I had to read P&P in high school. I knew nothing about it or Austen; I only knew that she was someone that everyone 'read' in school. I started laughing on page one, but I was so unsure of myself that I went to a different teacher on the sly (not the teacher who had assigned the book) and asked her if the book was as funny as I thought it was or had I got it all wrong. Imagine the relief of a shy, insecure 15-year-old when said teacher replied that yes, it was just as funny as I thought it was.
It is now 50 years later, and I have easily read and reread P&P at least two dozen times in the intervening years. It's my favorite book, although Austen gets nosed out by Trollope as my favorite writer.
Last edited by emason; 02-06-2011 at 01:26 AM.
I love P&P and To Kill a Mockingbird best of all the books I ever taught. They were the two I read every word along with the kids every semester. Others, I did not read over again every time. In fact, I was just thinking the other day that I need to read TKM again, as I haven't for a few years now.
ETA: Trollope's The Way We Live Now is optional reading for one of my grad classes this semester. The professor suggests, though, that we watch the miniseries instead if we don't want to read a whole novel. Do you recommend the book or the miniseries most?
To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my very favorite books. I read it at least once a year.
However, as a matter of form, I would start with the novel, as it is the source material after all.
However, take this with a grain of salt; I did get a A in The English Novel From Defoe to Austen in college without reading a single one of the books. Don't ask how I pulled that off; it's a long story.
Any advice on creative skimming would be appreciated.
I have to disagree with michiruwater on Lord of the Rings as well. While I know many people have a hard time getting through the books, I have read them multiple times and, while I love the movies and think they were great, plenty of Tolkien's rich world had to be left out, which is to be expected, and I wasn't happy with the way they altered the story to push Arwen into it. Almost all of their irritating changes (when they added things instead of just cutting things) had to do with her. But I did think they had superb casting and all and all did the best that you could possibly do with that material.
I really can't think of any movie that is better than the book. In general I find that if I've watched the movie before reading the book, I'll be more okay with the movie in general than if I read the book first. Like I adore Memoirs of a Geisha and never get annoyed with the changes to the story because I saw the movie first.
I think LOTR is virtually unreadable - all that prancing and singing in the forest is beyond dull - so I find the movies much more enjoyable. Sorry, TG.
Logic is in the eye of the logician --Gloria Steinem
One that hasn't been mentioned yet is Forrest Gump, one of the few instances where I read the book first still liked the movie better. Maybe it's because I didn't really care for the book.
I haven't read very many Steven King books but the ones that I did read were all better as movies (Dolores Claibourne and Shawshank Redemption come to mind first). I came to the conclusion after reading a few of his books that King has good plot ideas but isn't actually all that good of a writer, which is why his books come out better as movies.
On the topic of Austen, I kind of agree that Sense & Sensibility (1995) was better than the book, but I do still appreciate the book. (Although I have to admit that I failed to finish the first time I tried to slog through it when I was 15, but it's grown on me since.) The thing I found about Thompson's script is that while she made major changes to the plot, eliminated characters, and so on, I still felt like all of the characters that remained were faithful to the book and the movie had the right feel to it, so I can forgive a number of the differences. I recently bought the 2007 BBC version and am hoping to have time to watch it tomorrow and see how it stacks up because I would enjoy seeing a version that follows the book a little more closely.
I have no such forgiveness for Rozema's Mansfield Park, which completely missed the point of the book IMO. It probably doesn't help that I absolutely love Fanny Price for reasons I'm not even entirely sure of myself. I think it's because I love how she stands her ground and sticks to her convictions and is ultimately rewarded for it. Obviously most people don't agree, particularly movie-makers. Interestingly, I own adaptations of all of Austen's novels (in some cases 2 or 3 adaptations) except for Mansfield Park. Both the Rozema version and the 2007 one with Billie Piper changed the character of Fanny Price too much for me, and I can't quite deal with the poor production values in the older BBC version. So I'm still waiting for a good adaptation to add to my collection.
Shawshank, Stand By Me, all better as movies.
Cannery Row - The book is good, the movie has improved upon it in someways. John Houston I think narrates it, and does a great job. Nick Nolte and Debra Winger are good enough to carry the day.
Stephen King's Salem's Lot, which should've been a super-creepy movie, was made into a movie TWICE, I believe, and they both sucked. And let's not get into how badly they mucked up The Stand, even while making it into a mini-series.
But I did enjoy Shawshank Redemption and Stand by Me.
Not that I would do such a thing or that this was actively discussed as a survival method when I was in grad school. But I've heard that it can be done.
"There are three social classes in America: upper middle class, middle class, and lower middle class." -- Judith Martin
And the lecturer on the cd-roms rambles and says "'kay?" at the end of every sentence. He is nearly unbearable.
And my professor is determined to teach with science fiction movies which is almost at the bottom of my list for genres that I want to watch. Never mind that I have never been much of a movie watcher, anyway. So far, the movies are not required, but the longer no one chats online about them, the closer he gets to assigning them.
My selections: Bridget Jones Diary. In the book, her mother becomes involved with a terrorist or some such nonsense. Oh, and The Kite Runner got stupid at the end too. Riveting story until that point.
I also read "A Little Princess" after seeing the 1995 version (which is magical and I highly recommend to everyone). The book was horrid. I much prefer a happier ending rather than the 'broke father offs himself, leaving the child orphaned'. Alfonso Cuarón directed, Patrick Doyle scored, and the casting was spot on. Liesel Matthews stopped acting in 2000 (seems she's incredibly wealthy now from a trust fund), but she was amazing in this. Off track - what an interesting backstory!! http://www.weeklystandard.com/Conten...2/015aybjs.asp
Charter member of the "We Always Believed in Ashley" Club and the "We Believe in Ricky" Club