William Kotzwinkle’s “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial”

STATUS: Completed

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
William Kotzwinkle (Based on a screenplay by Melissa Mathison of the Steven Spielberg film)

Science Fiction
★★

Don’t peek in windows.
The ancient space traveler was one of the crew of extraterrestrial botanists who landed on Earth to collect every specimen of the Earth’s foliage. Unfortunately his curiosity got the better of him and he was left stranded. Struggling to avoid being caught and stuffed by taxidermists for display, he encounters the children of the “willow creature” Mary from inside the windows: Elliott, Michael, and Gertie.

To them, he’s a magical being from another world; to him, they are unforgettable friends.

Just like ET, my curiosity got the better of me.

I haven’t seen the movie, but because of the iconic scene below, 

I became familiar with it. The movie has a great following and it has been parodied a LOT of times. (Hello, Kokey~) That is why when I saw this novel at Booksale, I grabbed it instead of a Murder, She Wrote novel.

Steven Spielberg’s movie is said to be an iconic one depicting true friendship beyond great differences. Sadly, William Kotzwinkle’s book wasn’t successful in portraying that to me. Reading through it, ET just seems to be trying to make the best out of what the children can do for him to get home. There was little opportunity for real development to solidify this bond of friendship they were talking about.

It was more like a sense of novelty and self-fulfillment, rather than friendship. The children is simply lost in wonder that aliens really do exist (well, except for Gertie who sees ET more like a toy or a playmate) and Elliott feeling renewed that he has found a greater purpose in life: a heroic adventure that every other boy craves.

If only there were more events that could have developed the friendship between Elliott and ET, to convince me that they are friends not because they have a motive but because they just are. It was disappointing when you suddenly stumble on a page wherein ET was contemplating how Eliott is such a friend but I wasn’t moved by it at all. It’s either my heart is already made of stone or William Kotzwinkle failed to translate the movie well into a novel.

Thus, I gave it 2 stars…
I should have watched the Steven Spielberg movie instead to satisfy my curiosity…

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Agatha Christie’s “Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?”

I’ve long wanted to read a novel of the “Queen of Crime” Agatha Christie because she is often referred to as the female counterpart of Arthur Conan Doyle (“Sherlock Holmes”)…

STATUS: Completed

Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? (1933)
Agatha Christie

Crime, Detective Fiction
★★★★★

Bobby Jones, the Vicar’s son, was playing golf with Dr. Thomas when they found a dying man below the cliff. Only Bobby heard the man’s last words: “Why didn’t they ask Evans?”. Soon after, the man’s family came forward and the ordeal has been dealt with at court, concluding it as an accidental death. Or is it? 

With the help of his smart friend Lady Frances “Frankie” Derwent, they try to dig deeper and find themselves in a maze of mystery.

I love this book!

I’ve long wanted to read a novel of the “Queen of Crime” Agatha Christie because she is often referred to as the female counterpart of Arthur Conan Doyle (“Sherlock Holmes”). So even though this isn’t a Marple-Poirot novel, as soon as I laid my eyes on it in a secondhand bookshop, I quickly grabbed it. This is a hidden gem. Lots of twists and unpredictable turns; your jaw would literally DROP (in my case, I also laughed hysterically) when you get to the page wherein the truth behind the man’s last words —the title of the novel, is revealed.

If you’re a fan of detective fiction, I highly recommend this novel. 

I will definitely be excavating bookshops to find another Agatha Christie’s novel. Ja ne~ 😜
Fave Excerpt:

Frankie: “Isn’t it odd? We seem, somehow, to have got in between the covers of a book. We’re in the middle of someone else’s story.”

Bobby: “I should call it a play rather than a book. It’s as though we’d walked on to the stage in the middle of the second act and we haven’t really got parts in the play at all, but we have to pretend, and what makes it so frightfully hard is that we haven’t the faintest idea what the first act was about.”

Frankie: “And we’ve got to be quick because I fancy the play is frightfully near the final curtain.”

Bobby: “And what brought us into the show was a regular cue—five words.”

Frankie: “Why didn’t they ask Evans?”