Just wow. I had seen the 1952 movie version staring Stewart Granger, which blew me away for a “period/historical drama” (French Revolution) film of th...moreJust wow. I had seen the 1952 movie version staring Stewart Granger, which blew me away for a “period/historical drama” (French Revolution) film of the time. The movie really deserves its own stand alone review, and I highly recommend it. I will try not to give away too many spoilers but it is important to note that though the movie is very faithful to the essences of the original work it is a very unique adaptation. The uniqueness is partly due to the fact that the movie is only has a couple of hours to tell the story whereas you would need at least one BBC mini-series to have a more in-depth yet truthful adaptation.
Ok, enough on adaptations (for now anyways). Here is the basic background of what we know of our protagonist, Andre Louis Moreau, when we first meet him. Andre is the illegitimate son of a noble born woman, her identity beyond such is unknown except to her friend, a homely nobleman that has raised Andre in the countryside as his godfather. Andre has really only two close friends of his own age growing up, Philippe de Vilmorin, and Aline (niece of Andre’s godfather), both of noble birth. Andre has been raised as a semi noble and trained in the law as a profession as he is known to be illegitimate, though only have unfounded speculation as to whom his parents are. This the known background of Andre when we meet him and before he begins his adventures. Oh, and keep in mind, Andre isn’t considered to be attractive in the conventional sense of the time.
Thankfully the story isn’t as long winded as I was above and throws you into the action as we join Andre as he is walking to meet with his godfather (foster parent) to go over some legal matters when he runs into Philippe. Philippe on his way to speak with a neighboring nobleman, the Marquis de la Tour d’Azyr (simplified to Marquis de Maynes in the movie), to plead with him to temper his punishments with mercy on behalf of a peasant shot simply for poaching on his land. (Yes, here introduced is the villain/antagonist of our story). Andre tries to advise Philippe against such as de la Tour d’Azyr has a reputation for cruelty and abusing his power as a noble, Philippe persists saying that he feels it is his duty as he is training to be a priest. At this point the two men run into Aline.
Aline states that she is taking a walk as due to de la Tour d’Azyr is visiting to “ask” her uncle’s permission to court her. Philippe is horrified and says that she must refuse. Riled says her intention is to consider the match because of the title and money associated. (Don’t hate her yet.) There is a heated argument between Philippe and Aline. Andre primarily stays out of it for he knows that at one point Aline liked Philippe and may have the best chance of convincing her in a head on method, and though Andre likes Aline there is nothing he can “offer” her (having neither title nor money). Philippe heads off to the main house to confront de la Tour d’Azyr about the murdered peasant and to “strongly” advise Aline’s uncle against permitting the courtship and potential marriage. Andre stays back to see if he can change Aline’s mind about the match in a less direct way than Philippe’s immediate and ultimate condemnation of the match. Though Aline cools down Andre is ultimately unsuccessful in convincing her to change her mind.
Andre departs from Aline and heads inside to find Philippe directly admonishing the proud de la Tour d’Azyr in front of the host and other guests. Andre and his godfather are horrified, and de la Tour d’Azyr to save face is forced to say that he is wrong and will reform, suggesting that he and Philippe meet later to discuss things further. Marquis de la Tour d’Azyr leaves, Andre and his godfather try to admonish Philippe for taking de la Tour d’Azyr to task directly and embarrassing him in front of others. They also try to counsel Philippe against meeting de la Tour d’Azyr for fear of some form of retribution, unable to dissuade Philippe from the meeting Andre tags along to try to do some damage control.
During the meeting de la Tour d’Azyr provokes Philippe into slapping him so that de la Tour d’Azyr can demand the satisfaction of a duel. Andre is helpless in stopping the duel and when Philippe is killed Andre attempts to avenge him but has to flee for his own life. Aline helps Andre escape, he then joins a traveling performance troupe. During his time with troupe he plays the character Scaramouche, becomes an important member, gets engaged to owner of the troupe’s daughter when they hear rumors of Andre being noble. The marquis shows up again, now engaged to Aline, and pursues Andre’s fiancé who agrees to be the marquis mistress now that she is disillusioned at finding out that Andre is illegitimate. Andre tries to get the marquis killed at performance and is betrayed by the troupe owner as Andre still has a price on his head. Again, Andre is forced to flee, but this time he ends up learning fencing and getting involved in politics.
During this time Andre becomes reunited with his godfather and Aline (not married). Sparring continues on different levels between de la Tour d’Azyr, there are sparks between Andre and Aline, and finally the French Revolution kicks off. On the night of helping Aline escape Andre’s true parentage is revealed, and it is also revealed that there is a sequel. What?!!!
If you take nothing else away from this review take the first sentence of the book which describes Andre, “He was born with a gift of laughter and sense that the world was mad.” (less)
When first asked to read and review I Thirst I thought from the title that it was a spiritual reading and a personal reflection type book. Something I...moreWhen first asked to read and review I Thirst I thought from the title that it was a spiritual reading and a personal reflection type book. Something I read but don't really review. It was only at a second look at the request that I noticed the words "Catholic Fiction" and agreed to it. Now, I will officially step onto my soapbox.
Jumping in, instead of I Thirst as the title the word Intermission would have fit the plot and general style of story much better. The main characters are young college students dealing with that lovely in-between phase where so much can be in flux. Gina uses a sort of play like style in the aspect that the way things have been for the main character is presented, new “actors” are introduced, conflicts internal & external that arise, then we go into “intermission” to see what will happen next to our characters until our authoress finishes the sequel. I also think the word intermission should be the title as it is used throughout the story, whereas the words I thirst is sorely absent through the majority of the book.
I couldn’t help bonding to the characters as they are so genuine. They feel quite real and seem like people I would know. They each have their own eccentricities and personality defects. The eccentricities and defects show through the best of us not only by actions but by our speech as well. This is represented by the characters’ dialogue throughout the book. In some senses it is perhaps too “real” and makes the story difficult to read at times. The dialogue shows their personality but it can leave the reader with the feeling that they are watching a group of friends talking and telling inside jokes. You want to join in but you feel unintentionally excluded.
Perhaps I just haven’t met that type of person at this point in my life but just two friends writing a story together seems unlikely. Either way the play within the story with the story is a little too Inception movie feel to it – don’t get me wrong, I love the movie Inception but it’s too much. It’s not necessarily a bad idea but it stressed me out as a reader trying to remember all these new characters “late” in the story and what purpose they are supposed to carry in the story.
Finally, I have more of a personal rant here. I know “Catholic Fiction” is fiction written by Catholics for Catholics. A difficulty that is almost strictly an issue for this “new” genre is that the writing can either feel a little too simplified (a, “What? You think I’m stupid?” feel), or too “exclusive”. I am thankful that I Thirst wasn’t overly simplified but it did have some areas of being too “exclusive”. By excusive I mean that it uses a lot of terms and traditions that are strictly Catholic with little or no explanation as to what or why. The reason for the rant at this particular time is that since the characters are so genuine that I think they could reach a much further audience base and act as an introduction to Catholicism.
Inclusion: Gina Marinello-Sweeney is obviously a new author with some areas to fine tune but I plan to read her future books as I couldn’t help bonding with her characters.
Excellent read. I will definitely have to read it again in the near future. I had started reading the book over a year ago, but got distracted by the...moreExcellent read. I will definitely have to read it again in the near future. I had started reading the book over a year ago, but got distracted by the classes that semester. I didn't get to finish the book before I absolutely HAD to return it to the library. The reason for readying the book was because the movie by the same name (directed by Alfred Hitchcock) had caught my attention. Though I had heard from commentary on the movie that Hitchcock had been forced to follow the plot-line "religiously," I've learned from past experiences that though a film adaptation may follow the plot-line almost word for word it misses many of the subtleties the author has written into the nuances of the story. I would say that is the case of Rebecca - especially of the main character we follow throughout the whole tale. Not to say that Hitchcock's work isn't excellent, it is, I just sort of wish I could see what he would have done with the movie if he had been allowed more freedom.
I haven't said much about the book itself, but that is because I want to be able to read it in one relatively smooth read (not almost year between the first and second half). It will probably be awhile,however, as I have quite a bit of catching up to do on Good Reads. Then maybe I will give a more in-depth review - perhaps with the added aspects of some of the other works of Daphne Du Maurier (and some other stories that Hitchcock bases some of his movies on!). (less)
Heidi is another classic that has undergone many different film adaptations - none of which have quite managed to capture the original. Even though th...moreHeidi is another classic that has undergone many different film adaptations - none of which have quite managed to capture the original. Even though this was ready to me many years ago and I can't remember the exact names of all of the characters, their personalities are still vivid in my memory.
I need to read this one again. I perhaps got to feel what it was like to be one of the "original readers," when my library copy was due and my renewal...moreI need to read this one again. I perhaps got to feel what it was like to be one of the "original readers," when my library copy was due and my renewals used up. Yes, Rebecca is actually two books in one - more like part 1 & 2 of cohesive story. Either way I had finally started reading Rebecca to compare and contrast the Hitchcock co-direct movie to the original to try in figure out some of the Master's magic, but had gotten distracted by a thing called "senior year" of college. Once I graduated one of my first books I (re)picked up was Rebecca, and finished the book in about a week or less.
I was impressed not only by Hitchcock's skill in adapting the original story, but also the original masterpiece. In fact, the original made the movie version look much clunkier than I had anticipated. Of course Hitchcock had no option but to co-direct, still it would have been interesting to see what it could have been if he could have been the sole director.(Mini-Spoiler)Daphne du Maurier MAKES you feel along with her unnamed heroine, so that even if you know the basics of the story you are still left in doubt and amazement by your "new" and somewhat seemingly aloof and mysterious husband. Are you loved and treasured, or are you a cute "pet"/substitute for the perfect deceased first wife of Max De Winter. (More review and more spoilers to after the re-read.)
**spoiler alert** The author has talent, but though I enjoyed reading it at the time I'm not sure I would read it at the time. The author's writing st...more**spoiler alert** The author has talent, but though I enjoyed reading it at the time I'm not sure I would read it at the time. The author's writing style is essentially why I kept reading it. The story in my opinion is a little cheesy. It almost seemed like the main character, Maisie Dobbs, was supposed to be some kind of cross between Sherlock Holmes/Charlie Chan/a psychologist. One of those characters where it's just like yeah right. Of all the things that I have to say that I liked was the back story/romance (yeah I know it sounds cheesy but hear me out), as it deals with the way WWI essentially destroyed a huge chunk of the class system in England, and that the "romance" in the book rings true to the fact that there many unfulfilled romances due to the war, even though both made it out alive. The author doesn't try to make WWI into a fairy tale, I guess is what I am trying to say in short, and I like that. (less)
This is actually the first book I read of the series. I picked it up because of the title, which I was thinking was an interesting play on words, and...moreThis is actually the first book I read of the series. I picked it up because of the title, which I was thinking was an interesting play on words, and I don't like bland titles. (less)