Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Book is Always Better Than the Movie

The last book that we read in my book club was The House of Mirth, by Edith Wharton, which I loved.  I was surprised that I'd never read it before, and enjoyed everything about it: the rich language, descriptions of the opulent Edwardian society-girl lifestyle, the tragedy of unrequited love... By the end of the book I was crying harder than I've cried over any book I've ever read, I think.  I definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a good book to read.  However, I feel the opposite way about the movie!  The movie, starring Gillian Anderson, is just horrible.  The scenes are gorgeous, the costumes perfect, and Anderson is very good at playing the Lily Bart with a furrowed brow, especially at the end when she is so haunted and melancholy.  But the rest of the acting is just horrible--slow and stilted.  The actor who plays the love of Lily's life comes off as preachy and sissified, with a high-pitched voice.  Some major characters are combined into one person, events are similarly topsy-turvy, and the end is just all wrong!  I can't tell you why, because it would give it all away, but the moment of redemption for Lily in the book is completely gone from the movie, which casts a completely different light on the whole tragic end, but for the worse.  I didn't like it at all.  So, read the book but skip the movie!

Next up for book club is The Help, which I've already read, so I've decided to do something different, starting now.  I'm going to read every book of my husband's.  Not all in one month, of course.  He has a lot!  No, I'm going to start now and read them all in however much time it takes, even the science textbooks.  I might save "Mein Kampf" for last, though, in hopes that I'll never get through them all in my lifetime!  C has a wide and varied taste in books, everything from politics to sea-stories to poetry to classic literature to Mad magazine compilations.  Where to begin?  I thought I'd start with Dracula, this being October and all.  I've never read it before!  Best of all, C's copy is annotated, so it's full of illustrations and tangents, which I love.  I'll review it here when I'm done.

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