After Dark, My Sweet: Ch. 1 - 6
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There's a lot I'd like to say later, but for now suggest the casting tartalom came up with is very good. Marlon Brando as the 'Kid' is hard for me to hear, but Ava Gardner is perfect. MacMurry (who sets my teeth on edge) fits well for Uncle Bud. If Paul Newman didn't gleam with a little too much intelligence, he might be another (slightly later) option for 'Kid' Collins. I'd be interested in how others see and hear them.
Jim Thompson seems very much alive to the prejudices against mental illness, and slightly later, excoriates doctors in a way which (with apologies to any here) I find most satisfactory. Very few transcend his version of them. (Those who do have all my respect.)
As this is my first Jim Thompson novel, I'll say: I'm impressed. He's good. There's a sense of speed to the narrative, even in a self-reflective passage, or evoking a sense of the endless summer morning, or afternoon. Even there, things happen. Like summer lightning, in a nearly clear sky, they threaten. He's psychologically acute, and writing with a wonderfully unreliable narrator, who's judgment's not just poor, but woefully uneven: better AND worse than he's given credit for. Makes things interesting.
I'll try to post more later, but hope others will chime in, meantime. As I say, we can go at this any way you like. I expect to have finished sometime tomorrow...
"Casting" Ava Gardner as Fay is inspired, and will favourably prejudice my view of the character going forward. I favour Montgomery Cliff over Brando for Collie and Vincent Price as 'Uncle Bud'.
I can't say that I have enjoyed the first half a dozen chapters. It holds my interest, and I need to see how Jim Thompson resolves the tensions that are developing, but enjoyment is not a word that I could honestly use.
Disagree with the casting of Vincent Price - he doesn't fit. I'm picturing someone very crooked who is going bald, wears a bad hat and has a little pot belly.
Question for everyone - where does the title come from?? Most of the time the title fits in with the theme of the book or you will come to a section where they mention it outright. I couldn't find any meaning for this title? Did I just miss it??
Keep an eye on the grass cutting - I think that is a pretty good metaphor for the whole book.
Fred MacMurry has the false geniality without the smoothness and suavity of Price, and I could readily believe anyone who called him dumb; again, not so with Price. Yet I can see how he would spring to mind. My own casting director seems to be out to lunch.
Even in this first section, I enjoyed the setup of the story, the quality of the writing, the uneasy feel of Thompson's manipulations; but immediately thereafter, it picks up.
One aside: I find Collie far more sympathetic, and sympathetically created, than I expected.
Yet it's a not entirely unfamiliar plot. I've been meaning to make more comments, myself, and got a little derailed. I'll open up a couple of other threads, unless someone gets to it before I do!
Eurydice, I hope you are feeling well enough to lead us in a discussion.
On a discussion: I can try. Why don't we revert to the original thread for the book, and take it up as a whole? (If you've finished?)
Will have finished by the time the Northern Hemisphere is awake.
Working on a post for this on the other thread...
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