2008-04-01 : What I read on the plane
I read 3:10 to Yuma and other stories by Elmore Leonard, a collection of his Western short stories, on the way out, and I read No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy on the way back.
I preferred 3:10 to Yuma. I liked both quite a bit, but there's something just right about the size of Elmore Leonard's short stories. Each contains the right amount of setup for one single satisfying resolution. Straightforward but not simplistic and just big enough to contain a subtle twist.
They were interesting in contrast. Elmore Leonard wrote his in the fifties, and it shows in the morality of them. Not just in what's depicted, but in how the protagonists act, what they're capable of and what they're called to do. Cormac McCarthy, as we all know, creates a much uglier world, peopled by much uglier people. (Me, I figure that they live in the same world - Cormac McCarthy is documenting a change in fashion in fiction, not an uptick in real violence in the real world. That's how I figure it.)
3:10 to Yuma the movie doesn't follow the short story especially closely, and brings in elements from a couple of the other stories in the book, plus makes a bunch of stuff up outright. But I've never seen a movie more faithful to a book than No Country for Old Men. It's like, line for line almost, barely even elided.
As an aside, on the plane back they showed an episode of The Office (US), which I'd never seen an episode of before. It got me hooked. That's a funny show. It's like the mirror image of Pushing Daisies. It's built on moments of grace in the midst of awkward horribleness, vs Pushing Daisies' moments of awkward horribleness in the midst of grace.
The comments include SPOILERS LIKE CRAZY. Don't click in if you haven't read the books and seen the movies.
1. On 2008-04-01, Seth Ben-Ezra said:
2. On 2008-04-01, Brand Robins said:
3. On 2008-04-01, Vincent said:
4. On 2008-04-01, John Harper said:
5. On 2008-04-02, Seth Ben-Ezra said:
6. On 2008-04-02, Vincent said:
7. On 2008-04-02, Vincent said:
8. On 2008-04-02, Vincent said:
9. On 2008-04-11, Rob said: