This first half of The Chaperone is absolutely engrossing. The latter half moves by at a break-neck pace though, leaving one feeling as if the author wanted to squeeze as much as possible into the book in as small amount of space as possible. The premise of the story is fantastic. A young Louise Brooks (prior to becoming a famous silent film star) is accompanied to NYC to attend a prestigious dance school. Louise is irreverent and smart-mouthed, but open-minded to new experiences, while Cora (her companion) is a little more prim and proper and less open to what was becoming acceptable in 1920s society. It’s a lovely ride through 1920s New York and Wichita, Kansas. As I said, the ending left me a little deflated – how many epiphanies can one character have in 20 pages or so? But all in all, it’s a good read. It’s also apparently being made into a movie, which I’m really looking forward to. I love the 20s and seeing the fashion, etc. on the big screen.
I absolutely love Barbara Kingsolver’s work – and this book did not disappoint. Kingsolver is the creator of one of my favorite characters of all time (Ada from “The Poisonwood Bible“), so I went in knowing that I’d more than likely find new characters to fall in love with. Taylor, Turtle, and Lou Ann make a unique little family that I did indeed love. Lou Ann’s various neuroses about all the crazy ways a child can die in the everyday world made me laugh out loud quite often. She reminded me of all those fears I had when The Peeshwank was just a baby. The story is a much simpler story than the epic Poisonwood Bible, but tells as engrossing a tale.
Yep. I’m a Constant Reader (as King refers to his legions of fans). I have been since I was about 12 and my mom found me rifling through her book collection after being thoroughly bored by the offerings of my school library. I started out with some of the scarier (to a 12-year-old girl) novels – Pet Sematary, Salem’s Lot, etc. then graduated on to The Stand at 15. There’s not a thing of his that I’ve read that I haven’t liked. Under the Dome represents King at his best. He’s built an entire cast of characters under that dome, each one depicted as only King can. The town dissolves into a Nazi-esque regime under the thumb of the good-ol-boy Big Jim in which if you’re not with him you probably wanna watch out for a knife in the back (or a gold plated baseball to the head). Living in the South I’ve met countless people who resemble Big Jim in some way or another which makes this story that much more chilling – these are everyday people. They could be your neighbors. Yet they are at war in their small picturesque town and there’s no way anyone outside the Dome can help them.
I decided to read this one along with the television miniseries, but after the first episode and the following letter from King, I went on and blasted through the rest of it without waiting for the show to catch up. Honestly, it’s just one of those I can’t put down even if I wanted to wait for the show to catch up. It’s King at his finest and probably one of my top three of his – along with “The Stand” and “On Writing” and “Misery” and “11/22/63″ and “Needful Things” and… oh forget it. It’s like asking a mom to decide which kid is her favorite.
As for the miniseries… part of me is enjoying having no idea what’s going to happen next. It’s like reading “Desperation” and then watching “The Regulators”. Same dome, same character names, but everything else… different. Another part of me though, would love to see the events of the book played out on the screen. Of course, it would never live up to what I see in my head when I read the book.
This month has been crazy (I know, different month, same excuse) with doing local theater (if you’re in the area, come see The Peeshwank in “The King and I” at Rogers Little Theater) and a couple other film projects (here, here, and here), so I haven’t had as much time to read as normal. I did start my umpteenth re-read of “Much Ado About Nothing” though because…
Review forthcoming… as soon as a movie theater in Arkansas will man up and decide to show the danged movie.