Saturday, February 18, 2012

Who Would You Cast?

Sharon Tillotson, author of The Storyteller, wrote a wonderful review of my novel Each Angel Burns for the Boomers and Books Blog. I'm very happy that she liked the book as much a she did, what author isn't thrilled by happy readers? In the review she wrote that she thought the book would make a good movie and that made me think who would be the best actors for the main roles. 

Actually, a couple of my friends and I have talked about this a few times. I can never cast my characters because, to me, they are so real but I'm always interested to know who others imaging in the parts. The three lead characters of Each Angel Burns are all in their early fifties. Gabe is a big, rugged sweetheart of a guy -- not handsome but good and reliable and a skilled woodworker. The part of Maggie would be a plum role for any 50-something actress, I think. She is beautiful and elegant, vulnerable in the beginning but a lot tougher than she thought she was as time goes on. Father Peter is the one I simply cannot think of anyone for. He is very handsome and charming but also a genuine mystic who lives in his own world.

Actually, the one character in the story that I can envision is Gabe's father Mick, who, in my mind, was always pretty Clint Eastwood-ish, tall, rangy, basically easy-going but tough as nails at the same time. So, of course, I'd love to know if anyone has suggestions what they are. In the mean time here is Sharon's Review:

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
4.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful read...February 17, 2012
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Each Angel Burns (Kindle Edition)
I was pretty sure from what I'd seen about this book on various reader threads that I was going to enjoy it, so I saved it to begin reading on a flight from Canada to Australia. That turned out to be both a blessing and a curse. Each Angel Burns had me from the very first page. Though it was wonderful to occupy the twenty three or so hours in the air in this way, I also found myself turning the reading light on when I should have been sleeping. Sleep is important when flying half-way around the world to a different hemisphere, an adjustment to one's internal clock and a radical difference in season and temperature. Sleep is the one important thing one can do to lessen the shock to the body. I knew this. But did I have the good sense to just shut my Kindle and rest? Nope.

Still, upon arrival in Ozz, the book got me through the next hours of getting back on kilter and was just perfect to read in the sunshine on a chaise with my feet up. The lack of sleep also gave me an excuse to get out of a few Christmas chores - and still more time reading as I `rested'.

The story itself was absorbing, but it was the good writing that had me so entranced. I am partial to `literary fiction', and this book fit the bill. Dialogue was superb, descriptions skillful and lovely. The characters were colorful and interesting, ranging from an artist to a carpenter to a priest; the types of folks one would love to have in their circle of friends. And then there was Zeke, one of the most adorable and endearing dogs it has ever been my pleasure to meet.

I enjoyed the mature way in which the characters developed. Maggie, a truly unique, gifted hero, was somewhat vulnerable at the beginning of the story, but her grounded yet spirited nature came through as she struggled to regain herself from years of living with an unpredictable and controlling husband. She cuts off her hair in an act of rebellion as she tries to extricate herself from her marriage. Peter the Priest was drawn so real as to wonder if the author (an unabashed Catholic) knew someone just like him. And Gabe - well, who wouldn't want him for a friend?

It was a reasonably large cast of characters, some charming, some steadfast, some not so much, as it is in good stories, and each were well defined and real. The Arm Pit was a fabulous watering hole, the old Abbey one of the most scrumptious settings I have ever encountered.

I am not going to go into the storyline as this is a book to be savored and the story took twists and turns which revealed would spoil it for the reader. I will say I found the love story exquisite.

There were a few things I did not like about the book. Though always appropriate to the occasion, I felt there was too much profanity. A few such words sprinkled in here and there would have made more of a statement for my tastes. Punctuation could have been better edited, particularly in dialogue, and occasionally, especially as I was reading the book on a Kindle, a line break would have helped in a transition of time and place. There was a loose thread that never got satisfactorily knotted up.

Still, the quality of the writing and the storyline itself make Each Angel Burns one of those books that had I not converted pretty much exclusively to digital reading, would reside proudly on my bookshelf and never been loaned except to those I knew would return it. I may still buy a paper copy to add to my small collection of such books.

One of the best things I can say about a book is that it could/should be made into a fabulous movie, and this is one of those. Steven Spielberg, are you listening? Or better still, how about Clint Eastwood?

4 stars, a high rating for this reviewer.

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