Shambling Towards Hiroshima by James K. Morrow
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I admit it, here, now and of my own free will, I love monster movies. I love the good ones and the bad ones and I most certainly love the classics. Evidently, so does James K. Morrow. This book is a love letter to the monster films of the Hollywood of the 30s and 40s, the ones starring Karloff and Lugosi, Lorre and Chaney. And Syms J. Thorley.
While Godzilla isn’t necessarily a good film, it’s not a bad film either. In fact, I’d venture to say it’s not even just one film. I’d say it’s two films, each serving a different purpose with a different result. The first film, the one with the character development and real story, is at the beginning. This is the part where Bryan Cranston (Joe Brody) is actually the star he is being touted as. This is a short film about a father and son dealing with a familial tragedy. It starts 15 years in the past when Brody is the chief at a nuclear power plant in Japan when something goes horribly, tragically wrong. Then, when we hit present day, it really blossoms into a smaller film, a story about redemption and forgiveness and what it means to be both a parent and a child, often in relation to the same person. This is NOT a monster film. This is a more intimate social drama.