Saturday, March 29, 2008

Pride and Prejudice frenzy

Recently I discovered that I love Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. So I decided to re-read it. Then I found out that there are contemporary sequels. Here are those that I could get my hands on:

Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife by Linda Berdoll
This book took my breath away. It did exactly what I expected. It continued with Darcy and Elizabeth and how they lived happily at Pemberley. Berdoll keeps the characters true to how Austen had originally written them. I was pleasantly surprised to see some very passionate scenes that I know Austen would have not approved of, but thankfully those of us who wished for it, were granted this. I could not put it down. In addition to Darcy and Elizabeth's lives at Pemberley, the world around them changes and all of our favorite characters as well as a few new ones are included. I highly recommend you pick this book up if you would like to read more about these great characters.

Darcy and Elizabeth: Nights and Days at Pemberley by Linda Berdoll

This was a continuation of the first novel but was not very good. It did little to add any good information about their lives and referred too much to the first novel. I guess if you can't get enough of Berdoll's interpretation of these characters you should pick this book up, but I would have done fine without it.

Mr. Darcy's Diary by Amanda Grange
This is written as a daily account of Darcy's life beginning with his sister Giorgiana's almost elopement with Mr. Wickham. I was excited to read a book about Mr. Darcy's account of the events that took place but was not too happy as to how he was portrayed. He seemed to emotional and needy. The book is a written as a diary, but at the same time was giving direct quotes as a narrative. Mr. Darcy was too composed as a gentleman that he would not record in his daily diary with conversations verbatim. He would merely refer to them in passing (I assume). So it did not capture the essence that is Darcy. I didn't much like how the book didn't really explore Darcy's life and what he was doing when he was not at Longborn, Netherfield or Pemberley. It did not give more insight of what I already knew from the original novel. The ending was a bit too plain and not exciting at all. So I would pass over this book. It's not worth the read.

Darcy's Story by Janet Aylmer
This book also covers what Mr. Darcy thought and did during the events mentioned in P&P. What I liked about this one is that he was not the narrator. It explained more about the events that took place and how he came to the conclusions he did. His relationship with his sister is more thoroughly explored which adds to the mystery of how he spoke of Elizabeth to his relations of Giorgiana and his cousin Fitzwilliam, which is alluded to in P&P.

Pemberley by Emma Tennant
I did not care for this book at all. I couldn't get past the 2nd chapter. I was so bored with it because it took forever to get the story going. It concentrated more on other characters like Mrs. Bennett, Mrs. Hursts and not so much on Mr. & Mrs. Darcy.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

I've been seduced.

I am a big movie fan and watch classic movies till the cows come home. Mainly I watch TCM and all those listed on AFI top 100 lists. So in the process I've been meaning to watch The Graduate(1967) with Dustin Hoffman and finally got a chance to do it last week. It was pretty funny. You can feel the uselessness that Ben felt after graduating college.

What I could not handle was the endless music by Simon and Garfunkel. What the hell?! I like the song Mrs. Robinson but after watching this film I don't think I can ever listen to it again. Every time the film didn't have any dialogue Simon and Garfunkel chimed in. It was so annoying!! Stop it with your semi-hippie wanna be dreamlike songs. I couldn't handle it and fast-forwarded all those scenes. I knew when Ben was either lying about, walking or driving, those damned S&G songs will come on. So I suggest you watch it with your finger on the fast forward button. Other than that, the movie was good. I enjoyed the story and the characters. I loved Anne Bankcroft in that role. She owned Mrs. Robinson.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Gone with the Wind continues

Book Review

Rhett Butler's People by Donald McCaig was somewhat disappointing but helped remove the bad taste in my mouth from Alexandra Ripley's Scarlett. This book deals with Rhett Butler's life prior to coming to Georgia and meeting his Scarlett O'Hara. It covers his life in Charleston and the infamous dual that takes place which results in his being shunned from Charleston society and by his father. It's interesting to read about the back story but what I did not like was how McCaig concentrated too much on Rhett's sister Rosemary. Her character was too much like Scarlett in that she had a forbidden love while married and caused scandals by acting upon it. I'm sorry but antebellum Charleston society was way more strict with their ladies and Rosemary's actions were way out of character. I know he was trying to introduce more characters to make the book interesting but missing from the book was more historic detail. I did not like how he glazed over the scenes we are all too familiar with. For example, when Scarlett and Rhett first meet. We all know what happened from Scarlett's point of view but I was looking forward to more from Rhett's head other than, "Wow, she is like no one I have ever met". (no that is not a direct quote, but that was the gist of it.)

What I did love was the interactions between Rhett and Scarlett that he did cover in detail. Loved them! After getting bored with Rosemary and her endeavours I skipped over them right to where Rhett and Scarlett were mentioned. The conclusion of the book was most satisfying in that McCaig ignored Ripley's writings and made up his own conclusion as to how the love crossed pair of Rhett and Scarlett end up. So if you love this story of Gone with the Wind you must pick this book up. But I must warn you, you need to read the actual book of Gone with the Wind. If you only saw the movie then you will be confused.

Big Read

I'm so excited! After some hard work and a hectic schedule our library's Big Read, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts is going to happen. This weekend is our big kick off. So go here if you want to read up on it.

Book Review

Bless me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya is great coming of age story. It's full of folklore and magical realism that takes place in the Southwest.

I have to admit I only read it because of our Big Read, but it kinda grew on me. Pick it up and take a look for yourself.