s not a shapeshifter in sight in these mystery novels. 

  Also, this August will see the premiere of the  TV adaptation of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series will do on Starz network.  Gabaldon's fantasy about Claire, a modern woman who finds herself back in eighteenth century Scotland and who falls in love with Highlander Jamie, has a very strong fan base. The books are:
1. Outlander
2. Dragonfly in Amber
3. Voyager
4. Drums of Autumn 
5. The Fiery Cross
6. A Breath of Snow and Ashes

 7. An Echo in the Bone
8.Written in My Own Heart's Blood 

If the series doesn't satisfy, at least there's the new installment in the saga, Written in My Own Heart's Blood.  This is a series best read in order. 

For information about the TV series, click here. 

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