Lights, camera, book

So, I saw this trailer for Mortdecai over the Christmas break and got a little bit excited. I may have squealed.Mortdecai poster

The new Johnny Depp film is based on the Charlie Mortdecai novels by Kyril Bonfiglioli. Although I now know that Bonfiglioli is a bit of a cult classic, I actually discovered these books through a Creative Review article about the 2014 re-issue of the novels with gorgeous cover designs by illustrator Luke Pearson.

I had a fairly good idea what to expect, but it was still a bit of an adjustment when I started reading Don’t Point That Thing At Me. Firstly because of the language; the novel is full of jargon and slang for which there is absolutely no explanation – it’s a case of reading around it, figuring it out and, if all else fails, Googling it. Secondly, Charlie Mortdecai just isn’t very likeable. He’s funny and interesting and clever, but I never liked him over much.

That being said I did enjoy the novel, the plot gallops along and the peripheral characters are well-drawn. Jock is obviously a standout and I’m keen to see what the marvellous Paul Bettany does with this role. I’m excited about the film and although Johnny Depp is not the Mortdecai of my imaginings I’m willing to be convinced.

The second bookish trailer didn’t get a squeal, more an appropriately reverent gasp; Wolf Hall is going to be on the telly!

This is an interesting one because I audiobooked both Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies, so for me Cromwell already has a very distinctive voice. Obviously I have nothing to add to the plaudits already heaped on to this amazing novel, so I’ll just make what I think are two very salient points.

  1. I live about 10 minutes away from Hilary Mantel. Every time I go to Budleigh Salterton (Bubbly Saltybum) I’m genuinely gutted that I don’t see her in the ice-cream shop.
  2. I’m desperately excited about Wolf Hall, it’s got a stellar cast and it certainly looks like the BBC has thrown a big pot of shiny money at creating elegant sets and lavish costumes. But ultimately it’s only going to work for me if I can forget that Cromwell is being played by a weird crochet childminder…
Flop from Bing cartoon

Mark Rylance

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