On TCM there’s a segment where Peter O’Toole reflects upon his experiences working with David Lean in Lawrence of Arabia
. O’Toole remembers one particular scene where Lean asks him to complete five minutes of mime for the scene where Lawrence tries on, for the first time, that white robe in the desert. Not knowing what to do, O’Toole thinks about it, and then remembers the dagger he has sheathed on his waist. As the film starts rolling, O’Toole uses the dagger as a mirror to look at himself and then looks at his shadow on the sand, lifting his arms up in the air, letting the wind turn the white robe into wings. After the five minutes were up, Lean yells, “Cut!” O’Toole then recalls hearing Lean murmur, “Clever boy….”
While reading Zusak’s prose, coming across his poetic lines and brief moments of personification which play with the mind, evoking poignant imagery that heightens the mood of a particular scene, I kind of feel like David Lean when he murmurs that phrase about Peter O’Toole… “Clever boy.”
I’m glad these three novels are being published together. On their own, they’re certainly fine works, especially Getting the Girl
. However, when put together they truly become something special… allowing the reader to see how the structure of the first story The Underdog
, with those dream reflections, complements the structure of Getting the Girl
, through those sections of free verse, Cam’s “Words,” that are found at the end of each chapter. As well, the growth of Cam as a narrator becomes all the more apparent. Progressing from book to book, Cam’s narrative style becomes tighter and more reflective, truly putting his essence in the words he’s composing instead of just reporting facts and details and describing a few amusing anecdotes. All of those emotions—loyalty, fear, love, anger, happiness, the feeling of being torn apart and that all important feeling of “hunger”—are placed into focus as Cam becomes more introspective, figuring out what really makes up Cameron Wolfe.
As well, reading all three books in tandem provides a better picture of the city, as well as Cam’s family—his mother, father, Steve, Sarah and Ruben—each story giving more details, allowing the reader to piece together all of those little elements, painting a more complete image in the mind’s eye when reading along.
All in all, the picturesque quality of Cameron’s words and the personal nature of his stories create so many lasting visual images that I can’t help but love them.