Good Reading : November 2006
14 goodreading ı NOVEMBER 2006 My favourite place for reading was the loft behind the yard. Except when Father was getting out fresh sacks of grain it was the quietest place in the house. There were huge piles of sacks to lie on, and a sort of plas- tery smell mixed up with the smell of sainfoin, and bunches of cobwebs in all the corners, and just over the place where I used to lie there was a hole in the ceiling and a lath sticking out of the plaster. I can feel the feeling of it now. A winter day, just warm enough to lie still. I’m lying on my belly with Chums open in front of me. A mouse runs up the side of a sack like a clock-work toy, then suddenly stops dead and watches me with his little eyes like tiny jet beads. I’m twelve years old, but I’m Donovan the Dauntless. Two thou- sand miles up the Amazon I’ve just pitched my tent, and the roots of the mysterious orchid that blooms once in a hundred years are safe in the tin box under my camp bed. In the forests all around the Hopi-Hopi Indians, who paint their teeth scarlet and skin white men alive, are beating their war-drums. I’m watching the mouse and the mouse is watching me, and I can smell the dust and the sainfoin and the cool plastery smell, and I’m up the Amazon, and it’s bliss, pure bliss. George Orwell, Coming up for Air (1939), found in A Book Addict’s Treasury by Julie Rugg & Lynda Murphy book trivia more books to screen Okay, she’s not a book, but Beatrix Potter was of course the writer of 23 much-loved books for children. The one that started it all, The Tale of Peter Rabbit, egan life as an illus- ated letter to the sick hild of a friend. Now major new film of Beatrix Potter’s life, Miss Potter, starring Renée Zellweger, will be in cinemas early next year. And yes, there’s a new book about her coming out next month: Miss Potter – The Novel by Richard Maltby. The film of James Ellroy’s book The Black Dahlia is due out this month. It’s the story of the hunt for the killer of Elizabeth Short in Los Angeles in 1947. The severed body of the 22-year-old waitress and aspiring starlet was found dumped on waste land, and the case became the most notorious unsolved murder in Californian history.The film stars Aaron Eckhart and Josh Hartnett as the two LA cops assigned to investigate the murder, Scarlett Johansson as a femme fatale, and is directed by Brian de Palma. By way of coincidence, Lynda La Plante’s new novel, The Red Dahlia, inspired by the real-life Black Dahlia case, comes out this month – see our cover story on page 16! Finally, the film version of Pobby and Dingan hit cinemas recently, renamed for the big screen as Opal Dream. The book, written by Englishman Ben Rice and et in Lightning Ridge, ells the story of Kellyanne Williamson and her maginary friends Pobby and Dingan. It won the 2001 Somerset Maugham Award, and was repub- lished in September this year by Vintage Australia to coincide with the release of the film. Hannibal the cannibal resurfaces Those of you who marvelled at the capacity of Thomas Harris to scare the living daylights out of us with Red Dragon, The Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal will be thrilled to hear that he’s busy pen- ning a ‘prequel’ to The Silence of the Lambs. It’s to be called Hannibal Rising and will be published here n December by Random House, simultaneously with an audio version read by Harris himself. The novel will apparently shed more light on the early life of Dr Hannibal Lecter, who was introduced in Red Dragon as a gaoled serial killer with an insight into the minds of other serial killers. In Hannibal Rising readers will, according to the publisher, see the evolution of Lecter’s evil, which stems from seeing his entire family killed in Eastern Europe during the Second World War. The film version, with a screenplay by Harris, will be released next year.
December / January 2007