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misswonderly3

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

515 posts in this topic

I've given up on Tolstoy's "Resurrection" not my cup of tea. Having been interested in the theater & movies mostly all my life, I've read many books pertaining to these subjects, both bios & autobios. There're a lot of books out on Noel Coward, Cecil Beaton, Alec Guiness, John Gielgud, O'Toole, oh, I could go on forever. I own many & have gotten a lot out of the library as well. There are also some good books on Nancy Mitford ("Love in a Cold Climate") and the whole Mitford family for that matter.

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Funny story about Tolstoy's Resurrection: when my brother and I were in high school (he was two grades ahead of me) he had to write an essay on this novel. I forget the details, but I know that he did not want to read it, let alone write an essay on it. So I took it upon myself to do this for him. I cannot remember why I did my brother this favour, since I normally procrastinated even writing my own essays, let alone somebody else's. But I did read it, and wrote the paper, too. I can't remember what mark I (he) got, I think it was respectable. It's actually the only Tolstoy I've ever read. War and Peace will have to wait for my retirement years. Maybe.

 

I'm still trying to remember why I would take on that extra project for my brother. We must have made some kind of deal, but the details are lost in the mists of my high school years...

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Gotta watch out with guys like that, redriver. Next thing you know, he'll be stalking you and crashing your parties, grabbing old ladies by the neck, trying to force them to write other people's essays , and ruining your tennis matches.

 

Sounds like material for the National Enquirer.

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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? Is it always a good thing?

Great literature transcends the movie version, usually. Sometimes, the movie's better. It's been years since I've read _Peyton Place_ , but I've always preferred the movie. I should read that again just to see. And I loved _Drums Along the Mohawk_ , both movie and book. I thought the book was in a different voice and some characters, like Lana and Gilbert are more interesting in the book than played in the movie. Another book I need to revisit.

 

>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?

In just the reverse. I viewed the movie Pay it Forward. I thought the ending so contrived, I thought for certain that it was a schmaltzy script writer/producer effort to yank our heart strings. But, wow, the book was faithfully done! I has been suspicious of new novels ever since. Tolstoy, the Brontes, Hugo, and Dickens can RIP.

 

Hum, I do like Hemingway too...I wonder what he thought of the movie versions?

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casablancalover, I guess it all depends on the book. You probably know that Hitchcock often made a point of getting his movie plot ideas from "pulp" fiction. He'd take a story idea that he liked from these quickie crime novels, do what he wanted with it, and discard the rest.

So, ironically, I would say that the trashier the novel, the better a film it might make, because the filmmaker does not feel tied to a great work of literature, or obliged to "be true" to the source.

Who cares if someone messes around with the plot or even the characters of some pot-boiler? But to undertake the filming of a novel like War and Peace or Little Dorrit, you're getting into questionable territory. I'm not saying it can't be done, though.

 

As I've said before, I mainly have a problem with the making a movie from a work of fantasy, especially children's fantasy. For me, it somehow cheapens the reading experience. Not that I no longer like the book, I just dislike the way it's transformed into film. This is so for me, nine times out of ten, no matter how carefully it's done. Of course there is always that 10th time where they "get it right."

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As one of the few people who have read DRUMS ALONG THE MOHAWK, I enjoyed your perspective. The book is much more detailed than the movie, maybe too much so. I like it, but there are dry passages that are more informative than exciting. The screenwriters probably made the right choice in playing down the minor characters and focusing on the leads. But the story loses some of its charm. The book is better.

 

How can I not respond to the mention of PAY IT FORWARD? One of the worst movies I've ever seen. Overt, excessive and insulting. The film has nothing going for it. Are you telling me this nauseating tale came from a book? Why not film my shopping list?

 

peanut butter

orange soda

toilet paper

dog food

cottage cheese

dental floss

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red, since you clearly pay attention to hygiene, don't forget laundry detergent.

 

(Also, keep in mind that the labels on all those items you're buying can provide hours of serious reading material.)

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That is an interesting point you bring up about Hitchcock. I have not read most of the books his movies were based on but I did read 39 Steps. I loved the movie so I thought the book would be a fun read. I hated the book. It was missing all the humor and cleverness of Hitchcock's movie. So this is one case where the movie was definitely better than the book.

 

I also always liked the movie ending of a Little Princess (both Shirley Temple and the 1995 version) compared to the book. Although my friend vehemently disagrees with me on that matter.

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

> 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.

 

He would be gooin that role. He can do "serious" acting--he was very good in King Kong as Carl Denham. And I would love to see what they do with all the crazy New Orleans people he interacts with. Or maybe not--this is Hollywood, after all.

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tracey, baby, how interesting that you resurrected this thread to talk about Confederacy of Dunces , because I finally decided to start reading it a few days ago. So far I'm not sure what to make of it -Ignatious is so dislikable ! I guess that's why he's supposed to be funny. I can definitely see Jack Black in the role. ( That sounds as though I don't like Jack Black, but actually, I do.)

 

Edited by: misswonderly on Nov 29, 2010 11:23 PM

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Glad this thread got revived, I like to ask members a question. Has anyone read "Decision Points"?

I am not surprised that George W. Bush wrote a book just how *thick* it is.

 

He actually said to a news interviewer during a book signing last month that the reason he acted stupid at times was due to *drinking.* (no joking!) :| If that alone doesn't bring back Prohibition, nothing will. LOL! He also said, if he had to do everything all over again, he would!

 

Decision-Points-by-George-W-bush-480x480

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I'm doing a little Agatha Christie these days. AND THEN THERE WERE NONE, TOWARDS ZERO, just checked out a couple of others. You can't go wrong with the classics!

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

> tracey, baby, how interesting that you resurrected this thread to talk about Confederacy of Dunces , because I finally decided to start reading it a few days ago. So far I'm not sure what to make of it -Ignatious is so dislikable ! I guess that's why he's supposed to be funny. I can definitely see Jack Black in the role. ( That sounds as though I don't like Jack Black, but actually, I do.)

>

> Edited by: misswonderly on Nov 29, 2010 11:23 PM

 

He gets funnier as you go. But then, if I remember correctly, he gets less funny towards the end and by the time he's gone, I remember being almost relieved.

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I've picked up again after many years Bette Davis's autobiography "The Lonely Life". She gives good incite into the craft of acting both for stage and screen. She sort of blames herself for her failed marriages. She also is very proud of her tenacity in fighting for things whether it be a role, contract or just about anything and she knows it has made her come off like a queen "****". Unfortunately years later her daughter retaliated with a Mommie Dearest book of her own

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Wonder will Charlie Sheen's kid(s) write a book about him when they grow up - or have they already past the mental age of Charlie? :)

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I have finished re-reading Albie Baker's Stolen Sweets (1973 Saturday Review Press). He was a third-rate thief who made some first-class scores. He mentioned playing poker with Tony Curtis and playing tennis with Martha Hyer and Kathy Grant when 'Harry' let him stay in a cabin at the location shoot of *Mr. Cory* because he needed to hide out from the law. He was also a scriptwriter and a technical advisor. Many references claim he was the inspiration for *To Catch a Thief* (1955).

 

I am also working through Sax Rohmer's Fu Manchu series. I had to re-read The Mask of Fu Manchu because I knew a movie had been made of it and I could not see the connection between book and movie.

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Interesting how many responses you have received to this thread, which opened in August & still going strong. I'm impressed with the variety of books that these folks have read. As far as my two cent's worth goes, I would like to see more movies made of Shakespeare's plays, more Jane Austen & the Brontes as well as Agatha Christie. I know many versions of these works have alrady been made but there's always room for more, thereby introducing many who might not be familiar with these classics.

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

> ... I would like to see more movies made of Shakespeare's plays, more Jane Austen & the Brontes as well as Agatha Christie. I know many versions of these works have alrady been made but there's always room for more, thereby introducing many who might not be familiar with these classics.

 

I love those 19th century women writers, but for some reason I prefer my Victorian literature on paper, not celluloid. With a few exceptions, I've never really taken to the Brontes or Austen translated into film. But I kind of have a problem a lot of the time with books being converted into movies. I always like the stories better in my imagination. I know I'm in a small minority with this.

 

Well, it's been a week, now, and I'm still plugging away with *Confederacy of Dunces*. Embarrassing thought this is to admit, I'm only about half-way through it. I have to remind myself to pick it up and read it. Why do I continue, when there are a million books to read? Well, I feel kind of committed to it now, and I do want to find out what happens to the dysfunctional Ignatious. Maybe I should take a break and check out that George Bush (auto)biography hamradio mentioned. I'm wondering if Bush and Ignatious Reilly had a few things in common...

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

 

>

> I love those 19th century women writers, but for some reason I prefer my Victorian literature on paper, not celluloid. With a few exceptions, I've never really taken to the Brontes or Austen translated into film. But I kind of have a problem a lot of the time with books being converted into movies. I always like the stories better in my imagination. I know I'm in a small minority with this.

>

 

Have you ever seen the Pride and Prejudice Miniseries with Colin Firth. Personally I think it is one of the best literary adaptions. In general I am not too satisfied with a lot of them either but I love this one (The 2004 North and South Miniseries is also very good).

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I have seen the series you're referring to, Kinokima, and I agree, that's one of the "exceptions" I was referring to. It's very well done, Colin Firth makes a perfect Darcy, and Jennifer Ehle an equally charming Elizabeth. (Did you know she played Oscar Wilde's wife in the film *Wilde* that came out in the 90s? Stephen Frey played Oscar himself.)

I think a series on a book can do a better job, obviously because it has a lot more time to unfold the story and include many details from a book that a two hour movie has to leave out.

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Yeah I definitely agree when it comes to classic novels I definitely prefer miniseries to films.

 

I also love the 1934 French version of Les Miserables. It's close to 5 hours directed by Raymond Bernard and is definitely a must see. I am sure I mentioned it before but it can never be mentioned too many times.

 

And I didn't know that about Jennifer Ehle. Pride and Prejudice was the first and only thing I have seen of hers that I can remember. Of course at this point I have seen a lot from Colin Firth (looking forward to seeing his new films *The King's Speech* as well). But I agree that Ehle really captured Elizabeth's spirit. I thought she was perfect in the role.

 

Edited by: Kinokima on Dec 4, 2010 12:37 PM

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