Posts Tagged The Drop

BOOK to FILM: Get Reading!

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Recently watched The Drop. It’s just like the book as Dennis Lehane wrote the screenplay for the film based on a short story and then wrote the novel based on the screenplay. It stars Noomi Rapace, Tom Hardy, James Gandolfini and a cute cute cute puppy! Plenty of Dennis Lehane novels have been adapted to film– Shutter Island, Gone Baby Gone.

live by night

Even though I’m not an avid mystery/thriller reader, I’ve sought out a few Dennis Lehane because he’s a local author and many of his books take place in Boston.I took Live By Night out of the library because Ben Affleck will be directing the film version of that one this summer. Read Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout when it came out many years ago [Strout is also a lively speaker] and am delighted to see such a quality miniseries on HBO with Frances McDormand. I don’t read a lot of mystery/thrillers so if they’re adapted to film I’ve likely not read all that many of them.

Like most people I read John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars as well as The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins before I saw the wonderful film versions. Sometimes the film version is better than the book but often the book is better than the film. Sometimes it’s a good story either way. I’m a bibliophile but not a literary snob that must read every book before seeing its cinematic adaptation. Most Nicholas Sparks, fantasy, romance or YA I’ll give a pass.

wolf hall

Damian Lewis as Henry XIII

Damian Lewis as Henry XIII

It’s usually best to read the book a while before the film comes out or cast announcements unless you want to envision certain actors in the role. I read Shutter Island right before I saw the film so I pictured Leo DiCaprio the entire time. Not a bad thing. I plan to read Wolf Hall in the next month before the BBC mini-series starring Damian Lewis as Henry XIII.

some 2015 film releases and the source material:

casual vacancy

The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling
starring: Simona Brown; Hetty Baynes; Lolita Chakrabarti
release date: February on BBC One

carey-mulligan-matt-far-from-the-madding-crowd

Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
starring: Carey Mulligan; Tom Sturridge; Matthias Schoenaerts
release date: May 1

child 44

Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith
starring: Tom Hardy; Gary Oldman; Noomi Rapace; Paddy Considine; Dev Patel and Charles Dance.
release date: April 17

serena film2

Serena by Ron Rash
starring: Jennifer Lawrence; Bradley Cooper
release date: March 27

dark places

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
starring: Charlize Theron; Chloe Grace Moretz; Christina Hendricks; Nicholas Hoult and Corey Stoll.
release date: TBD

price of salt

The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith
starring: Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara
release date: TBD

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The Mordecai Trilogy by Kyril Bonfiglioli
starring: Johnny Depp, Gwyneth Paltrow; Ewan McGregor
release date: January 23

me before you

Me Before You by Jo Jo Moyes
starring: Emilia Clarke; Sam Claflin
release date: August 21

black mass

Black Mass by Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill
starring: Johnny Depp; Benedict Cumberbatch; Kevin Bacon; Juno Temple
release date: September 18

secret scripture

The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry
starring: Rooney Mara; Vanessa Redgrave; Eric Bana; Jeremy Irons
release date: TBD

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The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman
starring: Jessica Chastain
release date: TBD

A WALK IN THE WOODS

A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
starring: Robert Redford; Nick Nolte
release date: TBD

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book review: The Drop

the drp

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.

RATING: ***/5

–review by Amy Steele

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for review from Harper Collins.

purchase at Amazon: The Drop

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