Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Brian Doyle's "The Plover"

Brian Doyle edits Portland Magazine at the University of Portland, in Oregon. He is the author of over one dozen books, including six collections of essays, two nonfiction books, two collections of “proems,” the short story collection Bin Laden’s Bald Spot, the novella Cat’s Foot, and the novel Mink River. He is also the editor of several anthologies, most recently Ho`olaule`a, a collection of writing about the Pacific islands.

Here Doyle dreamcasts an adaptation of his latest novel, The Plover:
Hmm. This is a puzzler, for on the boat that is the central stage of The Plover there is:

· an ostensibly testy but not really captain, age 29 or 30, a strong guy but not huge, you know? I’d say Brad Pitt but he might be too handsome. A young Rod Taylor or Ward Bond would be great, but there I am showing my age. Chris Pine?

· his best friend, a long skinny sinewy guy with a long ponytail and long braided goatee -- a face-ponytail. One of those guys made out of steel wire. I need a lean guy about 6’ 3” here. Will wait for screen tests, or look at pro basketball rosters.

· His disabled mute daughter age 9 who is the hero of the book. I need a kid here who your heart opens and shivers and leaps and breaks every time the camera hits her. Sigh: screen test, I guess. Can’t be just adorable. Has to be wild and holy.

· An enormous woman with a crewcut and serious muscles. Queen Latifah maybe if she can hit the gym and muscle up and get a crewcut and not make me laugh every time she speaks.

· A herring gull who is no kidding a huge part of the cast. Screen test.

· An albatross. Could be male or female. I have a friend in Hawaii who knows a lot of albatrosses and I am pretty sure we can get a non-union one.

· A big cheerful brilliant Polynesian guy. Will look at Tongan and Samoan actors first here. Manti Te’o?

· A lean gentle brave young guy probably from Kazakhstan. Screen test.

· An evil guy from Mexico. Tempted to go with Danny Trejo here just for the extraordinary map of that face.

· Two wood rats. Any number of jokes come to mind here but I had better stop.
Learn more about The Plover.

My Book, The Movie: Doyle's Bin Laden’s Bald Spot.

The Page 69 Test: Mink River.

Writers Read: Brian Doyle.

--Marshal Zeringue