Saturday, October 19, 2019

Block, Lawrence (In Sunlight or in Shadow: Stories Inspired by the Paintings of Edward Hopper)

Mr. Block, you have collected a stellar set of writers to showcase Hopper's paintings. Not all of them have written you a stellar story, but all of them have done what you asked - written a story that tells a tale of the painting in question.

Which ones are my favorite? Here are the ones I liked the most, from least favorite to most favorite:

1. Autumn at the Automat (Lawrence Block)
Not the Hopper painting you're thinking of - the other famous one. Block writes an adequately mysterious story, very Block-like, but not particularly memorable.

2. The Music Room (Stephen King)
No question that this is a King creation, with the creepy twist you've come to expect!

3. Office at Night (Warren Moore)
Much, much more subtle than the previous two. I haven't read anything by Moore before, but I should start. He weaves an astonishingly sweet and sad story from Hopper's painting of an office inhabited by a man and a woman, and not much else.

4. Rooms by the Sea (Nicholas Christopher)
This one would have taken top prize if the next one hadn't made me laugh out loud. Rooms by the Sea is the epitome of an intricate tale told lovingly and with a definite purpose. In addition, the mystery surrounding these rooms & the house itself keeps you guessing the entire way.

5. Taking Care of Business (Craig Ferguson)
There's a reason Ferguson is known as a go-to screenwriter. Short, sweet, kooky, simplistic, and with two - not one - bang-on endings. Also, really freakin' funny.

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