Monday, April 13, 2015

Robert Ellis: Buchan & Hitchcock Revisited

Robert Ellis

The innocent man ... my compassion for characters on the run and falsely accused of unspeakable crimes ... my distrust for all those in authority ... the fear of being chased and grabbed from behind ... the terror in trying to outrun the monster that's gaining ground right behind me ... that moment in a bad dream that has gone so overwhelmingly bad I wake up with my heart pounding ... I check the time and realize that even though it's only 3:00 a.m., I'm not going to get back to sleep tonight!

John Buchan, a.k.a Lord Tweedsmuir

I love it! It's time to read John Buchan's The Thirty-Nine Steps again, or maybe even The Powerhouse, a stand-alone he wrote that I must have read more than fifteen times. When I'm meeting with a book club and mention my reading habits, everyone usually laughs. I have this thing about reading my top ten list every year. I read them over and over again, and love every minute of it. The practice started in college. I had a special place on my bookshelf dedicated to my ten favorite books. The titles changed over time, but not by much. They are part of who I am now. Several titles from the original list remain on my special shelf to this day!

Hitchcock's Masterpiece from Buchan's Thriller

As I think it over right now, the idea of revisiting a book once a year may have come from my film studies. It's more than common for film students to watch a movie many, many times in order to understand how the screenwriter and director put the story together. I can remember being so fascinated with the films of Bernardo Bertolucci and Akira Kurosawa. I finally stopped watching Last Tango in Paris after I walked out of a midnight show and realized that this was the twenty-first time I'd seen the film. With Kurosawa's Rashomon I stopped counting after fifteen screenings, but would go again in heartbeat.
That's just how I like it! And so now it's time to read John Buchan again ...

Sleep loose,

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