Thursday, 25 February 2016

Throwback Thursday: Oscar Sunday

I used to love the Oscars...I made sure that if I had to work on Sundays I could at least get one Sunday off a year...Oscar Sunday! I would watch all the pre-shows, stars walking the carpet, the Oscars and post-Oscar shows.  When I was in my late teens I would try and watch as many of the movies that were nominated as I could.  I have always liked the glitz and glamour of Hollywood but I think the shine has worn off for me.  Plus, who gets nominated and who wins seems to be just a popularity contest rather than based on merit.  For the past seven years, I have not seen the Oscars nor have I really been interested in who is nominated...but I will always love movies....especially movies adapted from books.

Written by Avery Corman
1977; 256 Pages
Genre: fiction, literary

(I received an ARC from the NETGALLEY in exchange for an honest review.)

Rating: ★★★
After some years of marriage and parenthood Joanna Kramer walks out on her husband and son.  In the note she tells Ted she needs more than being a stay at home mom.  Now Ted is a single father trying to understand how Joanna could leave their son, Billy and what he has to do next.  As Ted and Billy start to get used to their new life Joanna returns and wants sole custody.

I have been wanting to read this book since I first saw the movie Kramer vs. Kramer in the early 90s.  I enjoyed the novel which expands on backstory of the Kramers yet lacks the personal touch.  This novel feels like an author telling a story rather than the characters.

Written by David Goodis
1946; 256 Pages
Genre: mystery, fiction, noir
(I received an ARC from the NETGALLEY in exchange for an honest review.)

Rating: ★★★
Dark Passage was made into a movie starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. The movie does follow the book closely with some differences.

Vincent Parry has just been convicted of murdering his wife. He is not completely upset with Gert dying and that did not help his case of innocence. Other than his fingerprints, alibi and his discontentment with his wife, there is Madge. Madge is Gert's "friend" who has her eye on Parry and is now saying she heard Gert's last words accusing her husband.

Parry has nothing to lose so he tries to make an escape from prison and for once his luck is holding up. He meets a young blonde woman who is wiling to aid him while he is on the run. Parry is not sure what to think but he does not have anyone else to turn to. Can he trust this stranger especially when he learns more about who she is?

I really like the movie version and it is my favourite movie of Bogart and Bacall's even though it is not as well known. The book was amazing. It is post-war noir at it's best. This is my first novel by Goodis and I liked his writing style - it is to the point and hovers on darkness and realism. If you like Mystery old time radio or movies you may want to give this one a shot!

 Not adapted into a movie...but about Hollywood
Written by Horace McCoy
1938; 183 Pages
genre: literary, fiction
(I received an ARC from the NETGALLEY in exchange for an honest review.)

Rating: ★★★
Ralph and Mona are down and out movie extras waiting for their big break into Hollywood. As Ralph's accent holds him back he becomes desperate to change his luck.  During a court trial of a friend Mona is held for contempt and leads herself and Ralph into Hollywood society.  Ralph finds himself being led into a world that will test his morals and desperation.

I immensely enjoyed my first novel by Horace McCoy.  McCoy's writing reminds me of Cormac McCarthy and James M. Cain's as it is straight to the point and gritty.  We always get the shiny happily ever after stories of the golden age of Hollywood.  In I Should Have Stayed Home it further opened my eyes to those who do not make as stars.  I was grabbed from the opening scene of a court trial to the end of the novel.  It was one of my read till I finish novels.  I recommend this n0ovel to anyone who enjoys a gripping story.
I am hoping to read McCoy's most popular novel They Shoot Horses Don't They set in the Depression Era.  Stayed tuned for a review...(I hope).

 k (My Novelesque Life)

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