Books on Film: THE SISTERS BROTHERS by Patrick deWitt

One of those novels I’ve had for ages, and yet not managed to read yet… I know many people who loved Patrick deWitt‘s multi-award-winning The Sisters Brothers (especially friends in Canada), so I hope to get to it very soon — ideally, before the movie adaptation comes out.

deWittP-SistersBrothersCAThe Sisters Brothers was directed by Jacques Audiard, who also wrote the screenplay with Thomas Bidegain. The film stars Joaquin Phoenix, John C. Reilly, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Riz Ahmed. It was produced by Annapurna Pictures.

Here’s the novel’s synopsis:

Hermann Kermit Warm is going to die. Across 1000 miles of Oregon desert his assassins, the notorious Eli and Charlies Sisters, ride — fighting, shooting, and drinking their way to Sacramento. But their prey isn’t an easy mark, the road is long and bloody, and somewhere along the path Eli begins to question what he does for a living — and whom he does it for.

The Sisters Brothers pays homage to the classic Western, transforming it into an unforgettable ribald tour de force. Filled with a remarkable cast of losers, cheaters, and ne’er-do-wells from all stripes of life-and told by a complex and compelling narrator, it is a violent, lustful odyssey through the underworld of the 1850s frontier that beautifully captures the humor, melancholy, and grit of the Old West and two brothers bound by blood, violence, and love.

The Sisters Brothers is published by House of Anansi Press in Canada, Ecco in the US and Granta Books in the UK.

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Books on Film: THE WIFE by Meg Wolitzer

Later this year (August), Sony Pictures will release the film adaptation of Meg Wolitzer’s The Wife. Directed by Björn Runge, screenplay by Jane Anderson, and starring Glenn Close, Christian Slater and Jonathan Pryce, it looks interesting.

Wolitzer’s novel is published by Scribner in North America and Vintage in the UK (at the time of writing, the novel is a Kindle Monthly Deal in the UK, too). Here’s the synopsis:

A provocative story about the evolution of a marriage, the nature of partnership, the question of a male or female sensibility, and the place for an ambitious woman in a man’s world.

The moment Joan Castleman decides to leave her husband, they are thirty-five thousand feet above the ocean on a flight to Helsinki. Joan’s husband, Joseph, is one of America’s preeminent novelists, about to receive a prestigious international award, and Joan, who has spent forty years subjugating her own literary talents to fan the flames of his career, has finally decided to stop. From this gripping opening, Meg Wolitzer flashes back to 1950s Smith College and Greenwich Village and follows the course of the marriage that has brought the couple to this breaking point — one that results in a shocking revelation.

With her skillful storytelling and pitch-perfect observations, Wolitzer has crafted a wise and candid look at the choices all men and women make — in marriage, work, and life.

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Meg Wolitzer’s latest novel, The Female Persuasion is out now, published by Riverhead in North America (out now) and Chatto & Windus in the UK (to be published in June).

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Books on Film: THE TERROR

“This place wants us dead…”

 

Tonight, AMC will air the first episode of The Terror, adapted from Dan Simmons’s novel of the same name. I haven’t yet had the chance to read the novel, but I know many people who love Simmons’s work. The adaptation stars the always excellent Jared Harris and Ciarán Hinds, and executive-produced by Ridley Scott (among many others).

SimmonsD-TerrorUSHere’s the synopsis:

The men on board Her Britannic Majesty’s Ships Terror and Erebus had every expectation of triumph. They were part of Sir John Franklin’s 1845 expedition — as scientifically advanced an enterprise as had ever set forth — and theirs were the first steam-driven vessels to go in search of the fabled North-West Passage.

But the ships have now been trapped in the Arctic ice for nearly two years. Coal and provisions are running low. Yet the real threat isn’t the constantly shifting landscape of white or the flesh-numbing temperatures, dwindling supplies or the vessels being slowly crushed by the unyielding grip of the frozen ocean.

No, the real threat is far more terrifying. There is something out there that haunts the frigid darkness, which stalks the ships, snatching one man at a time – mutilating, devouring. A nameless thing, at once nowhere and everywhere, this terror has become the expedition’s nemesis.

When Franklin meets a terrible death, it falls to Captain Francis Crozier of HMS Terror to take command and lead the remaining crew on a last, desperate attempt to flee south across the ice. With them travels an Eskimo woman who cannot speak. She may be the key to survival — or the harbinger of their deaths. And as scurvy, starvation and madness take their toll, as the Terror on the ice become evermore bold, Crozier and his men begin to fear there is no escape…

The Terror is published by Little, Brown in North America and Bantam in the UK. Simmons’s latest novel is The Fifth Heart; and his next, Omega Canyon, is due out in May 2019.

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Upcoming: DEADPOOL 2

This is easily one of my most-anticipated movies of 2018. I loved the first Deadpool movie, and I have been eagerly awaiting the release of this sequel. After hearing about the tension between Reynolds and Tim Miller (director of the first movie), I became a little concerned that the sequel might not live up to the quality and fun of the first. This trailer, however, promises more of the same — only, maybe bigger, ballsier, and edgier.

“From the studio that brought you 27 Dresses and The Devil Wears Prada“…

Here’s the official synopsis:

After surviving a near fatal bovine attack, a disfigured cafeteria chef (Wade Wilson) struggles to fulfill his dream of becoming Mayberry’s hottest bartender while also learning to cope with his lost sense of taste. Searching to regain his spice for life, as well as a flux capacitor, Wade must battle ninjas, the yakuza, and a pack of sexually aggressive canines, as he journeys around the world to discover the importance of family, friendship, and flavor – finding a new taste for adventure and earning the coveted coffee mug title of World’s Best Lover.

Deadpool 2 opens on May 18th, 2018. The movie is directed by David Leitch, and written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wenick — both of whom wrote the first movie as well. It stars Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool), Josh Brolin (Cable), Morena Baccarin (Vanessa), T.J. Miller (Weasel), and more.

Books on Film: ANNIHILATION

Tomorrow, the highly-anticipated adaptation of Jeff Vandermeer’s Annihilation arrives in theatres — well, in some theatres. For some reason, Paramount has decided to release the movie through Netflix in the UK, despite its internationally-popular star and critically-acclaimed director. Directed and screenplay adapted by Alex Garland, and starring Natalie Portman, Tessa Thompson, Gina Rodriguez and Jennifer Jason Leigh (among others), here’s the trailer:

Annihilation is the first novel in Vandermeer’s Southern Reach trilogy, published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in the US, and Fourth Estate in the UK.

VandermeerJ-SouthernReachTrilogyUK

Here’s the novel’s synopsis:

Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; the second expedition ended in mass suicide; the third expedition in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another. The members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within weeks, all had died of cancer. In Annihilation, the first volume of Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy, we join the twelfth expedition.

The group is made up of four women: an anthropologist; a surveyor; a psychologist, the de facto leader; and our narrator, a biologist. Their mission is to map the terrain, record all observations of their surroundings and of one another, and, above all, avoid being contaminated by Area X itself.

They arrive expecting the unexpected, and Area X delivers — they discover a massive topographic anomaly and life forms that surpass understanding — but it’s the surprises that came across the border with them and the secrets the expedition members are keeping from one another that change everything.

The trilogy has also been collected into a single volume, Area X (US/UK).

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Books on Film: YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE

This movie is based on a novella of the same name by Jonathan Ames (a review copy of which I received quite recently). A brutal crime story, the movie stars Joaquin Phoenix as Joe, who is hired to rescue a young girl kidnapped by a sex ring. The movie, directed by Lynne Ramsay, is already racking up accolades and awards, and was the winner of Best Actor and Best Screenplay at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival. Here’s the trailer:

The movie is due to arrive in cinemas in April 2018 — distributed by Film 4, Amazon Studios, and others.

AmesJ-YouWereNeverReallyHereJonathan Ames’s You Were Never Really Here is published in North America by Vintage (a movie tie-in edition is due out in March), and in the UK by Pushkin Vertigo. Here’s the synopsis…

A gritty, harrowing story of corruption and one man’s violent quest for vengeance.

Joe has witnessed things that cannot be erased. A former FBI agent and Marine, his abusive childhood has left him damaged beyond repair. He has completely withdrawn from the world and earns his living rescuing girls who have been kidnapped into the sex trade.

When he’s hired to save the daughter of a corrupt New York senator held captive at a Manhattan brothel, he stumbles into a dangerous web of conspiracy, and he pays the price. As Joe’s small web of associates are picked off one by one, he realizes that he has no choice but to take the fight to the men who want him dead.

Brutal and redemptive in equal measure, You Were Never Really Here is a toxic shot of a thriller, laced with corruption, revenge and the darkest of inner demons.

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