No surprises: two friends who know nothing about one another's fields spend a year learning and then appreciating their two fields, and the reader learns alongside. There's no drama, just a slowly developing knowledge and discernment. Because it is a story about middle-aged white French men primarily, it can be hard to grasp the references. It was good, but I remained at a distance and never really felt any emotional attachment.
I love Carol's explanation that the inspiration for one of her most famous comic moments was entirely due to costume designer Bob Mackie's genius.
Apparently, the script instructions were just that Scarlett would just pull down the curtains then appear with them draped around herself, rather than wearing a dress made from the material as in the original book/movie. Mackie said, "Well, that's not all that funny," and decided to add the curtain rod. He didn't tell Carol Burnett what he'd done until the day of the show.
If you're interested, here's a video of Carol talking about that episode, with clips from the skit.
Reading this for the Festivus book for the 24 Festive Tasks.
There is a lot to like in this story. The concept has always fascinated me, especially given the veneer of plausibility as the US government does have a well-documented history of unethical human experimentation and has had programs investigating psychic phenomena. So the setup, and the description of Charlie and Andy McGee’s wild talents, the psychological manipulations, and the action scenes are wonderfully entertaining. The characters who people The Shop are fantastic.
But the book is not without its problems. The pacing is awful, dragging endlessly in spots until the final third of the book. This is also very much a book of its time, with now cringe-inducing stereotypes toward race, gender, and sex. Charlie, who is only 7 years old, behaves with a maturity and critical thinking ability far beyond her years, even for a child who has spent all her life having to conceal her essential self and years on the run from deadly government agents.
Audiobook, via Audible. The performance by Dennis Boutsikaris is excellent.
I read this for The 24 Tasks of the Festive Season, for the Guy Fawkes Night door; the book task: Set in the UK, political thrillers, involving any monarchy or revolution; books about arson or related to burning.
I had planned on using In Such Good Company: Eleven Years of Laughter, Mayhem, and Fun in the Sandbox - Carol Burnett for the Festivus door, and even started it last night after I finished Firestarter - Stephen King,Dennis Boutsikaris, but then while I was browsing Half Price Books while waiting on friends for dinner, I came across this and had to have it. Then I opened it to read couple comics and just kept reading! So I think I will use this for Festivus instead.