Monday, December 1, 2008

Hostile book report

I wrote this a while back for the Nuns as this was one of our books this year. Since it was a busy weekend, I thought I'd pull from the archives. This is my screenplay book report. It's a one scene jobby; Superstar carries the whole thing.

If I'm not available, I guess Reece Witherspoon could stand in. (Remember how brilliant she was in Election?)

A Hostile Book Report

by Woman Interrupted

[Read aloofly by know-it-all 11th grader, lisping slightly through braces. Catholic-school-girl get up; knee socks.]

So I read Love in the Time of Cholera, set in turn of the century South America...not the century that just turned, the one before it...and you know what??? It was stu-pid as love stories go. This guy is a Nobel winning author? Whatever!

So, as a teen, the main character, Florentino, sees a girl of fourteen from a distance and starts writing her secret letters, which she, Fermina, answers in secret. This is their only form of communication for years because of her over-protective father, yet they think they are in love [roll eyes]...until she wakes up and realizes how stupid it is to be in love with someone you've never even had a face-to-face conversation with.

So Fermina kicks Florentino to the curb, breaking off their engagement, and goes on with her life. She eventually marries up, snagging a rich-young doctor and they are the "Brangelina" of the So-Carib, if you know what I mean. Dad obviously approves.

But Florentino is a whiny baby who spends the next 50 years pining for her from afar. Or from as close as he can get. Hhut! He follows her life and pines so persistently that he can make himself sick just thinking about her. Maybe he is confusing the symptoms of IBS with being love-stricken. In any case, he hoodwinks many, many women over the years, but never considers marriage, because he's waiting to win back Fermina.

Then, (and tune out if I'm going to spoil it for you) Florentino grows into a dirty old man of the most vile variety. One word: pedophile! But as a testament to his love-letter-writing, we're talkin' mad skills, he manages to win Fermina over again at a ripe old 70-something after the good doctor falls off a ladder to his death...chasing a talking parrot...of all the ways to go.

Have you ever read love scenes that describe the heroine as "smelling like an old lady"? If you don't mind detailed depictions of old people hooking up or reading about deviant sexual behaviors, then you might learn something from this book.

Or, you could just google "death by cholera."

A friend described this book as "plotless." [smacking gum] There is a plot, it just takes forever and a day to materialize. By the time the relationship finally comes to fruition, the fruit is ready for the compost-heap.

And why am I hostile about reading this book?

I kept pushing forward, waiting for the book to live up to the reputation of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, but it kept getting stranger and more perverse. I think the author has a few loose screws.

I was forced to admit by the time I finished three quarters of the book and nary a kiss had transpired in this "epic" love story that "spanned more than a half century" that the book was not about the relationship of Florentino and Fermina. No, this was a lesson in how even a creepy stalker, through persistence and patience, can get what he wants if he never gives up. And sometimes, after you work hard to get what you want, its not what you thought it would be.

[Smugly] If I'm not mistaken, there is a child's fable somewhere that teaches that same lesson in about 8 paragraphs.

[Did I mention that the Nun's dropped this book like yesterday's trash]


Girly Stuff said...

I love your hostile book report! All I could say was "It sucks!" You are much more literary in your hostility!

I made it to page 80. Which is farther than I made it through "100 Years of Solitude." Why does he have a Nobel Prize? It feels as if there is a secret I have not been let in on. Why is he the shizzle in literary circles? Is it like those gigantic sunglasses celebrities wear. They look like weird insects in them but we are "supposed" to think they are couture and classy? So we say we like them to avoid looking un-styled?

Woman Interrupted said...

You just don't get it.

Neither do I.