To date, humans have explored less than 5% of the world’s oceans. Whatever is lying in wait beneath the cavernous dark water is something yet to be discovered. Many scientists speculate that there are creatures such as the giant squid, which live in deep, seemingly endless trenches, hiding in the dark. Can there be other creatures as well—possibly from the Black Lagoon?
In 1941, producer William Alland was attending a dinner party for the classic Citizen Kane, when Mexican cinematographer Gabriel Figueroa told him about a myth that involved a half-fish, half-human creature on the Amazon River. Ten years later, Alland wrote a screenplay dubbed The Sea Monster, partially based on the French fairy tale, Beauty and the Beast. Following the success of the 3D House of Wax in 1953, Jack Arnold was hired to direct the rewrite of Sea Monster which was now Creature from the Black Lagoon.
Many of his readers were surprised to discover that Wells had adopted a third person narrative instead of first person for this particular novel. The protagonist, Dr. Griffin, is a scientist who is interested in optics. He learns how to invent a way to change a body’s refractive index to that of air. Thus, the body neither absorbs nor reflects light, allowing for invisibility. The ambitious Griffin successfully completes the procedure on himself, but he can’t seem to figure out how to reverse it.
Rachel Watson is just a girl on the train.
She takes the same London commuter train into work almost daily. She passes the same tiny suburbs on the tracks—the same suburbs she used to live in with her ex-husband, Tom.
Occasionally, she sees Tom and his new wife Anna with their new baby, enjoying a stroll in the afternoons. But more often than not, she directs all of her attention to a house down the street from her old abode, one that houses a young couple who she finds herself obsessing over.
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The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Every day, Rachel takes the same London commuter train and passes the same suburban scenery, yet one house catches her eye—mainly because of the married couple she glimpses living there. This leads Rachel to conjure up an entire dream life for this husband and wife, even naming them and giving them make-believe careers. Rachel's life has been spiraling downward, and her fantasy about this couple gives her a little joy. But all is not what it seems, and Rachel is soon embroiled in a murderous thriller. (Library Journal)
If you enjoyed The Girl on the Train, you may like the following novels:
Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson
Christine Lucas suffers from a rare form of amnesia as the result of a vaguely defined accident. Each night as she sleeps, her near-term memory is wiped clean, and she awakens knowing little about who she is, where she is, or with whom she lives. Every day her husband, Ben, shares with her the same carefully rehearsed story of their long marriage and gently encourages her struggle to remember. She keeps a journal at the recommendation of her doctor and reads it each morning. As the journal grows, Christine begins to suspect that Ben is not telling her the complete truth about her accident, their son Adam, her successful career as a novelist, or the fire that destroyed the collection of family photos that might help her remember. (Library Journal)
The Disappearance of Emily Marr by Louise Candlish (eAudio)
When Tabby Dewhurst arrives heartbroken and penniless on a picturesque, windswept island off the coast of France, her luck appears to change when she overhears a villager repeating aloud the access code to her front door. Hardly believing her own actions, Tabby waits for the woman to leave and then lets herself into the house. And so she enters the strange, hidden world of Emily Marr—or so her new friend introduces herself. Soon, however, Tabby forms suspicions about her new friend, suspicions that lead her back to England and to revelations that will have explosive consequences for both of them. (catalog summary)
There should be a shelf in the library with yellow caution tape labeled WARNING, UNHAPPY ENDINGS and UNHAPPILY EVER AFTER. Reach for a book from that shelf, and you’ll need your Puffs Plus tissues. Authors have the power of the pen, so why end on an unhappy note with disaster, calamity, catastrophe, cataclysm, misfortune, mishap, blow, trial, tribulation, affliction, adversity, and death?
Mary Lennox arrives at Misselthwaite Manor in the dead of winter, an angry orphan with serious trust issues. Everything at the Yorkshire estate seems closed off to her. And there are secrets. A mysterious cousin, a distant uncle, and a separate, walled-off garden—to which she’s found the key.
In Shakespeare for Beginners, I listed various books and resources I like to use to help in reading Shakespeare’s plays. However, one of the best accompaniments to reading his plays is watching one or more of the movies or stage productions.
When I studied Shakespeare in college, one of the requirements of the class was to watch each of the plays we were studying. Although I had seen a couple of live productions, I had never seen a Shakespeare film, but since it was required, I dutifully checked out my first Shakespeare video, Richard II. I was entranced. With facial expressions, props, costumes, and even the way the actors said their parts, I was drawn into the action of the play even more than when I had read it.
Gary Olsen gives monthly film lectures at the Central Rappahannock Regional Library on the best film directors of all time. His previous lecture series on the Academy Awards' best pictures drew upon his extensive knowledge of film and cinema history.
I Wear the Black Hat is Chuck Klosterman's sixth book of cultural essays and the first one to explore villainy in all of its forms.