Whenever I see an interesting trailer for a film based on a novel, I like to read the book before the movie comes out – because I generally enjoy novels more than films. The last time I did this was with Shutter Island, and man oh man, I was glad I did because the book was unpretentious fun while the movie was an overblown bore.
So I’ve really been liking the trailers for The Town, an upcoming film written, directed by and starring Ben Affleck. It’s based on a novel by Chuck Hogan called Prince of Thieves. Masked bank robber takes a girl hostage, then comes back into her life and falls in love with her without telling her who he is.
Listen. This is a knock-out book. Really. If you like crime fiction, or any fiction, buy this, read it. It’s a beauty. Great prose – terrific prose. Good characters, expertly drawn. Powerful plot. Just all around top-notch stuff. I’d put it with The Secret History, A Simple Plan and The Ice Harvest as being among the best recent crime novels that for some inexplicable reason were not written by me.
I look forward to the movie too. Laugh if you will, but I think Affleck is a really talented guy who sort of short-circuited his career with bad onscreen choices and off-screen silliness. He did a good job directing Gone, Baby, Gone and I’ve never forgotten his wonderfully charismatic performance in one of my favorite movies Shakespeare in Love. He’s perfect for the lead in this and I’m eager to see it. But I’m telling you: read the book first.