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My Movie Business: A Memoir John Irving S Memoir Begins With His Account Of The Distinguished Career And Medical Writings Of The Novelist S Grandfather Dr Frederick C Irving, A Renowned Obstetrician And Gynecologist, And Includes Mr Irving S Incisive History Of Abortion Politics In The United States But My Movie Business Focuses Primarily On The Thirteen Years John Irving Spent Adapting His Novel The Cider House Rules For The Screen For Four Different Directors Mr Irving Also Writes About The Failed Effort To Make His First Novel, Setting Free The Bears, Into A Movie About Two Of The Films That Were Made From His Novels But Not From His Screenplays , The World According To Garp And The Hotel New Hampshire About His Slow Progress At Shepherding His Screenplay Of A Son Of The Circus Into Production Not Least, And In Addition To Its Qualities As A Memoir Anecdotal, Comic, Affectionate, And Candid My Movie Business Is An Insightful Essay On The Essential Differences Between Writing A Novel And Writing A ScreenplayThe Photographs In My Movie Business Were Taken By Stephen Vaughan, The Still Photographer On The Set Of The Cider House Rules A Miramax Production Directed By Lasse Hallstr M, With Michael Caine In The Role Of Dr Larch Concurrently With The November Release Of The Film, Talk Miramax Books Will Publish John Irving S Screenplay


10 thoughts on “My Movie Business: A Memoir

  1. says:

    This book resembled a cosy fireside chat with John Irving on the conversion of novels into screenplays Although The Cider House Rules is the main subject under consideration, there are detours into his other novels that ended up as films, notably The World According to Garp and The Hotel New Hampshire, and the one that, try as he might, never made it to the cinema, his first novel, Setting Free the Bears.I wondered why the eminent novelist had considered writing this memoir of his dabbling in t This book resembled a cosy fireside chat with John Irving on the conversion of novels into screenplays Although The Cider House Rules is the main subject under consideration, there are detours into his other novels that ended up as films, notably The World According to Garp and The Hotel New Hampshire, and the one that, try as he might, never made it to the cinema, his first novel, Setting Free the Bears.I wondered why the eminent novelist had considered writing this memoir of his dabbling in the movie business When I realized that this book was written on the eve of the release of the film version of The Cider House Rules, I wondered whether the author was trying to absolve himself of any responsibility for the finished product Why Because movies do not reflect their book versions They are slices of the novel, where scenes and characters come and go or are replaced depending on the director, the studio and audience tastes The Cider House Rules had four directors during its journey to being filmed, and the screenplay, written by Irving, changed radically with each one This is to be expected, for when compressing a story, some characters and scenes will be compromised or eliminated, and others created anew to compensate for the gaps in the story Voice over narration in the novel is a frowned upon device in the movies and is used sparingly.And yet it must have been a labour of angst for Irving to whom this book is close He comes from a privileged medical family, and the book s central character, Dr Larch played by Michael Caine in the movie , is modelled on the author s grandfather One thing that became clear to me when reading this how to make a screenplay book, was how contrived movie scripts are Effect, marketability, timing, and resolved endings areimportant than moral and political issues that the author makes central themes in his novel version So while Irving the author would like to make abortion and it s representative, Dr Larch, the focus, the movie deems a romance between the orphan, Homer Wells, and the temptress, Candy,important.A good read if one is interested in screenplays, and also for novelists who do not ever want their novels converted into movies


  2. says:

    I thought this memoir might help me to get back into John Irving s writing, as I haven t been enjoying his novels lately Unfortunately, if anything, it steered me farther away I did however like learning about the movie business and the surprisingly complicated process of turning a book into a movie, but the text is just really dry I couldn t help being bored even though this is quite a short book My Movie Business didn t even make me want to watch the movies it discusses so unless you re I thought this memoir might help me to get back into John Irving s writing, as I haven t been enjoying his novels lately Unfortunately, if anything, it steered me farther away I did however like learning about the movie business and the surprisingly complicated process of turning a book into a movie, but the text is just really dry I couldn t help being bored even though this is quite a short book My Movie Business didn t even make me want to watch the movies it discusses so unless you re a dedicated John Irving fan and adore the movie adaptations of his novels, I can t really recommend this


  3. says:

    The main gist of this book was to explain how some of his books were made into movies with the main one being Cider House because he wrote the screenplay for years It touched on all his novels and it helped me remember something about the books I had read a long time ago but the most interesting and the one given the most information was Cider House.He explains that his grandfather was an OB GYN who graduated from Harvard in 1910 and wrote 3 books One his books was published in 1942 and ga The main gist of this book was to explain how some of his books were made into movies with the main one being Cider House because he wrote the screenplay for years It touched on all his novels and it helped me remember something about the books I had read a long time ago but the most interesting and the one given the most information was Cider House.He explains that his grandfather was an OB GYN who graduated from Harvard in 1910 and wrote 3 books One his books was published in 1942 and gave clinical details of the early days of obstetrics and gynecological surgery and our laws about abortion that go back to very early days of this country and how they have gone through numerous changes Many of the stories in Cider House were based on real cases his grandfather had written about Assuming that the information here is correct and I would guess that it is , it was very informative but just addsto my conflicted thoughts on the whole abortion issue doesn t give me an easy out justfood for thought on an issue that will probably never be settled


  4. says:

    Repetitive, dull and self aggrandizing Can t believe this is the same JI who wrote Garp, Owen Meany etc I learned nothing about movies, nothing about JI and nothing about the process of adapting novels to the screen One of the laziest books I ve read in a long time At least it s short.


  5. says:

    This really should be called The Making of Cider House Rules While Irving does discuss Garp and Hotel New Hampshire a little bit, you can tell that Cider House was top of mind when he was writing this The simplest explanation being that Cider House was his most recent movie effort at the time Because this was a toilet book for me, I heartily enjoyed it the chapters are small and easily consumable in a single bathroom session, and Irving s blunt, sentimental language shines through in t This really should be called The Making of Cider House Rules While Irving does discuss Garp and Hotel New Hampshire a little bit, you can tell that Cider House was top of mind when he was writing this The simplest explanation being that Cider House was his most recent movie effort at the time Because this was a toilet book for me, I heartily enjoyed it the chapters are small and easily consumable in a single bathroom session, and Irving s blunt, sentimental language shines through in this memoir However, as a solid, full attention, straight through read, this book is simply not enough It is reallyof a series of quick conversations with Irving, as opposed to a well thought out narrative So, as long as you approach it as such, this book can augment your knowledge of Irving and his movies, but only as an add on to your other experiences with his writing And, if you don t know Irving very well, do not start here


  6. says:

    This is a very short memoir long essay of sorts about Irving turning his novel The Cider House Rules into a screenplay I have not read the book or seen the film, but after reading this, there are enough spoilers and details to extinguish most of the mystery within both The author also gives us some insights into many of his previous experiences in trying to adapt some of his other novels onto the silver screen, with some predictably mixed, though entertaining results.There is some interestin This is a very short memoir long essay of sorts about Irving turning his novel The Cider House Rules into a screenplay I have not read the book or seen the film, but after reading this, there are enough spoilers and details to extinguish most of the mystery within both The author also gives us some insights into many of his previous experiences in trying to adapt some of his other novels onto the silver screen, with some predictably mixed, though entertaining results.There is some interesting historical background information in here, particularly in relation to abortion and medicine within the US But this is also, in part a pro life essay novel film and Irving himself says, Politically speaking, if I were to make a list of people who should see The Cider House Rules , two groups would go to the top of the list politicians who call themselves pro life meaning anti abortion and twelve year old girls He recalls one story when he was doing a book signing and a pro life woman cut in line to tell him, We just want people to be responsible for their children as she patted his hand He patted her hand in return and quoted from his own book, If you expect people to be responsible for their children, you have to give them the right to choose whether or not to have children With this basically being a promotion for the film, we get plenty of script excerpts and even small passages from the original novel There are also many run of the mill images and stills from the movie, including three of the author himself, who plays the role of the disapproving stationmaster This is sprinkled with some colourful detail about his rather snobbish sounding, yet highly talented grandfather, who was a doctor and Harvard graduate whose stories informed many aspects of the novel in question There are some interesting insights into Irving s writing process but owing to the nature of the subject it can get a little tedious and self indulgent And yet this does possess a quirky, understated appeal Some of Irving s various digressions can often give it the feel of sitting down with an old timer by an open fire, recounting really interesting old war stories, which really come to life nicely


  7. says:

    John Irving is one of my favorite novelists, but I haven t read much of his nonfiction He might not HAVE much available nonfiction, but I always enjoy his forewords and afterwords to his novels I like novelists with introspection I had passed this slim book bythan once, and even now I don t know why My journey with John Irving began with The Cider House Rules The film was coming out in fewer than two weeks, and my friend Tracey and I challenged each other to finish the book before we John Irving is one of my favorite novelists, but I haven t read much of his nonfiction He might not HAVE much available nonfiction, but I always enjoy his forewords and afterwords to his novels I like novelists with introspection I had passed this slim book bythan once, and even now I don t know why My journey with John Irving began with The Cider House Rules The film was coming out in fewer than two weeks, and my friend Tracey and I challenged each other to finish the book before we went out to see it I had never read a book like Cider House Rules likely because I d never read any Dickens , but I immediately fell for the author s way with words, his dialogue, his semicomic situations I plowed through Cider House and then was hugely underwhelmed by the movie.I was mad about every change, especially the wholesale elimination of Melony a hugely important character from the whole thing I didn t think Michael Caine deserved the award for Best Supporting Actor I was holding out for Haley Joel Osment in Sixth Sense, Michael Clarke Duncan in The Green Mile, or Tom Cruise in Magnolia Now, looking back, I may have unfairly maligned the film Reading My Movie Business, that seems all but assured.I loved hearing the behind the scenes stuff about movies based on Irving s books, even the stuff that kind of makes him seem like a jerk one insight Rob Lowe was a hot teen actor Jodie Foster was not My biggest wish is that the book didn t end with the wrapping of the film I wanted to see how Irving reacted to the popularity of it, winning an Oscar, etc etc You always try to rate art on what s there rather than what isn t, but this seems like a missed opportunity Caveat there is some fictionalized discussion of this in Until I Find You, but it s not the same All in all, I liked this book a lot, and it s always good to discover a work by a writer you love that you haven t yet dug into Which reminds me, I ve never read Setting Free the Bears Time to jump in to that pre Garp world


  8. says:

    Could anyone feelself important than Mr Irving There is nothing of note here It is a sanitized, glossing over of both novel writing and filmmaking A reader unfamiliar with either will learn absolutely nothing I m still baffled as to the point of this book at all I m sorry to say that the most interesting and memorable points in the story are in the beginning Once Mr Irving abandons his remembrance of his grandfather, you d might as well stop reading Indeed, I m inclined to try a Could anyone feelself important than Mr Irving There is nothing of note here It is a sanitized, glossing over of both novel writing and filmmaking A reader unfamiliar with either will learn absolutely nothing I m still baffled as to the point of this book at all I m sorry to say that the most interesting and memorable points in the story are in the beginning Once Mr Irving abandons his remembrance of his grandfather, you d might as well stop reading Indeed, I m inclined to try and find his grandfather s book, and if I do that will have been worth reading this one.I picked up this book because I love The Cider House Rules , and really did not love the movie As odd as it seems to dedicate and entire book to one book to film adaptation, I thought it might shed light on why that might be In other words, what were they thinking In some ways that question was answered, so I suppose that s why it felt worthy of three stars and not fewer


  9. says:

    Mostly stories from the lengthy process of turning his novel The Cider House Rules into a movie with little detours into details of his other publications and their movie versions, this book provided a perfect entry into John Irving s world for me I must admit that after a good friend and bookseller warned me that his books might just be a little too distasteful for my tender age which, back then, she was certainly right about I never showed any interest in one of Mr Irving s books or th Mostly stories from the lengthy process of turning his novel The Cider House Rules into a movie with little detours into details of his other publications and their movie versions, this book provided a perfect entry into John Irving s world for me I must admit that after a good friend and bookseller warned me that his books might just be a little too distasteful for my tender age which, back then, she was certainly right about I never showed any interest in one of Mr Irving s books or their movie adaptations any until a colleague I often share books with lent me this one Talking about what he was trying to say in the novel The Cider House Rules and where and why the plot needed to be changed for the movie adaptation in a calm but humorous conversation tone that made him seem a nice enough person, Mr Irving now has me quite curious about the movie and I might at some point need to pick up one or two of his novels, too


  10. says:

    As with all of Irving s work, the interesting stories make the writinginteresting I read Cinder House Rules when it was first published and saw the movie when it was released In this book, Irving shares stories of his grandfather and the inspiration for the book.I enjoyed reading that both he and his son had parts in the movie.As with Joyce Carol Oates and Margaret Atwood, I will read anything by John Irving I read these authors as a teenager and have continued to anticipate their next As with all of Irving s work, the interesting stories make the writinginteresting I read Cinder House Rules when it was first published and saw the movie when it was released In this book, Irving shares stories of his grandfather and the inspiration for the book.I enjoyed reading that both he and his son had parts in the movie.As with Joyce Carol Oates and Margaret Atwood, I will read anything by John Irving I read these authors as a teenager and have continued to anticipate their next novels


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