Monday, July 23, 2012
Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan
I was bemused when I read the title of this book. Am I the only person old enough to remember the move 'Lifeboat' (1944, directed by Alfred Hitchcock; adapted from a story by John Steinbeck)? Look it up on Wikipedia. Note this line: "The film … follows the lifeboat inhabitants as they attempt to organize their rations, set a course for Bermuda and coexist as they try to survive. The characters start out being good-natured, cooperative, and optimistic about rescue. However, they descend into desperation, dehydration, and frustration with each other." Exactly the course of events in this book.
I read on. In the book, rescue is followed by a trial of the principal character and two others for murder. That differs from the movie. There is a hint of a backstory which I thought sounded more interesting than the story I was reading. The novel has been praised for the quality of the writing and several critics have spoken of not being able to 'put it down'. It seemed disconnected to me. My assessment is certainly influenced by having seen the movie but I did not find this 'Lifeboat' at all compelling.