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Friday, February 3, 2012

GBE2: Blog on. Review: The Soloist. The book versus the movie...

Cover of "The Soloist: A Lost Dream, an U...
Cover via Amazon





Review: The Soloist: Steve Lopez. 

In 2005, LA Times Columnist Steve Lopez ran into a homeless man playing a violin on a street corner. After a few conversations with the gentleman, he decided the musician's situation was fascinating enough write about in his column. Evidently the man in question was Nathaniel Ayers - a talented musician who had bombed out of the prestigious Julliard Music School years ago and was now living on the dangerous streets of LA, suffering from schizophrenia. One column about Ayers led to another, and another. Before long the series had become popular enough that Lopez was working on a novel about Nathaniel. Even before Lopez's book was released, a number of people in the Hollywood film industry had already read Lopez's columns about Nathaniel and were interested in turning his story into a movie. Now, only a very brief amount of time after the novel was released, its big-budget film adaptation hits the screens. How do film and book treatments of Nathaniel Ayers' story compare?


The book versus the movie:


http://www.boxofficeprophets.com/column/index.cfm?columnID=11555
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9 comments:

Mojo Writin' said...

Hmm, sounds like the book is far more interesting than the usual 'Let's fiddle with it til it breaks' Hollywood treatment of the movie. I'll add the book to my 'To Read' list!

Alana said...

Did you read the book? I watched the movie and felt it had very strong performances and disquieting statistics about the size of the homeless population here in LA. I haven't read the book yet, though - would love to know if you read it and enjoyed it.

Kiwi Riverman's Blogesphere said...

Its a good book - just I'm reading it bit by bit.Its interesting. I abhor the American system that allows people like the character in the story, to just live on the streets. I have a schizophrenic GS and he lives with us, his grandparents.

danneromero said...

sounds interesting. i love true stories... life stories.

Kiwi Riverman's Blogesphere said...

Quite an intersting story. Must catch the movie next time around.

The_First_30_years said...

I agree with a few other posts, it is a failed safety net and a failed system that allows the mentally ill to be discarded in this country.

Soapbox alert:

If we want to keep people from walking up to our congress people and shooting them, or plotting to build bombs in our schools, then we have to have a serious conversation about mental illness in this country.

Stepping off....

I applaud a book or movie that shines light in darkness. A work of art, no matter its medium; that does not inspire emotion and movement in its audience is the lowest form of art - entertainment. (JMO)

Kiwi Riverman's Blogesphere said...

Great comments. Two or three decades ago western nations decided to close down state mental health institutions and send their patients out into the community. We in NZ, just have acute emergency units for the mentally ill. There is nowhere for patients, no they are clients now, to go for some peace and quiet occasinally. There are some half-way type houses for people to have some respite, but not if they are liable to be violent schizophrenics who may punch walls and things to get away from the voices. While we don't have people on the streets here in NZ in any great numbers, they are hidden away in boarding houses and flats around our cities.Medication has evolved and helps control the voices and psychosis, but the side effect is considerable weight gain. Many patients are chronic cigarette smokers and alcohol drinkers, and a few still use dope(marijuana) which is whar created their psychosis in the first place. A few lucky younger patients still have families who care and look after their interests.

Brenda Stevens said...

never heard of this story before, so interesting, a must read now. Thank you

I chuckle, tho at the time it wasn't funny, we had a woman who i befriended, neighbor who had this diagnosis. Didn't know it at the time, she broke into our home, looking for her child's rabbit; she knew it was in our house, the voices told her.

My ex, 6ft 5 and a hulk of a man, was terrified of her, every time the bushes moved side of the house, or near the window where he was sitting he would JUMP. NEVER saw anything or anyone un nerve him like this person.

She needed meds, sad to see her taken away in 4 pt restraints from her home, her kids so scared. We helped her husband with the kids until they moved, he was so ashamed. It was sad. Her family ended up taking care of her from what i heard last. He divorced her.

Kiwi Riverman's Blogesphere said...

It is a great story, and some mental health patients can be scary and put the wind up you.