Posts Tagged book-to-film
The Dressmaker By Rosalie Ham.
Penguin Books Original| August 11, 2015|256 pages |$16.00| ISBN: 978-0-14-312906-6
“The stranger went back to her room to smoke her cigarettes. She wondered how Paris had found its way to the dilapidated confines and neglected torsos of banal housewives in a rural provence.”
It’s quite possible that I still would have read The Dressmaker by Rosalie Ham at some point. However, knowing that Kate Winslet would star in the feature film based on the novel piqued my interest. That’s good and bad. Kate Winslet happens to be one of, if not my all-time favorite actress and not for Titanic. I’ll see anything that she stars in. She’s such an immense talent. Here’s the thing with The Dressmaker: I can’t picture Kate Winslet and Liam Hemsworth together in the lead roles, not only because she’s 15 years older than him and they’re supposed to be close in age [which frequently happens in Hollywood].
After studying dressmaking and fashion design in couture houses throughout Paris, Myrtle “Tilly” Dunnage returns to the small Australian town in which she grew up. Not only did Tilly grow up in Dungatar but she faced much harassment and was basically banished as a child following a false murder accusation. The townspeople find themselves titillated by Tilly’s sewing talents—she can reproduce anything from a fashion magazine and makes lovely outfits to suit any figure—and wary due to her reputation around town.
“Sergeant Farrat said love was as strong as hate and that as much as they themselves could hate someone, they could also love an outcast. Teddy was an outcast until he proved himself an asset and he’d loved an outcast—little Myrtle Dunnage. He loved her so much he asked her to marry him.”
While her fashion business blooms, Tilly finds friendship with cross-dressing police sergeant Farrat and love with Teddy, yet she mostly desires revenge. Tilly proves to be an intriguing character. She’s independent, outspoken and strong despite her past. Her dressmaking and style superb. Is it just provincial pettiness that drove Tilly away and envy that keeps fueling the battle? Ham’s descriptions of the townspeople and fashion burst from the pages and this is a fun, quick summer/weekend read.
–review by Amy Steele
FTC Disclosure: I received this book for review from Penguin Books.
purchase at Amazon: The Dressmaker: A Novel
The Drop by Dennis Lehane. Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks. Mystery/Thriller. Paperback. 224 pages.
Fox Searchlight asked Dennis Lehane to adapt his short story “Animal Rescue” into a screenplay for the feature film The Drop starring Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace and James Gandolfini. Lehane was a staff writer for the magnificent The Wire and currently is a writer/producer on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire. However, this didn’t appease Lehane as he decided to then write a novel based on the screenplay. A ploy for more money that he doesn’t need or he felt he had more he wanted to elaborate on in book form. As I read The Drop, I envisioned Hardy, Rapace and Gandolfini. Not sure if that’s good or bad.
Though mystery/thriller definitely isn’t my go-to genre [I prefer literary fiction, contemporary fiction and memoir] I enjoy reading a thriller from time to time. I read Shutter Island by Lehane knowing that the film version would soon be out. I decided why not read this one too before the film which features James Gandolfini in one of his last performances.
As with other novels, Lehane knows the back streets and neighborhoods of Boston. He painstakingly creates these sad, authentic and stuck characters. Lehane depicts Boston and the people who live in the city with love, pride and truth.
“The traffic had thinned considerably as they drove past Harvard Stadium, first football stadium in the country and yet one more building that seemed to mock Marv, one more place he’d have been laughed out of if he’d ever tried to walk in. That’s what this city did–it placed its history in your face at every turn so you could feel insignificant in is shadow.”
A few days after Christmas, forlorn bartender Bob Saginowski rescues a beat-up and abandoned pit-bull puppy from a trash can. In doing so he also befriends an enigmatic, troubled woman named Nadia and the two become friends through caring for the puppy. Bob works at his Cousin Marv’s bar which is a drop for some Chechens. That means it’s a safe spot for them to stash cash. Marv once ran with a gang of small-time hoodlums but since lost his bar to the Chechens. His name might be on the bar but they run the joint.
“Bob knew something was a little off about Nadia–the dog being found so close to her house and her lack of surprise or interest in that fact was not lost on Bob–but was there anyone, anywhere on this planet, who wasn’t a little off? More than a little most times. Nadia came by to help him with the dog, and Bob, who hadn’t known much friendship in his life, took what he could get.”
When the bar gets robbed, Bob and Marv set out to hunt for the missing money and become entangled with a curious police offer who attends the same church as Bob, some hapless low-level criminals, the dog’s original and creepy owner and the angry Chechens. There’s a fine line connecting every character to criminal activity. It’s dark.
You might want to read this before you venture out to see the film which opens in theaters September 12 if you’re the kind of person who likes to read the book before the film although in this case the film came first which confuses everything.
–review by Amy Steele
FTC Disclosure: I received this book for review from Harper Collins.
purchase at Amazon: The Drop