in the Times

There have been a few articles in the Times yesterday and today that I think are worth mentioning.

First, the Times ran an article yesterday about S. E. Hinton, author of The Outsiders, ("An Outsider, Out of the Shadows," Sept. 7, 2005). It appears that Francis Ford Coppola is releasing a recut version of his 1983 film of The Outsiders (available on DVD on September 20 by Warner Home Video). For those who don't know, the film featured such soon-to-be breakout stars as Matt Dillon, Ralph Macchio, Patrick Swayze, Rob Lowe, Emilio Estevez, Tom Cruise, and Diane Lane. The film is okay, but not stellar. However, in reading about the recut version, I may actually be interested in seeing it again.

In a telephone interview, Mr. Coppola said he recut "The Outsiders" to be truer to the book, and retitled the new version "The Outsiders: The Complete Novel."

In the original film, Mr. Coppola went quickly to the main action at the drive-in, but he has restored an early scene in which the Greaser characters are introduced one by one as they are set upon by Socs. "Very often the solution is to get to the second reel fast," he said.

Mr. Coppola also restored a scene in which Sodapop comforts his brother, Ponyboy, in bed. It was cut because, though innocent, early audiences snickered.

He replaced some of the symphonic music composed by his father, Carmine Coppola, who died in 1991, with songs by Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Van Morrison and others.

So it should be good. Now, why does any of this matter? For starters, The Outsiders (1967) is generally considered the first major YA novel. (Though it's not the first YA book, which distinction is often attributed to Maureen Daly's Seventeenth Summer [1942].) It has, according to the Times, has sold 14 million copies, 400,000 of them last year alone. There's a lore built up around Hinton, who published the book when she was 17. Of course, the most significant aspect is that Hinton is actually doing interviews. She has always remained extremely reclusive.

The second article is from today, and it is a moment of utter delight and happiness. Harry Potter is now available through iTunes ("Downloading Harry Potter," Sept. 8, 2005). All I have to say is It's about frickin' time.

UPDATE: I just got a gander at the press release on The Hollywood Reporter and learned this juicy tidbit:

Apple(R) today announced that the entire Harry Potter audiobook series is now available exclusively on the iTunes(R) Music Store, the world's number one online music service. For the first time ever, every audiobook in the series, including the latest release, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," is available as a digital download from iTunes. Customers can either download individual audiobooks or the complete Harry Potter Digital Box Set which includes a full color digital booklet as well as previously unreleased readings from author J.K. Rowling. Harry Potter fans can also purchase the complete Harry Potter Digital Box Set together with a Collector's Edition 20GB iPod(R) engraved with the Hogwarts crest.

I think I need a new iPod.

The third and final article (for today anyway), is an OpEd piece by Simon Winchester ("Before the Flood," Sept. 8, 2005). Winchester is a wonderful author who writes rather fascinating nonfiction. My personal favorite is The Professor and the Madman. His piece may be extracted from an upcoming book, A Crack in the Edge of the World, about the San Francisco earthquake of 1906. Regardless, his style is wonderful, and now I have to add another book to my "anxiously awaiting" list.


Desmama said...

Yeah, so, I just learned about this new iPod:

And since your other one apparently fell victim to your curse, it might tempt you.

Also, S.E. Hinton was 17 when she wrote "The Outsiders"? That is so totally depressing.

Edgy said...

I guess I lied. She was 17 when she published Outsiders. She had also written two other unpublished novels by that time. It's enough to make one weep, is it not?

I read about the nanoPod today as well. Itty bitty little thing, i'n't it?