Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Peter Behrens's "The O'Briens"

Peter Behrens is the author of The O'Briens and The Law of Dreams (which received Canada’s Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction and was published around the world to wide acclaim) and Night Driving, a collection of short stories. His stories and essays have appeared in many publications, including The Atlantic and Tin House. Honors he has received include a Wallace Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University’s Creative Writing Program.

Here he dreamcasts an adaptation of The O'Briens:
The protagonist of The O'Briens is Joe O'Brien, a poor boy who grows up in the backwoods of Canada, determined to take care of everyone in his family except himself (he doesn't know how to.) He makes a fortune building railroads in the West and becomes a paterfamilias and patriarch but once every couple of years ducks out of his life and catches a night train to NYC, where he holes up in a hotel suite at The Pierre and drinks himself to a stupor. He marries a brilliant and beautiful woman, Iseult, in Venice Beach, 1912; their marriage spans most of a century. They raise children, and lose children to the war (WWII) , and struggle always against native loneliness. I want Matt Damon to play powerful tormented Joe, in the movie. Johnny Depp to play his brilliant, troubled fighter ace brother, Grattan. Naomi Watts or Uma Thurman to play wise, questioning, passionate Iseult Wilkins O'Brien. Emma Watson to play their daughter, Margo; Hunter Parrish to play their fighter pilot son, Mike.
Read more about the novel and author at Peter Behrens' website.

The Page 69 Test: The Law of Dreams.

My Book, The Movie: The Law of Dreams.

Writers Read: Peter Behrens.

--Marshal Zeringue