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The Birds 
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Burning Godzilla
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Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2001 2:48 am
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Location: Brighton, MI
The Birds, copyright 1936, authored by Frank Baker

186 beautifully-written pages

PLOT SUMMARY: An old man looks back to his youth, and decides to dictate a memoir to his adult daughter. They are living in a post-apocalyptic landscape, a world in which people divide history into "before the birds came" and "after the birds came." Our protagonist is one of the few survivors of that apocalypse, and he feels it's finally time to tell his story, so his children and grandchildren can have a sense of the vanished world he lived in for about the first twenty years of his life and understand how they got here from those dim, dead times...

CLIFFIE'S NOTES:

>> I can easily see why Frank Baker wrote Alfred Hitchcock, wanting compensation after he saw Hitch's movie of the same name. Some of the similarities seem beyond coincidence. A young man trying to separate from his emotionally dependent, widowed mother; the woman attacked by the bird in the phone booth; the moment when the hero has to step over the ravaged body of a woman named Annie to get in his front door. That last one got me right between the eyes. (But I was luckier than Annie. I still had my eyes in my head, at least...)

>> I can also see why Hitchcock felt justified in ignoring Baker's request. (Hitch couldn't have gotten away with it today, but still.) This book comes at the idea of bird attacks from an angle very different from Hitchcock's. The movie The Birds is a straight-up horror flick with an unexplained, unresolved menace and fairly simple characters. The book is a subtle, highly philosophical, and in some ways a profoundly spiritual story that uses avian terrorism to pull down -- or at least splatter with bird doody -- all the parts of the human world that need to be erased. And by the end of the story we understand fully why the attacks happened, why they eventually stopped, and why the human race is much better off for all of it. You can't say any of that about the movie, that's for sure.

>> Baker veered dangerously close to getting preachy in this story, but it never -- quite -- happened. It was never lost on me for a minute that the story was being told by a man at the very end of his life, when most of us revisit the what-does-it-all-mean era of our lives and come out with better answers than we were equipped to find when we were in our twenties. He puts us very much in the shoes of that 20-year-old man and helps us feels his doubts, his high-flown ideas and hard-to-define longings, the questions he struggles with, and the forces pulling on him as he sees the birds flocking into London. It's great stuff, honestly.

>> Baker only sketches out the post-apocalyptic world in this story, but he tells us enough. Enough to make we want to see it with my own eyes!

I was unable to put this book down, and I would recommend it to anyone.

And here's the fish interpretation of the same story.

_________________
Guy in bar: "I got 50 dollars in my pocket saying you're coming home with me tonight."
Girl in bar: "They're lying to you."
(from Psychos In Love)

Sample piscatorial love at Cliffie's Notes! Now in blog form for the greater good of the Fish Conspiracy!


Sat Sep 10, 2016 10:36 pm
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Burning Godzilla
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Joined: Mon Sep 30, 2002 5:35 am
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Location: Chattanooga TN
Uh . . . .

I thought the film was based on the story by Daphne du Maurier (1952)?

_________________
Dark tears for is alabaster muse lost forever into the unforgiving jade daggers of the night. Her slim form no longer to touch his burning lips, her blood like the thorny rose no longer his, O Death! O Oblivion! Why havent you come! I wait in my garden of shadows for thee! -- Juniper releases her inner Goth.


Sun Sep 11, 2016 12:13 am
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Burning Godzilla
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Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2001 2:48 am
Posts: 5001
Location: Brighton, MI
I'd love to be able to clarify that for myself, but whenever I receive a book that supposedly has DuMaurier's story in it, it's...not in there. In any case, Baker's appeal to Hitch came to nothing.

_________________
Guy in bar: "I got 50 dollars in my pocket saying you're coming home with me tonight."
Girl in bar: "They're lying to you."
(from Psychos In Love)

Sample piscatorial love at Cliffie's Notes! Now in blog form for the greater good of the Fish Conspiracy!


Tue Sep 20, 2016 3:48 pm
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