Confession: I have never read anything by legendary horror/fantasy writer H.P. Lovecraft. And I am unlikely to do so going forward. What I have been doing is reading a bunch of books inspired by Lovecraft. I’m sure that there are references and nuances I’m missing, but I’ve really been enjoying these books on their own merit. So whether you’re a Lovecraft devotee, or if you’ve never heard of him before, here are a few recent Lovecraftian novels to check out.
Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff – Chicago, 1954. 22 year old African American veteran Atticus Turner discovers his father is missing and sets out with his Uncle George and childhood friend Letitia to find him. They stumble upon a secret cabal run by the Braithwhite family, who have ritualistic designs on Atticus. And that’s just the first chapter! What follows is are chapters focusing on different members of Atticus’ family and friend circle over the next year as they grapple with Braithwhite’s schemes, cursed dolls, haunted houses, and Jim Crow-era racism. Continue reading “Lovecraft Revisited”
It was my idea, after all. Lately as we’ve seen readers and filmgoers gobbling up great twisty psychological suspense such as Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train, I kept thinking they should make a fresh version Daphne Du Maurier’s classic tale of the devious anti-heroine known as My Cousin Rachel. Sixty-five years after its original publication, the book stands up extremely well, and makes a terrific suggestion for fans of gothic film and fiction including such modern descendants as Kate Morton,Sarah Waters, Lauren Forrey,Eleanor Wasserberg,Catronia Ward,John Harwood. I mean, it pretty much has it all – lush historical trappings, an irresistible villainess, passion, poison – and it is desperately overdue for a fresh version. Check out the trailer for this 1952 potboiler starring Olivia deHavilland and “bright new star” Richard Burton (“Was she woman, or witch!? Madonna or murderess!? … She gives men the promise of ecstasy, and a life of torment!”)
Hugely fun on a rainy Saturday afternoon, but we’re definitely ready for something a bit more contemporary. I can’t wait to see the new film with Rachel Weisz and Sam Claflin, which looks gorgeous and treacherous, as it should:
Want to catch up on must-reads books before they become movies? Are you excited to see – or dreading to watch – your favorite characters come to life? Here are some of the most anticipated adaptations coming to a screen near you. Check out the books now, while there’s still time! Continue reading “Books to Movies: 2017 and Beyond”
I miss Mad Men. Not any particular character or plot line: I miss the feel of it. That blend of humor and heartbreak, tinged with an uneasy dread that one might easily assume to be bygone innocence viewed through the lens of contemporary disillusionment and cynicism. Yet far more that the show’s meticulous period details and cultural conventions, the most authentically vintage aspect of Mad Men was that very sense of mid-century malaise, reflected by the books and movies of the time.