Added 2/14/14. RE: Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe I listened to the unabridged audio version of this book, read by John Lee. I had always wondered whatAdded 2/14/14. RE: Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe I listened to the unabridged audio version of this book, read by John Lee. I had always wondered what the book was like. Now I know. It's 11 hours long but it keeps your attention. At times it's a bit long-winded but, considering that, it's well-paced. Each time you think that there just couldn't be another phase to the story, Robinson Crusoe, who is the narrator, manages to come up with a new phase to his adventures. I liked the way Daniel Defoe made Robinson Crusoe's story seem very up close and personal. Four Netflix stars.
THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND ABOUT THIS BOOK:
"Robinson Crusoe marked the beginning of realistic fiction as a literary genre." -Wiki
"Written nearly 300 years ago [pub. 1719], it deserves every merit it can receive." -From a GR member comment...more
The film won many awards: Awards included Academy Award Oscars for: -Best Cinematography -Best Art Direction-Set Decoration -Best Costume Design -Best Music, Scoring Original Song Score and/or Adaptation Nominations included: -Best Picture -Best Director -Best Writing SEE AWARD DETAILS HERE: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0072684/a...
Although Ryan O'Neal didn't receive an award, I thought he did a good job playing the part of Barry Lyndon in an understated way. At times he seemed emotionless but perhaps that's what the part called for. I can't imagine how another actor would portray the character.
The film left me wondering how much of Barry Lyndon's fate was his own fault and if he deserved the way life treated him. Wiki says that the book provides more details about Lyndon's background. Perhaps they might help the reader understand Lyndon's actions. I am left feeling sorry for Barry Lyndon even though the plot descriptions call him a rogue.
Wiki says that the film doesn't include plot details about the beginning and latter part of Lyndon's life. The book provides more details which might put a different perspective on the character.
http://dvd.netflix.com/Movie/Barry-Ly... "Based on William Makepeace Thackeray's novel, this gorgeously painted tale yields a slow-moving portrait of a young Irishman (Ryan O'Neal) who moves up the social ladder through soldiering, spying and a marriage to a wealthy countess (Marisa Berenson).
Added 1/3/14. This is a heart-warming adventure story about a rural family living in the Kentucky mountains long ago. (It was published in 1954 and isAdded 1/3/14. This is a heart-warming adventure story about a rural family living in the Kentucky mountains long ago. (It was published in 1954 and is about 191 pages long.) It kept my attention throughout and was a cozy escape to another time and place. Easy reading for a young adult yet very enjoyable for an adult. Enough suspense to keep you reading but not strenuous at all.
Mildred Mastin Pace wrote with great warmth. She must have been a lovely person. At the end of the book there is a page called "About the Author". (I couldn't find much about her online.) See an excerpt below: ====================================== "Mildred Mastin Pace was born and grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. But summers she spent in Kentucky where her father's people lived and it was there that she came to know the mountains and the mountain people. When she was fifteen, her whole family moved back to Kentucky. There, between high school and college, she worked for a year at Berea College, a school for Southern mountaineers, and taught one year in a "backwoods" country school. "Her career as a writer began when she started to work her way through Cornell College, Iowa, by writing for Middle Western newspapers. ... she has worked for various publications, written for radio and magazines ... and [has] become the successful author of a number of historical biographies..." ======================================= NOTE: According to the following linked page, Pace died in 1992. (No birth date is given.): http://www.janebadgerbooks.co.uk/usa4...
Added 10/18/13. I did not read the poem. Instead I watched the film described below. I found the film to be very slow-paced. It was moderately interestAdded 10/18/13. I did not read the poem. Instead I watched the film described below. I found the film to be very slow-paced. It was moderately interesting. So I watched it in bits and pieces. I agree with the following viewer comments at Netflix: "Native American life portrayed in a beautiful way in an idealistic setting." ... "Not a bad movie, although the dialog was not very impressive. Nice scenery and had a good message." ... "I only watched this movie because I wanted to see Native hip-hop artist Litefoot, who plays the leading role. Besides Litefoot, this movie has has a great cast of excellent Native American actors like Graham Greene, Adam Beach, Gordon Tootoosis, Sheila Tousey, and Irene Bedard."
"Song of Hiawatha" (1997) FILM - DVD FROM OUR PUBLIC LIBRARY (Oct. 2013)
NETFLIX DESCRIPTION: "In this film based on Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's epic poem, a priest (David Strathairn), a French trapper (Michael Rooker) and an American Indian interpreter (Graham Greene) search for the legendary Ojibway leader Hiawatha (Litefoot). Although no one seems able to produce the brave chief, nearly everyone they encounter is happy to share tales of him, bringing to life the story of the bighearted boy who grew into a great and courageous warrior."
COMMENT AT A REVIEW AT IMDb: "I guess it held to Longfellow's imaginative poem okay, but the real story of the REAL Hiawatha, it is not." FROM: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120163/r... ====================================== BELOW ARE SOME RELATED COMMENTS FROM MY ONLINE GOODREADS BOOK GROUP:
Hiawatha - A fictional character in the epic poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, The Song of Hiawatha (1855). It is loosely based on the legends. According to the legend, Hiawatha was a legendary Native American leader [a male] and co-founder of the Iroquois confederacy. Depending on the version of the narrative, Hiawatha lived sometime between the 15th and 16th centuries and was a leader of the Onondaga or the Mohawk, or both. [THIS INFO WAS GATHERED FROM WIKIPEDIA.]
I found some interesting info about Hiawatha at: http://pambies.tripod.com/hiawatha.html The article isn't too long and explains things well. EXCERPTS: "...nothing in Longfellow's poem relates in any way to the great Iroquois reformer and statesman."
"The hero of Longfellow's poem Hiawatha is drawn from the writings of Henry R. Schoolcraft, who had confused the real Hiawatha with a Chippewa deity."
Added 9/25/13. I did not read this book. I watched the film adaptation via Netflix: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0180793/?... "The Last September" (1999)Added 9/25/13. I did not read this book. I watched the film adaptation via Netflix: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0180793/?... "The Last September" (1999) "In 1920s Ireland, an elderly couple reside over a tired country estate. Living with them are their high-spirited niece, their Oxford student nephew, and married house guests, who are trying to cover up that they are presently homeless. The niece enjoys romantic frolics with a soldier and a hidden guerrilla fighter. All of the principals are thrown into turmoil when one more guest arrives with considerable wit and unwanted advice."
Very stylized and hard to follow.
Berardinelli: http://www.reelviews.net/movies/l/las... "The Last September is a brooding, moody motion picture with a powerful atmosphere that emphasizes the sense of encroaching doom. ... The Last September does not represent a celebration of times gone by; instead, it is a sober reflection of the dangers of acting like an ostrich and sticking one's head in the sand."
Ebert: http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/the... "Deborah Warner's "The Last September" is set during the next act of the decline of the Anglo-Irish. It takes place in 1920 in County Cork, where Sir Richard Naylor and his wife, Lady Myra, preside over houseguests who uneasily try to enjoy themselves while the tide of Irish republicanism rises all around them. British army troops patrol the roads and hedgerows, and Irish republicans raid police stations and pick off an occasional soldier. It is the time of the Troubles." ... "The movie is elegantly mounted."
======= Added 6/25/13. A local book group has selected this book for its July 2013 discussion.
I finished reading this book on 8/2/13. I found the novel======= Added 6/25/13. A local book group has selected this book for its July 2013 discussion.
I finished reading this book on 8/2/13. I found the novel to be very fragmented. It didn't gel together as a whole. To me, it lacked a resolution and left me puzzled as to what the story was actually about. I did enjoy the parts with the folklore about the deathless man and about the tiger. However, how they fit into the story of the grandfather, as a whole, wasn't clear to me. (The same goes for the story of the bear.) The excellent review of GR member, Nadine Millar, at the following link echoes my thoughts: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...
PS- Another interesting review is at: http://www.wordriot.org/archives/3185 Excerpts of the review are below: ================================== "The Tiger’s Wife layers three war-ridden narratives, which would’ve been more powerful if they were independent novellas, that start to criss-cross towards the end. The muddled rendering, consisting of unnecessary story lines and characters –which sometimes end up unresolved–told by two narrators with varying degrees of skill and charm, leads to some confusing reading (I constantly had to refer back to remind myself who someone was), which makes the novel difficult to adequately describe. ... "Natalia’s narration also relies far too heavily on Obreht’s incredible ability to write long, lyrical sentences, which summarize events and people’s lives in seconds, instead of letting the reader experience the events and lives themselves." ... "The story of the tiger’s wife is also unnecessarily long and drawn-out, and about three quarters of the way through it becomes uninteresting. ... The Tiger’s Wife lacks the emotional punch it could have because the irrelevant storylines extinguish the novel’s steam. Many pages of this book could’ve been cut, with that narrative energy being directed elsewhere (like explaining how her grandfather actually died)."
PPS-I agree with the following critique (of The Tiger's Wife) by a GR member: =========================== "The long, long-winded descriptions: Yes, Obreht can write. If this is an exercise in cramming adjectives into sentences (or WOW words, as we call them in Year 2), yep, she succeeded. And she's 25, the youngest ever Orange Prize winner. Ok, I get it, she's talented!
"But what use is this without a real life actual story to tell? (see above). Primarily, Obreht's talent is directed towards describing places, objects, and events, (without emotion, as I said before) in the kind of detail only God would notice. And THAT there is probably my main criticism of the book - because remember, we're dealing with a first person narrative.
"I'm sorry, but a person does not walk into a room and take notice of the way a painting sits half an inch to the left on a wall covered in a fine film of whoknowswhat while some animal scratches beneath the heavy brown floor boards, the ones with the rusty nails protruding out of them threateningly." FROM: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/... ================================
I also agree with the following GR review: ============================ "What stands out for me mostly as to why I didn't like it is the jumping around from characters and settings. It happened so frequently that I found it disconcerting and then just plain annoying." FROM: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/... ============================
I didn't read this book but I watched the film adaptation on 6/16/13 via Netflix streaming. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120532/?... http://movies.netflix.com/WiMovie/The... "Woodsman Giles Winterborne (Rufus Sewell) is destined to marry his sweetheart, Grace Melbury (Emily Woof), a timber merchant's daughter. But when Grace graduates from an elite boarding school, her social climbing instincts get the best of her, and she forsakes Giles. Instead, she opts for an unhappy marriage with a handsome doctor (Cal Macaninch). Through it all, Giles pines for his lost love in this lavish romance based on the Thomas Hardy classic."
I gave the movie 4 Netflix stars out of 5. Beautifully filmed, exquisite scenery, poignant acting by Rufus Sewell as Giles.
NOTE: One of the member-reviews at Netflix states: "...the ending [of the movie] has been changed [from the book] to be more satisfying to the viewer." Also: "The most thrilling episode in the novel, that of the "man-trap", is omitted entirely."
Another member-review at Netflix said the following: =================================== (view spoiler)["...thanks to a couple of the reviewers that let it be known that Giles dies in the end of the movie! I guess I shouldn't read the reviews anymore before I watch the movie. ... I'm not understanding how Giles got sick, then why did he spend the night in the rain and the cold when he is near his home where Grace was? [I think he was trying to stay away from temptation] ... I did like the ending where Grace tells the doc to get lost. ha ha ha" (hide spoiler)] ===================================
The following member-review from Netflix has some interesting comments about Hardy's writing: ==================================== "Many years ago, I read The Mayor of Casterbridge and was immediately hooked on the novels of Thomas Hardy. I read them all. The Woodlanders has always been my favorite. I think it's one of the most "poetic" of his stories. Towards the end of the movie, I waited with bated breath for Marty's speech at the grave. This short speech forms the last paragraph of the book and it's sheer poetry, though not of the rhyming variety. Hardy spent a great deal of his life thinking about why so many good people end up unhappy, how random or chance happenings can change everything in an instant, conversations accidentally overheard (or not overheard), unfulfilled longings, the regrets we may carry with us for a lifetime, etc. I don't know that he had any answers, but he certainly understood the problem and was able to express so beautifully what a lot of people feel. I've never seen a movie made from a Hardy novel that captures this essence, The Woodlanders included. I don't read Hardy for plot and dialogue. I read him for the pleasure of his use of language and his insight into character. This is what the movies just can't convey. The plot and dialogue alone are somewhat empty. Additionally, the movie omits the last part of the book and so it's like hearing a favorite song with the last note or word missing. Poor Marty! With the stroke of a pen, the script writers wrote her out of the story ending, and instead gave Grace the last word. This is a very Thomas Hardian turn of events, by the way. Hardy's characters are never safe from a fickle fate. But it changed Hardy's story in a significant way and robbed us of that final, beautiful speech." ========================================["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Added 4/20/13. Looks interesting. Found it while searching for something else.
Love that line in the title! :) A search of the Internet tells me that itAdded 4/20/13. Looks interesting. Found it while searching for something else.
Love that line in the title! :) A search of the Internet tells me that it was a "line from Renée Zellweger to Tom Cruise in the movie 'Jerry Maguire' (1996)." =================================== WIKI: "'You Had Me from Hello' is the title of a song co-written and performed by American country music artist Kenny Chesney. It was released in April 1999.
In 1996, Chesney saw the movie Jerry McGuire. In one of the film's memorable scenes, Tom Cruise's character gives out a heartfelt speech to Renée Zellweger's character; Zellweger stops Cruise and says 'You had me at 'hello'. Chesney liked the line and decided to write a song about it. Chesney and Zellweger were later married for four months in 2005." FROM: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/You_Had_... ===================================...more
ELIZABETH STROUT INTERVIEW: ================================ What do you plan to read next?
"The Italian writer ElenAdded 4/3/13. (first published 2002)
ELIZABETH STROUT INTERVIEW: ================================ What do you plan to read next?
"The Italian writer Elena Ferrante. I just read about her work and it seems like it might be scarily honest, so I want to check that out." FROM: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/31/boo... ================================
See recommendation here: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/31/boo... INTERVIEW WITH ELIZABETH STROUD: ================================= If you could require the president to read one book, what would it be? Barbara Pym’s “Some Tame Gazelle.” I mean, what a job! You want to think of this guy as having a few minutes to completely relax. If that’s not his cup of tea, he could chase it down with Richard Yates, maybe “The Easter Parade.” ==================================...more
See recommendation here: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/31/boo... INTERVIEW WITH ELIZABETH STROUD: ================================= If you could require the president to read one book, what would it be? Barbara Pym’s “Some Tame Gazelle.” I mean, what a job! You want to think of this guy as having a few minutes to completely relax. If that’s not his cup of tea, he could chase it down with Richard Yates, maybe “The Easter Parade.” ==================================
Hmmm, perhaps I should read some of Pym's writings....more
Added 2/6/13. I am about to watch the film adaptation of this book. One of the reviewers at Netflix called it: "tedious, incomprehensible prattle". I hopAdded 2/6/13. I am about to watch the film adaptation of this book. One of the reviewers at Netflix called it: "tedious, incomprehensible prattle". I hope not!
Edit 2/8/13: I watched the movie. I, too, found much of the movie "incomprehensible". There's a lot of religious talk about faith and God, etc., which often seemed too ambiguous to follow.
The priest is always gloomy. He's sick and his parish doesn't accept him. He tries to help people but seems ineffectual.
PLOT EVENTS: ===================================== An sad old lady dies but before she dies, the priest's rambling religious talk with her helps her to feel less sad. She dies contented.
A father is having an affair with the governess. She attends mass and seems sad. So what. The daughter in that family hates her father. So what. There are lots of scenes showing gloomy or mysterious expressions on characters' faces. Boring.
A young bratty girl makes fun of the priest and then helps him when he's sick. ====================================
That's about it. It all seems very disjointed. There's not enough to support a good plot.
WHY IS THERE SO MUCH PRAISE FOR THIS MOVIE?
IMO, the movie doesn't do a good job of engaging the viewer. I kept watching to see if I could understand the point of the movie, but I still don't understand what the point was. Most of the time you're watching the priest walking through dark woods or mooning around in some other gloomy place. Too much mood and not enough plot.
I tried listening to the commentary offered on the DVD. Some of the analysis is too far-fetched. For example, you see the priest on the outside of a door, looking through a glass window in the door. The commentary explains that this symbolizes the priest's separation from the world. Looking through a window of a door doesn't seem to have that much meaning to me. Are they reading too much into it?
"Diary of a Country Priest" (1951)(Journal d'un curé de campagne)(original title)
Netflix: http://dvd.netflix.com/Movie/Diary-of... NETFLIX DESCRIPTION: "The priest of Ambricourt (Claude Laydu) is a reserved and dedicated young man whose inability to mesh in social situations causes him to feel isolated from the very population he's supposed to be serving. Adding to his troubles are his health problems, which make him unable to carry out his obligations. Growing ill and ever more confused as to what his life really means, the priest is further distanced from his village and from God."...more
I haven't read the book but I did watch the movie. I doubt if I'll read the book.
The movie was very dark, but very compelling. It features a very strong, teen-age female protagonist who exhibits incredible courage in the face of a depressing and frightening situation. The setting is a poverty-stricken section of the Ozarks in Missouri. (They're so hungry that they shoot squirrels for food.)
Added 11/22/12. Below is the comment I posted at my Goodreads Group: ======================================== 11/22/12 - I recently finished watching a NAdded 11/22/12. Below is the comment I posted at my Goodreads Group: ======================================== 11/22/12 - I recently finished watching a Netflix DVD of "White Oleander" (2002), a drama adapted from the book, White Oleander (2001), by Janet Fitch. Haven't read the book but the movie kept me interested because I kept wondering what was to become of the two main characters. The acting was good and so was the dialogue although the movie was peopled with several weird individuals. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0283139/ "A teenager journeys through a series of foster homes after her mother goes to prison for committing a crime of passion." http://dvd.netflix.com/Movie/White-Ol... CAST: Alison Lohman, Michelle Pfeiffer, Robin Wright, Renée Zellweger, Patrick Fugit...
I enjoyed the performances of most of the main characters. Patrick Fugit ( http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0297578/ ) was new to me. I was impressed with the way he played his role (a likable character). (He played the part of a friend of the daughter.) He seems likable as a person too. I see that he's in "We Bought a Zoo" which Jackie recommended. It's in my Netflix queue.
A reviewer at IMDb said: "...while Ingrid's gift is to give Astrid the power to survive, Astrid's gift is to teach her Mother about love." I guess there's some truth to that, now that I think about it. That's a good way to put it. There's lots of room for discussion there.
Another reviewer at IMDb said: "Strong performances by Lohman, Penn, Zellweger and especially Michelle Pfeiffer in a faithful adaptation of Janet Fitch's novel. Not hard to see why this one didn't attract more attention in theaters, since it lacks the ingredients that seem to characterize hit films nowadays -- such as action, violence, sex and stunning special effects. It's just a very moving story, well-crafted and well-acted. I'd recommend it to anyone."
I gave it 4 stars because the story had some depth and it kept my attention. Also, the acting was good. Alison Lohman (the daughter) was remarkable the way she handled the maturing of her character. I had never seen her before.
Michelle Pfeiffer, Renée Zellweger, and Robin Wright are always good, IMO.
Good to know that the movie stayed true to the book.
PS-Reviewer, James Berardinelli, made an interesting comment about "White Oleander". He wrote: "White Oleander is a flower - a hearty-but-poisonous flower whose beauty makes it appear deceptively fragile. This blossom, which appears several times throughout the film that takes its name, is a perfect metaphor for Ingrid Magnussen, the character played by Michelle Pfeiffer. Ingrid is strong, beautiful, and self-possessed, but she acts as a poison to everyone around her, especially her impressionable daughter, Astrid (Alison Lohman), who idolizes her mother. Yet Ingrid acts based on her own whims and desires, without considering how they might ultimately damage the daughter she claims to love." ... "...the central theme, that of a child trying to escape from the pernicious influence of a misguided parent, has universal appeal, and White Oleander's narrative is comfortably linear and uncomplicated."
Berardinelli always nails it. ================================== BTW, there's a negative (one-star) review of the book (by Goodreads member, Matt Lohrke) at the following link: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/... He makes some good points about the book. Of course, not everyone agreed with his take on the book. So his negative review sparked an interesting discussion in the comments under his review. Wonder what he'd think of the movie....more
Added 10/18/12. (first published December 3rd 2011)
I posted the following comment at my group on 10/18/12: ========================================= A fAdded 10/18/12. (first published December 3rd 2011)
I posted the following comment at my group on 10/18/12: ========================================= A friend of our son's girlfriend wrote the following book: The Peacemaker by S.J. Richard
It's in the "Western" genre.
Looks like it has gotten some excellent GR reviews!
So far I see only the Kindle edition among Goodreads records. I've written to the Goodreads Librarians requesting them to add the hard copy edition. See my post here: http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1...
Added 8/6/12 _The Twin_ (2006) by Gerbrand Bakker I haven't read this book but I became engrossed in the GR reviews of it. I first heard of the book froAdded 8/6/12 _The Twin_ (2006) by Gerbrand Bakker I haven't read this book but I became engrossed in the GR reviews of it. I first heard of the book from a member of my GR group.
I did read several pages of this book at the Amazon web page. The web page provides a look inside the book so that a number of pages of the story can be sampled. See: http://www.amazon.com/The-Twin-Gerbra...
See the excellent (and long) GR review of this book at: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/... Excerpt: ===================================== "What's so gothic about The Twin? First and foremost, we're talking about a genre obsessed with stagnation, and with and the inevitable decay and death of the human body and man-made works." (FROM: Emily Johnson's GR review.) =====================================
Excerpts from other GR reviews: ===================================== "I was not drawn into the story the way I usually am with a well-written book. Perhaps I was unable to empathize adequately with Helmer, being younger, female, and more decisive. Or perhaps the quiet, slow moving book was simply not meshing with my reading mood. The result is that although I could appreciate the book, I couldn’t like it." (FROM: Lisa's GR review. She gave it 3 stars out of 5.) http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/... ===================================== "Definitely not a book for all tastes--but it surely was for mine. I read "The Twin" because a website I browse occasionally ranked it as one of the top five international novels of last year, and I'm glad I did. The style is simple, even flat, and the Dutch countryside portrayed here is bleak." (FROM Stephen's GR review.)(He gave it 4 stars.) http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/... ====================================== "It is slow, plodding character study set in Netherlands, translated from the Dutch. The twin is left to run the farm when his brother dies..resents it and his aging father for all the years he missed out on his own dream." (FROM: Linda's GR review.)(She gave it 2 stars.) http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/... ======================================= "Boring and depressive. Not my type of world :)))" FROM: Mirna's GR review.)(She gave it 1 star.) http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/... ======================================= ...more