When Seeing the Movie Inspires Reading the Book

The American stars George Clooney, so if you don’t like having an image in your head for the protagonist while you are reading, seeing the movie first could be a problem – but, it’s George Clooney.

The movie turns around an assassin ready to retire with  a beautiful woman in the lush Italian hills.  The scenery has you in Italy, where it was filmed  – driving the death-defying mountain curves, stumbling along the rocky streets, climbing the steps of a walled village, dodging the motorbikes and Italian drivers.

Although the story is formulaic with the requisite guns and shooting,  the key character has a quiet quality.  An artist, Mr. Butterfly paints rare butterflies in the book; in the movie he can build a weapon from scratch and has a butterfly tattoo.  And that soulful yearning – deflected by the local priest who drinks brandy in both the movie and the book.

With visions of George still in my head, I read the book reviews and decided  –  Martin Booth’s  A Very Private Gentleman, the inspiration for the movie,  goes on my reading list.