Thursday, May 31, 2007

Remedial Reading

Jim's been into spontaneous napping lately, which has more to do with the effects of his illness and the deliciously warm late spring afternoons than it does with my scintillating personality. So when I go to visit him, I bring a book for me to read, usually something taken from our vast "Don't get rid of those, I haven't read them yet" collection and usually a hard-boiled detective novel. We've accumulated them over the years from God-knows-where: Friends, relatives, paperback exchanges. So now I'm plowing through them.

This week I started on Robert B. Parker's "Sunny Randall" series. I always get a little leery when a guy writes from the first person as a female protagonist. I always think of Larry David's old routine about "if I were a woman, I would stay home all day looking at my breasts."

However, Parker had a very specific woman in mind when he created the character of Sunny: His good friend, actress Helen Hunt, who's going to play her in the movie. Like Parker's most famous character, Spenser, Sunny has a sharp wit and a funny dog. But she's a divorcee determined to rely on her own internal compass. She has two best friends: Julie, a shrink, and Spike, a tough gay guy karate expert. Yes, folks...the dean of American crime fiction is writing Chick Lit!

I finished "Family Honor" last night and started in on the next book in the series, except I don't know if I want to bring a book to a hospice whose title is "Perish Twice."

A funny-odd story: in 1989, when Jacques and I wrote a thriller together (well, I wrote it and he contributed raw material), I named the main characters, who were based on us, "Sasha" and "Sunny," and Sunny was Sunny Randall. (I took Randall from one of my sisters-in-law). The book wound up in a drawer (because a plot point, Communist Romania, ceased to exist a month after we finished writing), and I think it was some year later, maybe in the late '90s, that Parker began writing his "Sunny Randall" series. I wrote to Robert Parker commenting on the oddity of that and offering to send him the ms. about "the other Sunny Randall." He wrote back saying, in effect, "I never read other people's mss. because if I did, I'd never do anything else. But I'd be glad to give you the name of my agent and editor." I never wrote back.

A form letter. How charming.

Too bad you can't copyright names.

Robin Williams used to do this bit about Ethel Merman singing the hits of Bob Dylan, and oddly enough, he started doing it a few months after a comedienne friend of mine started doing the same bit around the clubs in New York... where Robin Williams was a frequent drop-in whenever he was in town.

She approached him about it once, and he was all "Robin Williams Contrite." But he kept doing the bit anyway.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

nyc bloggers map