I had read a review about the Stone Reader in New York Times last summer. It was a rave review about this documentary. Unfortunately, I never got around to seeing it.
Good friends of ours took a film class in Westchester where they got to see great Independent films every week and have discussions afterwards. Stone Reader was one of those films. They loved it. I now felt like I was really missing out on seeing this film.
This weekend, I finally saw the Stone Reader. It is a true story about the quest to find the author of The Stones of Summer. The director, Mark Moskowitz, had read a review of this book in the New York Times in 1972. Picked it up, but never got into the book. He put it on his shelf and every time he came across the book, he would start it again but never got into it. Finally, 20 years later, he picks up the book for the last time and finds that he loves this book. He then goes on a quest to find the author. The author has literally dropped off the face of the earth.
The movie is really a book lovers film. Mark interviews old friends and they discuss favorite books they read as kids, and adults. He finds the publisher of the book and talks about books with him. There are more one hit authors out there then I realized. Margaret Mitchell, Gone with the Wind; Joseph Heller, Catch 22; J.D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye; etc. Also, some writers have written a variety of books but truly have only written one solid book.
In the end, he finds the author, whose life has taken an interesting turn. He is completely delighted in Mark’s profound interest in his book. Mark then gets the book reissued after being dormant for 20 years. You can buy it today. I have not bought it yet but more than likely I won’t be able to resist.
I admit that watching the movie at home get me the luxury of nodding off through out the film but it also inspired me to read more. The people he interviewed in this film are true lovers of books. Actually, one of my favorite quotes in the film from Mark is that at 40 years old he realized that it is not necessary to finish every book if it doesn’t grab you. I completely agree. That goes under the “life is too short” category. One of my best friends sayings. I love that saying.
I am inspired though. I am thinking of reading all of Dickens this summer, or Mark Twain. Hmmm. Perhaps I will just read The Stones of Summer.