Posted in Book slices

Book slices: The Giver, the Meaning of Release

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Title: The Giver

Author: Lois Lowry

This haunting story centers on Jonas, who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Not until he’s given his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory does he begin to understand the dark, complex secrets behind his fragile community.

The slice: chapter 19


One of the most intense chapters of The Giver Quartet is in the first book.

Since ‘release’ was first mentioned, I was wondering what exactly it meant. At first I thought it’s obviously death but everyone was too casual, too matter-of-fact about it, so I started doubting myself. Jonas wasn’t sure what it meant either and reading the book from his perspective made me unsure too. Then a little baby was supposed to be ‘released’ so I started hoping it really meant going to a different community. In the case of the elderly it surely had to mean death but the description of the old man being so happy about his own release made me doubt even that.

But then finally in the chapter 19, Jonas gets to watch a release and the story of this colorless world becomes even more disturbing.

The chapter starts with Jonas telling the Giver that his father is releasing a newchild today. There was a set of identical twins and only one could be part of the community, so Jonas wanted to watch the ceremony of release for the other one. His father told him he makes the kid clean and comfy, preforms the ritual and then someone takes the baby away. The Giver tells him that now, as the Receiver, he can and should watch it.

It’s very unsettling to read about Jonas watching the ceremony because his expectations are so different from reality. He watches the tape: his father weighs the twins, gives the bigger one to his assistant and then stays alone in the room with the smaller one.

“Now he cleans him up and makes him comfy,” Jonas told him. “He told me.”

“Be quiet, Jonas,” The Giver commanded in a strange voice. “Watch.”

Obediently Jonas concentrated on the screen, waiting for what would happen next. He was especially curious about the ceremony part.

His father turned and opened the cupboard. He rook out a syringe and a small bottle. Very carefully he inserted the needle into the bottle and began to fill the syringe with a clear liquid.

Jonas first assumes the baby is getting shots. What makes the scene really scary is how his father acts like it’s no big deal. It’s only after the little boy’s body goes completely limp, that Jonas understands what just happened.

He killed it! My father killed it! Jonas said to himself, stunned at what he was realizing. He continued to stare at the screen numbly.

His father tidied the room. Then he picked up a small carton that lay waiting on the floor, set it on the bed, and lifted the limp body into it. He placed the lid on tightly.

He picked up the carton and carried it to the other side of the room. He opened a small door in the wall; Jonas could see darkness behind the door. It seemed to be the same sort of chute into which trash was deposited at school.

His father loaded the carton containing the body into the chute and gave it a shove.

“Bye-bye, little guy,” Jonas heard his father say before he left the room. Then the screen went blank.

The story of Rosemary requesting to be released, and choosing to do it herself, makes this chapter even more memorable and the responsibility of being the Receiver even scarier. Jonas learns a lot that day: about his own power that comes with being the Receiver, about his father and the reality of the world he lives in. Watching the ceremony changes the way he sees everything around him and makes the reader see the story in a whole new light.

Posted in The Shakespeare Challenge

Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare

1625.jpg Set in a topsy-turvy world like a holiday revel, this comedy devises a romantic plot around separated twins, misplaced passions, and mistaken identity. Juxtaposed to it is the satirical story of a self-deluded steward who dreams of becoming “Count Malvolio” only to receive his comeuppance at the hands of the merrymakers he wishes to suppress. The two plots combine to create a farce touched with melancholy, mixed throughout with seductively beautiful explorations on the themes of love and time, and the play ends, not with laughter, but with a clown’s sad song.

 

This is the first play I read for The Shakespeare Challenge. I picked it because I wanted something funny to start with and because I’ve never read this one before. It was a great choice because I loved it… regardless of all the things that didn’t make sense to me.

It starts with Duke Orsino’s speech about his love:

If music be the food of love, play on,

Awww.

Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken and so die.

Oh.

So the beginning isn’t the happiest. Poor Duke is in love with Olivia, who’s not interested at all and has just decided to spend 7 years veiled because her brother died. I know the grieving process varies from person to person, but this seems like overkill.

The second scene introduces Viola, the main female character, who just survived a shipwreck, but her brother may or may not have died. He’s included in the list of characters, so it’s obvious to the readers that he’s alive, but Viola doesn’t know that. So Viola is alone, and she doesn’t even know which country she’s in until the captain tells her it’s Illyria. She decides to disguise herself as a man, and work for the Duke. If Olivia’s grieving process seemed like too much, Viola’s seems like too little. She doesn’t try to go back where she came from, as soon as she’s saved from a shipwreck, she plans out a life for herself in Illyria. I guess Shakespeare just wanted to get to the point.

What a plague means my niece, to take the death of her
brother thus? I am sure care’s an enemy to life.

Yes, Sir Toby, I agree with you.

I liked Toby, Andrew and Maria a lot before their jokes went too far. Sir Toby was trying to get Sir Andrew to marry Olivia, and you’ll see he has great reasons:

SIR TOBY. He’s as tall a man as any’s in Illyria.

Of course, the real reason is money. Sir Andrew is a hilarious character who gets easily confused in pretty much every converstaion he’s part of.

 AGUECHEEK. Bless you, fair shrew.
MARIA. And you too, sir.
SIR TOBY. Accost, Sir Andrew, accost.
AGUECHEEK. What’s that?
SIR TOBY. My niece’s chambermaid.
AGUECHEEK. Good Mistress Accost, I desire better acquaintance.
MARIA. My name is Mary, sir.
AGUECHEEK. Good Mistress Mary Accost-
SIR Toby. You mistake, knight. ‘Accost’ is front her, board her,
woo her, assail her.
AGUECHEEK. By my troth, I would not undertake her in this
company.
Is that the meaning of ‘accost’?
MARIA. Fare you well, gentlemen.

Who greets people with ‘bless you, fair shrew’? Was this a thing in Shakespeare’s time or is Sir Andrew being ridiculous as usual? I should do some research.

Something that’s really missing from this play is the first meeting between Viola and Duke. The story is about how they get together but we don’t get to see them meet? We read about Viola planning to work for him, and in the next scene with her she’s already been working for him for three days and she’s his favorite servant. He doesn’t know she’s a woman so he calls her Cesario, but he loves to talk about how pretty Cesario is. And is there a better way for Duke to get Olivia to want him than to send his prettiest servant? Wow, Duke really didn’t think this through.

 VIOLA. I’ll do my best
To woo your lady. [Aside] Yet, a barful strife!
Whoe’er I woo, myself would be his wife.

After three days of knowing him?!? Shakespeare’s characters fall in love really easily – it’s not realistic, and I prefer slower development, but I’m not gonna hold this against him. The characters need to have strong emotions to get the story to work. Everyone is either not interested at all or head over heels in love with someone, there’s no such thing as mild emotions when you need characters to be motivated to do ridiculous things.

CLOWN. Many a good hanging prevents a bad marriage

Well, he’s not wrong. I remember from other plays I read years ago, that clowns and fools in Shakespeare’s work are usually there to say wise things while pretending to joke.

The only character whose name I knew before reading this play was Malvolio. I knew nothing else about him, so at first I was surprised that he was just a minor character, and then I was surprised that his story really wasn’t that funny. Malvolio is a steward to Olivia, but he wants to be more than that. He’s also the one that announces Viola when she comes to deliver Duke’s message:

OLIVIA. What kind o’ man is he?
MALVOLIO. Why, of mankind.
OLIVIA. What manner of man?
MALVOLIO. Of very ill manner; he’ll speak with you, will you or no.
OLIVIA. Of what personage and years is he?
MALVOLIO. Not yet old enough for a man, nor young enough for a
boy…

It’s a woman, actually. And because everyone is falling in love left and right, Olivia falls in love with Viola, except she thinks it’s Cesario. As I (and probably every other reader) predicted.

VIOLA. My master loves her dearly,
And I, poor monster, fond as much on him;
And she, mistaken, seems to dote on me.
What will become of this?

Now the mess has truly started.

I know that there are theories that Shakespeare was bisexual, and I know that people say there’s subtext in his plays that’s not entirely heterosexual, but holy fuck, I didn’t expect something as blatant as Antonio’s relationship to Sebastian.

So Sebastian is Viola’s lost brother, and Antonio is the one who saved his life. Now Sebastian is leaving, and Antonio wants to go with him:

ANTONIO. The gentleness of all the gods go with thee!
I have many enemies in Orsino’s court,
Else would I very shortly see thee there.
But come what may, I do adore thee so
That danger shall seem sport, and I will go.

One of the funniest exchanges in the play happen when Duke figures out that Olivia/Cesario is in love with someone:

  DUKE. Thou dost speak masterly.
My life upon’t, young though thou art, thine eye
Hath stay’d upon some favour that it loves;
Hath it not, boy?
VIOLA. A little, by your favour.
DUKE. What kind of woman is’t?
VIOLA. Of your complexion.
DUKE. She is not worth thee, then. What years, i’ faith?
VIOLA. About your years, my lord.
DUKE. Too old, by heaven!

Haha, if you only knew.

I don’t like Duke. He’s a selfish asshole who doesn’t deserve Viola or Olivia and I don’t believe he’s actually in love with either of them. He tells Viola that women can’t love as strongly as men but Viola tells him off, and also adds a weird comment:

My father had a daughter lov’d a man,
As it might be perhaps, were I a woman,
I should your lordship.

Obvious much? Also, he’s your boss, Viola, control yourself.

Sir Toby, Sir Andrew and Maria are sick of Malvolio so they decide to make him think Olivia is in love with him – the point of all this is simply to embarass the guy. There’s a hilarious scene when Malvolio is talking to himself and imagining that he’s married to Olivia, but he doesn’t know there are people listening. This is also the time when Sir Andrew shows some self-awareness:

MALVOLIO. ‘Besides, you waste the treasure of your time with a
foolish knight’-
SIR ANDREW. That’s me, I warrant you.
MALVOLIO. ‘One Sir Andrew.’
SIR ANDREW. I knew ’twas I; for many do call me fool.

Malvolio really wants to believe he can marry Olivia and be the boss instead of servant, so he falls for a ridiculous letter that Maria forged. The letter says that he has to do things like wear yellow stockings and be rude to people to prove his love. He does exactly that, and Olivia is absolutely freaked out at what’s happening to her usually serious servant, but he just keeps quoting the letter to her:

  MALVOLIO. ‘Remember who commended thy yellow stockings,’-
OLIVIA. ‘Thy yellow stockings?’
MALVOLIO. ‘And wish’d to see thee cross-garterd.’
OLIVIA. ‘Cross-garter’d?’
MALVOLIO. ‘Go to, thou an made, if thou desir’st to be so’;-
OLIVIA. Am I made?
MALVOLIO. ‘If not, let me see thee a servant still.’
OLIVIA. Why, this is very midsummer madness.

At this point, the joke is still funny, but later on, it becomes cruel. The other characters try to convince Malvolio that he’s actually gone mad, and I can’t help but feel sorry for him. Because of his ambition, he believes he has a chance with Olivia, and doesn’t understand that he’s just being used for entertainment.

Olivia is kind of in a similar situation – she believes she has a chance even after Viola makes it clear she’s not interested:

VIOLA. By innocence I swear, and by my youth,
I have one heart, one bosom, and one truth,
And that no woman has; nor never none
Shall mistress be of it, save I alone.

That’s a NO.

But now Sebastian is in town, and Antonio followed him, gave many speeches about his love AND gave his wallet to Sebastian. Those two should have been the main characters.

When Sir Andrew gets into a fight with Viola, Antonio shows up with this proclamation:

ANTONIO. Put up your sword. If this young gentleman
Have done offence, I take the fault on me:
If you offend him, I for him defy you.
SIR TOBY. You, sir! Why, what are you?
ANTONIO. One, sir, that for his love dares yet do more
Than you have heard him brag to you he will.

Poor guy is so heartbroken when he thinks that Sebastian has abandoned him, he doesn’t know he’s actualy defending Viola.

The similarity in looks between Viola and Sebastian makes things even weirder when Olivia accidentaly marries Sebastian. He’s shocked that this woman he doesn’t know wants to marry him, but he goes with it:

SEBASTIAN. What relish is in this? How runs the stream?
Or I am mad, or else this is a dream.
Let fancy still my sense in Lethe steep;
If it be thus to dream, still let me sleep!

The entire mess comes to an end when all the characters end up in the same place and everyone is shocked when they see both Viola and Sebastian:

 DUKE. One face, one voice, one habit, and two persons!
A natural perspective, that is and is not.

Antonio’s reaction is even funnier:

ANTONIO. How have you made division of yourself?

I knew it will end this way, but still, Duke going from heartbroken when he finds out Olivia is married to happy and in love when he finds out Viola is female is way too quick and shows that he doesn’t really care about either of them. Similarly, Olivia doesn’t seem to be bothered by the fact that she married a stranger; after all he looks like the guy she was in love with. Malvolio is the only one who has a realistic reaction to the things that happened to him:

MALVOLIO. I’ll be reveng’d on the whole pack of you.

This could be a great start to a sequel tragedy.

There’s a comment that Fabian makes, that expresses my feelings about the play:

FABIAN. If this were play’d upon a stage now, I could condemn
it as an improbable fiction.

But, improbable or not, it’s ridiculous and crazy and fun. How can anyone think that Shakespeare is boring?

Posted in The Shakespeare Challenge

The Shakespeare Challenge

I’ve been thinking about doing this for a very long time and now I’m finally gonna start!

The plan is to read all of Shakespeare’s plays, and give myself a week for each one (or maybe longer, if real life gets in the way). I also want to reread all of his sonnets, and of course I’m going to blog about the experience. So far I have read 8 plays by Shakespeare, but some of them I barely rememeber reading because I read them during the 24 hour readathon and I was going way too fast. And some I read in Croatian, but translations are never as good as originals. So now I’m going to read all of them in English, take my time, do some research online and try to understand them as well as I can.

I also want to read a book or two on Shakespeare’s life and watch some adaptations of his plays. Basically, I’m in the mood for Shakespeare and hopefully it will last long enough for me to actually finish this challenge.

I’m not going to plan the reading order, except for those plays that are connected – the rest I’ll read in whatever order I feel like. I’m probably going to start with plays I haven’t read before and read a sonnet or two between them.

(I honestly don’t know if I’ll have the time to do this properly but I really want to give it a shot. Good luck to me, right?)

Posted in Poetry

Poetry post: The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot

Today’s post is inspired by Elon Musk’s tweet:

This is one of my favorite poems too and it’s been a while since I read it. But it has such beautiful rhythm, I never get tired of it.

Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question …
Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”
Let us go and make our visit.

I’m tempted to put the whole poem here, but it’s too long for that so I’m just picking my favorite parts.

There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.

This part always reminds of The Chocolate War, an amazing book whose protagonist thinks of those lines when he has a difficult choice to make:

Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

It’s a sad poem. It tells the story of a man who has something important to say and in the end, doesn’t dare to take a risk and actually say it, but keeps wondering Would it have been worth while…  The description of his feelings while he tries to decide if he’s gonna say it or not time yet for a hundred indecisions, and for a hundred visions and revisions is such an accurate portrayal of a person trying to make himself feel brave but already giving himself a way out: I don’t have to go through with this, I still have time to change my mind. It’s something I relate to a lot and considering the popularity of the poem, I think a lot of other people find it relatable too.

 

 

Posted in Monthly Wrap-Up

Monthy Wrap-Up: April 2017

When it comes to reading, this month started great and ended great – but there were some bad books in between. I read 10 book this month, which is less than I wanted to. I’ve been reading less this year, I get too distracted with other stuff and this needs to change.

So, the books I read in April are:

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The best books I’ve read this month are The Elon Musk Blog Series – a great explanation of everything Elon Musk’s companies are doing and The Giver – I read this for the 24 hour readathon and it’s the book that ‘saved’ this readathon for me. I’m gonna read the rest of the series asap.

There was only one more 5 star book his month and that was Generation Kill – but it doesn’t seem right to say that I’ve enjoyed it. But it’s quite harsh and honest and that’s what makes it great.

I didn’t give any 1 star ratings this month but there were two books were VERY close to that: Forever and After the War is Over. I thought they were both really badly written and very dissppointing. Ugh, I hate wasting time on bad books.

This month, I wrote a Poetry Post and a Book Slice post. Those will become regular posts on my blog, I wanna share the poetry I love and talk about certain parts of books, be it a chapter, a paragraph or just one line.

In happy news: SKAM IS BACK!!!

But it’s the last season 😦

Still, this is the first time I’m watching it ‘in real time’, and waiting for the next update is killing me. Does anyone else think it would be amazing if Skam continued as a book series? I’m gonna miss the girl squad when the show ends.

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Posted in Readathon

Dewey’s Readathon

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Opening Meme:

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? – Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina 
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? – The Last Man by Mary Shelley
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? – As usual, I forgot to properly prepare for the readathon, but I’m sure I’ll find some snacks in the house.
4) Tell us a little something about yourself! – Hi, my name is Tanja, I’m 26, I’ve been a book blogger for about 5 years, but I’ve recently changed my blog name. 
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to? – I’ll try to sleep less and read more. I’m also gonna check for Skam updates during every reading break 🙂

Finished reading:

  • Forever – Judy Blume
  • The Things that Make Me Weak and Strange Get Engineered Away – Cory Doctorow
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry

 

Closing Meme
1. Which hour was most daunting for you? – Most of them, I had a reader’s block in the middle of the readathon.
2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a reader engaged for next year? – The Giver by Lois Lowry
3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next season? – Quite a few posts on the website were late this year, I know there were tehnical difficulties, so it would be great if that was fixed.
4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? – The focus on charity is really cool. 
5. How many books did you read? – 3
6. What were the names of the books you read? – They’re listed above.
7. Which book did you enjoy most? – The Giver, it’s incredible.
8. Which did you enjoy least? – Forever by Judy Blume
9. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? – I’ll definitely participate as a reader, hopefully I’ll read more than this time. 

Posted in Book slices

Book slices: Oliver Twist, The Beginning

18254.jpg Title: Oliver Twist

Author: Charles Dickens

After escaping from the dark and dismal workhouse where he was born, Oliver finds himself on the mean streets of Victorian-era London and is unwittingly recruited into a scabrous gang of scheming urchins. In this band of petty thieves Oliver encounters the extraordinary and vibrant characters who have captured readers’ imaginations for more than 150 years: the loathsome Fagin, the beautiful and tragic Nancy, the crafty Artful Dodger, and perhaps one of the greatest villains of all time—the terrifying Bill Sikes.

The slice: the first chapter


Among other public buildings in a certain town, which for many reasons it will be prudent to refrain from mentioning, and to which I will assign no fictitious name, there is one anciently common to most towns, great or small: to wit, a workhouse; and in this workhouse was born; on a day and date which I need not trouble myself to repeat, inasmuch as it can be of no possible consequence to the reader, in this stage of the business at all events; the item of mortality whose name is prefixed to the head of this chapter.

Words cannot describe how much I love this sentence. It’s one of my favorite first lines ever and it pulled me in immediately the first time I read it. I’m actually not a big fan of Oliver Twist (it’s a good book but it’s not one of my favorites), but the first chapter is one of the best openings that I’ve ever read.

And imagine how boring it could have been, if Dickens gave us the information that he declares as unimportant in the first line. If I knew the name of the city and the date on which Oliver was born, I wouldn’t have been so into the book from the start, but he says it doesn’t matter and oh, why say ‘a child was born’, when you can say ‘item of mortality’, and suddenly I’m all in.

The first chapter of Oliver Twist is called Treats of the place where Oliver Twist was born and of the circumstances attending his birth and I absolutely love the long and descriptive names of chapters that Dickens uses. I’m always happier when a book has actual names for chapters instead of just numbers – it’s more fun and if I’m looking for a specific part of the book, it’s much easier this way.

The fact is, that there was considerable difficulty in inducing Oliver to take upon himself the office of respiration,—a troublesome practice, but one which custom has rendered necessary to our easy existence; and for some time he lay gasping on a little flock mattress, rather unequally poised between this world and the next: the balance being decidedly in favour of the latter.

If there are two ways to write something, Dickens will pick the longer one. So many writers could not get away with this – I have wondered quite a few times why some author choose to go on and on instead of getting to the point. In this book, I love it.

What an excellent example of the power of dress, young Oliver Twist was! Wrapped in the blanket which had hitherto formed his only covering, he might have been the child of a nobleman or a beggar; it would have been hard for the haughtiest stranger to have assigned him his proper station in society. But now that he was enveloped in the old calico robes which had grown yellow in the same service, he was badged and ticketed, and fell into his place at once—a parish child—the orphan of a workhouse—the humble, half-starved drudge—to be cuffed and buffeted through the world—despised by all, and pitied by none.

Dickens is full of criticism for society and its treatment of poor people and especially poor children. The first chapter describes Oliver being born, his mother dying immediately after, and the two people who happen to be around, the nurse and the surgeon, obviously don’t have much interest in his well-being. Everything points to Oliver having a horrible future.

The story of Oliver Twist’s birth is not funny, but I can’t read it without a grin on my face. It’s been years since I’ve read the whole book, but I’ve read the beginning so many times 🙂

Posted in Poetry

Poetry Post: Aftermath by Siegfried Sassoon

Have you forgotten yet?…
For the world’s events have rumbled on since those gagged days,
Like traffic checked while at the crossing of city-ways:
And the haunted gap in your mind has filled with thoughts that flow
Like clouds in the lit heaven of life; and you’re a man reprieved to go,
Taking your peaceful share of Time, with joy to spare.
But the past is just the same–and War’s a bloody game…
Have you forgotten yet?…
Look down, and swear by the slain of the War that you’ll never forget.

Do you remember the dark months you held the sector at Mametz–
The nights you watched and wired and dug and piled sandbags on parapets?
Do you remember the rats; and the stench
Of corpses rotting in front of the front-line trench–
And dawn coming, dirty-white, and chill with a hopeless rain?
Do you ever stop and ask, ‘Is it all going to happen again?’

Do you remember that hour of din before the attack–
And the anger, the blind compassion that seized and shook you then
As you peered at the doomed and haggard faces of your men?
Do you remember the stretcher-cases lurching back
With dying eyes and lolling heads–those ashen-grey
Masks of the lads who once were keen and kind and gay?

Have you forgotten yet?…
Look up, and swear by the green of the spring that you’ll never forget.

I just finished reading a book called After the War Is Over by Jennifer Robson, that I didn’t enjoy very much, but it’s not all bad because it introduced me to this poem.

I’m in a war literature phase right now. I’m reading Generation Kill at the moment, and I just picked up Mila 18 from the library, and there are some Band of Brothers books I’ve been meaning to read for a while. The thing is, sometimes when I read a war book or watch a war movie, I get so into it that in a way I start to romanticize it, even though I know that’s not right. This poem reminds me exactly why it’s not right.

Posted in Monthly Wrap-Up

Monthly Wrap-Up Post: March 2017

The books I read:

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The plan was to review more books but I ended up only writing reviews for the books I got from publishers. All the books I read this month were pretty good, except for Stardust that was very disappointing. The movie was definitely better and I’m not even a big fan of that movie.

After reading The Thorn Birds, I tried to watch the show, but only got through one and a half episodes… it’s really not very interesting.

But I finally watched The Man From U.N.C.L.E. – I heard it’s really bad, but I actually kinda liked it. It’s not the best movie ever, but it has some good moments.

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Posted in Comic Books, Reviews

Review: Manga Classics: Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

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Title: Manga Classics: Sense and Sensibility

Authors: Stacy King, Po Tse, Jane Austen

Genre: Comic Books

When Elinor Dashwood’s father dies, her family’s finances are crippled. After the Dashwoods move to a cottage in Devonshire, Elinor’s sister Marianne is torn between the handsome John Willoughby and the older Colonel Brandon. Meanwhile, Elinor’s romantic hopes with Edward Ferrars are hindered due to his prior engagement. Both Elinor and Marianne strive for love while the circumstances in their lives constantly change.
Manga Classics brings new life to Jane Austen’s very first novel. Sense and Sensibility is a classic tale about love, romance and heartbreak in this brilliant manga adaption.

Rating: 3/5

I received this book on Netgalley in exchange for a review.

This was a good enough adaptation of Sense and Sensibility, but I felt it was too sentimental, in a way that I don’t remember the original work was. But I read it years ago, so my memory might not be the most accurate.

Like with other manga adaptations, it takes some time to get used to everyone looking younger than they are supposed to be. When I think of Colonel Brandon, I see Alan Rickman because that’s the first adaptation of Sense and Sensibility that I’ve watched, but the character drawn in this manga is much younger and much more conventionally good looking. I thought the art for female characters was much better than for male characters.

I always found Marianne’s story more interesting than Elinor’s and it was like that in this manga too. Sorry, Elinor, but you’re too sensibile to be a lot of fun next to Marianne and her Willoughby drama.

Reading all those adaptations of Austen’s works makes me want to reread all of Austen’s actual works. But if I read this manga without knowing the original story, I doubt it would have made me interested in Austen.