PDA

View Full Version : Libro filum--the book thread



Pages : 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 [37] 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67

IceAlisa
06-20-2012, 06:50 PM
Just because it's "old" doesn't make it "heavy literature" or "classic" or even "worth reading." :P

I do think Little Women isn't bad for young adult lit, and I'd certainly rather have Jo and her sisters as role models for young girls than a lot of the simpering moony girls in some modern examples of the genre. But no, don't feel bad for not finishing Little Women. (And I'll take Anne Shirley over Jo March any ol' day.)

The movie (the 1994 one with Winnona Ryder, Susan Sarandon, Claire Danes et al.) was pretty good though.

I did think the movie was OK too. The reason I asked about the book is that I thought may be it gets better but it seems like it doesn't.

So I think I will start Lisa See's Peony In Love as it is billed as the perfect summer read and beach vacation looms. I've read See before and liked it.

A.H.Black
06-20-2012, 08:12 PM
I guess I'm on the wrong thread. I love "Little Women". Yes, it's idealized. I like the wholesomeness. I'm sorry you didn't like it. I think classics are classics for a reason and I think family harmony and love are as good a reason as any.

michiruwater
06-20-2012, 08:15 PM
There are plenty of books about family harmony and love which absolutely suck.

IceAlisa
06-20-2012, 09:56 PM
There are plenty of books about family harmony and love which absolutely suck.

And conversely, plenty of books about family disharmony which are brilliant. These are the ones I actually prefer.

A.H.Black
06-20-2012, 10:36 PM
There are plenty of books about family harmony and love which absolutely suck.

Possibly, but I wouldn't include "Little Women" among them.

IceAlisa
06-20-2012, 10:42 PM
The discussion about family harmony and disharmony reminded me of the opening line of Anna Karenina:

All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.

Prancer
06-20-2012, 11:10 PM
Believe it or not, Little Women was considered realistic--and probably was. Louisa's father dedicated his daughters' education to the pursuit of moral perfection, so it's not surprising that in a book based on the Alcott sisters, there would be a lot of pious self sacrifice; their father demanded that of them, even when the family was literally starving. Nevertheless, the girls all had character flaws and for the time, that was very unusual and even rather daring.

It was also quite feminist for the time, although Louisa bowed to convention more often than not. But she wrote Little Women and its sequels for money and nothing but; those books put food on the family table. She also wrote quite a bit of pulpy fiction that was, er, not what you might expect if you were just basing everything on Little Women.

The book was written for girls (and was the first children's book written for girls in the US), not adults, and I do think it holds up best as a children's book. It's not something that I would think most people would enjoy reading for the first time as an adult.

ChelleC
06-21-2012, 01:42 AM
The discussion about family harmony and disharmony reminded me of the opening line of Anna Karenina:


I'll take Anna Karenina over Little Women any day.

Wyliefan
06-21-2012, 01:58 AM
I've always thought An Old-Fashioned Girl is Alcott's best book. The writing is generally stronger and less sentimental -- though not ENTIRELY unsentimental; this is Alcott, after all. :) And I find the characters a little more relatable.

Zemgirl
06-21-2012, 06:32 AM
The discussion about family harmony and disharmony reminded me of the opening line of Anna Karenina
I hate that line. I don't find misery inherently more interesting than happiness, and I would argue that there is quite a bit of variety in terms of what makes people happy over time. Also that a lot of unhappy families are actually quite similar: at the most basic level, members don't communicate with each other and have a lot of unresolved issues from the past. I didn't like Little Women all that much as an adult - too much moralizing - but I'd rather read that (or any romance novel without werewolves) than another tale of suburban ennui*.

I guess I'm more of a positive psychology kind of person :).

* I haven't actually read Anna Karenina.

IceAlisa
06-21-2012, 06:39 AM
I guess I'm more of a positive psychology kind of person :). Then quite a bit of 19th century Russian and French lit is likely not your thing. Make that some of 20th century French lit as well.

This actually reminded me of the cartoon our psych professor showed us years ago in college. It depicted E. A. Poe looking up at the raven in a tree and saying: "Hi birdie, have a nice day!" The caption said If Prozac were available in 19th century.


* I haven't actually read Anna Karenina.
You probably wouldn't like it although it is hardly a tale of suburban ennui.

rjblue
06-21-2012, 12:16 PM
I don't think Little Women was sentimental enough for me. I liked it as a child, and read its sequels, but I adored Alcott's Eight Cousins, and Rose in Bloom. (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17533.Rose_in_Bloom)

orientalplane
06-21-2012, 12:46 PM
The discussion about family harmony and disharmony reminded me of the opening line of Anna Karenina:

I'm re-reading Anna Karenina at the moment. Coming directly after the hugely overrated The Kite Runner it's reminding me what is true literature and what is sentimental and contrived prating.

Ajax
06-21-2012, 04:40 PM
I am getting through my mostrously long Van Gogh biography ( interesting, though extremely detailed read).

Which one is this? I'm currently reading Dear Theo, a compilation of Vincent's letters to his brother. It's kind of a slog to be honest because so much of it is about Vincent's devotion to God and as an atheist, reading pages upon pages of prose on this subject holds no interest for me. I'll give it a few more chapters to see if it gets better.

zaphyre14
06-21-2012, 07:23 PM
I liked all of Alcott's books as a child - and as an adult. You have to remember the times they were written in, and compared with a lot of literature of the times, they very entertaining and hold up very well. The "penny dreadfuls" Alcott wrote (and actually preferred writing, IIRC) are better off lost; read "A Long and Fatal Love Chase" if you can find it and can stand the melodrama.