Sunday, 9 February 2014
Mini Reviews: Pride and Promiscuity, Raven Girl, A Christmas Carol, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Pride and Promiscuity: The Lost Sex Scenes of Jane Austen by Arielle Eckstut and Dennis Ahston
Ugh, this book was the worst. THE WORST. Curiosity and hope that it would be funny caused me to read it. But it was more cringe-worthy than funny. It is what the title suggests: sex scenes involving Jane Austen's characters. And Jane Austen is now rolling in her grave. It's basically really bad fan fiction, and some of it is incredibly disturbing. The worst is a scene in which the Bingley sisters basically rape Jane Bennet. It's awful. Don't read this book.
Raven Girl by Audrey Niffenegger
As a modern fairy tale, Raven Girl is everything a fairy tale should be: whimsical, magical and just a bit violent, sad and disturbing. It tells the story of a man who falls in love with a raven, and the halfling daughter they have. The notion of a human and raven having a baby - or, more specifically, the implication of what they did to have one - is pretty icky, but if you focus more on it being a fairy tale with fairy tale rules (or lack thereof) it is easier to enjoy. I liked the way it blended more fantastical elements with modern realities like science and medicine. The illustrations are ugly but beautiful at the same time, and they fit well with the overall tone of the story. I would actually love to see the ballet version of this.
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, narrated by Tim Curry
Yes, this is how far behind I am with my reviews. I listened to this audiobook over Christmas. While the story was as wonderful as ever, I have to say I was disappointed with Tim Curry's narration. I expected amazing things so that didn't help. It just didn't feel right, and some of his voices were ridiculous and distracting. I think this year I'll just reread it again rather than listen to it (or at least this version).
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty by James Thurber, narrated by Ben Stiller
This is a super short audiobook - like, 11 minutes long. Obviously this is the basis for the movie, which I haven't seen, but judging purely from the trailer they haven't kept a lot from the original story. Walter Mitty is an old man who escapes the tedium of his life and his nagging, annoying wife by going on fantastical adventures in his head. It was a good short story, if a little depressing, and Ben Stiller's narration was quite good. I don't know that I'll bother with the Hollywood version of this story though.