Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A book that changed the course of a year for me.

I Heard The Owl Call My Name, is a book that changed a whole year of my life. 2002 was not my best year, in fact parts of 2002 very nearly was the death of me. Not a literal death, but a death of the sprite of me. The hope and love and joy that is very much who I am.

A very wise man I knew at the time told me to read this book. And for a very long time I did not get around to it. Then one day at a book store there it was. One copy of a book I had been told I would have to get ordered.

Aha, I am stubborn and I can be dumb, but I know when life is trying to tell me something so I got the book and started to read it on the bus, I got off the bus and read while I walked and got home and read and finished in about 3 hours.

Every single thing that had been wrong 3 hours before can into focus and was forgotten. The anger and the pain and the hopelessness was put aside by one line in a very small book.

Page 138 "In his tiny house the teacher heard the running footfalls on the path to the river bank, and he went quickly to the door and could not open it. To join the others was to care, and to care was to live and to suffer."

Now that line may not change your life, but maybe you will find one line or an idea or a person in this book that could change you, uplift you and make your day better.

And that is what writing should be about. This book is only 133 pages long, how I wish I could write one book of that few pages and hope that is could be that powerful. Instead I am happy to write about books and movies that help me, change me, uplift me and hope that I can share that power to others.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Missed The Point

I just saw the Lovely Bones movie and I was sad.
Not because of the content but because it missed the point.
It missed the point by so much.

If you have seen the movie trailers or read the book you know what it is about.
So I am not giving anything away by saying it is about the murder of a young girl.
That should be sad and depressing, but in her amazing book Alice Sebold has given us a thing of beauty and love.

The beauty of a life after death, where people who are cheated in this life by an early death can go to live some more and learn and love.
Love in a family that is not stopped by someone else's evil.
A beautiful dream space where the deceased can watch over their loved ones and see justice done.

At work I am always telling people to buy this book, I tell them it is amazing and uplifting, and they give me a look as if to say " Are you nuts its about a child murder" , but nearly every time they come back and tell me how wonderful and up lifting it was and how they are now going to buy it for everyone they know.

Sometimes I think we just have to understand that some ideas will not be taken from the page and put on film. Some ideas are to beautiful and complex to be put in the world out side of books. I would hate for someone to see the movie and then not read the book because of the movie. The book is so uplifting and life affirming and the movie weighted me down and left me sad, for days.

And now to Stanley Tucci. They got his charaactor so very wronge and by getting him wrong it made a lot else seem wrong. Why on earth was he doing a Dustin Hoffman voice? Why did this normally stellar actor make the bad guy into a near cartoon, rendering his evil to Dr Evil type nonsense?

So my friends is you have a spare $20 and it is a toss up between the movie and the book, get the book. The movie will just leave you sad for days, whereas the book will lift you up and give you more then you had before.

And isn't that what great art is meant to give us?