Tuesday, March 30, 2021
WWW. WEDNESDAY asks three questions to prompt you to speak bookishly. To participate, and to see how other book lovers responded, click here.
1. What are you currently reading? Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho by Stephen Rebello. Psycho has always fascinated me. It's a beautiful film about a repulsive subject. It's made with more craft and care than any other "thriller" or "horror" film, but it doesn't back away from its subject matter: murder, incest and necrophilia. Will, the moderator of our classic movie group, always says Hitchcock's genius is infusing every day situations with danger. What's scarier than Psycho's shower scene, where we're all reminded how vulnerable we are every damn day? But I think it's more than that. Hitch is perverse, and he suavely seduces us to join him in his twisty worldview. I think Psycho is the ultimate example of this.
Rebello admires Psycho, too. This book reports how the classic was made without much editorializing. It's about how the material was turned into a movie, without re-reviewing or analyzing it. I'm so glad. I'm enjoying the journey as rather top-line newspaper reports about the Ed Gein case became Robert Bloch's novel became Hitchcock's masterpiece.
2. What did you recently finish reading? The Hating Game by Sally Thorne. Oh, this book! I liked it, but I wanted to love it. It's about Lucy and Josh, two highly effective executive assistants who are stuck sharing an office. They become competitors who can't resist pushing one another's buttons and their rivalry festers into obsession and then slowly blossoms into lust, love and genuine friendship.
I've had workplace romances and appreciate how delicious and dangerous this situation can be. I liked these characters. I cared about what happened to them. And that's why I got frustrated with the book. There is so much foreplay I actually got bored. I didn't think that was possible, but after a while I no longer cared about who bit whose lip. Maybe it's because I personally prefer tongues to teeth, but It felt less like romance than a how-to manual.
But the bare bones of this story is very good -- poignant, realistic and involving. In addition to the romance, there are some nice moments between Lucy and her mentor-boss. I just wish a good editor had taken a blue pen to it.
3. What will read next? Something frothy. I'm enjoying the Psycho book very much, but Psycho is well ... more than a little dark!