Tag Archives: IT

From Book to Film: Stephen King’s ‘A Good Marriage’

Stephen King, author of A Good Marriage.
Source: hollywoodreporter.com

What would you do if you discovered your spouse was a monster?

Hi! Anyone read Stephen King’s novella A Good Marriage? Well, it’s set to be released on film late 2013.

A Good Marriage was published in Full Dark No Stars, a dark collection of stories themed around retribution.

A Good Marriage is a good read. I liked it the most out of all the Full Dark, No Stars stories.  It’s like a novella mash up of a Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta series with an episode of Criminal Minds, both of which I am a huge fan. It definitely has all the makings for a GREAT psychological thriller film.

Joan Allen
Source: hollywoodreporter.com

Tell me, what would you do if you discovered your spouse was a monster? Joan Allen from The Bourne series has been cast as protagonist, Darcy Anderson who is faced with this question. The short story revolves around her response to discovering her husband’s nasty secret. It will be interesting to see what that looks like on screen, particularly as Stephen King has written the screenplay.

Hopefully A Good Marriage will be released in 2013. I CAN’T WAIT!

Baby, Can You Dig Yo’ Adaptations?

Book to film adaptations can be tricky, particularly Stephen King books! Films made from his stories range from cult classic such as Stand By Me and The Shining, to the disastrous Creepshow and Sleepwalkers. It could just depend on the size of the wallet bankrolling the production, or the calibre of actors & director that determine whether it shifts well into film, though I doubt it. Hearts in Atlantis & Bag of Bones lost something significant in their book to film adaptations (in my opinion), and they are modern productions with a great casting and relatively healthy budgets. Perhaps its just that the wild and wonderful mind of Stephen King doesn’t translate well on screen when it dives too far down the rabbit hole. Whatever the case, some movies haven’t thrived in the transition across mediums.

Hey you with the cynicism, enough already!

OK, I know… despite my cynicism, I am optimistic about A Good Marriage translating well into film. Besides, there have been some fantastic adaptations of Stephen King books. Some of my favourites are:

  • The Shawshank Redemption and Stand By Me. Both films are based on short stories from Different Seasons and they are outstanding.
  • The Green Mile is another one that I thoroughly enjoyed, but with Tom Hanks as leading man, what’s not to love?
  • The Stand and IT were also good TV mini-series (for their time), though I’d like to see them rejigged and revived – as long as they kept Tim Curry as Pennywise, of course.
  • The Shining & Misery both had powerhouse performances from Jack Nicholson (“Heeeeere’s Johnny!”) and Kathy Bates as the scariest fan ever in  Misery.

Yep, I’m backing A Good Marriage to be a hit! What do you think? Come on, argue with me 🙂

What’s your favourite Stephen King film adaptation? Do you think A Good Marriage can be pulled off as a film? Tell us in comments below.

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11.22.63

Do you ever find there’s this cynical part of you that just doesn’t believe your favourite author can possibly have it in them to blow your mind again?

I think I had this experience with 11.22.63. I wasn’t expecting to be rendered completely unable to eat, sleep, work, have a conversation, go for a walk, hang out with my husband or basically function without this book in my hands.

If I was oblivious to it at the time, I knew I’d been book-whipped at the end when I found myself re-reading the final paragraph on the last page a few times… flicking through and skim-reading some earlier narrative I’d forgotten about as I drank in the story as a whole, complete entity… stroking the spine and feeling that completely disorienting realisation that it’s over… (how would I spend my time now?)… missing the characters already, the colours of the world they lived in… feeling a little too light without the narration of a man with a mission so heavy you could feel it in each page…

Yep, I was whipped by 11.22.63.

And let’s face it.. I can be extreme. I get obsessive with some books, there’s no doubt about it. If you’ve read any of my posts you may have realised that my relationship with literature is a passionate, zealous, all consuming love affair worthy of the Bronte sisters. Yet, I think I’ve retained enough sense of mind to say that this was quite simply, a great story.

If you’re not sure whether to give Stephen King a go – read this book!

Here’s some more reasons why this should be on your list of soon-to-be-reads (I’ll try not to spoil it!)

  • It’s a surprising love story, on a number of levels.
  • The 1950’s America that SK paints is a vivid, sensory experience.
  • If you’re a fan of SK’s “IT”, you’ll appreciate a brief little encounter with 1950’s Derry. In fact, I think I may have shed a tear during those precious pages.
  • The characters are wonderfully King-esque (ie., believable)
  • The age-old question ‘what if we really could change history?’ is explored, sprinkled with a dose of SK flare.
  • The motif of cause-effect, choice-consequence and questions of what it means to “have it all” in life are a great challenge in this post-post-modern era.
  • If you’re not a fan of evil sewer clowns, incestuous cat-people and haunted hotels, then you’ll like this book.
  • If you are a fan of evil sewer clowns, incestuous cat-people, haunted hotels and more – you’ll like this book!

It’s just damn good.

Buy it. Borrow it. Try it on, wriggle around in it and let me know what you think.

Avid Reader,

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I Heart You, Stephen King: A 5 minute presentation on my favourite author

This week I was asked to do a 5 minute presentation on anything – yes, anything.

This is what I did:

Some background..

Where it all began..

Shouldn’t need explaining, really.

Admittedly, this ‘Top 5’ list depends largely on what I’ve read recently..

Just looking at this makes me want to read It again..

In case you thought SK wasn’t for you..

‘Nuff said.

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Why I Love IT

It’s not every day you wake up with Stephen King in your bed. As fate would have it, yesterday was one of those days.

I woke up to find the remnants of last nights reading snuggled safely between two blankets – “On Writing”, the first of my 2012 resolutionary “5 Stephen King books I haven’t read yet” waiting to be discovered in its entirety. This is a read I plan to stretch out as long as possible, savouring every motif, analogy, heading, word, comma, full stop.

A book I would love to savour, but find simply impossible, is “IT” (1986). After spending every waking moment trapped in its musky pages, I closed the book a couple of weeks ago. IT is a story that profoundly effects me, and I’ve been trying to figure out why. It took some time, but after much reflection I’ve managed to come up with a few reasons for why I love IT.

My very loved copy of IT

Well, first off the bat – it’s brilliant writing – but it’s written by The Master Storyteller, so that’s a given. There are phrases here and there that particularly linger in my soul as an aftertaste for days, even weeks after being read, such as

“A silence fell amid the three of them. It was not an entirely uncomfortable silence. In it they became friends” p. 226

There’s the dynamic cast:

  • the “Lucky Seven” or “Losers Group” as they call themselves. Each a convincing and heart warming character in their own right, with their own way of interpreting the world around them, each their own cross to bear and strained (aka strange) 1950’s relationship with their parents. These characters are so interesting and authentic, that I miss them as soon as the book is shut.
  • Henry Bowers and his gang: great foes that play a vital role in knitting the Losers together as they unite to face a common enemy. Bowers is particularly creepy, and the most clearly developed (not to mention psychotic) of the group.
  • The town itself, Derry, a prominent character with a dark history and sickening dependence on the evil that feeds off the town whilst simultaneously ensuring Derry’s posperity.
  • And of course, there’s the ultimate anti-hero, Prime Evil itself, IT. IT is one scary piece of work, popping up every 27 years to feed on the innocent. A shapeshifting, telepathic, ancient evil that dwells in the bowels of Derry’s complex sewer system, IT can morph into whatever form is most terrifying or alluring to It’s intended victim. I find IT most horrifying (influenced no doubt by the outstanding performance of Tim Curry in the 1990 mini-series), as Pennywise the clown. IT also appears as a werewolf, giant bird, giant spider, voices of children emerging from drains and more. IT is brilliantly terrifying.

There are other reasons I love this book, the time frame spans across 30 years, shifting between 1985 and 1958 with an ease that isn’t disorienting. I very much enjoy the perspective changes, for instance, the adult life and death of Stanley Uris is told from the point of view of Stanley’s wife. An insightful narrative that tells us much about the man Stan grew to be. It’s interesting that despite Stanley’s untimely death in the begining of the story, the grief of losing him kicks in much later as we learn more about him as a child and friend.

All of the above is eerily wonderful. But there’s more – I love this book because it pays homage to kids. The story explores the profound power of childhood bonds and the things of being a child of the 50’s: Cowboys and Indians, building dams, riding bikes at deathly speeds, sneaking a cigarette when it’s safe, sticking together through thick and thin, coping with grief when none of the adults show you how. It’s a story about the heroism of childlike faith that enables 7 friends to face terrors that would drive adults mad.

Predominantly, I think one of the biggest things I love about this book is the reminder that sometimes, in order to face life’s darkest fears, we must remember and adopt the simple faith of a child.

Your Reader,

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Reader’s Block? What Reader’s Block?

Greetings, Salutations and All That Jazz,

I’m pleased to announce that the dark night of this reader’s soul  (see Reader’s Block) has been well and truly demolished. Smashed. Obliterated. For now. I attribute this to a gorgeous little Op-Shop on the New South Wales coast and it’s towering disarray of dusty, un-catologued bookshelves lined with pre-loveds. I also thank Dan Brown for his easily devourable thriller “Angels and Demons” (2000) that broke the dry spell, providing an interesting read. Cheers.

Since the foggy cloud of reader’s blues has shifted, I’ve been at it with a firey vengeance and I’m pumped about the reading list I have in store for myself this year. I’ve just picked up an old favourite, your “IT” (1986) which, is magic, and the perfect balm to soothe the literature starved mind. Aside from the fact that it’s pretty terrifying, it’s just so wonderfully constructed, so mesmorisingly real. In Part 1, I’m fascinated by the literary devices used to hook the reader in and make them fall in love with the protagonists: all 7 of them. It’s brilliant. Each character introduced – be it one of the main 7 or otherwise, is unique and believable. With just enough of their history and context to understand them without being boring, the scene is set and already the reader wants to, no, has to know What Happens Next. What did the friends forget in Derry? What is the monster lurking in the shadow of their subconscious? “IT” is just sublime in so many ways… as long as you don’t mind being creeped out!!

Prior to returning to “IT” I also read Nick Hornby’s “High Fidelity” (1995). I’ve seen and loved the film adapatation with John Cusack, so I had an idea of what to expect, but the novel blew my socks off – without question I could have read it in one sitting. The film is quite close to the book – much of the movie’s dialogue is simply cut and paste from the narration in the novel, which is GREAT, because the narration is everything. The character’s internal monologue and processing of his life and what’s become of it is hilariously poignant. I think it’s fair to say, it has with considerable ease, snuck right on in to my Top 5 All Time Favourite Novels. “With a bullet.” Bang. I look forward to sharing more about that in future correspondance, Stephen King, but for now, it’s back to my hot beverage and favourite pastime.

Your Rejuvinated and Enthusiastic Reader,

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