Marie Antoinette gets a revival and a more flattering coat of paint in this first installment of the new Marie Antoinette series by Juliet Grey.
What can I say? I have always been fascinated with a handful of historical leading ladies and Marie is one of the top 5. When I thought of her before this book, I pictured lush, scrumptious desserts and wispy cotton candy hair piled high on an overly pampered and exceedingly empty head. Think the Kirsten Dunst movie adaptation, which I loved by the way. After reading Becoming, which chronicles Marie's story from childhood to her husband's rise to the French throne, I feel like historians and poorly informed high school history teachers have been pulling the wool over my eyes. I realize this is historical fiction, however the author leaves us readers a note at the end about what is historically accurate and what she embellished for story's sake.
Written from Marie's perspective and supplemented by journal entries and correspondence between the major players in her accession to dauphine, Becoming Marie Antoinette allows the reader to feel a kinship with this infamous historical figure. Another thing that struck me as unique and pleasing was Grey's characterization of Louis Auguste. Rather than the cold, indifferent husband he is most commonly represented as, Grey offers us a shy, and painfully socially awkward boy. The way she progresses the relationship between him and Marie is both frustrating and achingly sweet.
This book would be a great way for anyone interested in learning more about this wonderful heroine, to become better acquainted with the young Marie Antoinette. I enjoyed reading this book very much and look forward to the next release, Days of Splendor, Days of Sorrow, which is expected to be published sometime in 2012. ...more
I ddin't get very far in this book as it was written in a very unusual way. The writing was a bit stif for me and all the insertions of recepies was dI ddin't get very far in this book as it was written in a very unusual way. The writing was a bit stif for me and all the insertions of recepies was distracting. I will try again sometime in the future if not only for my love of the movie....more
Leaving Mundania is a non-fiction, in-depth look into the world of live action role playing and the people who have made it a lifestyle.
If you are a regular on my blog, then you know I am nerdy and proud. Now although I'm an avid gamer, I can't say that I've delved much into the world of LARP. I mean, I have cosplayed at anime conventions, but I don't really consider that to be the same thing. I did play table top RPGs with my high school buddies a couple times, but it just wasn't something I got into. Now years later in my adulthood I have found a sudden interest in this subject. While I don't expect to go jumping into a LARP convention anytime soon, I do see the experience in a whole new light. I picked up this book out of curiosity and came out intrigued and endeared thanks to the wonderful compilation of stories and information that Stark has put together.
I love that this book doesn't just seek to dump information into your lap about a subject you probably know little about. Stark informs her reader through the telling of her actual personal experiences and the often heartwarming and comical stories of LARPers she has interviewed. I didn't feel like I was being talked down to by some self-important expert on the subject. I felt like I was being led, hand-in-hand, through the entire process of starting up to becoming a part of the community. I think people interested in the subject will find Leaving Mundania a lot of fun.
Another thing that I found interesting while reading this book was that LARP may very well be a great device for authors. How you may ask? Well, as explained in this book, LARPers explore the characters they have created during each session of gaming. One of the most important things an author needs to do before they even put pen to paper is to get to know their characters. What better way than to actually put themselves into their characters' shoes and see how they would react in a plethora of improvised situations? I could see this process truly immersing an author into the characters they wish to write about and allowing them to reach an entirely new level of development. I could just be nuts, but it's at least something to ponder I think.
The Final Verdict Leaving Mundania is a fun and informative read that will satisfy your curiosity and quench your thirst for nerd culture.
FTC Disclosure I was provided a review copy of this book by Netgalley and Chicago Review Press in exchange for an honest review. I received no compensation for my review. All opinions are my own....more