RARA-AVIS: Dead Calm

From: Jeff Vorzimmer ( jvorzimmer@austin.rr.com)
Date: 16 Jul 2007

Just finished Dead Calm by Charles Williams. It's a sequel to Aground, though a much better book. The two books have a lot in common, besides the two main characters. Because they are so similar it seems incredible that the same two people could have their boats stolen/hijacked twice in one year
(the two novels are set six months apart). With that said, they are both excellent books, though much different from his "land" books. In fact a good argument could be made for Dead Calm being Williams' best novel. My only problem with it, was that it delved too much into the kind of Freudian psychology that was so popular at the time (1963).

I also watched the movie with Nicole Kidman, Sam Neill and Billy Zane. They tightened up the plot in order to squeeze it into an hour and a half running time and traded the psychological aspect for the suspense of a horror/slasher thriller.

Well, eighteen down, three to go. Looks like it's shaping up to be another Charles Williams summer. Although filmwise I'm catching up on the Film Noir of the 40s and 50s that I missed over the years (Gun Crazy, The Set-up, Nightmare Alley, The Killing) instead of the 60s spy movies I watched last summer.


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