Tag: Movies

Alan Bennett – A Private Function | Review

Title: A Private Function

Author: Alan Bennett

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 308

Rating: 3.5/5

This book basically brings together the screenplays for five of Bennett’s different movies: The Old Crowd, A Private Function, Prick Up Your Ears, 102 Boulevard Haussmann and The Madness of King George. As is to be expected with any compilation like this, I liked some of the screenplays more than others, and by all accounts they were better as stage plays anyway.

Still, I’m glad that I picked this one up, and while I’ve changed my mind and I doubt I’ll be watching all of the movies that were made out of this, I’ll be checking out one or two of them. I think it’s also pretty cool because Bennett is at his best when he’s writing dialogue, at least in my opinion, and dialogue automatically shines in screenplays.

I also think that some of my favourite parts of this book were the introductions to the different screenplays, but then I’ve always liked getting a little extra context on what I’m reading. Strangely, though, that only really applies when I’m reading an author talking about their own work, as otherwise I like to go in pretty blind.

All in all then, I’m a fan of Alan Bennett’s work and so I was pretty happy with it, and with five screenplays in a single collection, there’s a lot here for you to enjoy. Even if you don’t like one of them, you’ll probably like the others.

And if nothing else, it’s a fascinating insight into the way that films are made and the changes that are made along the way. For example, he wrote stage directions for pigs, but obviously there’s no way of ensuring that pigs actually follow them. So yeah, a fun, recommended read. Have some fun!

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Alan Dean Foster – Aliens | Review

Title: Aliens

Author: Alan Dean Foster

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 250

Rating: 3.75/5

This book is the novelisation of the second Alien movie, and it’s actually a pretty good read. Foster is a well-known and well-loved novelist in his own right, and before picking up this and Alien, I’d already read Midworld, which is my friend Todd the Librarian’s favourite book. That was great, Alien was great and so was this one.

The only real flaw for me was that it’s a little top heavy and so the last twenty pages contain the most climactic scenes. But at the same time, I can see how this could happen when you’re writing a novelisation based upon a movie. Movies and books work differently, and it’s kind of noticeable here.

Still, Foster’s writing style combined with the original script make for a compelling read, and I was impressed again by the way that he was able to bring the story to life. His writing style is super evocative, so at times you feel as though you can smell the stench of alien blood burning its way through steel decking.

Of course, the downside is that by this point, most people have seen the movie and so they already know what happens. That kind of gives it the weird sensation of being a re-read even if it’s the first time you’ve picked it up. That’s not a bad thing though, and I thought it was decent.

Click here to learn more about Aliens.