I've been spending the last half hour or so trying to wrap my head around Claire Messud's novel The Emperor's Children, as it was just optioned by Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment as a possible directing vehicle for Ron Howard. According to the reviews on Amazon, people either love it or despise it -- the kind of book that features selfish, unsympathetic characters struggling to find direction in their lives as a horrific terrorist attack sweeps through their city on September 11, 2001.
I've always found myself drawn to books that take place in New York City, partly because I've lived here all my life, and also because the city is divided into a number of unique neighborhoods, each with its own vibe, culture and fascinating occupants. Arthur Nersesian has written a number of novels which delve deep inside life within the East Village and Lower East Side of Manhattan, while Messud's Emperor's Children appears to follow the tales of those on the Upper West Side -- New York's priciest neighborhood -- full of money, power and wannabee intellectuals. If you've ever seen Cruel Intentions then you already know the kind of people I'm referring to -- those so wrapped up in their own importance, that it's often impossible for them to feel the world around them.
I'd be interested to see how Howard would go about approaching these kinds of characters, seeing as he's often fond of the real life underdog/heroic type, what with Cinderella Man, Apollo 13 and A Beautiful Mind. Anyone read the book? What do you think?