Ray Harryhausen: Background information when reading This Must Be the Place

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

This Must Be the Place

A Novel

by Kate Racculia

This Must Be the Place by Kate Racculia X
This Must Be the Place by Kate Racculia
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jul 2010, 368 pages
    Paperback:
    Jul 2011, 384 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Jennifer G Wilder

Buy This Book

About this Book

Beyond the Book:
Ray Harryhausen

Print Review

Harryhausen, the cat at the center of This Must Be the Place, is a living totem of his owner's patron saint, the real-life animator Ray Harryhausen.  Ray Harryhausen was a pioneer in the field of animation, and the inspiration behind Racculia's Amy, who builds her life around the surreal art of making model monsters for the movies.

Racculia writes on her blog of discovering Harryhausen's work in the form of his last major film: "The Clash of the Titans, Harryhausen's 1981 epic ode to Greek mythology and Harry Hamlin's magnificent perm, were on HBO approximately eight bajillion times in the mid-80s, and all eight bajillion of those times, I was there to watch it."  Oh, the heady early days of cable.  Racculia was not the only one to overdose on Titans at a tender age – the image of Harryhausen's writhing Medusa maybe a generational marker. We 80s cable subscribers could not get enough of that last gasp of handmade movie-making, even as computer animation was well underway on the other cable channels and had thoroughly co-opted Saturday morning cartoons.

Harryhausen is best known for the animated gorilla in Mighty Joe Young (1949), the Cyclops from The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958), and the clattering, sword-wielding skeletons in 1963's Jason and the Argonauts.  He worked in the painstaking medium of stop-motion animation, which requires moveable models to be shot frame-by-frame.  He pioneered inexpensive techniques for blending animation with live action (as in that famous skeleton scene), and the effects he created were revolutionary.  His work has informed and inspired many of the fantasy filmmakers who have come after him – Peter Jackson, James Cameron, and Tim Burton, to name a few.

One of Harryhausen's life-long friends and fellow travelers is Ray Bradbury, the science fiction author, who collaborated on a biography called Ray Harryhausen:  An Animated Life (published in 2004).  Harryhausen celebrated his 91st birthday on June 29, 2011.

Interesting Links
Ray Harryhausen's website
A 2004 NPR interview with Harryhuasen

This article was originally published in August 2010, and has been updated for the July 2011 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

This article is available to non-members for a limited time. You can also read these articles for free. For full access, become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Calypso
    Calypso
    by David Sedaris
    David Sedaris' Calypso is every bit as hilarious and irreverent, as clever and incisive, as ...
  • Book Jacket: The Word Is Murder
    The Word Is Murder
    by Anthony Horowitz
    A wealthy widow enters a London funeral home to make arrangements for her own funeral. Six hours ...
  • Book Jacket: Call Me American
    Call Me American
    by Abdi Nor Iftin
    As a boy growing up in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, Abdi Nor Iftin loved watching action ...
  • Book Jacket
    Driving Miss Norma
    by Ramie Liddle, Tim Bauerschmidt
    In my cultural life, I've met and been awed by two Normas: The demanding, clueless, fiercely ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Harbor of Spies by Robin Lloyd

A captivating thriller-at-sea set in Spanish colonial Havana in the 1860s.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    A Place for Us
    by Fatima Farheen Mirza

    A deeply moving story of love, identity and belonging--the first novel from Sarah Jessica Parker's new imprint.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win If You See Me, Don't Say Hi

If You See Me, Don't Say Hi by Neel Patel

Patel's stories introduce a bold and timely new literary voice.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

A P Saved I A P E

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.