Wendy (here_be_dragons) wrote,

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#9 - Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang; #10 - "The Straw Men"

Another couple of books for2004 finished this week:

"Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang" by Ian Fleming

My son discovered the film by the same name late last year, and when I told him there was a book, he wanted to get it. So, we bought a copy and I read it to him aloud at bedtime over the course of about a week. This, btw, is the first real "chapter book" that I've read to him - up until now, it had always been picture books. He enjoyed it mostly (although his attention would start to wander much sooner than with the picture books), and he was definitely following the story . . . because he pointed out lots of places where it's different from the film.

Which it is. Very different. I was amazed at how little of the actual plot of the book was used in the film. Basically, none. There is a magic car, and an inventor with two children. The man invents some sweets which are purchased by the man who owns the local candy factory, and at one point they take a picnic to the beach. Those are pretty much the only similarities. I think I prefer the story in the book, but then it's hard to compare, really. I can see why they would add things to make the film longer and to add opportunities for musical numbers, but to completely change the plot? ::shrugs:: Oh well. I will say that, while watching the movie, it's difficult for me to imagine it was conceived by the same fellow who created James Bond; it's easier to see the connection when reading the book.

It was an enjoyable book - whimsical and somewhat humorous. Fleming did occasionally go off on rather strange political or economic tangents that sort of made me say, "huh?" but on the whole it was a nice little book. A quick and easy read. C enjoyed it, but I don't expect that it will become an all-time favourite. (Part of PC)

#10 - "The Straw Men" by Michael Marshall

I spotted this one on the paperback rack at the library and picked it up on a whim. It was a good read, interesting and compelling, and cleverly crafted, I thought. It begins with a few different storylines which seem totally unrelated, and I enjoyed seeing how it all came together at the end. I did figure out a major plot point well before the main character figured it out (which I though was rather stupid of him, actually). I'm not sure how to say what it's about without spoilers . . . it starts out following two stories - the first, a man who learns his parents have just been killed in a car crash; the other, cop who is trying to catch a serial killer who is abducting teenaged girls. It's definitely a thriller, and deals with some disturbing material, but I didn't find it particularly gruesome. I'm not sure I'd call it a masterpiece (which Stephen King did, according to the cover), but it was an enjoyable and satisfying read. (Library book)

X-posted to 50bookchallenge
Tags: books

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