Frowning in the Desert

Standing atop a dune, he truly comprehended the connection between sand and glass. Tumbling, slipping and sliding his way up the miniature hill, he’d cut his shins and forearms on the stinging sand. His hands were scraped raw. There were tiny grains of sand – grains of glass? – inside every fold of his body, cutting and scraping away uncomfortably. It was incredible to him that such small flecks of matter could sting so much.

The desert was not his home. He never intended to make it one. In fact, he hoped that he would, very soon, be miles away from the place. The broken-down plane that lay some yards away seemed to mock him, telling him he would never find his home again. He’d tinker with the engine tomorrow; today, tonight, he couldn’t stand the thought of being defeated by a machine he’d mastered through long years of study. And to think that he could have been a painter!

The desert around him was too vast to contemplate. He knew he would go mad if he tried very hard. So he decided to accept it in chunks; that night, all he needed to accept was the discomfort of the sand in his body. Thirst, hunger, loneliness and despair – these he’d leave for the following days.

Sliding down the dune, he returned to the shadow of his plane. He didn’t notice the beauty in the fact that there was a shadow at nighttime, nor did he notice the stars that lit up the sky like the brightest Christmas trees back home. He didn’t think, yet, of the secrets that the desert might hold or the treasure implied in those secrets.

He also didn’t think of the boy who would wake him up when dawn came; he didn’t know anything about him yet. Although he hated grown-ups and refused to admit he was one, he never thought that night of the sheep he’d be drawing in the morning or of the rose he’d be introduced to. So much was in store for him as he lay down to sleep, rather hopelessly trying to brush sand off his hands, but at that moment he could only frown and begin to weep.


Movies of Books

For most of my life I’ve been vehemently against the adaptation of novels to the big screen. I’ve always felt that it ruins the book – so many parts are skipped, or changed, or made to fit the Hollywood world rather than fit the style of the novel. However, over the years, I’ve seen quite a few movies that were made by adapting a novel into a screenplay, and I’ve had varying degrees of satisfaction from them.

There are the classic ones, the ones that I actually, and shamefully, didn’t know were based on novels until quite a while after seeing the movie: A Clockwork Orange and 2001 Space Odyssey are two of those. They’re both incredible and incredibly weird.

Then there are the ones like Bridget Jones which are so true to the feel of the novel that they’re actually worth seeing. Another like this is Atonement, the novel of which I read right after seeing the film. It’s an amazingly moving and wonderful film and almost 100% true to the novel – what’s definitely true to the novel is the atmosphere in it.

Then there are the fantasy books that are exasperatingly and constantly being made into films. One such is The Golden Compus which I will NEVER see because Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials are way too good to ruin with a flashy film. Another example are the Harry Potter films. I saw the first movie and was so sick to my stomach by how the novel was butchered that I haven’t ever seen any of the sequels and I never will. But then, there’s Twilight, and that I’m going to see right now, tonight. But mostly because I don’t actually appreciate the book all that much – not enough to respectfully pass on what’s supposed to be an entertaining feature for anyway.

What do you guys think of books being made into movies?