Saturday, October 9, 2010

Beauty Abounds! And a Word about Blackout and Michael Dirda

What a gorgeous day today! The deepest of blue skies illuminated by gold, red, yellow, and orange foliage! The glories of autumn that are so short-lived here. Tonight we're expected to plunge down to 22degrees--a very hard freeze--and, without hesitation, the rest of the trees will turn quickly and fade away, all in a couple of days. As much as I love living here, I regret the brevity of the beauties of autumn. I walked more than six miles, luxuriating in the colors...and I did so deliberately, not caring that I'm behind with my schoolwork.

So! Blackout by Connie Willis. I'm halfway through and rather bored. Then I discovered a review by THE Michael Dirda of The Washington Post, who so obviously loved this book. He felt Blackout immersed him in the events of the Blitz, Dunkirk, and the V-1 bomb attacks as no other book had, but I feel I'm covering old territory that offers nothing new.

When I was twelve, I read Silence Over Dunkerque by John Tunis, published in the 1960s by a wonderful writer for the 12-14 year-old age group. I managed to pick up a copy recently at a used book sale and I loved it all over again.

Within the same span of time (being my early teenage years), I was mesmerized and transfixed by the classic American movie Mrs. Miniver (1942), starring Greer Garson, and which was very, very loosely based on the novel by the British writer, Jan Struther. I believe the movie and the Tunis novel gave me an understanding of the British evacuation that Connie Willis cannot surpass.

If you have never seen Mrs. Miniver, you must, because it is an unsurpassed film of the World War II era. It really is, and I believe my friends in the UK will love it, too, if, of course, they haven't seen it already.

If Michael Dirda says I must keep reading, I must.

1 comment:

  1. I didn't realise that your weather changed from hot to cold so quickly. The worst thing here is the greyness and fog. We haven't seen the sun for a week.

    I've seen Mrs. Miniver umpteen times as it's often on tv, along with lots of other WW2 films. I haven't read the John Tunis book but it must be great as you still loved it.