Blog Archives

Unfortunately, there are books that will never be made into movies…

Posting earlier about the film version of Kerouac‘s “On The Road” at Cannes got me thinking about the novels I’ve gotten attached to in my life that will never be made into movies. Some of them should be, but, due to author preferences or interpretive difficulty or some other reason, won’t.

The one that comes to mind first is “Catcher in the Rye.” Having been disappointed at the way one of his early short stories was committed to film, Salinger vowed it would never happen again and kept all his remaining work from becoming “properties.” The number of young actors who would have killed to play Holden Caulfield goes beyond counting… and there are certainly directors who would have been willing to commit immense amounts of time to such a project. Can you imagine a Mike Nichols directed “Catcher?”

Thinking of Salinger, it is also a shame that Seymour and Buddy and the rest of the Glass family will never appear on film. No Franny and Zooey.” No “Seymour, an Introduction” (although that would have been a very eccentric film.)

The novels of Thomas Pynchon, especially “V.” and “Gravity’s Rainbow,” although extremely complex and time-line-twisted, would be interesting to film. I would have liked to see John Belushi play Benny Profane. Not gonna happen.

I’m sure you can think of more, of books you would have liked to have seen filmed but that were withheld from the process.

Let me know which ones come to mind.

New Pynchon Novel Arrives in August!

Inherent-ViceThere are things in this world that make my heart thump and my tastebuds juice up! Thomas Pynchon has a new nove, INHERENT VICE,  coming out in August.

On the back cover it apparently has this:

“He’s back…. the most important and elusive writer of his generation returns with a magnificently crazy and compelling psychedelic yarn about the sixties, featuring new noir hero, private eye Doc Sportello”

And this is the description both Amazon and Barnes & Noble are putting out:

Part noir, part psychedelic romp, all Thomas Pynchon — private eye Doc Sportello comes, occasionally, out of a marijuana haze to watch the end of an era as free love slips away and paranoia creeps in with the L.A. fog.

It’s been awhile since Doc Sportello has seen his ex-girlfriend. Suddenly out of nowhere she shows up with a story about a plot to kidnap a billionaire land developer whom she just happens to be in love with. Easy for her to say. It’s the tail end of the psychedelic sixties in L.A., and Doc knows that “love” is another of those words going around at the moment, like “trip” or “groovy,” except that this one usually leads to trouble. Despite which he soon finds himself drawn into a bizarre tangle of motives and passions whose cast of characters includes surfers, hustlers, dopers and rockers, a murderous loan shark, a tenor sax player working undercover, an ex-con with a swastika tattoo and a fondness for Ethel Merman, and a mysterious entity known as the Golden Fang, which may only be a tax dodge set up by some dentists.

In this lively yarn, Thomas Pynchon, working in an unaccustomed genre, provides a classic illustration of the principle that if you can remember the sixties, you weren’t there … or … if you were there, then you … or, wait, is it …

About the Author
Thomas Pynchon is the author of V., The Crying of Lot 49, Gravity’s Rainbow, Slow Learner, a collection of short stories, Vineland, Mason and Dixon, and, most recently, Against the Day. He received the National Book Award for Gravity’s Rainbow in 1974.

pynchon on the simpsonsOK… I can’t wait. Pynchon is the one author about whose books I can truly say “I read ’em all”… even GRAVITY’S RAINBOW (OK, I can say it about the late William Gaddis, too.) I put a pre-order in to Amazon and now I’ll just sit back and wait.