Big Brother Book Club: Adaptation


This week, we saw a copy of The Knife Man by Wendy Moore in the hands of a rumpled young man. The Knife Man is a biography of early surgeon John Hunter, and it appears that Broadway Books changed the subtitle from “The Extraordinary Life and Times of John Hunter, Father of Modern Surgery” on the hardcover to the much juicier “Blood, Bodysnatching, and the Birth of Modern Surgery” for the paperback. Good work, marketing gurus.

More Big Brother Book spying after the jump.

We also saw Gregory David Roberts’ epic roman à clef Shantaram. A story of fantastical adventure set partially in the slums of Bombay, it’s no shock that Slumdog Millionaire has set sky-high expectations for the film adaptation, currently in production and directed by Mira Nair and starring Johnny Depp. If you’re averse to movie tie-in paperbacks, get your copy now!

Speaking of movie tie-ins, we spotted The Virgin Suicides with Kirsten Dunst on the cover, and mourned our own long-gone copy (never lend books to people you’re dating only casually). Sure, Jeffrey Eugenides’ second novel, Middlesex, got all the attention, and it is a great book, but The Virgin Suicides is ethereally lovely in a way only a smaller novel can be.

Also seen: an X-Files book – we think it was the Book of the Unexplained Volumes 1 & 2; Wheels of Life: A User’s Guide to the Chakra System, Synaptic Self: How Our Brains Become Who We Are by Joseph Ledoux; The Numbers Game: The Commonsense Guide to Understanding Numbers in the News, in Politics, and in Life by Robert Hagstrom; The Europeans by Henry James; and The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey by Candice Millard.