Tuesday, 15 November 2016

‘PEYTON PLACE’ BY GRACE METALIOUS


 

Like many of you I was introduced to PEYTON PLACE during the height of its popularity as a prime-time soap in the late '60s. I was very young then but I remember catching it quite a few times, having no idea that it was based on an international bestseller. Fast-forward to the mid-‘80s and wouldn’t you know, I ended up with a copy of the novel itself. It was right in the middle of my trashy phase and I couldn’t go on without tasting the merits of that infamous title. I made it in a jiffy, so much involved I was in it. The novel seemed barely my cup of tea in regards to the lack of glitz and glamour but it made up big time by delivering one heck of a compelling story. 

Indeed, those looking for a little change in their reading experience may have come to the right place when it comes to this 1956 soaper set in a small town during the 1940's. Protagonists Constance Mackenzie and teenaged daughter Allison lead off a colorful cast of characters whose secrets and sins end up having major consequences. Nearing the end of the novel the story verges to a legal drama, but the involvement factor still reigns as the reader gets caught up deeper into the whole scenario. Grace Metalious' narrative goes from the lyrical (any setting description) to the very real (a character's rape, among others). Some revelations seem rather tame nowadays (Constance's big adultery secret, for example), but, as a whole, PEYTON PLACE still stands the test of time thanks to a talented author and its universal appeal. 

Of course I had to catch the film adaptation after reading it. Took me a while (VHS commercial tapes weren’t as easy a grab in those days unless living near a big video rental store) but when I finally did, it was pure magic. But more on that in an upcoming blog entry, just like I plan to draw attention to PEYTON PLACE's sequel RETURN TO PEYTON PLACE one of these days. In the meantime get yourself a copy of this timeless classic and move it up on top of your reading list. It’s that good.
 

 


Until next post—Martin


The Digital Edition


 

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