The Book Reader: "Double Feature", "The Searchers: The Making Of An American Legend"
Aisha Harris of Slate reports for NY1 on newly released book titles and the world of publishing in "The Book Reader."
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If you’re a lover of cinema, two new books about that great mass medium offer vivid and unique stories that will keep you fascinated from beginning to end.
Debut novelist Owen King provides a compelling fictional narrative set against the backdrop of indie filmmaking in "Double Feature".
Sam Dolan is a struggling filmmaker who must reassess his past and future after his first film turns into a disaster. King lets us view our protagonist and the friends, lovers, and family members in his life not only through his own prism, but also through the dual parallel narrative of his mother prior to Sam’s birth.
The story bounces effortlessly between his parents’ intense romance spurred on by their first meeting on his father’s B-movie film set decades ago, and Sam’s attempt to bounce back after a creative and professional failure as a young adult. Directors and writers especially will appreciate King’s blunt exploration of the creative process of moviemaking.
Like Double Feature, Glenn Frankel’s excellently researched "The Searchers: The Making of An American Legend" offers fascinating dual narratives.
Using the John Ford-John Wayne classic as a starting point, the author chronicles the years of incredible myth-making around the real-life occurrences that lead to the highly influential western film.
The first half of the book is stunning-he examines America’s fraught relationship with Native Americans in the 19th century, as well as the story of nine-year-old Cynthia Ann Parker, whose abduction by Comanches in 1836 and subsequent return to white civilization 24 years later became American folklore and served loosely as inspiration for Alan Lemay’s novel, "The Searchers".
Frankel then moves to the intimate details surrounding the production of the film adaptation, and carefully assesses its own contribution to the myth-making of the American west. It's an educational and fulfilling read for lovers of both American history and the western genre.