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misswonderly3

Somewhat Off-Topic: What have you been reading lately?

515 posts in this topic

I wish I could find the time to read some more non-fiction, but I just can't.

 

It's been so long since I last read Lolita that many of the details are cloudy,

but I do remember that things were a little more complicated between Lo and

Humbert than one might assume if one had only heard it was a story about a creepy

cradle robber. The prose is truly magnificent, and the narrative of their road trip

through 1950s America seems right in about every hilarious detail. I do plan to reread it

in the near future.

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At the risk of repeating myself, I'm again asking this question, because I'm genuinely interested in people's answers: How do you feel about a book you have read and loved being made into a film? Is it always a good thing? Do you ever deliberately avoid seeing the film because you feel it can not live up to the book as you experienced it? Or do you usually like the idea of a book you like being made into a movie, and look forward to the film coming out when you hear someone's making a film of your book?

 

Edited by: misswonderly on Aug 29, 2010 10:04 PM

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Miss W., if I a book I love is being made into a film, I look forward to it. It isn't always a good thing, but one hopes for the best. I don't expect the movie to be just like the book. But I hope in some way that it will be true to the spirit of the book. One of my favorite books is E.M. Forster's A Passage to India. I was nervous about the film, but when I went to see it at the Ziegfeld Theater in NYC, I was ecstatic. Although David Lean was not always true to the facts of the novel, he was true to the spirit.

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> {quote:title=misswonderly wrote:}{quote}

> How do you feel about a book you have read and loved being made into a film?

 

I know many books I think would make great movies but I do not look for movies made from books I like. I believe that may be because I do not think any movie can be more than synopsis of good book. Also I find all movies are very different from their books. I see this even in *2001* where Clarke and Kubrick wrote both screenplay and book.

 

When I see movie made from book I love I look for scenes which 'made' book for me. If they are not present I find it hard to connect book and movie. If they are present I judge movie on how badly they mangled scenes I love.

 

I have been excited to hear of movies being made from favorite books but my joy wanes over months to years it takes to go from announcement to opening. Much of that may be because I like very few modern actors and I can never visualize cast as those characters.

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I agree with you in not wanting to see a movie if I have already read the book. I guess it's because the imagination can range so much further than the movies & once we have a character fixed in our mind the movie usually spoils it. Having said that, I do feel that the movie version of "Pride & Prejudice" with Colin Firth & Jennifer Ehle was pretty true to the book. I also found that due the paucity of place description by Austen the movie really fleshed it all out & some of the scenery was wonderful. It was very well cast with just about all of the characters so well suited to their parts. I have just finished my 3rd, & probably last, reading of P&P with critiques in the back. Some very interesting observations, some things I had never thought of in the story. There are some critics who have put Austen on the same shelf with Shakespeare but I don't know about that...

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Interesting comments about Pride and Prejudice. I agree, the Colin Firth/Jennifer Ehle version that came out a few years ago was pretty good, and reasonably faithful to the book. At the risk of being accused of blasphemy, I think it was far better in every way than the old Greer Garson version.

 

You spoke of reading an edition with notes. I find that in reading anything "classic", it helps tremendously to have a version with "notes" , usually, as you said , at the back of the book. I also like fairly extensive "introductions", although I actually always read them after I've read the book, not before.

 

I find that the least satisfying examples of films taken from books are those made from fantasy and children's novels. They just cannot measure up to the "magic" of the book and my imagination.

 

A major exception to this was Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, where I thought he and his crew struck the perfect combination of CG effects (which I normally dislike) and actual filming. For some reason they "got it" with those books; plus they actually improved the story be leaving out the boring parts.

 

Edited by: misswonderly on Aug 30, 2010 3:05 PM

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Well, I just finished the novel I was reading. It's a first novel, but you'd never know it, it's so well-written and well-structured. It's called The Gargoyle, by Andrew Davidson, and no, despite its title it is definitely not a kind of Twilight for adults. It's about a burn victim, Dante, pornography, medieval mercenaries, stone-carving, and redemption. There, I summed it up neatly in nine words.

 

I'm thinking of reading Confederacy of Dunces next.

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> {quote:title=SansFin wrote:}{quote}

> > {quote:title=traceyk65 wrote:}{quote}

> > Watt-Evans is better than Pratchett?

>

> I like him better. I can not say he is better. Watt-Evans is more that you can picture yourself in that situation. Pratchett seems to me more like stringer-together-of-gags. Is very personal choice which one likes more. Christopher Moore is another great fantasy-humor writer. I love Practical Demonkeeping

>

> Have you read Lady Cottington's Pressed Fairy Book by Jones and Froud? Remember the Victorian photograph of fairies which many thought was real? This book is supposed diary of that little girl. It is charming in that it looks written by hand. She begins with childish scrawl telling how no one believes she sees fairies behind potting shed. One day she is there with her book for pressing flowers and SNAP she caught one. That is reason it is called Pressed Fairy Book instead of diary. The author is Terry Jones of Monty Python's Flying Circus and illustrator is Brian Froud who is known for his fairies and gremlins.

 

 

I love Brian Froud. I have the anniversary issue of that book--the one with the window cling of a squashed faery that looks as though it's splatted itself on the window? Hilarious.

 

_Practical Demonkeeping_ was a very good book too. Very funny and irreverent, but with a pretty good plot to go with the gags.

 

Just a quick question about your Pratchett readings and then I'll let it go--what books have you read? I ask because some of his earlier books, such as _The Colour of Magic_ or _Sourcery_ are much weaker than his later stuff. _Colour_ especially, does seem to be that way. Some of the later books make pretty profound statements about human nature and religion and sex and so forth, while still staying very funny. My favorites are _The Fifth Elephant_, _Night Watch_, _Wyrd Systers_ (a take on _Macbeth_) _Carpe Jugulum_ (in which he takes on religion, vampires and scary stuff in general) and _Maskerade_ (which parodies _Phantom of the Opera_)

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> {quote:title=misswonderly wrote:}{quote}

 

> I also loved The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass. (The above-mentioned Phillip Pullman trilogy.) So much that when the film of The Golden Compass came out, I decided I did not want to see it, and purposely stayed away from it. And I like Daniel Craig. But sometimes I love a book so much, I don't want to see the movie of it. Anyone "get" that?

 

 

Yes! But sometimes I go anyway. It keeps me usefully irritated for hours...

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I don't care so much that the Greer Garson *Pride and Prejudice* was less faithful to the novel than the later versions. If you want the most faithful, you can see the BBC miniseries adaptations -- all excellent and faithful. But the Greer Garson version has so many pleasures, including a portrait of Lady Catherine that is unfaithful to the novel but totally wonderful, played by Edna Mae Oliver. I'll overlook purity for well done innovation sometimes!

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> {quote:title=traceyk65 wrote:}{quote}

> Just a quick question about your Pratchett readings and then I'll let it go--what books have you read?

 

I am sorry to say I do not remember them. I asked at library for fantasy humor and they gave me list of authors and titles I might like. I checked out several each week. After reading a few of Prachett's I crossed his name off list.

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I am owed small present. I have been thinking of asking for Don't Mind if I Do by George Hamilton. Has anyone read it or can tell me if it is good?

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SansFin, one of the nice things about this fansite is that I learn things from it, or rather , from the people who participate in it. I have many areas of ignorance when it comes to movies (and other things too, I'm afraid), and I confess that I have not even heard of George Hamilton. So, although I cannot answer your question regarding the book about him, I can tell you that now that I've heard of him -because of you - I will look out for his movies. I looked him up on wikipedia, and while I can't say I'd heard of many of his films, his face looked familiar. I've probably seen him without even knowing it.

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> {quote:title=misswonderly wrote:}{quote}

> I have many areas of ignorance when it comes to movies

 

Many times if I say: "He's the tan one." people know who I mean. :) I consider him one of my guilty pleasures. I must say I did not like him very much in his serious roles. I love him as camp parody of ideal Southern-California playboy. *Love at First Bite* (1979) is first movie I love him in.

 

I can not comment on your ignorance of things. I have not seen it. You are one I have learned very much from. I am very happy you and others like you are on this board. I am a one who is ignorant of most things about movies.

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I am cold-bloodedly bumping my own thread in a shameless attempt to get a few more comments on it. Thought I'd give it one more try before it dies, or at least retires.

 

So...anyone reading anything interesting these days? There seem to be lots of good new movie books out there right now.

 

I'm thinking of reading *Confederacy of Dunces*, by John Kennedy Toole. I've heard a lot about it. Anyone read it? Anyone read anything lately they'd like to talk about?

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I haven't read a book for pleasure in a while....but I do read African American literature anthologies including slave narratives, poems etc. I also have a book of Tennessee Williams plays which I admit I read after watching a film adaptation. I skimmed through it last on the Paul Newman day. I hardly have the time in my schedule to read for entertainment (probably means I should turn off the darn TV and read the novels these films are based on, huh?) :)

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Quite a few of the comments on this thread -actually, I'd say most of them - are about books people are reading or have read that have been made into movies.

 

I must admit I rarely read plays for enjoyment. I'd rather go with novels or short stories.

 

Tennesse Williams must be the master of uber drama -dark secrets and sordid confessions and Southern gothic all over the place. But, that's kind of interesting. Sometimes the word "lurid" comes to mind when talking about Williams.

 

There is a novel by an African -Canadian writer, Lawrence Hill, that came out in 2006. I hesitate to name the title , because there may be some discomfort with it; it's called The Book of Negroes, and that's the title because it's a historical novel based on an actual record book that kept track of Africans who were brought to North America ( as slaves of course) . The title of the novel takes a name from that actual document and builds a story around her. I haven't read it yet, but I believe it won some kind of literary prize when it was first published.

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I've just finished "Life on the Color Line" by Gregory Howard Williams. A true story of a white boy who discoverd he was black & moved to a black community. My interest was piqued as he was the keynote speaker at the graduation ceremony at Skidmore College in NY this spring. Interesting, a bit depressing & would make a good movie. Have just started Tolstoy's "Resurrection." My granddaughter is in Hunter College in NYC immersed in film studies. We have some great conversations about old movies.

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porccelina, I meant to say people seem to reading mostly not only books that are made into films, but also many are reading books about the movies, either a biography (like the one you're reading of Louise Brooks) or a book about the film business, the making of a movie, Oscars, or some other aspect of our favourite subject here (i e, movies.) Who knew there were so many books about movies?

 

clearskies, Life on the Colour Line sounds interesting. No, fascinating. That writer must have a lot to say about issues of race, and give a lot to his readers to think about.

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> {quote:title=misswonderly wrote:}{quote}

> I am cold-bloodedly bumping my own thread in a shameless attempt to get a few more comments on it. Thought I'd give it one more try before it dies, or at least retires.

>

> So...anyone reading anything interesting these days? There seem to be lots of good new movie books out there right now.

>

> I'm thinking of reading *Confederacy of Dunces*, by John Kennedy Toole. I've heard a lot about it. Anyone read it? Anyone read anything lately they'd like to talk about?

 

I read A Confederacy of Dunces several years ago when I was on a New Orleans kick. I have to admit that I didn't like it as much as I wanted to. I loved the New Orleans setting, but I ended up HATING the main character as the book went on. There was really only one character that I liked by the end of the book--can't remember the character's name, but he was the black man who worked in a factory. The book had some laughs, but not enough for me to get over the fact that the main character was such an unlikable buffoon.

 

But, hey, don't let my opinion stop you from reading it if it looks interesting to you.

 

I find that if I don't have sympathy for a main character, I have a hard time finding their foibles amusing.

 

Sandy K

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> I find that if I don't have sympathy for a main character, I have a hard time finding their foibles amusing.

 

> Sandy K

 

I agree with that, it's important to like or at least identify with the main character in a book, and for that matter a movie too.

 

Edited by: misswonderly on Sep 2, 2010 2:34 PM

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It's been about 10 years since I read A Confederacy of Dunces, but I pretty much liked it. I thought the main character Ignatius Reilly was probably a mouthpiece for the author, who apparently suffered from depression and committed suicide before the book was published. Every few years, the folks in Hollywood talk about putting together a movie version of A Confederacy of Dunces. I think Jack Black would be a good choice as Reilly. He could use a "smart" role to help him get some of his audience back.

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On the general subject of adapting books into movies, I'm of two minds. On the one

hand, everybody has their own vision of the book as they see it, on the other there's

usually curiosity just to see how it will be turned into a movie. I don't think when a movie

is made it harms the initial impression that one got on reading the book. There have been

many screen versions, of differing quality, of Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe novels,

yet none quite captures the character of Marlowe as he appears in the books, and I can go

back and reread them without the movies leaving much of an impression.

 

George Hamilton was smart to start to make fun of his image. It kept his career going a

little longer. Don't forget country singer George Hamilton IV! And in connection with

country music, George Hamilton played Hank Williams in Your Cheatin' Heart. It's

a small world.

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