Archive for December 3rd, 2012

Books in limbo: Encounters with three novels

December 3, 2012

Author’s note: The week after I originally posted this item, I added two words to the second paragraph for clarity’s sake. The added words, which follow Gary Oldman’s name, are boldfaced. Thank you for reading, digital eyeballs! MEM

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I have before me two novels by John le Carré, an author whom I love. I have in mind a third novel by Tom Perrotta, an author whose work I’ve greatly enjoyed.

Le Carré (real name is David Cornwell) is a British author, born in 1931, who worked during his 20s and part of his 30s as a teacher and as a diplomat with ties to British intelligence. He is probably best known for his novel Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, about the hunt for a traitor at the highest levels of the British espiocracy. It was adapted as a television miniseries starring Alec Guinness in 1989 and as a feature film starring Gary Oldman in 2011. Le Carré’s had many other best-selling novels, several of which have also been made into movies.

Perrotta is an American writer, born in 1961, whose ethnic background I’ve seen described as Albanian-American and Italian-American. He has taught creative writing. He’s probably best known as the author of the 1998 novel Election, about a high school campaign, which was made the following year into a popular film starring Reese Witherspoon and Matthew Broderick. (The book was inspired by the three-way presidential campaign among Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Ross Perot in 1992.) Another of Perrotta’s novels, Little Children, was released as a film in 2006.

So what could these three novels by these two very different men possibly have in common? Let me answer that question in a roundabout way. Read the rest of this entry »

One Wondrous Sentence: Mitt Romney

December 3, 2012

This one wondrous sentence from a feature story on how Mitt Romney is adjusting to life after his unsuccessful presidential campaign captures precisely why so many people, this individual included, considered Romney to be an empty suit:

The son of Detroit — who boasted of the Cadillacs he owned as a sign of support for the U.S. auto industry during the campaign — was spotted driving a new black Audi Q7, a luxury sport-utility vehicle manufactured in Slovakia.

Source: Philip Rucker, “A detached Romney tends wounds in seclusion after failed White House bid,” The Washington Post, Dec. 1, 2012. (Link is for story’s second page.)

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