MEET CHRIS ROSE – interviewed by author Lucinda E. Clarke.

This is an interview I had just before Christmas, for Lucinda, on her wonderful, author-promo website. And, busy as she is, here it is!

MEET CHRIS ROSE

Enjoy and support!

Your literary, theatrical, friend.

‘Not as good as the book,’ scoffed Madam Snooty, like she’d written it. Books & films/movies, for better or for worse – the befores & afters…

Welcome, as always, to my last blog post of the year, accompanied by a promise of 1000s to come throughout 2018. Certainly more regularly.

And for my regular readers, those of you having been patient enough to read my posts on the five books I claim to have changed my life, followed accordingly by five such films/movies, well, here I’d like not only to add something further to those posts, but to compare each medium dealing with the same piece of work as a story; the same script: the book version, and the film/movie version.

In this post I’m going to offer you five films/movies I deem to be greater than their forerunners, their original book version, some by far.

And why might I prefer to do it that way around?

Well, however fascinating the subject may be, I believe it to be one out of which filmmakers tend to get a raw deal.

I confess, also, to having developed over the years a slight aversion to the book snob. You know the type; you possibly are one, as I no doubt am too. I’m not sure we can help ourselves:

‘Oh, darling, the book’s much better than the film/movie!’

I mean, why not just add ‘You’ll be fine once you’ve learned to read’, and have done with it?

And what naturally follows with regard to book snobbery, I’m positive, is an actual fear of being ostracized, cast out of one’s regular, ‘cultivated’ circle like some social leper, but for having openly declared the unthinkable:

‘Well, I actually prefer the film/movie version’ – eternal shame!

Do you know, dear reader, that I’ve yet to hear anyone confess to such? They’d get a big kiss from me, I can tell you; I’m not particular.

Before offering my five such films/movies, which I consider to be far superior to their book versions, I’d just like to say that, with each, I’ve been able to whittle it down to a simple case of, in my case, the film/movie having come before the book; I’ve read the book after seeing the film/movie.

But if we’re so moved by a book, how can anything ever compare?

Well, surely that works both ways. And hence the book snobbery: that s/he may be as uncouth as to have encountered the film/movie before the literary opus…

Here are my five such films/movies, in no particular order:

1: The Railway Children.

Directed by Lionel Jeffries and starring Dinah Sheridan, Jenny Agutter, Sally Thomsett and Bernard Cribbins, The Railway Children may make claim to having moved the toughest of cinema going males to tears on Bobbie’s ‘Daddy, my daddy!’; on her being reunited with her wrongly imprisoned father, amid the mist of a steam railway station platform. E. Nesbit’s novel, a children’s novel, cannot be compared with what Jeffries achieved, without which the book would have fallen into obscurity, I’m sure…

 

2: Saturday Night and Sunday Morning.

Directed by Karel Reis and starring Albert Finney, Shirley Anne Field and Rachel Roberts, comes the 1960 film adaption of Alan Sillitoe’s eponymous debut novel. Whenever I watch this coming-of-age classic, set in the raw, industrial North of England, in the midst of the ‘British New Wave’, a new gritty realism, the “kitchen sink” genre, I’m able to appreciate what Reis’ direction achieved.The film script reads better than the novel, is like a perfect edit, freed of the superfluity I found in Sillitoe’s literary intro…

 

3: The Dresser.

Adapted from Ronald Harwood’s successful 1980 play, The Dresser, directed by Peter – ‘Shakespeare’ – Yates and released in ’83, The film hits home on a number of levels: its wonderfully comic moments, and lines, particularly between Finney and Courtney, actor and dresser; the pervasive sense of pathos running throughout, which is almost tangible.

The play is a funny one, but Finney and Courtney perfect it in film…

 

4: The War of the Worlds.

Directed by Byron Haskin and starring Gene Barry and Ann Robinson, this 1953 American movie is a somewhat loose adaption of H. G. Wells’ 1897 classic of the same name, and I feel that the novel is at times a needlessly, laboriously drawn out affair, whereas the movie adaption, considered to be an allegory of the Cold War, appears to just improve with age. Atmospheric to say the least, and totally unreplicable…

 

 

5: The Last of the Mohicans.

Directed by Michael Mann, the 1992 movie is based, again loosely, on James Fenimore Cooper’s 1826 novel, again of the same name, and is based in the Americas during the Anglo-French colonial war. The film outshines the novel on a whole series of levels, particular in its magnificent conveyance of such qualities, in time of war, as blind loyalty and betrayal; of courage and cowardice; and greed and generosity. Another perfect example of how to edit a book through film…

 

So there you have it. I could go on, could have made my list much, much longer. But you don’t deserve that.

What I’d love from you, however, if ever you have a moment, is to tell of such film/movie adaptations you may have preferred to their literary geneses.

Until then, all the very best for 2018.

Chris,

your literary, theatrical friend

Dreaming of Orwell… (a review of D. K. Cassidy’s The Dreamers)

The Dreamers (Insomnolence #2)The Dreamers by D.K. Cassidy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m now waiting for the film/movie.

I’ve become a fan of this author, in that I love her versatility. Each book is quite different from the next, re-genre and style. One might of course argue against this last case since The Dreamers is in fact a sequel to The Sleepless. The thing is that I somehow managed to miss the latter, but thought I’d plunge right in with the former anyhow… and that’s the sign of a good book: the ease with which I was able to go with the flow, and put two and two together when need be…

There has to be a film/movie adaption of this book/series – I’m thinking Orwell’s 1984. And there are indeed Orwellian threads weaving their way through, whilst at the same being a unique read – what a superb idea! It appears so simple on the surface, but the author had to come up with the idea and then write it so well. Those living on one side of the wall, who sleep; while those on the other don’t.

As for the writing it’s wonderfully concise and coherent, and, I must add, comprehensible – if, for those of you like me, you happened to miss out on the prequel. But then I’d also advise you to purchase the prequel anyhow: I’d bet my home it’s more than worth it. And that’s where I’m off to now. Not home but to purchase the first book…

Brilliant.

Chris,

your literary, theatrical friend

View all my reviews

review a book today! (or ‘just Phillip’s imagination, running away with him?’ oh, the infernal temptations…)

Hello, one and all – back on a regular basis from here on, that’s a promise; real work is a stinker at times, the scourge of the drinking classes, and all that…

Anyhow, I’ve received of late an intriguing book review of Nancy Boy; for one year only, book 2 in what comprises to date The Rowlings Years trilogy, and which I know you’ve all read (cough).

So interesting, in fact, did I find the review that I felt compelled to say a few words on it.

The idea of an individual’s reading of a book has always fascinated me; for each individual reading of a book is unique, and each, I do decree, is of equal merit – trolls aside, of course, who have a different agenda. That’s to say, there exist a million and one reasons why we read a particular book in a particular way at a particular time, which primarily comes down to the route we took to arrive at that particular reading at that particular time, from BIRTH.

This leads me to confess that, however pleased I may have been that the above review contained five lovely stars, I was partly troubled by the reviewer’s suggestion that she didn’t truly “feel qualified” to review it in the first place; because many of its “nuances” may have been “beyond her comprehension”.

Wrong.

Let me put it this way: Would my ideal world be one in which my readers are clones of me? Or might my nobler endeavour reside in being able to convey a differing outlook to the one the reader is necessarily used to?

You’ve guessed it.

The idea that a reader may feel unqualified troubles me chiefly because my influences have always been people; all people; everyone’s a poet, they just don’t know it. Without those influences, I couldn’t, and wouldn’t want to, write.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve been digitally approached, via facebook etc, by readers of the first book in the series, Wood, Talc and Mr. J: We never had it so good… – which I’m certain you’ve all read (coughs again) – they being chiefly readers on the Northern Soul Music circuit, with comments such as:

“Just to say, Chris, I absolutely loved your book, so many memories, so poignant!”

Whereby I’ve enthusiastically responded with: “Thanks so much! Wouldn’t mind just putting that as a review, would you?”

The figurative mile is then run, and the reader is out of my life forever.

I might add here that some of the early reviews for that book were what the above reviewer might also label a little “highbrow”. Hence a partly understandable can’t-compete-with-that type reaction.

Pity.

What disappoints me the most, though, is that there exists a whole section of society out there –you know the one – trolling deep in desperate search of their next vulnerable one-star prey (how low The Insecure will stoop in order to feel good about themselves!).

And these people don’t hesitate.

On one final note regarding Nancy Boy; for one year only, the reviewer confesses to never having been quite sure, throughout the entire novel, whether or not Anne, the most prominent girl in the story, is ever only a figment of Phillip’s, the protagonist’s, imagination. And I cannot express to what point that idea thrills me!

Thank you, dear reviewer.

Firstly, I’m never going to write a book around some alpha male, it isn’t me; I prefer an ‘anti-hero’, at odds with the world evermore and for whatever reason(s).

But most importantly, I find the reviewer’s idea that Anne may only exist in the protagonist’s head truly fascinating, and her unique reading to be a most intelligent one. And were I ever lucky enough to be approached by a film maker, I would certainly want that ambivalence conveyed.

Thank you again, then, dear reviewer. And trust yourself. You count.

And as for all you book lovers out there: write a review today.

Chris, your literary, theatrical friend.

neither a novel nor a short story, Phillip Rowlings is back in this first of three novellas…

Hello, dear readers, it’s that time of year, the one you’ve been eagerly awaiting (cough): the next chapter in the Phillip Rowlings saga – where would each year be without it! And although “chapter” wouldn’t be appropriate in its literal sense, the book will be shorter than its prequels;

namely, The All-clear: an anti-romance novella…

As stated in previous posts, the novella will be the first in a series of three, is available now on pre-order, and will be available to download on 17th September – why so late? It’s my daughter’s birthday, I did the same last year; I’m a bit of a romantic like that.

Without further ado, then, look below. And thanks for being here.

*****

The All-clear – an anti-romance novella… (book 3 of The Rowlings Years, novella 1)

‘I may have come full circle. And in order to continue, on my route… I need out…’

Out of what? You may ask.

Well, it wasn’t too many months ago Phillip Rowlings was living in France, in Nancy – was indeed a Nancy Boy, for one year only – by the end of which he obtained une carte blanche, or a permanent gig: the chance to tour the country on a professional footing, forming part of an acting troupe. For theatre has become his one true raison d’être; and not since the days of Northern Soul has he been imbued with such a passion. Deems he, at least…

Save he, Phillip, the actor, didn’t take it, the permanent gig, given the many holes to be refilled back in England. Responsibilities, most people call them; like, i.e., looking out for his son, whom, as it so transpires, Phillip’s unable to visit until the ex-wife sees fit; or, say, the rekindling of a love-affair with his psychiatrist, who’d been waiting patiently at home; and let’s not forget that returning to England entails completing his undergraduate studies, they being the very basis of his year in Nancy in the first place.

The list, in effect, is somewhat longer. Though Phillip may soon beg to differ. That is, once having been given The All-clear…

 1996.

If theatre, if music, if learning to grasp the very essence of life, is your thing, then this is your kind of book. For Phillip Rowlings is back once again, with all the trimmings, if in shorter form this time around; as part of the series The Rowlings Years, yes, but in the first of three novellas…

>>>GET THE BOOK HERE<<<