Thursday, 30 May 2013

Vertigo by Pierre Boileau & Thomas Narcejac


" He could smell her perfume. A complicated smell, which had affinities with rich earth and dead flowers."

Yet another in my attempts to visit the source material of the films of Alfred Hitchcock, completing Vertigo, originally published as The Living and the Dead,  was a pleasure. There are some considerable differences between the movie and the novel, not the least of which is the finale.
I'm not about to give the whole game away, but differences emerge right from the get go. There's no adorable Midge for starters. Having said that, one could expect some differences, the original novel was French, and the timing differs, naturally so do the locales.
No jumping into San Francisco bay, no Mission San Juan Bautista - this time the tower resides in the Chateau St-Germain and the backdrop is the war. Otherwise, it is fairly familiar territory up until the finale, which one can't imagine playing particularly well with Jimmy Stewart at the helm. Oh did I mention there are no blondes in this book? A very speedy read that makes for  captivating translation - it would be interesting to read the original novel in French.
5 out of 5 suicidal re-incarnations can't be wrong.

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