Friday, September 23, 2011

Michael Crichton’s Hairdresser

Carrie White cut Michael Crichton’s hair for 38 years. In her just released memoir Upper Cut: Highlights of My Hollywood Life, she writes:

“Michael was my favorite male client. I would take an extra long time cutting him, just to hear what he had to say about current events.” (p. 274)

On her website is a wonderful photo of her with Michael Crichton at a book signing. Upper Cut contains another photo of the two of them.

Carrie White begins her book with a few epigraphs, something that Crichton did with his books. The last epigraph for Upper Cut reads:

It is not easy to cut through a human head with a hacksaw.
--Michael Crichton

And in the acknowledgements section, White writes:

“My final gratitude to Michael Crichton, my beloved friend and client for thirty-eight years” (p. 380)

Think of how many times Carrie White held Michael Crichton’s brilliant head in her hands. And his hair always looked gorgeous.

Read my review of Upper Cut at Barnes & Noble or Goodreads.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Micro Book Cover - UK Edition

Harper Collins UK has revealed the UK edition book cover of Micro.

It is customary for novels to have different covers when they are published abroad, even when published in English. As a 2010 Guardian article explains, book covers are part of the marketing of a novel and each campaign must be created to be effective in a particular country’s culture.

(Sidenote: It is interesting that the Harry Potter novels are published in the UK with different covers for children and adults—the idea being that adults want a more subdued cover that doesn’t look like a children’s book. As the American editions of Harry Potter have only one cover for all ages, it would seem that Americans are not as easily embarrassed as our friends in the UK.)

The official Michael Crichton website displays the foreign covers for many of Crichton’s books.

The Andromeda Strain (1969)

Five Patients (1970)

The Terminal Man (1972)

The Great Train Robbery (1975)

Eaters of the Dead (1976)

Congo (1980)

Electronic Life (1983)

Sphere (1987)

Travels (1988)

Jurassic Park (1990)

Rising Sun (1992)

Disclosure (1994)

The Lost World (1995)

Airframe (1996)

Timeline (1999)

Prey (2002)

State of Fear (2004)

My friend, Pavel FrĨka, who alerted me to the UK Micro cover, has created a website showing the Czech edition book covers of Crichton’s works

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Next - Gerard the Parrot

Gerard the transgenic African Grey parrot in Next is one of the most enjoyable characters Michael Crichton ever created. The witty and sarcastic bird serves as another example of genetic engineering, but he also provides comic relief in the novel.

Next contains the comment that African grey parrots “were highly intelligent—generally considered as intelligent as chimpanzees—and with a far greater capacity for language.” (p.169)

And in Jurassic Park Gennaro and Grant are discussing the raptors:

“How smart are they?” he said.

“If you think of them as birds,” Grant said, “then you have to wonder. Some new studies show the gray parrot has as much symbolic intelligence as a chimpanzee. And chimpanzees can definitely use language. Now researchers are finding that parrots have the emotional development of a three-year-old child, but their intelligence is unquestioned. Parrots can definitely reason symbolically.”

“But I’ve never heard of anybody killed by a parrot,” Gennaro grumbled.”
(p. 376)

Not yet, but give Gerard time.

I've listened to Next on audio and Gerard is even more hysterical that way. It must have been fun for Dylan Baker to do Gerard's lines.

Gerard tends to talk in movie quotes and song lyrics. Here are some of his best lines, including the original source where applicable. (Page numbers are for the hardcover edition)

“You look good, baby, I’ve missed you.”

“Okay, if you insist.”

p. 168
“Oh. Oh. Oh. You try to trick me.”

“I love a parade…”
(From the film I Love a Parade, 1932)

“Am I a star? Am I a star?”

“We’re sorry we’re late but we had to pick up our son Hank.”
“Now Jo, just take it easy.”
(From the film The Man Who Knew Too Much, 1956)

“I need a bath before any filming. You promised me a bath.”

“Hey, nice place, Gail. Way to go.”

“I was just saying that.”

“I mean I was just saying that.”

“Just an observation.”

“I hope they are watching. They’ll see. They’ll see and they’ll say, ‘Why, she wouldn’t even harm a fly."
(From the film Psycho, 1960)

p. 280

“You kidnapped me.”

“Riley. Doghouse Riley.”
(From the film The Big Sleep, 1946)

p. 281
“You’re the reason our kids are ugly, little darlin’”
(From the song of the same title)

p. 283
“Oh, he’s a good talker. Stop patronizing me.”

"I am surrounded by fools"
(From the film Becket, 1964)

“Ooh la la. Will you please listen to me?”

“I am a person, you little twit. And if you want to hump this guy, go on and do it. Just don’t make me wait around while you wiggle your assets in front of him.”

p. 284
“You are giving me away? This is slavery! I am not something you give away.”

p. 310
“It stinks. It stinks to high heaven. What hellhole is this?”

p. 311
“I am a man of many talents.”

“Dave, this conversation can serve no purpose anymore. Good-bye.”
(From the film 2001: A Space Odyssey, 1968)

“Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy night.”
(From the film All About Eve, 1950)

“They seek him here, they seek him there, those Frenchies seek him everywhere—“
“Sink me!”
(From the film The Scarlet Pimpernel, 1934)

“Well, they’re saved from the blessings of civilization.”
(From the film Stagecoach, 1939)

p. 312
“Le soleil c’est beau.”
“Les femmes au volant c’est la lachete personifie.”
“Pourquoi elle ne depasse pas?”
“Oh, oui, merde, des travaux.”
“Il ne faut jamais freiner….Comme disait le vieux pere Bugatti, les voitures sont faites pour rouler, pas pour s’arreter.”
“Merde, les flies arrivent!”
(From the film Breathless, 1960)

p. 328
“Your heart sweats, your body shakes, another kiss is what it takes…”
“You can’t sleep, you can’t eat—“
(From the song "Addicted To Love")

“What fresh hell is this?”
(A famous line by Dorothy Parker)

“I don’t know why I love you like I do, after all the changes—“
(From the song "Take Me To The River")

“Mellow greetings, ukie dukie.”
“You remind me of a man.”
“No, you are supposed to say, ‘What man?”
“The man with the power.”
“The power of hoodoo.”
“You do.”
“Remind me of a man.”
(From the film The Bachelor and the Bobbysoxer, 1947)

“Ooh, aren’t you the twisted bunny.”

p. 340
“Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen.”
“Nobody knows, ‘cept Jesus…”
(From the song “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen.”)

p. 341
“I ain’t seen the sunshine, since I don’t know when-nnn…”
(From the song “Folsom Prison Blues”)

“Ladies and gentlemen, mesdames et messieurs, damen und herren, from what was once an inarticulate mass of lifeless tissues, may I now present a cultured, sophisticated, man about town! Hit it!”
(From the film Young Frankenstein, 1974)

“It’s my life—don’t you forget it!”
(From the song "It's My Life")

“We’re so glad to see so many of you lovely people here tonight.”
(From the film The Blues Brothers, 1980)

“Let’s be happy, happy happy, say the word now.”
“Happy happy happy, try it somehow…”
“Happy, happy, happy, happy, oh baby yes, happy, happy—“

“You don’t scare me, buster.”

“I’ve got some news for you, and you’ll soon find out it’s true, and you’ll have to eat your lunch all my yourself—“
(From the song "All Ready Gone")

p. 342
“It looks as though you’re letting go, and if it’s real I don’t want to—“
(From the song “Don’t Speak")

“You can’t do this to me.”
(From the film Citizen Kane, 1941)

“Don’t go away mad, it can’t be so bad, don’t go away…”
(From the song “Don’t Go Away Mad”)

p. 346

“I’m sha sha shakin’, I’m shakin’ now.”
(From the song "I'm Shakin")

“You can stop right there, mister!”

p. 347
“You feel lucky, punk? Do you? Huh?”
(From the film Dirty Harry, 1971)

“Every time you turn around expect to see me. ‘Cause one time you’ll turn around and I’ll be there, and I’ll kill you, Matt.”
(From the film Red River, 1948)

“Life is hard, but it’s harder if you’re stupid.”
(From the film The Sands of Iwo Jima, 1949)

“Look, you fools, you’re in danger, can’t you see? They’re after you, they’re after all of us!”
(From the film Invasion of the Body Snatchers, 1956)

“Get back to where you once belonged!”
(From the song “Get Back”)

p. 364

“What’s the matter, don’t you know how to talk?”

“How thrilling for you.”

p. 365
“I could ask the same of you.”

p. 366
“Buffeting! Buffeting! Twenty thousand feet, buffeting! I am going to push the stick forward—“

p. 367
“I want you to want me.”
“I need you to need you.”
(From the song, "I Want You to Want Me")

“What’s up, Doc?”
(Classic Bugs Bunny line)

“Jell-O, the tasty dessert for the whole family, now with more calci-yum!”

p. 385
“Just a bird! Who are you calling a bird?”

“You gentlemen aren’t really trying to kill my son, are you?”
(From the film North by Northwest, 1959)

“Ah Christ. What’s your name?”

p. 386
“That depends on who’s in the saddle.”
(From the film The Big Sleep, 1946)

“Well, a boy’s best friend is his mother.”
(From the film Psycho, 1960)

“Your story didn’t sound quite right.”
“Oh that’s too bad, you got a better one?”
(From the film The Big Sleep, 1946)

p. 390
“My, my. Such a lot of guns around town, and so few brains.”
(From The Big Sleep, 1946)

p. 413
“I can’t sleep a wink anymore, ever since you walked out the door.
All you ever do is bring me down.”
(From the song “All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down”)

p. 414
“Life is a book and you’ve got to read it.”
“Life is a story and you’ve got to tell it.”
(From the song "Life")

“Is this where you live? Oh, Mother’s going to love it here!”
(From the film To Catch a Thief, 1955)

“My baby used to stay out all night long,
She made me cry, she done me wrong,
She hurt my eyes open, that’s no lie,
Tables turn and now her turn to cry,
Because I used to love her, but it’s over now…”
(From the song "It's All Over Now")
If anyone can identify the source of the unattributed quotes, please leave a comment.