About Me

My photo
To listen to my latest recording, view my complete profile and then click on "audio clip" under "links"

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Coming Soon, I Hope

What novel more than ten years old have you recently read that made you wonder why it hasn't yet been made into a film?

My top candidate - The Garden of Last Days (2008) - has no close competition. In capable hands, the crackling tension Andre Dubus III creates telling his story of several lives intersecting over the five days prior to 9/11 could be cinematic nitroglycerine. In addition, there's not a false note of dialogue in the book. If a screenwriter just lifted verbatim most of the words Dubus has these struggling souls speak, the resulting screenplay would be colloquial, coherent, and chilling. 

Although I've read several, The Garden of Last Days is only the second worthwhile novel I've read touching on our national nightmare. (The other - Joseph O'Neill's Netherlands - also from 2008, is more muted but equally excellent.) But any recommendation of "...Garden" comes with a warning: This is not a safe book. For me, Dubus's decision to make one of the terrorists a central character is a bold choice, one that makes the narrative sting in unexpected and convincing ways. For you, that author choice might land differently as you read.

No comments:

Post a Comment