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Spotlight on: Blue Movie by Terry Southern
Alternate: Violets Are Blue by James Patterson

To arrange to have products considered for review, send an email to craigsbookclub@yahoo.com.

Blue Movie by Terry Southern Terry Southern, Blue Movie

This is the most vulgar book I have ever read, and also the laugh-out-loud funniest. Terry Southern was and is one of the funniest writers in the business. His sardonic humor was way ahead of its time, recognized mainly by the counterculture and Europe. And now, of course, you can't get anybody to read anything more than five years old, so it's difficult to introduce people to him.

But never mind that, I have you here now, so sit down (but I don't guess you're standing, are you?) and I'll tell you a little about Blue Movie.

So, there's this director, King B (presumably modeled after Southern's friend Stanley Kubrick, to whom Southern dedicates the book) who's done everything. He's tired of the business and he wants out. His producer, Sid Krassman, will do anything to keep him in the business and so agrees to King's proposition.

King B wants to do a porn film. Not just a softcore, either, but a big-budget extravaganza with a good script, A-list actors, and full studio backing. Oh, and of course he wants full creative control.

Southern takes this idea and runs with it, giving it the full treatment in Blue Movie. Humor is the primary medium here, but his description of shooting the scenes are just as explicit as the film would be on the screen. This is definitely not a book for kids. Southern pulls no punches with his language or his visuals. Also, a lot of the backstage goings-on mirror the events on the screen. This is a book full of sex and rough language. There, you've been warned.

(Of course, there are going to be those of you who are scared away by this description, but Blue Movie is really for those of you who are going to buy it based on that description.)

But for anyone who enjoys Southern's type of humor (he co-wrote the films Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb and The Magic Christian) will absolutely love Blue Movie's commentary on the Hollywood system and all the people in it. Pure fun all the way.

Violets Are Blue by James Patterson Alternate Recommendation: James Patterson, Violets Are Blue: An Alex Cross Novel

The only other Alex Cross book I had read were Along Came a Spider and its sequel, Cat and Mouse. Actually my introduction to Violets Are Blue goes this way:

One of the VP's in my company saw me reading Poppy Z. Brite's Exquisite Corpse one day (the most disturbing book I have ever read) and asked me what it was about. I told him about all the sex and cannibalism and he seemed a little shocked. Well, here's what happens when you become categorized by your reading material.

I saw him in the lounge a few months later, just after this book had come out in paperback, and he mentioned that he had been reading this book and had thought of me, "because it's about vampires and necrophilia."

Oh, thanks, that's what I want to be remembered for.

But it sounded interesting, so he let me borrow Violets Are Blue, and I liked it. It's typical Patterson, in that it can be read in half a week. His writing is very fast-paced and his chapters are short (two pages in many cases).

Alex Cross is still searching for the Mastermind from Roses Are Red, but now there are several murders with vampiric traces going on all over the country, so he teams up with FBI agent Kyle Craig and goes after them. Some of the descriptions are gruesome (nowhere near Poppy Z. Brite territory, however, I assure you). But all in all, Violets Are Blue is a good read.

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