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  1. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by PDilemma View Post
    Did you have to read the book you chose on your own?
    The year P&P was part of the course I think there was 3 or 4 choices, I ended up with 1984. I remember each year always having options so you never had to read any one thing specifically, but I really wanted to like P&P. I agree with you though, a good teacher can make all the difference.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PDilemma View Post

    Austen's humor is subtle. The BBC miniseries took the subtle humor and made it bigger for people. But they didn't get that from nowhere, it's all there. I think the other problem is that students are not accustomed to reading anything fun and humorous in school so they just aren't looking for that. I often had students point out to me that it was basically the only thing they were given in four years of high school that had nothing tragic in at all and a truly happy ending.

    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 12:26 AM.

  3. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by emason View Post
    I had to read P&P i 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.
    LOL! It is a rare teen who opens up Austen and laughs. And I love that you had to check to make sure it was supposed to be funny I'm sure that goes right along with my students who were often waiting for something tragic to happen while we read. We really do give kids too many serious tragic novels in high school.

    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?

  4. #84
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    To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my very favorite books. I read it at least once a year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PDilemma View Post

    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?
    Blushing now, as I am forced to admit that I have only read part of The Way We Live Now, and IIRC, I only watched part of the mini-series.

    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.

  6. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by emason View Post
    Blushing now, as I am forced to admit that I have only read part of The Way We Live Now, and IIRC, I only watched part of the mini-series.

    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.
    Seriously, I am attempting to get an A in this class without reading all of the material. It is an incredibly boring class about how technology is changing society. I realize that on the surface that sounds interesting. I thought so, too, when I picked this program and saw that I would have to take this as a core course. But it is not. It is beyond boring.

    Any advice on creative skimming would be appreciated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    Chronicles of Narnia- the lion, the witch and the wardrobe.

    I love the book too, but the movie was even better. JMO.
    I have to disagree with you. While the first movie was wonderful, any positive feelings I had about the filmmakers were absolutely destroyed by the butcher job they have done on the next two movies. Prince Caspian and Voyage of the Dawn Treader were nearly unrecognizable. Like they cut out tiny pieces of CS Lewis's work and filled it in with whatever they liked instead of actually telling the stories that he wrote. It's no surprise to me that the subsequent movies have been far less successful.

    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.


    Quote Originally Posted by pat c View Post
    Hmm......still thinking if I want to see the movie.
    Like many people in this thread, I've read To Kill a Mockingbird many, many times and I really do recommend this movie. Plenty of things had to be cut to make the movie but it really is fabulously done.

    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.

  8. #88

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    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by oleada View Post
    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.
    I agree with oleada. I tried reading LOTR with a group over at good reads and I didn't get far at all. I had seen the movies, but there was just no way I could get myself to read the entire series. A colleague of mine is teaching a seminar on the LOTR in the honors college and the students in the class that hadn't already read the novels are having a really tough time getting through it.
    Logic is in the eye of the logician --Gloria Steinem

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    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.

  11. #91

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    Quote Originally Posted by IceAlisa View Post
    Here's the music I am talking about:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vYY0aRH46I

    I can totally picture Czisny skating to this. Must. Stop. Choreographing. In my head.
    A couple of friends mentioned 2 or 3 years ago that it would be great skating music. I kind of forgot about it until you mentioned it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Erin View Post

    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.

    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.

  12. #92

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    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.

  13. #93

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    Quote Originally Posted by emason View Post
    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.
    But is it an interesting long story?

    Would it make a good movie?

  14. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erin View Post
    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 enjoyed the book, but the movie is so different from the book that I almost look at the two as completely separate entities. The book is much darker than the movie (as characterized by the fact that the movie turned the book's "Bein' an idiot ain't no box of chocolates" line into the famous "Life is like a box of chocolates" catchphrase) and the characterization of Forrest is much less saint-like. I saw the movie first, and prefer it to the book, but I still think the book is worth reading (unlike the hack-job sequel, which was clearly written as a cash grab after the movie hit it big).

  15. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by PDilemma View Post
    Seriously, I am attempting to get an A in this class without reading all of the material.
    Spark Notes summary and several pieces of criticism relevant to your topic. If your criticism focuses on certain sections of the book, read those.

    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by PDilemma View Post
    It is an incredibly boring class about how technology is changing society. I realize that on the surface that sounds interesting. I thought so, too, when I picked this program and saw that I would have to take this as a core course. But it is not. It is beyond boring.
    Wow. There's a class on the subject being taught across the hall from me on a regular basis and the students in that class seem to love it. One of my current students took it last fall and is always trying to sell it to the rest of my class as "more interesting than it sounds."
    "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."-- Albert Einstein.

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    Quote Originally Posted by oleada View Post
    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.
    I fastforward those things, including the long winded description of the locations. LOTR is good storywise but Tolkien isn't a good writer and it pains me to say that. ... And the books was supposed to be one long epic as opposed to a trilogy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post


    Wow. There's a class on the subject being taught across the hall from me on a regular basis and the students in that class seem to love it. One of my current students took it last fall and is always trying to sell it to the rest of my class as "more interesting than it sounds."
    It should be interesting. It really should. But the professor is quite disengaged and seems to have picked the most boring reading selections possible. Since it is a core course, he has a pile of readings to choose from but doesn't have to assign them all. I have found, so far, that when it comes to the actual books, the chapters he is not assigning are the engaging ones.

    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.

  18. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by michiruwater View Post
    The Lord of the Rings.

    The books just bored me but the movie trilogy is one of my absolute favorites.
    Quote Originally Posted by oleada View Post
    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.
    I read the books after the 2nd movie. Glad I waited, because I never would have wanted to see Tom Bombadile or whatever his name was bouncing around the forest with the hobbits. I didn't like the character assassination of Aragorn though. His heart was always with Arwen, he never paid attention to Eowyn. And Eowyn and Borimir's backstory was woefully underserved by Jackson too - it was beautifully written (without a lot of prancing and such).

    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

  19. #99

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    Quote Originally Posted by Indra486 View Post
    I fastforward those things, including the long winded description of the locations. LOTR is good storywise but Tolkien isn't a good writer and it pains me to say that. ... And the books was supposed to be one long epic as opposed to a trilogy.
    That's the main problem I think. The guy wasn't a novelist. I think he absolutely sucked at describing emotions, to an extend that some of his characters seemed kind of two-dimensional to me. I read the books several times, also some of the books with the back stories - but it feels more like reading a mixture of history books and fairy tales. Which is okay, if you don't expect anything else. His imagination was fabulous of course and he was an incredible linguist.

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    Quote Originally Posted by emason View Post
    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.
    It happens. I got an A in calculus without understanding one thing about it from beginning to end. (That's a short story, though: very tiny class = lots and lots of individual attention from the teacher.)

    Quote Originally Posted by dbell1 View Post
    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'.
    Which Little Princess did you read? The father doesn't off himself, he gets sick and dies.
    Charter member of the "We Always Believed in Ashley" Club and the "We Believe in Ricky" Club
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