Saturday, August 25, 2012

Deliverance (by James Dickey)

Never having seen the movie Deliverance, all I knew about the story was something vague about banjos and men getting raped. And hillbillies. Turns out this was accurate, except there are also canoes.

As soon as I finished it, I talked to Ian about it (he has seen the movie but not read the book) and it sounds like the film and novel mesh pretty well: all the moments that stuck out in my mind also stuck out in his the same way--the kid playing the banjo accompanied by Drew on guitar, the increasing tension, the paranoia at the end, the sense that the characters Will Never Be The Same. The other thing that sticks out in my mind that Ian can't remember is the guy climbing the cliff in the moonlight. What a scene!

The books at the end of my Time 100 list have been pretty sloggy--Augie March was horrible, The Recognitions is enjoyable but incredibly long, Blood Meridian was just grim. Deliverance isn't exactly cheery, but the prose is very clear and vivid, the pace is fast, the story is exciting. It's a good read.

"I touched the knife hilt at my side, and remembered that all men were once boys, and that boys are always looking for ways to become men. Some of the ways are easy, too; all you have to do is be satisfied that it has happened."


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