Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Blog Number Fourteen

Sometimes you must read a book or see a movie and tear it apart as a student rather than read or watch for pure enjoyment.

This novel by Tami Hoag is the classic model for romantic suspense.  As you read, study construction and plotting.  The author pulled me in on the very first page and made me care about the central figure.  This author got her start with Harlequin and Silhouette, then made a successful switch to main stream.  As her career progressed, she had two books made into Hallmark TV movies w/Valerie Bertinelli (Dust to Dust and Ashes to Ashes).  The push and shove to produce a book a year finally got to her and the quality of her novels suffered.  These days, while giving her creativity a rest, her publisher is re-issuing all her category titles.

This movie was made from the screen play by Joan D. Vinge, who also did COWBOYS & ALIENS.  Whereas both books left me cold, Ladyhawke is my very favorite movie.  It's an excellent example of lovers overcoming a huge obstacle to be together.  A text book plot.

This movie is another great example of how the author has made you care whether Nicolas Cage survives.  If this story was nothing more than an action movie with Sean Connery and Nicolas Cage getting off Alcatraz, it would not be nearly as good.  However, the story starts with a scene between Cage and his girlfriend:  "I'm Catholic, I'm single and I'm pregnant."  Throughout the movie, you know that she and his unborn child are the motivations as to why he wants to survive.

Don't know how some authors get away with using an em dash instead of quotation marks to indicate dialogue, but they do.  Sometimes it's called innovation, but I called it laziness.  When reading this book, I never could keep track of who was speaking or whether the written word was internal dialogue.  It was made into a movie.  The novel starts off on a sour note for me as this southern man is in a Yankee Civil War hospital bed being kept awake by the sound of a lawn mover.  Okay folks, the history of the push mower begins in England and has a rocky beginning.   The most popular method for "cropping grass-plots and pleasure grounds" was the hand-held sickle.  The push mower as we know it, wasn't used in this country until the early nineteen hundreds.  My brother (the retired college English professor) states "this book didn't contain a single cliché."  My theory is that any string of words used repetitively is a cliche. 

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