Thursday, September 30, 2010

Horse Whisperer

I have been in a serious rut of reading. In my last review I mentioned that I was reading a book that I was thinking of withdrawing from the library as well as the first draft of a novel a friend of mine wrote. Well, the book was withdrawn with my not finishing it. Austin Grossman's Soon I Will Be Invincible could not withstand the onslaught of deselection. The book was just backstory about superheroes he created. Over and over. The actual story plodded along because the reader is constantly being told about what happened before. Horrible way to tell a story and I didn't finish it.

My friend Jason's book, Saving Anne, has been an enjoyable read but I'm reading it as a computer file and did not print it out. Not the best way to read but probably the best way to make comments. So I'm plodding along there for different reasons.

Meanwhile, I was continuing to search for something that struck my fancy. My mood has not been good (that changed with all this rain today. Six inches and counting. I love, love, love rain) and nothing has really grabbed my interest. I grabbed Nicholas Evans' The Horse Whisperer because the movie is one of my favorites and one of a select few I own.

As I read the book, I tried to read it without taking the movie into consideration. It wasn't all that difficult. There are probably more differences than similarities between the book and the movie.

The general gist is the same. Young girl goes horse riding with her friend after a snowfall. Horse slips, they slide down a hill in a tangled mass where they are hit by a tractor trailer. One girl and one horse die. The other girl loses her leg and the other horse is all messed up. Both survivors are traumatized.

The mother, Annie, a noted magazine editor, finds a fellow out in Montana who has a mystical way with horses. She forces her way into his life, without the approval of her daughter, to try and get him to fix the horse (Pilgrim), her life, her daughter (Grace), and anything else that comes to mind. Annie and Tom (the Horse Whisperer) fall in love despite a loving, caring father back home in New York.

Grace and Pilgrim turn out all right.

Those are the similarities. The differences are considerable. Tom is a bit of a ladies' man in the book but almost more of a monk in the movie. As such, I thought he was much more likable in the movie. Really, I didn't find myself liking any of the characters in the book that much which was a direct contrast to the movie. The book ending is horrible, filled with death and potential illegitimate children.

The author, Nicholas Evans, reminded me a lot of another Nicholas, Mr. Sparks. Same sort of sappy writing. Evans gets a little ridiculous with some paragraphs, breaking out the thesaurus to get some alliteration going here and there. Nothing special. No nice turns of phrases but a lot of cringe-worthy material.

Once I finished it, I found myself amazed at how well the movie turned out given this was the starting point. It turns out the fellow who did the screenplay, Eric Roth, also is doing the screenplay for Jonathan Safran Foer's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, one of my favorite books. He also did the screenplay for the Curious Case of Benjamin Button, a movie I was surprised was made since it was based on a short story.

I'm hoping my mood and reading selections turn around in the near future. I'm in the middle of a book I like right now and a book for which I have been waiting for six months to read will be on its way to me next week. In addition, we purchased a trio of books that are on my to read list including what may be the book I have anticipated reading the most in my lifetime; Tom McCarthy's C.

Cross your fingers for me and hope for some good reading.

1 comment:

Louise Gibney said...

Certainly sounds like the movie, however drawn out in places, is better than the book!
Have shared on Twitter - nice blogging.