Jessica Day George

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

I'm just reading the book for my book group, and I have to say that I'm even more impressed with the new Tim Burton movie. A lot of the dialogue in the movie is directly from the book. They did a great job adapting Dahl's fun little book into a clever little movie. I've read the book before, of course, and have to recommend it to everyone. Also, anything else by Roald Dahl, who was a wonderful, witty writer. "Lamb to the Slaughter" is a fabulous short story, and "Boy", his childhood autobiography, is fascinating.

Monday, November 7, 2005

The Baroque Cycle

Does Neal Stephenson scare anyone else? I'm fifty pages in to The System of the World, the third and final book of the Baroque Cycle, and it's just amazing. And rather like reading a history textbook that mated with a science textbook that turned around and shagged a picaresque novel. It's slow, thick going, but Neal is so freakishly brilliant that I can't put it down. I'm in awe of the fact that his brain came up with something this convoluted and insanely detailed.

Anansi Boys

But of course my real pick of the week (for Neal Stephenson is not for the faint of heart) is Anansi Boys. Admittedly, I am a Neil Gaiman groupie. I know that his last book, American Gods, curled both hair and toes and made people go "Eeew!" But Anansi Boys makes up for it. It's wonderful. It's funny, it's clever, it's exciting. And really, once Fat Charlie gets his lime, there's just no turning back.