Friday, May 18, 2012

The Big Year (by Mark Obmascik)

I enjoyed the movie The Big Year so much that I felt compelled to read the book! And it is definitely a fun book, with lots of detail that enhances the movie experience. (The movie actually takes some smart creative license, giving it a more satisfying if less factual ending. But they are each fun in their own way.)

Obmascik did a ton of interviews for the book, but presents it more as a story--that is, he describes the inner emotional experiences of the characters, even if it seems like some of these emotional scenes are basically speculative. He also throws in wisecracks here and there. (Some moments are a weird combination of the two, like, "Komito joined the circle around the bird and put his camera in. He took his camera out. He put his camera in and clicked it all about. He got his yellow rail and he turned himself around. That, he thought, is what it's all about.") 

It's also not always clear where the competitors are in relation to each other geographically, or what their count is at any given time. I would probably have preferred a slightly different, more "objective" tone. But I did really get invested in the characters and enjoy reading about their adventures. Definitely whetted my appetite for books and blogs about big years.* And I'm glad they made a movie out of it!

(*I can also highly recommend John Vanderpoel's blog of his 2011 Big Year. Pretty amazing.)

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