The Lovely Bones

Book title: The Lovely Bones
Author: Alice Sebold
Status: Finished

Susie was fourteen when she was raped and murdered. Her murderer was a man from her neighborhood. Susie watches from heaven, sees her happy, suburban family devastated by her death, isolated even from one another as they each try to cope with their terrible loss alone. Over the years, her friends and siblings grow up, fall in love, do all the things she never had the chance to do herself. But life is not quite finished with Susie yet. "The Lovely Bones" is a novel about life and death, forgiveness and vengeance, memory and forgetting - but, above all, about finding light in the darkest of places.

作者以開首描述的 snow globe 來隱喻她後來身處的"天堂" -- The penguin was alone in there, I thought, and I worried for him. When I told my father this, he said, "Don't worry, Susie; he has a nice life. He's trapped in a perfect world.",繼而探討天堂的存在與意義,是否真的一如她父親所言,是個"perfect world"?Yes and no, depending on how you define the notion of "perfect".

第一章那句 "My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973." 雖只是平鋪直敍的直述句,沒有華麗的詞彙,可是對作為讀者的貓而言卻相當震撼。

Alice Sebold 的文筆流暢但稱不上灑逸動人,華麗的詞藻亦欠奉,不過抒情的哀傷、懸念的迭起恰到好處,角色的心理變化寫得尤其細緻。

記得 Joyce 說她師兄在看畢【The Dark Knight】電影後大讚該片是現代外國文學的代表作。對於沒修過現代文學的人而言,也許是比較容易混淆吧,【The Dark Knight】充其量只是一部具有哲學理論的商業作品而已,因為 Heath Ledger 演活了"The Joker"這角色才讓電影大受好評,然而論歸類,它只能納入"fiction",而不能算"literature"。要讀真正的外國文學,想讀到人生的苦難、人性的扭曲以及人性如何被折磨得遍體鱗傷,【The Dark Knight】的水平還差好遠,不過對初學者而言,"The Kite Runner"一類具政治背景的作品可能有點沉重,那麼,看"The Lovely Bones"吧!讀過"The Lovely Bones",他該會對甚麼才是描述人性扭曲與苦難的現代文學有較清晰的概念。

正在更新日記附錄的閱讀清單,本只打算 google search 一下"The Lovely Bones"的網址,卻意外發現該小說已被改篇成電影劇本,更是由拍【The Lord of the Rings】系列及【King Kong】的 Peter Jackson 執導,預計將於明年上映 о(ж>▽<)y

看來貓選讀物的眼光不錯,近年讀的好些小說均被拍成電影,不過"The Lovely Bones"一書心理描寫的比重真適合用來拍成電影嗎?這種角色的內心掙扎和心理變化,以小說形式表達沒錯很吸引,可是以電影演繹則擔心有悶場,真正考導演功力。但既然 screenplay 由 Peter Jackson 編寫,就先讓貓期待一下吧 o(^-^o)(o^-^)o