Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Book 8: Clancy Carlile: Honkytonk Man

As this is my favorite bib film (starring Clint and Kyle Eastwood, see film entry), I also bought the novel recently, which I now have read within 2 weeks (345 pages).

Only 3 short bib scenes, but I assumed that there weren't many.
~Page 60 A man walking in bibs in a pub.
Page 85 The scene as mother allowed her son Whit (14) to drive for the first time whith his uncle. His mother came into his room, just while he changed into new clean bibs. In the film he stands in front of a mirror and she combs his hair. (The wood chopping scene at page 138 is the same, where his mom finally allowed him to drive to Nashville.)
Page 217 in Noxpater described walking men in bibs.

Earlier bibs are not mentioned but it's obvious that they were wearing bibs for working in the cotton field because it's described how he sits in a car in his sunday clothes. There are also men in bibs on the cover.
Unlike other similar novels, this books was published shortly before the film in 1980. Carlile also wrote the screenplay (perhaps the film was already planned?) Also good luck that Kyle has just the right age as Whit.

The book is told from the viewpoint of Whit (in film there is no narration). Good description of farm, the sand storm and the family. Quite exact plot like in the film, but some scenes, are missing in the film or not so detailed or more harmless (like bloody chopping of many snakes in the house and Whit drinking alcohol (he did later in the film) and smoking (tobacco or pot)), and describing cotton picking which he hates.
Whit wanted to go to a hairdresser in Nashville and remembered that his mother used to cut his hair with a bowl on his head. She also asked him when he last changed his undershorts.

The first love scene (starting at page 188) is a bit different and more detailed in the novel. Also dealing of Whit's and uncle's experiences with farm animals. Of course they couldn' t film this love scene so detailed in a PG movie. I also don't want to describe this scene here but it's even better than in the movie.
Some scenes and dialogues are exactly like in the film but mostly the book is more detailed (not only in describing the setting but also additional actions).

Another interesting scene which is not in the film, page 217 before he hides Marlene in the trunk of the car, he had problems to pee next to his granddad because he thought of his first love. It's not described what kind of pants he wears during the trip, but in the film they are not bibs. Also much parts where he thinks of his first love and his body reacts.

The end is close to the film, although some details are missing in the film (perhaps as the film was already almost 2 hours long) So the last chapter, what happened later to Whit and Marlene is not in the film. Also some scenes, especially with Marlene are shortened in the film. In the room in Noxpater he is first alone with her (but not in the same bed).

I like this novel. Good coming of age story and very close to the film. Sadly very few bib scenes, probably as it is normal to wear them in the 30s on a farm.

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