Monday, 30 May 2011
The book also includes some wonderful descriptions of the Ohio Valley, where the majority of the book takes place:
"In the Ohio Valley it is the river that gives and takes the seasons. It is as if that mighty stream were the vast, alluvial artery of the land itself so that when the towns grow weary of snows and harsh fogs the great heart pumps green spring blood down the valley and the banks are warmed and nourished by it and soon the whole environing earth blossoms despite itself and the air comes alive and lambs caper and bleat upon the hillside paths. And so now it was the prime of spring in the bottomlands. Soon the redbone hound would kelt in the creek hollows on nights when the moon was a curl of golden hair against the shoulder of the Ohio hills. Soon the shantyboat people would join their fiddle and mouth-harp racket to the chorus of green frogs down under the mists in the moonlit willows."
Monday, 23 May 2011
Films set in West Virginia include The Mothman Prophecies as well as the 1975 non-fiction book which formed the basis for the film (both focusing on Point Pleasant in Mason County), Wrong Turn (set in the forests of West Virginia), and the 1955 Robert Mitchum thriller The Night of the Hunter, which just so happens to also be the book I've selected for this state.
After struggling through Anne Tyler in Maryland I knew I had to pick something I would enjoy this time, and I know I can't go wrong with this one. Although the film, now considered a classic, was a critical and box office failure on its initial release, the book by Davis Grubb, first published in 1953, was a bestseller and National Book Award finalist, and is now well regarded as a classic of the Southern Gothic genre.
Review to follow this week...
Wednesday, 18 May 2011
A Patchwork Planet was first published in 1998 and like many of Anne Tyler's novels is set in Baltimore. I've read the book over the last week and as I've fallen behind schedule I won't be posting a separate review. It's not the kind of book I would normally read and I found her writing a little too whimsical for my tastes, though I understand this is part of the appeal to her fan base and A Patchwork Planet has been largely praised elsewhere. It's also the first book on this trip where I've felt the setting hasn't played a large role as a character in the story. The plot focuses on a divorced 30-year-old former juvenile from Baltimore who has proved to be a disappointment to his affluent family from Guilford by not amounting to anything more than his dead-end career as a handyman for the elderly. Guilford is a distinctive residential neighbourhood in the northern part of Baltimore comprising of 680 family dwellings ranging from modest homes to stately mansions, many with swimming pools, extensive landscaping and old-fashioned streetlights. There are also a number of scenes set in Penn Station, the main train station in Baltimore (built 1911) and the eighth busiest rail station in the United States.
Next: West Virginia
Tuesday, 10 May 2011
00:27:48 "We also had the Delaware state flag in the backgrounds, so the property department kept bringing the Delaware state flag and we would put it on the flagpole. In this scene, you don’t see it, because the camera never tilts up high enough to see it; but of course, all the Fox representatives were down there on the set looking, watching the monitors, making sure you couldn’t see the Delaware state flag because then you’d have to go and re-clear everybody’s names. “There might be a Lou’s Tavern in Wilmington, Delaware!”" David Fincher's DVD commentary
Thursday, 5 May 2011
I was worried early on that there were no good books set in Delaware. In fact in terms of films set in the state I have yet to find any I have heard of either: Trigger Man (2007) or Wrestling (2008) anyone? I consulted some other forums undergoing similar endeavors and most of them had skipped the state altogether. Not wanting to be beaten so easily I did a little bit more research and eventually found a book that, although it never states directly where it is set, I have on good authority is set in the city of Wilmington.
Fight Club was published in 1996 and was Chuck Palahniuk's first novel. It was later turned into a 1999 film by David Fincher, and to prove it's set in Delaware here's a direct quote from Fincher's DVD audio commentary:
00:25:35: "The book takes place in Wilmington, Delaware, because that’s like a headquarters for a lot of credit card companies. We wanted to make the film take place in Wilmington, Delaware, but there’s some kind of clearance issues if it’s a specific town then you have to get clearances for specific names, streets, you know, apartment buildings."
Review to follow this week...
Wednesday, 4 May 2011
“…Then, safe on the firm blacktop, you can decide whether to walk back down home or to hike up to the Pinnacle Hotel for a candy bar and a view of Brewer spread out below like a carpet, a red city, where they paint wood, tin, even red bricks red, an orange rose flowerpot red that is unlike the color of any other city in the world yet to the children of the county is the only color of cities, the color all cities are.”
Excert from 'Rabbit, Run'.