March 12, 2009

Empire Falls ***

*** Empire Falls, Richard Russo, 2001

A few years back I watched the Golden Globe winning HBO mini-series of Empire Falls with Ed Harris and Helen Hunt. They were in the film, I mean. They didn't watch it with me. It was worth watching.

I've had the novel on my shelf for even longer and finally got around to reading it. It's good stuff, classic Russo. I liked Straight Man better, but this is still worth reading. For example, consider this line. When he was nine, Mile's mother told him something she thought would shock him. Russo describes it thus:

She hadn't so much spoken the words as let them out of their cages.

Now that's some deft writing. I couldn't quit visualizing Ed Harris as the adult Miles Roby, even though in the book he's described as someone more on the order of Rob Reiner. But the film was so faithful to the book that I frequently would read a scene and wonder if I'd actually read the book before, it sounded so familiar. And of course there's more in the book than in the film, even though it's a mini-series. Check it out.


~k said...

Just added this to my NetFlix Q- post read
My Miles was a Nathan Lane sort, my Silver Fox a young Walter Mathau-no doubt conjured up by character name...i searched your blog to see if you had this (amongst others)though I don't read your reviews until I've finished a book, lest you color my opinion ;)

By the way, Anne Tyler returns no search results-is this accurate ?

Brad Whittington said...

No Anne Tyler is accurate. Not particularly by design, although I'm sure I've picked up books of hers, read the back jacket, and not found it compelling.

~k said...

her stories may or may not be-(compelling) her characters have become a handful of movies though

EF was a good little watch- would have liked to see Minty's mistaken frat house scene as well as the KMart stop enroute to Martha's Vinyard