Monthly Archives: February 2009

Mitali Perkins’ Take on Slumdog Millionaire

I loved Slumdog Millionaire, but had been concerned about some of the criticism.   Mitali’s thoughtful response is incredibly helpful.

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Neil Gaiman’s Blueberry Girl

Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess’s Blueberry Girl launch event and art show at Books of Wonder a week from tomorrow.

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Vote for One of Your Favourite (this is a UK thing) Literary Characters

Leeds Read 2009: Now we’ve got character

Perhaps because I find him endearing, I voted for Rincewind.

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Daniel Pinkwater Interview

Daniel Pinkwater got me long ago with The Last Guru or was it Lizard Music or Yoborgle?  Later it was those muffin-loving bears.  Most recently it was his serialized Homer-inspired epics (perhaps only by title — who knows?): The Neddiad and The Yggyssey.  So, of course, I enjoyed this interview immensely!

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Guys Messing about With Girl Books

According to Mr. Grahame-Smith, who confessed to being “bored to tears” by “Pride and Prejudice” in high school, the idea was mostly to sell resistant readers on the joys of Jane while having a bit of fun.

From  “I Was A Regency Zombie“, about the latest Austen variant complete with zombies.  For some reason the above quote by the creator of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies made me think of Frank Beddors who also was inspired by a negative experience with another classic book,  Alice’s Adventures in WonderlandSays Beddors:

… I hated the books growing up. A lot of people have mirrored that thought, in interviews. We come to a point where we’re supposed to like them. I respect the wit, writing, and imagination, don’t get me wrong, but I didn’t enjoy them like I enjoyed Treasure Island or “The Hardy Boys” or “Johnny Quest.’ I didn’t think the book was cool, I thought it was a girl’s book.

And so he wrote the The Looking-Glass Wars and its sequels, video-game-like stories filled with reinvisioned Wonderland characters.

What strikes me is that both these guys had very hostile reactions to books that are very much seen as girl/woman books and pushed back hard. (Now I don’t see Alice as particularly girly at all, but Beddors clearly does.)  I wasn’t a fan of the Beddors’ book, but will wait to see how the Austen zombies play out as I am not entirely down on playing off classical books and characters.  Jasper Fforde (still another guy!) does it wonderfully well, for example.




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The Accolades Keep Coming

This week’s New York Times’  Editors’ Choice – List includes none other than that now-number-one-on-the-best-seller-list-Newbery-winner,  THE GRAVEYARD BOOK.

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Filed under Neil Gaiman, Newbery

Eeriness, Spookiness, and the Two Neils

When Neil Gaiman announced that another Neil, one Neil Jordan, was going to do The Graveyard Book film, I was puzzled as I associated him vaguely with The Crying Game, a terrific movie, but a very different genre indeed.  However, just now I did a little investigating and I totally, totally get it.  I hadn’t realized that he was the director of  The Company of Wolves, one of the coolest fairy tale films I know.  Based on Angela Carter‘s story, “The Company of Wolves”  (you can read an excerpt here), it is definitely of its  time (1984), but nonetheless a very eerie and unique film.  I was then very intrigued to see he has just done Ondine. If it is about the nymph  Ondine or some variant of her, that will be very cool.  My only quibble is that of the two Jordan films mentioned first (as far as I know the only ones of his I’ve seen), they are pretty serious.  I just hope that he gets the humor of the graveyard as well as I’m sure he’ll get everything else.

Here’s the first ten minutes of that Little Red Riding— I mean, Jordan’s The Company of Wolves:

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Filed under fairy tales, Film, Movies, Neil Gaiman, Newbery