Re-read 1/25/10: I last read S&S in the mid-1990s when in college. I decided I wanted to re-read it this year after watching the Masterpiece Theat...moreRe-read 1/25/10: I last read S&S in the mid-1990s when in college. I decided I wanted to re-read it this year after watching the Masterpiece Theatre movie a couple weeks ago. The story is one of my favorites by Jane Austen.
I will say that even if the Emma Thompson movie doesn't follow the story verbatim, I still prefer that version of the movie to the more recent Masterpiece Theatre version from last year. I watched the MT version and it was more faithful to the original, but it somehow lacked emotion to me. (less)
I first read this book roughly 20 years ago when I was a Freshman in high school. I am doing a challenge on goodreads where I needed a book published...moreI first read this book roughly 20 years ago when I was a Freshman in high school. I am doing a challenge on goodreads where I needed a book published in 1979. I was curious if this book was as funny as I remembered it being. So, I decided it would make a good re-read for me.
I am such a geek! This novel is still hilarious to me. It didn't feel dated. It was still as zany as I remember. It is still one of my favorite books.
Sometimes I wonder if this book helped influence my career path in Computer Science. I know it influenced my sense of humor ;)(less)
Persuasion is a good read, and it contains quite possibly the most romantic love letter I have ever read. If you like Austen, I recommend you take the...morePersuasion is a good read, and it contains quite possibly the most romantic love letter I have ever read. If you like Austen, I recommend you take the time to read it. And now, I move onto my random musings (thoughts that demonstrate why nobody will invite me to participate in a book club with them). Beware the length of my rambling… I warned you!
What exactly does an apothecary do? I always envisioned an apothecary more of a pharmacist than a typical physician. So, when Charles’ and Mary’s son fell out of a tree, I would think that they would have fetched a surgeon, not an apothecary. Apparently, I am wrong. It just seemed strange to me. Just imagine: ……..Child: I’ve broken my leg and need to have my bone set! ……..Distraught Mother: Fetch the pharmacist! It’s probably just my weird notion of what apothecary means, but the dictionary entry online seemed to make it sound like a drug-dealer as well. Very strange to me. Maybe surgeons didn’t carry around pain killers and opiates? Have to have that Laudanum to numb the pain, I suppose. Then again, when Louisa takes a fall later in the book, they call for a surgeon and not an apothecary, even with no visible wounds. That leaves me totally confused (not that it takes that much to confuse me! hehehe)
Speaking of Louisa’s fall, I found it very amusing that both Charles and Captain Wentworth could not handle the situation. I would expect the usual histrionics from Mary, but for the men not to take charge? They both turned to Anne not knowing what to do. She called for the surgeon. She held Louisa all the while quieting crazy sister Mary, comforting Charles, and trying to relieve the feelings of the Captain. She told them maybe they better carry her to the inn. Go Anne! Woman power! Hehehe. A fun quote from this section of the book: “By this time the report of the accident had spread among the workmen and boatmen about the Cobb, and many were collected near them, to be useful if wanted, at any rate, to enjoy the sight of a dead young lady, nay, two dead young ladies, for it proved twice as fine as the first report.” What better fun by the seaside than going to see dead young ladies! WHEEEE!
More random thoughts. Captain Wentworth announces to his sister: “Anybody between fifteen and thirty may have me for asking.” It is still hard for me to imagine a fifteen year old being a suitable match for marriage, especially to anyone Wentworth’s age (I believe him to be 31). Yes, I understand these were different times. But 15!?!?!?! EEK! That would be half his age and squicks me out. He could easily be a fifteen year old’s father. Icky.
I enjoyed reading Sir Walter’s distaste for men in the navy: 1) referring to a 40 year old Admiral looking like a 60 year old: “…they are are all knocked about, and exposed to every climate, and every weather, till they are not fit to be seen. It is a pity they are not knocked on the head at once, before they reach Admiral Baldwin’s age.” . Kill ‘em off! He has to be at least 40 himself. *laugh* 2) When he learns that his potential Admiral tenant has been in the East Indes since partaking in war in Trafalgar: “Then I take it for granted,” observed Sir Walter, “that his face is about as orange as the cuffs and capes of my livery.” Orange face = oompa loompa from Gene Wilder’s Willy Wonka movie. That is what came to my deranged mind. They could rename his character Admiral Oompa in a movie adaptation.
A particularly good quote from the book (in my opinion): “He could not forgive her, but he could not be unfeeling. Though condemning her for the past, and considering it with high and unjust resentment, though perfectly careless of her, and though becoming attached to another, still he could not see her suffer, without the desire of giving her relief. It was a remainder of former sentiment; it was an impulse of pure, though unacknowledged friendship; it was a proof of his own warm and amiable heart, which she could not contemplate without emotions so compounded of pleasure and pain, that she knew not which prevailed.”
Captain Wentworth’s love letter was divine. I highly recommend reading this book just to get to the last few chapters where the lover letter occurs. Even better, I loved Anne’s reaction to the letter: “Such a letter was not to be soon recovered from. Half an hour’s solitude and reflection might have tranquillized her; but the ten minutes only which now passed before she was interrupted, with all the restraints of her situation, could do nothing towards tranquility. Every moment rather brought fresh agitation. It was overpowering happiness.”
It seems that Jane Austen likes to use the word intercourse where I would normally use something more like the word discourse. I suppose that not using intercourse is just a modern convention on my part. It just struck me as really odd and caught me abruptly a few times. I did, however, notice that Austen used the word discourse as well. It is likely just my remedial vocabulary skills causing me grief over it.
Watching the 90s movie version of Persuasion with my husband, he was convinced that the actress playing the governess that Anne visited frequently in Bath was a man in drag, more specifically a Monty Python character. Every time she came on the screen my husband lost it laughing. After having enough of him shouting “Bring out your dead” at the screen, I lost it laughing as well. Definitely not a bad movie version of the book, however it wasn’t perfect either.
In the latest PBS version of Persuasion to air on television, Sir Walter is played by Anthony Head (Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer). I almost expected Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy) to play Elizabeth and vampires to appear. Overall, I liked the actors/actresses in this version, but I wish they had stayed true to the book a little more. The finale where they have Anne running a marathon and back again almost had me laughing. Still, it is worth a watch. :)
If you actually made it all the way to the bottom of this review, I commend you. You win a cookie. All I have left is gingersnaps. Hopefully, that will be agreeable to you.(less)
I wasn't completely shocked at how it all ended. I won't write any spoilers, but I think that the movie 6 kind of spoiled book 7. If I hadn't seen it,...moreI wasn't completely shocked at how it all ended. I won't write any spoilers, but I think that the movie 6 kind of spoiled book 7. If I hadn't seen it, I think I would have been more surprised at some of the twists in this book.(less)
Re-read 2011: I cried again reading this book, even though I knew exactly what would happen. Funny thing, that :) Original Review 2009: I went into T...moreRe-read 2011: I cried again reading this book, even though I knew exactly what would happen. Funny thing, that :) Original Review 2009: I went into THE HOST thinking I was not going to enjoy it. As a 34 year old female computer scientist, I like science fiction television shows/movies, but I thought the book wouldn't be that good. I had a tough time getting through the first few chapters in the book. I thought the story was a bit too out-there for me, and a bit boring...
However, once the book settled in about 100 pages, I became engrossed by the story of this apocalyptic society of 20+ people living together. Stephenie Meyer's descriptive writing had me picturing every scene with vivid imagery. Her characters seemed more realistic because of their flaws - she didn't write people to be perfect like so many authors. I could feel the characters. I could picture the caves and smell the sulfur. The way Meyer was able to describe something as simple as a character's level of thirst, or sitting in solitude in the dark for hours without speaking or eating... It was gripping.
I could put myself into their situation and asked myself constantly what I would do if it were me. It wasn't so much a book about aliens and science fiction as it was an examination of humans and relationships. I routed for characters to learn from their mistakes. I saw hope in humanity reading this book.
I've read some reviews where people were frustrated with the author making characters to be misogynistic. I believe that is over-simplifying the complex situation that these characters were put into.
The book brought forth a lot of emotion from me. I sobbed during sections of the book because it was so moving and emotional - yet, I didn't feel depressed reading it. It was almost cleansing. I highly recommend this book (though there will always be people that don't like it). To me, it was very much worth reading. Just believe me that it will get better if you find the first few chapters a struggle to read. (less)
Several years ago I watched the BBC production of Wives & Daughters and had a strong intention to read the book by Elizabeth Gaskell. I finally ha...moreSeveral years ago I watched the BBC production of Wives & Daughters and had a strong intention to read the book by Elizabeth Gaskell. I finally had the opportunity to read the novel and enjoyed it. The beginning and ending for me was a bit anti-climatic, but I really adored the characters that Gaskell portrayed throughout the bulk of the book.
Molly, the heroine, was a bit sassy at times, but yet was constructed by the author to be of the highest character. On the otherhand, Cynthia, her step-sister, seemed to be very immature and had a callous and flippant disregard towards any men in the novel who showed the slightest inclination toward her. Despite her apparent naïveté, I have come to believe that Cynthia was very cognizant of her own behavior: “I cannot live with persons who don’t think well of me. It may be a weakness, or a sin, I am sure I don’t know and I don’t care; but I really cannot be happy in the same house with any one who knows my faults, and thinks that they are greater than my merits.”
If Cynthia was negligent with her thoughts and affections, her mother, Hyacinth, was considerably worse. Hyacinth had no compassion for anyone’s feelings the entire novel, even through the end. I feel considerably for Molly’s father for having married her.
Perhaps my favorite character in the novel was Squire Hamley. I believe he definitely had some of the best lines in the book, particularly when it came to insulting others. Here he is insulting the wife of Mr. Gibson (most deservedly): “[y:]our wife and I did not hit it off the only time I ever saw her. I won’t say she was silly, but I think one of us was silly, and it was not me.” And here he is insulting his beloved first-born, Osborne: “Osborne will be here, too; and he’s always in his element talking to women. I sometimes think he’s half a woman himself, he spends so much money and is so unreasonable.”
I think that the BBC production stayed fairly true to the book and was impressed with their adaptation. I enjoyed the novel so much that I will likely read additional Gaskell books in the future, likely starting with North and South.(less)