Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Paper and screen

It's simply a novel about a guy who goes to college and becomes a teacher. But it's one of the most fascinating things you've ever come across 
- Tom Hanks.

I really couldn't have put it better myself. 'Stoner' by John Williams is one of the best books I've read in a long time. I don't think I've found myself as absorbed and totally moved by a book since 'Any Human Heart' by William Boyd. I suppose in a way they're quite similar in style, narrating a man's life and all its ups and downs, but done in such a way that you can't tear yourself away from it yet you don't want it to finish. Someone asked me if it was good last week and I found myself nodding frantically and I actually said "it's touched my soul". I don't even know what I meant by that but it just seemed the right thing to say. It really did touch me, so much. I felt quite bereft when I had finished as I knew I wouldn't be reading about Stoner anymore. I think it's safe to say it gets a highly recommended from me.

Touching of souls wasn't limited to paper this week, although this film was originally a book: 'The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas'. I read the little paragraph about it in the tv guide and I kind of knew what the story was about but I went ahead and watched it anyway. I can't say I'm glad as I was properly heartbroken by the end, but I am glad I watched it if you see what I mean. 

At the heart of the film was friendship, and I could never shake the sensation that in all my years of studying and reading about Nazi Germany it had honestly never occurred to me that of course, the people who ran those camps might have had children of their own. Who were innocent to what was going on around them and just wanted a friend to play with. I won't say what happens at the end in case anyone decides they want to go through a few tissues one night but I can still hear Vera Farmiga screaming Bruuuuuuunoooooo at the end *blood runs cold*  

I think maybe I need to lighten things up a bit. Anybody got any good comedy recommendations? 

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