Friday, September 27, 2013

A Long Way Down: Checking in on the book behind the upcoming screen adaptation


After yesterday's post on Thomas Sadoski joining Reese Witherspoon in the Nick Hornby scripted adaptation of Wild, I decided it was high time to hit Hornby's own 2005 novel, A Long Way Down.  (I march to the beat of my own drummer. I read books half a dozen years after everyone else)  The dark comic tale of four suicidal people who meet on a London rooftop on New Years Eve was shot last year and is headed to the screen in 2014 - Valentine's Day in the UK which I understand is meaningful in terms of the book. I've just begun A Long Way Down and am utterly intrigued by Hornby's characters ... as well as the actors that director, Pascal Chaumiel cast to play them. 

The images below, culled from the net, are from a scene set in Mallorca, Spain (with the exception of Aaron Paul). Of course I'm curious to know if there's a similar scene in Hornby's novel but I don't want to dig too much since I'm in the very early stages of reading, digging the book and not wanting to spoil it for myself.


PIERCE BROSNAN as Martin

The novel, told by each one of the four in alternating chapters, begins with Martin - a popular former television host (TV presenter as the Brits say) filled with appropriate self-loathing - married and a father, he bedded an underage girl.
"Can I explain why I wanted to jump off the top of a tower block? Of course I can explain why I wanted to jump off the top of a tower block. I'm not a bloody idiot ... There simply weren't enough regrets, and lots and lots of reasons to jump."  Martin, page 3,4.




TONI COLLETTE as Maureen

Maureen, the 51 year old single mother to a son in a nearly vegetative state.
"There isn't so much to be afraid of, out there. I can remember thinking it was funny to find that out, on the last night of my life; I'd spent the rest of it being afraid of everything."  Maureen, page 13.





IMOGEN POOTS as Jess

Jess, young, restless and hung up on some guy. 
"You could have turned up to that party as the happiest person in London, and you'd still have wanted to jump off the roof by five past twelve. And I wasn't the happiest person in London anyway. Obviously."  Jess, page 7.



AARON PAUL as JJ

JJ, the American musician turned pizza delivery boy. 
"Wanting to die seems like it might be a part of being alive." JJ, page 28


The film also stars Rosamund Pike and Sam Neill; I have an idea about their characters but nothing to say yet. I do wish Hornby had adapted his own work - he hasn't done that since he wrote the script for Fever Pitch - the British one starring Colin Firth NOT Jimmy Fallon. 





5 comments:

  1. Nice post and very nice characterisation. Thank you so much for sharing.
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  2. I read this awhile ago and enjoyed it as I do all Hornby books. But when I look back and try to place the characters and their neuroses, I forget. I'll wait for your review and the movie.

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  3. Love Nick Hornby and think that his books translate to the screen really well. Looking forward to this.

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  4. I love most of Nick Hornby's work, and I read most of his early books, but got left behind for the last few. The movie looks great, just my sort of thing- I'll have to check this one out before it comes out.

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  5. I am loving it. Great characters; brutally honest.

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