Books into Movies

One of the most delicious surprises for a book nerd is sitting in a dark movie theater with one’s husband, who isn’t a book nerd but who loves one, and seeing a movie trailer play, realizing as the story unfolds that it is for a movie adaptation of a book that the book nerd has read and loved.

It gives me chills. I am the nerd.

This happened Saturday on date night when Dutch and I were sitting in a theater full of baby boomers (because we see movies with baby boomers) waiting for Love and Mercy to start (two thumbs way up for that one, btw). The lights went down, the previews fired up. A trailer began, outlining a story of a girl living alone in an untouched valley after the world has been destroyed by nuclear holocaust.

I leaned over and whispered to Dutch, “I’ve read this book. It. Is. Good.”

“What’s it called?” He asks.

Z for Zachariah,” I say, moments before the movie title, Z for Zachariah fills the screen.

We watch with interest until the trailer ends.

“I read it in elementary school. Well, actually, one of my elementary school teachers read it aloud to us every day after lunch. It was the best part of the school day and I LOVED it.” I whispered, because apparently I am one of those annoying people who whispers to their husband during the previews.

“You had a teacher who read THIS story aloud to an elementary school class?” Dutch laughed, incredulous.

“Gather round, little children,” he quipped. “I will read you a tale of the end of the world, where only a couple of people are left alive, and it is super creepy and scary.”

“She’d get canned for that these days,” he added.

“It’s true,” I laughed quietly. “She read it to us and we were all riveted, because that book was THRILLING. I went to a book fair at the school with my mom a couple of years later, saw that book, and told my mom I was going to use some of my saved-up $7.00 to buy it. The book fair lady launched into this big warning about how it was a ‘scary’ book for ‘mature readers.’ I was all, ‘Yeah I know, I’ve already read it.”

“Book fair lady looked horrified as she rang up my purchase.”

It wasn’t until much later, after we got home from watching Brian Wilson’s story of torment, creativity, and sadness that I remembered that when I read Z for Zachariah, I did not picture the guy who shows up in the valley looking like Chris Pine. Actually, I don’t remember that character at all.

But people, in the movie, Caleb, who may or may not be totally psycho shows up as possibly the last man left on earth, and he is also seriously Chris Pine.

CHRIS PINE. And somehow handsome scary, seems scarier than average-looking scary.

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