Bopping with Niall JP O'Leary

Niall O'Leary insists on sharing his hare-brained notions and hysterical emotions. Personal obsessions with cinema, literature, food and alcohol feature regularly.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


MockingbirdThe wonderful 'Mockingbird'

Set in what could be humanity's dying days, Walter Tevis's 'Mockingbird' is a delicate retelling of the Genesis myth and a beautiful hymn to reading.
In a world where privacy is a religion and drugs a sacred tool, the art of reading has all but been lost. Dean of Faculties at NYU, and melancholy robot, Spofforth, sees no reason to change this. But then lowly Ohio professor, Bentley, investigating some ancient porno films, discovers "Roberto and Consuela and Their Dog Biff"....
Full of humanity, authentic wonder and sincere passion, Tevis rarely puts a foot wrong throughout the novel. He makes Bentley believable as a middle aged man suddenly growing up and finally learning what it means to live. If some of this sounds sentimental, there is enough grimness to leaven the mood, with group immolations and a palpable sense of loss. And who would have thought that a conversation with a bus could be so uplifting!
Not a million miles from '1984', 'Fahrenheit 451' and other dystopias, Tevis's book is probably closest to Bradbury's in its tentative optimism. Considering half of his novel output has already been turned into film ('The Man Who Fell to Earth', 'The Hustler' and 'The Colour of Money'), one hopes someone has the good sense to adapt this for the screen. It is a story we could all do with right now.

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