Saturday, November 3, 2007

Marion's Wall

Upon Kevin Brownlow's recommendation, I read Jack Finney's 1973 novel, Marion's Wall. I liked it pretty well. The story starts a little slow, but picks up and finishes with a flourish. Anyone who likes silent film might well like this novel.

Set in San Francisco in the early 1970's, the story involves a young married couple whose bodies are taken over by two long-dead silent film stars. The story moves forward as the couple comes to terms with the ghosts/personalities who have taken them over. Eventually, the couple makes their way to Hollywood, where they encounter a very different film industry and individuals from their long ago past. Throughout, various silent films and actors are referenced.

Brownlow mentioned the book to me while we were talking about literary homages and allusions to Louise Brooks. The actress does not make an appearance in this book, nor is she mentioned. Nevertheless, I would suggest that the books' main character - a blonde named Marion Marsh - brings Brooks' map cap spirit to mind.

Has anyone else read this novel? [ Finney wrote a number of other nostalgic novels involving "time travel," such as Time and Again, as well asThe Invasion of the Body Snatchers. He lived just north of San Francisco.]

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