My son recently read a kids' edition of H.G. Wells' "The Time Machine," and our house has been busy with this story in various forms. I read the novel some 15 years ago and it remains a favorite. I've also seen both of the major adaptations, from 1960 and 2002, and my son and I … Continue reading The Time Machine
I picked up “Pilgrim’s Progress” only because I was reading “Little Women,” which I found made constant reference to Bunyan’s earlier novel. So I put down Alcott and started “Pilgrim,” and it was a mixed experience – riveting in many places, but often hard-going. As often happens when I pick up a new author, the … Continue reading Pilgrim’s Progress
It's a common trope in fiction: a final confrontation between the central hero of a story and its central villain. It's an important trope in Westerns, both on the page and screen -- Clint Eastwood's "Unforgiven" is just one famous example. And we see it in works of fiction that are too many to count: … Continue reading Hero, meet your villain; or, never mind
About 10 years ago I saw the television adaptation of Larry McMurtry's novel, "Streets of Laredo," his sequel to "Lonesome Dove." I had recently become a father, and that may have colored my judgment a bit, but I found "Laredo" to be, among many things, most memorably a story about parenthood. Motherhood, in this case. … Continue reading Streets of Laredo
November 9, 2020 The 1971 BBC version of “Persuasion” is not a bad adaptation, even if it feels more like a play than a movie. It’s faithful to the original story and it gets many things right, including Mrs. Smith’s role. But I think Anne in ‘95 was a better characterization. This Anne doesn’t seem … Continue reading BBC Persuasion (1971)
September 1, 2020 Reading “War and Peace” and watching Epic History TV’s documentaries about Napoleon and Alexander the Great (see below), I’m struck by some parallels between the two men. Alexander’s conquests spread Hellenistic culture and some Greek ideas about democracy (even though Alexander himself -- a student of Aristotle -- seems to have favored … Continue reading Napoleon and Alexander the Greats?