Stepmom by Maggie RobbStepmom has always been one of those films you pick up occasionally, and then finish it, tear stained, and vowing never to watch it again. (Along with Armageddon, My Girl and Mask. No, not with Jim Carey. The other one.) I was quite surprised that there was a novelization if the film, and I wasn’t sure if the writer could encapsulate the blubbering mess that the average person becomes when watching the film.
I have to say, that this novelization has to be one of my standout favourites, along with Far & Away. It isn’t just a blow-by-blow account of the film, with a couple of additional scenes. It’s enriched with more detail than you could possibly glimpse in the film, along with character development and an insight into the characters.
Each chapter alternates between Isabel, Jackie and Luke, played in the film by Julia Roberts, Susan Sarandon and Ed Harris respectively. I was amazed at how much the author delved into what each character was thinking at specific moments - it almost felt like she had experienced some of the events that happen in the film herself. I do feel like there’s a lot of the author added into this story, which you don’t often find with novelizations. There’s also a nice additional back story to Isabel and her own mother, although it comes more towards the end of the book.
If you’ve seen the film, you’ll know exactly how this book is going to go, but I would highly recommend picking this up, as it adds so much more to the film. It can also be read without seeing the film. You’ll be rooting for Isabel, complaining about Jackie and worrying about Luke stuck in the middle.
And yes, you do need tissues.
Steven Pinker: Linguistics as a Window to Understanding the Brain
Experience: Culture, Cognition, and the Common Sense
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The editors of Experience: Culture, Cognition, and the Common Sense , Caroline Jones, David Mather and Rebecca Uchill, describe the unusual material features, artistic interventions and intellectual provocations that make this book object something more than a typical codex. When exposed to heat, the changing ink reveals typeset words, powerful colors, and an Eliasson drawing underneath the all-black cover. Gradient Flip , a design in complementary colors bleeding off the outer margins, appears to be green-fading-to-magenta on one side of the book, and the reverse pattern on the other side. When the book is manipulated, the colors oscillate for a dynamically shifting effect. Renowned experimental composer and sound artist Alvin Lucier produced an original musical composition for the book. They emerge from a backdrop of his inked spiderweb prints.