The Invention of Everything Else – A Review

October 29, 2008

Here is a novel about possibility. It might make a great movie. But why take the risk? Great novels seldom translate onto the screen. The trouble is: you lose the words. That’s why All the Pretty Horses didn’t work. That’s why A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius will never be made. Without prose, most great novels are just paper. To make novels work as movies you need images, not imagery (it’s why directors’ yell “action!” instead of “talk!”). But The Invention of Everything Else has images: it has New York City in the 1890s and New York City in 1943; it has a time machine… fireworks… man-eating trees. It’s movie-ready.

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