Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Chase; Shrinking; Sleeping Dogs

Two items from the Los Angeles Times today:

Today, the Writers Guild of America, West, holds its annual honorary awards luncheon at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel, and the "Sopranos" creator is set to receive the Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for Television.


Though Chase always wanted to be a film writer-director, the 62-year-old earned the first of his seven Emmys 30 years ago for writing and producing "The Rockford Files." But it was his sprawling saga "The Sopranos," launched in 1999, that became a cultural touchstone and expanded writers' and viewers' expectations of what television could achieve.

But Chase, who invested the complicated psychology of his characters with the truths of his own emotional life, isn't so sure that he sees the sea change in TV that many people claim his show brought about.

"There seems to be a huge interest in writing about people out there -- perps and cops, criminal syndicates and FBI, politicians and forensic labs, and things like that," Chase says. "Therefore, I think the personal is still missing. People don't write about themselves."

Ed here: Couldn't agree more about the "personal" disappearing in all these pre-fab wanna-be bestseller type books. America is rich with stories and so few of them are told in crime fiction these days.

Say it Ain't So:

The 'Incredible Shrinking' idea

Last week, news broke that Brett Ratner was talking to producer Brian Grazer about possibly directing a remake of "The Incredible Shrinking Man" with Eddie Murphy starring for Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment. Hot comedy team Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant ("Reno 911!: Miami") have written the most recent draft of the screenplay, adapted from the Richard Matheson novel.

Ed here: Yeah and I'm Murphy will give us plenty of Norbit-s in the role. Can you spell disaster?? And you thought the Lilly Tomlin version was bad.

From Pattinase by Patti Abbot

Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Sleeping Dogs by Ed Gorman

Yesterday I mentioned this book in a meme. Last night, I decided I wanted to say more about it than the five lines that challenge allowed.

Most books about politics tend to be thrillers. A quiet, incisive meditation on the seductiveness of political power, the people it attracts, and the way it all plays out is unusual. But Sleeping Dogs by Ed Gorman is exactly that. No plots to blow up the White House unfold; no bio-terrorists loom. Instead, this novel looks at an Illinois Senate race from the perspective of political consultant, Dev Conrad, an operative who’s realistic about what politicians are like. Dev stays in the game though it often sickens him. He’s good at it, and on some level, he likes the political arena, always hoping to find a politician he can promote for more than a paycheck.

Sleeping Dogs has a cast of characters that turns out to be multifaceted and complicated. No one is exactly what he/she first appears to be. In Sleeping Dogs, the actions are in proportion to the actors, each scene inexorably follows the one before it.

I hope we run into Dev Conrad again, working for a politician he can like. One of the most interesting questions posed in the novel was this: what do you do if you like the voting record and the political stance of a candidate, but not the person him/herself? That’s a question we need to think about. This was a terrific book.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's not Eddie Murphy that worries's Bret Ratner's terrible directing that will keep me awake tonight.

If he can butcher the last X-Men movie, then you can be sure he'll butcher The Incredible Shrinking Man.