Mystery #2 for Literary Snobs: The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon

  With our second mystery, we move from the surreal river running through the dark continent to the surreal freeways running through sunny California. Same themes, same structure. In Thomas Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49, our reluctant detective is Oedipa Mass, a California housewife whose name is our first hint at ...

Mystery #1 for Literary Snobs: Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

The topic of my last post on the Poisoned Pen Press blog was about the challenge of convincing literary snobs that there are indeed great works of literature that meet all criteria of that lowly genre known as Mystery. The 3 basic requirements of the genre (as more fully explained ...

“If You Build It, Hollywood Will Come”: More Thoughts on Movie Adaptations

It's simple Hollywood math: the most popular novel of the year--or even of the decade--has been read by just a fraction of the number of people who've seen the movie version of the novel. The subject of my last post was Mario Puzo's novel, The Godfather, and the Francis Ford ...

The Perfect Ending: Hollywood v. the Novel, Part 3

And now for the third and final comparison of the closing scene in a major Hollywood movie with the closing scene in the novel on which it was based. Our focus today: The Maltese Falcon. The supposed last line of the movie version invariably makes those lists of Top Ten Greatest ...

The Perfect Ending? Hollywood versus the Novel, Part 2

Following up on my last post, here is a look at the closing scene of the second of three classic Hollywood movies and the closing lines of the novel on which it is based. While almost all of us have seen and can even recite lines from the 1939 MGM motion picture ...