Sunday, February 25, 2018

February's Reads

Daphne Du Maurier - Rebecca

Daphne Du Maurier's most celebrated novel, basis for the Hitchcock film of the same name, will probably always be pegged as a gothic romance.  There's a lot more to it than that.  It's also a Golden Age murder mystery and a story about the quest for identity.  The afterward in my edition brings up an interesting theory about the characters of Rebecca and the unnamed narrator reflecting dual aspects of the author's persona.

Christopher Hibbert - The Borgias and their Enemies

People tend to favor Hibbert's book about the Medicis over this one.  In all honesty, if you're already familiar with the Borgias, it isn't going to offer any newfound insight.  It is however good for a straightforward review.  If someone asked me who the Borgias were, I'd tell them to watch the Showtime series for a sense of authenticity (if not necessarily accuracy), then read Hibbert's book to set the facts straight.

Elmore Leonard - Rum Punch

Elmore Leonard is one of the most celebrated writers of dialogue in the American literary pantheon.  Quentin Tarantino has cited him as one of the three greatest influences on his own writing style.  In fact, this book was the basis for Jackie Brown.  I spent a few days sipping Negronis and Aperol Spritzes on a leather couch in a bar called Yeah! reading it.

Jerry Hopkins - Thailand Confidential

Jerry Hopkins is the American journalist who wrote the famous Jim Morrison biography No One Here Gets Out Alive.  In 1993 he moved to Bangkok and never came back.  This very informative and entertaining read is a catalogue of his experiences, observations and accumulated wisdom.  I read it after booking a flight to Thailand in March.

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