Friday, December 4, 2015

The Friday 56 (With Book Beginnings): Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House by Eric Hodgins, Illustrated by William Steig


Welcome to The Friday 56, a weekly meme hosted by Freda's Voice.

These are the rules:
1. Grab a book, any book.
2. Turn to page 56, or 56% on your eReader.
3. Find any sentence (or a few, just don't spoil it) that grabs you.
4. Post it.
5. Add the URL to your post in the link on Freda's most recent Friday 56 post.


I'm also taking part in Book Beginnings, a weekly meme hosted by Rose City Reader.  The rules are pretty simple - you share the first sentence or so and your initial thoughts, impressions, or whatever else it inspires.  Don't forget to link up your post's url with Rose City Reader.




This week I'm spotlighting an older best seller that I've just started called Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House by Eric Hodgins and Illustrated by William Stieg.  This book was originally released in 1946 and was adapted into a movie of the same name starring Cary Grant and Myrna Loy in 1948.  



I had no idea it was actually based on a real novel until I just rewatched the hilarious movie for the umpteenth time.  Obviously, I had to get my hands on a copy (which actually is a well-loved edition from 1946, so I'll have to be very careful with it).  I figure, if the movie is so good the book should be better, right?  Seriously, if you like classic comedies or Cary Grant movies, you should check out the movie.  

Basically in the movie, the Blandings' decide to move from their cramped Midtown Manhattan apartment to a spacious farmhouse in the nearby Connecticut countryside from which Mr. Blandings can easily commute to his job as a well paid adman in the city.  Turns out, though, that the place they buy (and get ripped off on) should have been demolished a long time ago.  So Mr. Blandings goes from thinking he'll be living the good life in the country:



To having to start from scratch and build a completely new house on the site of house they just paid through the nose for and then had to pay some more to have knocked down.  Shenanigans and mishaps ensue as the Blandings' watch the price of their dream house skyrocket.



Book Beginning: [Description of the place they're going to buy.]

The sweet old farmhouse burrowed into the upward slope of the land so deeply that you could enter either its bottom or its middle floor at ground level.  Its window trim was delicate and the lights in its sash were bubbly amethyst.  Its rooftree seemed to sway a little against the sky, and the massive chimney that rose out of it tilted a fraction to the south. Where the white paint was flecking off on the siding, there showed beneath it the faint blush of what must once have been a rich dense red.

56: [Getting lost on the way to their new house.]

"What did she say?" asked Mrs. Blandings, with the correctness of a Prussian in a conquered city.  Mr. Blandings, who, in his agony, had heard no word of the new directions, mumbled feebly and soon found himself again in Shrunks Mills, where his previous voyager, now leaning against a hardware-store window, regarded him with obvious relish.

37 comments:

  1. Holy wow .... it's one of my absolute favorite movies!!! I'm so excited about getting my hands on a copy of the book now! YAY!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have no idea why I didn't catch on earlier - I mean he's actually holding a copy of it at one point. :)

      Delete
  2. I love Cary Grant films so I can't believe I haven't seen this one! I hope you enjoy the book!
    http://dualreads.blogspot.co.uk/2015/12/friday-reads-4th-december-2015.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This seems to be one of his lesser known ones, but it's still awesome! Thanks for visiting.

      Delete
  3. There is something really special about old black and white movies. I have never heard of this one, but thank you for sharing it. :)

    My 56: Marie @ Pages to Explore

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is, isn't there. :)

      Thanks for visiting and sharing.

      Delete
  4. That sounds like an awesome movie and an even more awesome book. I am going to look for both the movie and the book. Happy Friday!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As it turns out, I liked the movie more. The book was good, but it just didn't have the charm of the adaptation. :)

      Delete
  5. I haven't heard of this one before, but it does sound interesting.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I haven't heard of the book or the movie. It looks like fun. I am spotlighting both and alternate history book - The Inquisitor's Apprentice by Chris Moriarty - and a thriller - She Can Kill by Melinda Leigh - today. Happy reading!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Especially the movie! Thanks for sharing. :)

      Delete
  7. I love Cary Grant movies but I don't think I have seen this one, so might have to check it out...cool that there is also a book. :)

    Stormi
    Friday Memes

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The movie is a real hidden gem. :)

      Thanks for sharing!

      Delete
  8. I think this might be one of the few Cary Grant movies I have not seen but I really like the sound of the book and the movie - great choice. Here's my Friday Meme post

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It seems to be one of his more obscure movies these days...definitely worth watching, though!

      Delete
  9. Seen the movie but haven't read the book. Thanks for sharing and have a great weekend.
    sherry @ fundinmental Friday Memes

    ReplyDelete
  10. Oh, I love old movies, and a book based on one sounds delightful. Thanks for sharing...and here's mine: “WHERE WE BELONG”

    ReplyDelete
  11. I loved the movie! Never realized it was based on a book. Must read it now:)

    My 56 - http://fuonlyknew.com/2015/12/04/the-friday-56-87-shadows/

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi,
    Seen the movie, it was hilarious. Didn't know there was a book. Have a great day!

    ReplyDelete
  13. How have I not seen this movie?? I adore Cary Grant and I'm looking on Amazon right now to see if they have it because this sounds like my kind of movie. And I definitely need to get my hands on the book. Thanks for sharing! I'm really looking forward to watching/reading this one! - And really does anyone handle mayhem as dashingly hilariously as Grant?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you get to see it! It seems like it's one of his lesser known movies...now a days at least. Exactly right!

      Delete
  14. Oh this does sound funny! Never heard of it before, though. Will definitely be checking out the movie at some point.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Firstly, realized I wasn't following on BL. I am now. :-)
    LOVE this post. The gifs are awesome! They compliment the book well.
    Thanks for sharing! Happy weekend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Freda!

      I just love finding the perfect gif... :)

      Delete
  16. This sounds and looks great ;) Thank you for sharing!

    Our BB

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome and thanks for sharing with me!

      Delete
  17. I haven't heard of this book or seen the movie, but it sounds great!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The movie especially is well worth the time! :)

      Delete
  18. I've always liked the idea old black & white movies and have told myself that I need to invest the time to watch a few. Sadly, I've never invested that time.

    However, this sounds kind of like the "newer" (in comparison to the original movie) movie Money Pit with Shelly Long and Tom Hanks. I wonder if whoever came up with it had your movie in mind.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't actually watched The Money Pit, but I've been told it's a remake of Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House. :)

      If you're going to watch any black and white movies, Cary Grant is a great actor to start with! Thanks for visiting! :)

      Delete
  19. I love these clips...thanks for sharing.

    Thanks for coming by my blog.

    Elizabeth
    Silver's Reviews
    My Book Beginnings

    ReplyDelete