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an extremely short round-up: Sunday Book & Film Review — “Au Revoir, les enfants,” “The BFG” & “The Year of the Flood”

February 28th, 2010

Reading & watching this week:

I saw “Au Revoir, Les Enfants” in the theater when it first came out in 1987. Written, directed and produced by Louis Malle, it tells his story of attending a Roman Catholic boarding school during World War II. It’s one of the most gripping films I’ve ever seen. Steve had never watched it, so we saw it together this week. It is a quiet, intense movie, well-acted and beautifully written, and I am as moved by it now as I was twenty-three years ago. Appropriate for mature pre-teens and teenagers.

I had never read Roald Dahl’s “The BFG” (Big Friendly Giant, or “Big Effin’ Giant,” as my son prefers to call it). We’ve been reading it as a family and it’s great, especially as a read-aloud. Dahl always has a way with dialogue, in this one in particular. Good for all ages, unless your littles are prone to scary dreams.

Atwood, my hero. I love Atwood all the way back to “The Edible Woman,” her first novel. OK, I tried to read “Oryx & Crake” and it just absolutely terrified me. No, I don’t know why, it just flipped me out and I could barely start it, much less finish it. Any and all dystopian society books just scare me, alright? They hit too close to the bone. So when the second book in the trilogy, “The Year of the Flood,” came out, I wasn’t sure if I’d be into it, petrified by it, lost in translation, what. I picked it up and haven’t been able to put it down — I’m almost finished with it. It’s one of those books I am savoring, because I won’t want to say goodbye to it once it’s done.

Lucky for me, the third book will come out at some point, and I’m ready to delve into “Oryx & Crake” again. I am that brave now.

“The Year of the Flood” is fantastic, and stands on its own, even if you haven’t read the first book.

Happy Sunday, y’all.

— wm


  1. Nan says

    Yay for the BFG! Roald Dahl has a great way of writing in very. short. sentences. I pointed this out to the kids the other day, when Chas was trying to write a story with looooong sentences. He did a re-write, and it was much improved.

    I am bad with disturbing books… When I was 11 I read Jaws, and could not sit on the toilet, I was that scared of water. No exaggeration. When it looks like a book is going to be scary, I skip to the end! I am such a wuss.

    March 1st, 2010 | #

  2. Wacky Mommy says

    The man could write, i love his style. Good job on the rewrite lesson — i need that myself sometimes, ha. Jaws flipped me out, too — the book and the movie.

    March 1st, 2010 | #

  3. Steve R. says

    Oryx and Crake and Year of the Flood can be read in either order, in my opinion. I’m going to go back and read Oryx and Crake while awaiting the next one!

    March 2nd, 2010 | #

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