Here at Flavorpill, we’re total suckers for short stories — in any form. The idea of short stories being used as source material for films — even feature films — is nothing new (hello, Brokeback Mountain), but this week, PWxyz pointed us towards a gorgeous short film we had never seen before, based on one of our favorite short stories, Franz Kafka’s “A Country Doctor.” Inspired, we dug up a few more wonderful short films based on short stories, both professional and amateur, which could serve either to accent your understanding of a story, or, you know, let you off easy. After all, there’s nothing lower-effort than kicking back and watching videos online. Even if they’re literary. Click through to check out the films, and let us know which short story you’d love to see in short film form in the comments. … Read More
If you’ve ever wondered what your favorite literary characters might be listening to while they save the world/contemplate existence/get into trouble, or hallucinated a soundtrack to go along with your favorite novels, well, us too. But wonder no more! Here, we sneak a look at the hypothetical iPods of some of literature’s most interesting characters. What would be on the personal playlists of Holden Caulfield or Elizabeth Bennett, Huck Finn or Harry Potter, Tintin or Humbert Humbert? Something revealing, we bet. Or at least something danceable. Read on for a cozy reading soundtrack, character study, or yet another way to emulate your favorite literary hero. This week: Roald Dahl’s most flamboyant factory owner, Willy Wonka. … Read More
Earlier this week, Forbes released its annual list of the 15 richest fictional characters, topped by Tolkien’s legendary dragon Smaug and featuring other one percenters like Tywin Lannister, Tony Stark and Robert Crawley. Well, that’s all very well and good, but the list got us to thinking about the other end of the stick — the poorest fictional characters across pop culture, from street urchins to hobos to a very special monster who lives in a trash can. Click through to check out our list, and since we obviously couldn’t hit them all, let us know if we’ve missed your favorite impoverished fictional figure in the comments. … Read More
As you may be aware, today is April Fool’s day — and while we won’t be playing any childish pranks here at Flavorpill, we do enjoy a good practical joke or two, especially when said joke is fictional and thus lacking in real-world consequences. Kurt Vonnegut said, “All of fiction is a practical joke—making people care, laugh, cry or be nauseated or whatever by something which absolutely is not going on at all. It’s like saying, ‘Hey, your pants are on fire.’” That may be so, but there are just as many pranksters in the pages of books as there are holding the pens — some innocent, and some not so innocent. Note: practical jokes can range in severity and style, so just so we’re all on the same page, the definition we’re working with is ”a mischievous trick played on a person, especially one that causes the victim to experience embarrassment, indignity, or discomfort.” Click through to read our list of ten of the best pranks and practical jokes in literature, and pitch in with any we’ve missed — or just watch Maya Angelou punk Stephen King and Jonathan Franzen. … Read More
You may know Robert Silverberg as one of the great science fiction writers of the second half of the 20th century — not only has he published dozens of novels in the genre, but he won five Hugo Awards, including one for “best new writer” in 1956, five Nebula Awards, and was named a Grand Master by the Science Fiction Writers of America in 2004 (the organization’s highest honor). What’s less well known about Silverberg is that early in his career he also wrote more than a million words of crime fiction under a variety of pen names, and was a mainstay of the pulp crime magazines of the 1950s and ’60s.
One of the best of his hardboiled thrillers, Blood on the Mink, has never appeared in book form or under Silverberg’s real name, and in fact hasn’t appeared in any form whatsoever for half a century. But thanks to the award-winning Hard Case Crime series, the novel is hitting bookstores this week. In honor of the book’s publication and Silverberg’s many literary talents, we asked Charles Ardai, the book’s editor, to come up with some other examples of authors best known for their work in one genre but who also made a splash — sometimes surprisingly — in another. Click through to read Ardai’s list, and be sure to chime in with your own favorite genre-hoppers in the comments. … Read More
There’s nothing that gets our day going like a healthy dose of novelty architecture. What’s more fun than imagining life in a giant seashell, an oversized picnic basket or better yet, a strawberry?
Stemming from a childhood obsession with Roald Dahl’s magical and macabre adventure tale, James and the Giant Peach, Old Mother Hubbard’s shoe, and the best ride in Fantasyland — the Mad Hatter’s spinning teacups — we admit that there’s a special place in our hearts for all things larger than life. From the historic orange juice stands of California’s Central Valley to a restaurant shaped like a pineapple to the cutest extra large strawberry we’ve ever seen, click through to check out our adult exploration of real world architecture shaped like giant pieces of fruit. Then, let us know in the comments if we missed your favorite jumbo fruit building. … Read More
Sometimes we just need to get away from it all. Away from the computer. Away from the city. Away from modern life as we know it. Enter our newest tiny house obsession: the gypsy caravan. Like so many things that originated in the French countryside, it’s the perfect design solution for the urban doldrums. Complete with birdcages, crocheted curtains, wood-fired stoves and Art Nouveau details, these tiny homes on wheels will have you contemplating trading in your skinny jeans for a prairie skirt and a violin.
Researching exactly how we’re going to work one of these colorful conduits to a more romantic life into our postmodern existence, we came across the Gypsy Caravan Company headquartered in rural England. The founders explain that these enchanting mobile dwellings “can be used as a spare bedroom, a garden study, a hobby room, an artist’s studio, a writer’s retreat, a wildlife hide, a child’s gypsy caravan playhouse, a focal point for camp fires or barbecues, a romantic hideaway or simply somewhere to take a glass of wine and a good book.” Fun fact: Roald Dahl, Madonna, Billy Connolly and the Duchess of Bedfordshire have all been proud owners of one of these inspiring little hide-aways.
Click through to see some of the most whimsical and inspiring bohemian wagons out there today. Let us know in the comments if you could trade in your urban existence for a meadow hopping life in one of these romantic gems. … Read More
Score one for smart little girls who love books: Roald Dahl’s beloved Matilda is slated to hit Broadway in 2013. The show comes to the US via Britain’s Royal Shakespeare Company, which debuted Matilda: The Musical in Starford-upon-Avon in 2010 before upgrading to London’s West End in October. Directed by Matthew Warchus and written by… Read More
There’s no polite way to say it. The star of Roberto Bolaño’s long-awaited novel, The Third Reich, is a geek — a gamer geek, to be precise. And it’s the real-world implications of his all-consuming pastime that underlie the book’s action, even as he relaxes on the beach with his beautiful girlfriend and parties into the night with new friends. The immense role gaming plays in Bolaño’s atmospheric, slow-burning novel, written before The Savage Detectives and 2666 and serialized by The Paris Review in advance of its publication last month, got us thinking about the many memorable geeks contemporary literature has given us. A selection of our favorites is after the jump; add yours in the comments. … Read More
After spotting a post on Brainpickings on these magical illustrations that Maurice Sendak created for a 1960s edition of The Velveteen Rabbit, we couldn’t resist hunting down other vintage children’s book illustrations — with wonderful results. Alongside the words of such adored authors as Beatrix Potter and Munro Leaf lay simple black-and-white sketches, vibrantly hued drawings, and eccentric portraits that serve as delightful embellishment to timeless stories. Not only do these illustrations lift the tales off of the page, but they have been a source of inspiration for artists and crafters over the past decades. Join us as we round up amazing vintage illustrations from children’s literature, and feel free to add your favorites in the comments. … Read More