Written by Kelly Cozy Thursday, 26 March 2009 15:23
By Joseph Heller
Published in 1961
Directed by Mike Nichols
Released in 1970
Cast: Alan Arkin
Sometimes all the talent in the world can’t make a successful movie adaptation.
It’s late in World War II, and Air Force Captain Yossarian is in one hell of a bind. Like every other man in Colonel Cathcart’s battalion, he’s flown a ridiculous number of missions. Yossarian knows it’s only a matter of time before his luck runs out and he’s killed. But he learns that while only a crazy man would agree to fly more missions, by asking to be sent home he proves that he’s sane, and therefore fit to fly. It’s a catch, and it even has a name: Catch-22.
Catch-22 has become such a part of the culture that even people who haven’t read it or seen the film adaptation know what a “catch-22” situation is. Because of this, people who haven’t read the book may feel they know what it’s about, which is a shame; while the joke of catch-22 is funny (and like all the book’s jokes it turns dark in the book’s last few chapters), there’s much more to the novel than that joke.
Thursday, 12 March 2009 19:02
BookBalloon is pleased to host humorist and author Kevin Guilfoile for a Q&A session March 16-18. Kevin is currently serving his fifth term as Commissioner (with John Warner) of the annual Tournament of the Books, sponsored by Powell's and The Morning News. Bring him your questions and comments in the Forum. Registration is free.
Kevin Guilfoile's short humor has been published in the New York Times Magazine, McSweeney's, The New Republic, Maxim, and elsewhere. With John Warner, he co-authored and illustrated the number-one bestselling My First Presidentiary: A Scrapbook By George W. Bush. His first novel, Cast of Shadows, was published in 2005 by Alfred A. Knopf and has been translated into more than 15 languages. Cast of Shadows has been called "gripping" by the New York Times, "a masterpiece of intelligent plotting" by Salon.com, and was named one of the "Best Books of 2005" by the Chicago Tribune and the Kansas City Star. His second novel, The Thousand, will be released by Alfred A. Knopf later this year. He is also the co-founder and commissioner of the annual Powell's/Morning News Tournament of Books. Guilfoile lives in the Chicago area with his wife and two boys.
Written by Kelly Cozy Friday, 13 February 2009 17:13
The Painted Veil
By W. Somerset Maugham
Published in 1925
The Painted Veil
Directed by John Curran
Cast: Naomi Watts
Sometimes an adaptation can be very faithful and very different at the same time.
In colonial China, Walter and Kitty Fane have never been what you'd call an ideally matched couple. He's a serious-minded, rather humorless bacteriologist. She's a social butterfly who loves gaiety and superficial pleasures. He's madly infatuated with her. She married him to keep from being a spinster. Bored in every way with her husband, Kitty takes up with dashing diplomat Charlie. When Walter learns of the affair he takes an assignment in the cholera-plagued town of Mei-Tan-Fu, and forces Kitty to accompany him.
Written by Elizabeth McCullough Wednesday, 11 February 2009 23:02
BookBalloon welcomes author Steve Almond for a Q&A in the Forum February 24-26:
"SOME THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE AUTHOR
1. The author has eaten a piece of candy every single day of his entire lifeâ€¦"
Ah, sweet, sweet candy. Steve Almond is perhaps best known for his obsession with confection, chronicled in his book Candyfreak: A Journey Through the Chocolate Underbelly of America. He also is the author of two story collections, My Life in Heavy Metal and The Evil B.B. Chow and Other Stories, and the novel Which Brings Me to You: A Novel in Confessions (with Julianna Baggott). His newest book is a collection of essays, (Not That You Asked): Rants, Exploits, and Obsessions, now out in paperback.
Written by Kelly Cozy Monday, 05 January 2009 20:51
A Christmas Carol
Written by Charles Dickens
Published in 1843
A Christmas Carol
Directed by Clive Donner
Not ready to let the holiday season go? Then pour yourself a glass of mulled wine, get a plate full of your favorite holiday nibbles, and settle in for this ghostly Christmas tale.
Bitter, cynical, and miserly, Ebenezer Scrooge only cares for money. Of the many things he dislikes, what he loathes most is Christmas. But all that changes one Christmas eve when he's visited by the ghost of his former business partner, Jacob Marley. Scrooge's kindred spirit in life, in death Marley is a pitiful figure, tormented and bound by chains. Marley offers Scrooge a chance to escape this damnation â€” Scrooge will be visited by the spirits of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet-to-Come, and perhaps get a chance to change his ways.
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