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Tony Grist

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The Accidental: Ali Smith [Sep. 29th, 2013|02:17 pm]
Tony Grist
It's almost a genre, but maybe not quite. A mysterious stranger comes to town and transforms every life he or she touches. Works in this almost-a-genre range from Mary Poppins to Brimstone and Treacle, from An Inspector Calls to Teorema. A number of westerns- including several Clint Eastwood westerns- qualify. In Smith's treatment of the theme the angel is an ageing hippie chick and the people she turns over are a middle-class family on holiday in Norfolk. I liked the 12 year old daughter best- Smith does a grand job of getting inside her head- and the womanizing husband least- she makes him awfully soft- and has him think in verse- which is something no novelist should ever attempt. You want to lose your readers? Try tossing them a sonnet.

[User Picture]From: porsupah
2013-09-29 07:02 pm (UTC)
Of that genre, one of my favorites remains The Music Man - a role Robert Preston truly owned, and arguably, reprised in The Last Starfighter. ^_^ It's such a delightful transition to witness - at first, he's simply executing the same strategy as he's employed countless times before, viewing the town as just another bunch of amiable marks, but winds up being led by them instead.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2013-09-30 07:58 am (UTC)
I don't know that one. It sounds interesting.

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