Sunday, November 27, 2011

Mystic River - the book AND the film

Mystic RiverMystic River by Dennis Lehane

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

On May 13, 2010 I congratulated Betsy Wolfe, then Library Director at the Thayer Public Library in Braintree, Mass., for snagging Dennis Lehane to speak at a fundraiser for their Friends of the Library group. I called him charming and asked if the picture didn't make him look like Hannibal Lecter. I had not yet read anything by him, and I thought I might enjoy one book he kept mentioning, I thought he was calling it Mister Grivers. After nearly forty years in Massachusetts, I still sometimes have New York ears. So while we were down in Arkansas for the Jones Family Reunion, I finally read Mystic River. Awesome. Too many of my reviews have mentioned finishing a book with tears in my eyes, but this one really got me. What wonderful, evocative writing, and what skill at conveying the tangled webs we weave for ourselves and one another. Over the Thanksgiving weekend I watched Clint Eastwood's film based on the book. It was funny to notice the little differences - carving 'nitials versus fighting in the street translated just fine - amidst the great care in conveying the guts of the story. I just talked myself into adding that fifth star to my original rating. This was super.

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