Thursday, May 29, 2014

Dodie Smith: Beyond '101 Dalmations'


Dodie Smith is the author of the wonderful children's book The Hundred and One Dalmatians as well as the wonderful adult, cult novel I Capture the Castle (also made into a wonderful film). Mental Floss recently featured her Dalmations follow-up The Starlight Barking in a slideshow on little-known book sequels.
When I saw we were carrying uniform edition paperbacks of some of her other adult novels, I jumped right on them. I've read The Town in Bloom and thoroughly enjoyed it. The portrait of a young women's theatrical boarding house is reminiscent of the Hollywood film Stage Door, and the candor re sexual mores of the '60s is refreshingly frank. (Smith also was a playwright of note and wrote several screenplays as well as a series of memoirs.) It Ends with Revelations has more theater doings (as well as a sojourn in the English countryside) while The New Moon with the Old looks to have crew of young people with quite a bit of gumption in the face of a sudden turn of fortune.
If you'd like to see if Dodie Smith's prose is up your alley, here's a lengthy excerpt from I Capture the Castle. My researches also turned up this cat-centric title, which I'll have to be on the lookout for!

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