By: Neil Gaiman
With the movie out in theatres, I decided to check out the novel. My first reaction was on how thin the novel was; fantasy novels these days seem to come in what is called “door stoppers”. I mean, they’re normally huge. So you can imagine the surprise I felt upon picking up Stardust. It’s only ten chapters long and you can pretty much finish it in one evening (I did). Because of how short it is, there’s not much intricate detail into the environment of the Faerie lands. This isn’t a bad thing or anything; Gaiman gives you enough detail to paint an image in your head as to where Tristan and the star are going and the situations they encounter. The story is pretty straightforward and quite to the point but lovely all at the same time; Tristan’s adventure to find the star and bring it back across the wall is fantastical. Gaiman doesn’t go into every single battle he’s fought and every single one of the situations they come across on the road, but you get a sense that they’ve done a lot before reaching back to the Wall. And it’s enough, in my opinion, because the core of the story is very much there. There’s not a lot of books like this out there, so it’s a nice change. Definitely check this out if you’re looking for a quick but interesting read.
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By: Charlotte Bronte
I think this might be the last classic I’ll be reading for a while now that summer’s drawing to a close and school is starting soon enough for me…I had picked it up because I heard it was a really good book and after reading all the Jane Austen books, I’ve been itching for another classic from that time period. I have heard the critiques that Bronte had made about Austen’s works so I wanted to see what sort of story and what sort of heroine she’d written about. Overall, I really enjoyed this novel, it certainly kept me up until wee hours of morning to find out what’ll happen next for Jane. The prose of this novel is a lot different from her sister Emily (which I found confusing for a good part of the time), which made it easier to read and understand. I agree with others who have said that Jane Eyre is definitely a different type of heroine; she’s a woman who strives to stand on her own. Not to mention there really is a sense of hardship throughout the novel as Jane struggles to find happiness and security. And Mr. Rochester is certainly an interesting fellow…you think he’s menacing and uptight and would be a source of problems for Jane but he turns out to be far more interesting that you first assume. It’s also interesting to note how the emotions play out in this novel…Mr. Rochester and (to some extent) Jane Eyre both express their emotions much more freer than what I had expected from customs during this period (then again, I’m not so much of a social historian compared to political history, so I might have missed that detail in British History). The one issue I had with this novel was around Chapter 34 – 37 (might’ve gotten the chapters wrong there). I think it went a bit too slow for the plot, despite the fact that it was establishing Jane and the St. Johns. It’s not enough however to dampen my interest in the novel overall.
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I always try to make a note of reading the books before seeing the movies when it comes to book-to-movie adaptations; I always like to understand where these adaptations come from. Plus, it’s fun to nitpick about what was kept and what was chucked in the movie adaptations (unless the adaptations are like LOTR and Pride & Prejudice where I really loved the adaptations enough to overlook much of the chucking and reduxing). Anyways, I understand that the Bourne movie trilogy is completely way off the mark when it comes to faithfulness to the plot of the novels. After all, the books were based in the time when the threat was really about the Cold War and the politics surrounding it. Vietnam was still a hardcore issue at the time, affecting some of the inner politics and decision-making made by pioliticians. Espionage was fueled by the Cold War. The movies merely reflect the times in which they are made–essentially, now. Anyways, watched the movie today with my family and from the three, this is easily my favourite one of the lot. As always, spoilers follow…
Another movie review that I had originally posted over at my LJ. I saw OotP a while back, July 14th to be exact. I never watched any of the HP movies in the theatres, so that was quite a surprise to say that I wanted to see it in the theatres. And I think this has to be my favourite of the bunch released so far. Ahead lies spoilers.
I decided I ought to add my movie reviews here in this blog as well since I’ve been watching a lot of movies lately in the theatres and been writing some lengthy reviews (unfortunately, not that much for the earlier ones I’ve watched). I warn you now that whenever I comment on movies that have been released in the theatres, I have a tendency to go into quite detail, so there will be plenty of spoilers in these posts. These reviews have been x-posted from my LJ over here, so this post was actually made a while back (according to my LJ, June 3rd, 2007)…anyways, here lies spoilers if you haven’t seen the movie yet…