If Every Day Were Really Like Sunday…

April 7, 2009 | 7 books mentioned 2

covercovercover…I’d have to bite the bullet and get Tivo, because in the last few weeks, the Christian Sabbath has become a televisual feast day for people of the book. The 8 p.m. time slot currently offers a difficult choice between NBC’s quasi-Biblical Kings (recommended by Emily) and HBO’s The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency (filmed in Botswana, a country that has fascinated me ever since I read Mating). Then, at 9 on PBS, there’s the Masterpiece adaptation of Dickens’ Little Dorrit, a Wire-like whirligig of plot and thespian energy that in many ways excels the novel.

The rest of the week, alas, continues to be wall-to-wall reality show, and while the new Vivica A. Fox vehicle Cougars sounds intriguing, I guess I can hold off on the DVR. I have no expectation that the current embarrassment of riches on Sunday night is anything but a fluke.

is the author of City on Fire and A Field Guide to the North American Family. In 2017, he was named one of Granta's Best Young American Novelists.


  1. Turner Classic Movies – Canadian schedule – has been running the 1988 version of Little Dorrit (2 3-hour parts – part 1 last Saturday morning, part 2 this coming Saturday).

    And TV Ontario (our provincial public broadcaster) just finished running the new version (the one currently running on PBS.)

    So you can compare Matthew MacFadyen vs a young Derek Jacobi (as Arthur Clennam) and also compare legends Tom Courtenay vs Alec Guinness (as Mr Dorrit)

    I'm on Dickens overload and I'm beginning to mix my Merdles and my Meagles.

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