Sunday, March 12, 2006

Happy Birthday, Peyton Place!

Update 3: 50 Years Later, 'Peyton' Memories Remain - "Grace Metalious' sensational story of sex, violence and other scandals in a small New England town, based in part on Gilmanton, made the author an international celebrity and a local pariah. It transformed an otherwise obscure township into a symbol of decadence and hypocrisy and rivaled Elvis Presley as a shocking breach to the official decorum of the 1950s. "

This book had a huge impact on me. I've read it at least three times. Read the whole long, interesting article at the link. And for a fictional account of a Grace Metalious-like author, check out Vin Packer's The Girl on the Bestseller List.


Gormania said...

Peyton Place is one of my all-time favorite American novels. I would also argue that it's an important American novel. Metalious was a serious writer and a good one. She turned soap opera into what I woul consider literature. While I can't rank it as the equal of Babbit or Gatsby or Appt. Sumarra I do rank it as the finest popular novel ever written by an American. And ditto the Vin Packer. What a fine fine book that is. Could there have been a much sadder life ending than Grace Metalious'? She was like those huge lottery winners you hear about a few years after getting their dough--they're broke. One of them even went to the slammer. I've probably read Peyton Place (which hypnotized me when I was fifteen) twenty times in my life and it's never let me down. There's a Metalious biopic coming with Sandra Bullock in the lead. I dunno. Bullock's a good actress but--maybe it's just the physical differences that give me pause here. Personally, I see Jessica Simpson in the part wearing that same get up she did in the Dukes of Hazard--the hazard being that the movie would render you brain dead.

Unknown said...

I have to confess that I'm worried about the movie, too. And I also have to confess that I see Kathy Bates as perfect for the part of Grace Metalious.

Gormania said...

I was wondering who I'd cast. You nailed it. Kathy Bates absolutely.