Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Another Book Goes Back to the Library

I read a mention of Zoe Heller’s 2003 novel, “What Was She Thinking?” and didn’t notice the subtitle in brackets: “Notes on a Scandal.” I thought it was time to read something by Zoe Heller, whose name kept coming up, so I picked the book up at the library. When I brought it home, I looked at the book jacket’s descriptive blurb and realized the story sounded familiar. And then it clicked: I had seen the 2006 movie made from this novel, but titled by the novel’s subtitle, “Notes on a Scandal.” It all came back to me. This was a wonderful film, starring the terrific actors Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett. But now the question was whether I wanted to read the novel. I often see a movie after I have read the novel it is based on, but very rarely the other way around. I re-read some favorite books, but rarely re-see a movie. And reading this book after seeing the movie felt redundant, especially since the best thing about the movie was the great acting. So, with a bit of ambivalence, but not too much, I decided to take the book back to the library unread.

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