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Ship of Fools: 06/27/08
Katherine Anne Porter's long novel Ship of Fools modernizes the old Christian allegory to trace the roots of Nazism. It doesn't take more than 100 pages to understand the point of the book, it continues on for 400 pages as the ship slowly makes its way from Argentina to Europe.
Porter took her inspiration for the novel from her first sea voyage from Mexico to Germany. She took the trip in 1931 and wrote a long letter describing her fellow passengers with the hope of turning it into a short story.
Except for Ship of Fools, Porter was a writer of short stories and it shows in the novel. The book is made up of a series of very short scenes and they often read more like a series of connected short stories than as a single novel. All of that starting and stopping made it difficult to read at my usual speed an worked against my enjoyment of it.
The book was adapted into a film in 1965 which is in my queue.
I thought I wanted to read this book until the other day in a discussion with a former co-worker (we've since moved) about books that were made into movies, this book was mentioned. She told me to skip the book and watch the movie, because the movie was better than the book. So that's what I'm doing...it's in my queue as well. Maybe you'll have the same experience."
I think it probably translated well to film. It feels like the sort of story where I won't be keen on the book but will enjoy the film."