84 Charing Cross Road

I just read 84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff…I have to say when I received this book in the mail I was pretty irritated at the fact that it was so tiny and I paid $14 for it.  However, since I had it in my hands I thought I would just open it and see what it was like…it really surprised me.  By the very first page I was hooked!  Now it only took me a little over an hour to read the entire book, but it was such a pleasant read.  Helene Hanff is simply hysterical and witty and outrageous in the letters she sends to Marks & Co.  The relationship she develops with the staff there, particularly Frank Doel is so beautiful.  I especially loved that she sent them those packages full of food – I would have liked to have done that too – it was such a kind and lovely gesture.  I just found out there is a second book, called The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street (144 pages)…I am dying to read it. 

We also watched the movie starring Anne Bancroft and Anthony Hopkins (it even has Judi Dench in it).  It was not nearly as delightful as the book.  There was a lot of filler, as the book was very short and only comprised of letters.  At the same time it was nice to see the relationships re-enacted on the screen.  They also portrayed Helene a little bit more eccentrically than I had expected and imagined her to be from the book, who knows if she was really like that?  Either way it was a fun way to spend an evening…


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