A new book review from The Movie Snob.
Warning Shadows: Home Alone with Classic Cinema, by Gary Giddins (2010). I had never heard of Giddins before, but I received an offer to buy this ebook for $2 and thought I would give it a chance. I’m not one for reading books on my iPad, but this collection of short essays on various movies, genres, directors, and actors was a good fit for the format. The book itself was okay but not great. It focuses on movies Giddins watched on DVD, and he watched lots and lots and lots of movies I have never heard of before. His treatments of directors and actors were too short to be terribly useful or informative. And I’m not too interested in some of the genres he is, like film noir and movies about jazz. But I liked his writing style fine, and I did learn a few things—like I should buy the four-DVD collector’s edition of Blade Runner because the later five-DVD version adds nothing of interest.
A new book review from the desk of The Movie Snob.
Home, by Marilynn Robinson (2008). It has been more than 10 years since I read and reviewed Robinson’s previous novel, Gilead, and now I wish I had read the two novels back to back, or at least closer together. Gilead was the autobiographical story of an elderly Iowa minister, and figuring large in his story were his dear friend Boughton and Boughton’s black-sheep son Jack. Home tells much of the same story, but this time from the perspective of Jack’s sister Glory, who is a close-up witness to the ripple effects of Jack’s sudden return to the tranquil pond of Gilead, Iowa. In my review of Gilead I took its narrator, Ames, to be a pretty saintly guy, but Home puts him in a rather different light. Anyway, I thought it took a while to get going, but ultimately Home packed a pretty good punch. I recommend it. And maybe I won’t wait 10 years to read Robinson’s 2014 follow-up, Lila.