Friday, April 24, 2009

James Toback's best books

Award-winning screenwriter and director James Toback named a best books list of six favorite literary works that have figured into his films.

One title on the list:
Notes From Underground by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Dover, $4).

In my screenplay for The Gambler, I gave college professor Axel Freed (James Caan) the chance to read from and analyze Dostoyevsky’s dark, hilarious novella, which advances the notion that man maintains his humanity by reserving the right to insist that two and two equal five precisely because it has been rationally proved that two and two equal four. Freed’s lecture sets the stage for his dual nature—academic and compulsive gambler.
Read about another work on Toback's list.

--Marshal Zeringue