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jenn

Murder by Death

I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.

Murder by Death - the book

Murder by Death - Neil Simon, H.R.F. Keating

The namesake for my BookLikes life, Murder by Death is, in my opinion, one of the best movies ever made.  What Blazing Saddles did for westerns, Murder by Death did for the traditional murder mysteries.  With an almost dream-team cast that included Truman Capote, Dame Maggie Smith, Peter Faulk, Peter Sellers and Alec Guiness as well as Neil Simon as the scriptwriter, the movie could hardly go wrong as it revealed in plot holes, implausible explanations and fantastic theories.

 

But it was a script written to be a movie; a rarity nowadays.  So imagine my SQUEE! when I stumbled across this adaptation of the original screenplay in an overflow stack at a used book store.

 

Ah the memories this book brought back; it's an almost word-for-word rendition of the movie, but with a narrator.  This could have killed the book, but Keating did a brilliant job and turned this into a bonus: his commentary in the guise of normal narration added a cheeky layer of humour to the already hilarious dialogue.  I doubt anyone else could have done as well with the kitchen scene (those other fans out there know which scene I refer to).

 

BUT... just as I was about to 5 star this baby - and I still can't quite believe he did this - he changed the ending!!  The last 6 paragraphs... what the??  Gah!  Keating went all Dickens at the end, and he just shouldn't have messed with perfection.

 

Even so, you know I'm going to treasure this book until the end of time.