Sunday, May 9, 2021

Book Vs Movie: Who Wore It Better? All Things Cease to Appear (Book) Vs. Things Seen and Heard (Movie/Netflix)


Things Heard & Seen


April 29, 2021

Starring: Amanda Seyfried & James Norton


All Things Cease to Appear

Elizabeth Brundage

March 8, 2016

Alfred A Knopf 

Oh dear readers....where do I even begin on this one? 

First let me tell you, I LOVE A GREAT GHOST STORY, so when I saw the trailer for this on my weekly Netflix email, I set out to investigating. The bonus for me was it had one of my "actors that make me actually pay attention" in it. Yup, James Norton is in it. Ya know James Norton, that freaking DYNAMIC actor of Grantchester, McMafia, Happy Valley fame. I could go on. This guy is just that big of an acting genius to me.  

When the Netflix trailer included that it was based on a best selling novel, being the bibliophile I am, I set out to research and quickly learned it was based off ALL THINGS CEASE TO APPEAR by Elizabeth Brundage. It would be read by the time the movie hit Netflix and I easily hit that goal. 

So, now...who wore it better. Hands down, in typical Hollywood fashion, the book far surpassed the movie in quality. From here on, we go deep into spoiler territory. Just a warning. 

There were critical elements to the backstory of this ghost story that the movie leaves out. Instead of focusing on those elements, the movie focuses on the backstory to the Clares. I could not figure this out. The backstory to the Hales was CRITICAL to the understanding of the book and movie. It was critical to understanding the attachment of the Hale boys to the home, as well as the reason for the haunting by their mother. The screenwriters not only all but ignored it, they changed it into something just plain goofy. 

Due to starting with the backstory of the Clares, the movie was unable to start with a mystery like was done in the book. As the story unfolded, several people could have killed Catherine Clare. Could it have been George? Could it have been one of George's lovers? Could it have been Eddy Hale? The list could go on. Because the movie opened with Catherine Clare very much alive, we were not afforded the ability to experience this movie as the mystery that it was written. We were left with a ghost story and a poor one at that.

Let me tell you, one of the biggest disappointments that I had in this movie was that it failed to show George in just the evil "pigamuffin" that the book captured. In some ways, I thought the book was light on George and heavier on Catherine as a whack job. 

There were also scenes in this movie that I felt were left hanging. For example, the shower masturbation scene was a very important scene in the book that was left hanging in the movie. It was such an important scene that it was brought up at least one other time in the book. 

The special effects on this movie, particularly at the end, were just laughable. I can't even expound on that one.

Now, Netflix, I'd like the two hours it took me to watch this movie back, please! It is because of movies like this that we cannot have nice things, and I'd love Hollywood to just keep their hands off great books. 

So, my final ratings:

Book: 4 Stars

Movie: 1 Star

Skip the movie...READ THE BOOK!

So, now you'll please excuse me while I go watch James in the she THE NEVERS on HBO and forget this experience with him ever happened. As the saying goes...they all can't be winners.

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Audiobook: Sleeping Dogs Lie by Samantha Downing (Audible Original)


Book: Sleeping Dogs Lie

Author: Samantha Downing

Narrators: Melanie Nicholls-King; Lindsey Dorcus

Release date (if applicable): April 1, 2021

Synopsis: When Todd Burke is found shot to death in his bathroom by his dog walker Shelby, his soon to be ex-wife with a grudge becomes the number one suspect in a line of potential suspects. But be careful, people aren't always who they appear to be and not seeing that can be deadly. 

My rating: 5 Stars

My opinion: So...before I begin my opinion because you know I have one, let me just say that some of these audible originals justify the subscription fees to audible. I thought Brian Freeman's The Deep, Deep Snow was a one and done and that most books were just mediocre listens. This book throws that belief right out the window.

Now onto my review:

Few full length novelists can grasp the ability to be able to write high quality novellas. Not a slam. They just can't. Most feel like full length books that the author did a quick wrap up on or that half the story is missing. I can count on my ONE hand the number of authors that I feel can pull off a quality novella and Samantha Downing is one of them.

This was a GREAT listen. Ms. Downing managed to tell a complete story in two hours that left me wondering who the killer was and did a fantastic job in throwing in a plot twist that I didn't see coming.

There are so many ways I could see this series continuing...not only from the detective's perspective, but from that of the killer.

Bravo, Ms. Downing....Bravo. Gotta say that I haven't had a chance to read a full length novel from this author, but if she can pound something this high quality out of a novella, I'll be picking up a full length novel pretty soon.

Source: Audible Original Subscription

Would I recommend? HELL YES! Grab a subscription and listen to this book. It was a fun 2 hours. 

Stand Alone or Part of a Series: Stand Alone