• Reading

    Romeo or Benedick? Knightley or Tilney?

    Romeo or Benedick?
    Knightley or Tilney?
    Jack or Algernon?
    John Brooke or Laurie?
    Gilbert or Barney?

    Do you prefer the more traditional romantic leading men? Or the ones with personality. You can probably tell from that whom I prefer :/

    How about the more popular or the overlook/rejected?
    Will or Norrington?
    Darcy or Bingley?
    Rochester or St. John Rivers?
    Pip or Herbert?

  • Reading

    Pickwick Papers

    I had tried this novel before and this time around I took awhile to warm up to it, but then I enjoyed it greatly. Well, I enjoyed the Wellers immensely anyway.

    The plot was intentionally mishmash, if you could even say that the book had a plot. The tone varied from the lightest type of humor to rather serious at times to more sophisticated humor and many blends of all these tones.

    I could feel that this was Dickens’ first novel; his deep characters could be a little stock and his caricatures a bit shallow. I suppose he had not gotten into his characterization stride yet. Mr. Pickwick himself was rather a sanctimonious, pompous prig who was often rather rude to poor Winkle. Winkle’s cowardice and ineptitude could be funny at time but painful at other times. Mr. Snodgrass was my favorite of the quartet but received the smallest attention. Dickens rather abruptly dropped and picked up characters in this novel.

    In the Wellers Dickens gets very near to his later greatness. “Samivel” “Veller” and his father were definitely both the most excellently created and developed characters and my favorite ones. Often I find lower class accents in Dickens’ novels irritating (that could be because the characters are usually irritating people), but I enjoyed the Wellers’ accents.

    This novel is not superb compared to Dickens’ later works, but for a young man in his mid-twenties it is a brilliant first novel. And there dies any mercy for all the so-called “writers” that are all over the home-schooled/ Christian fiction internet world.

  • Reading

    Our Mutual Friend Review




    I recommend complete ignorance for first time readers (which means do not read covers, reviews, prefaces, chapter headings, and etc.). I remembered a little of what my sister told me (albeit it was sometimes quite a distorted memory) as I read and constantly referred to the headings of future chapters.

    Oh, Eugene. Eugene! Oh, Julius Handford/John Rokesmith.

    I enjoyed this book intensely, even thinking that it was my favorite Dickens’ novel . . . until the last 100 pages after which I felt hoodwinked.

    This novel took me back to Dickens’ characteristic humor which was rather lacking in Little Dorrit and Bleak House. Three marriageable, wonderful heroes. One sweet heroine. One annoying (first because of being a brat, later because of being a baby). 3-2=Mortimer is mine!

    One thrilling love scene when John comes bursting in on Bella and her father which was rather spoiled after the last 100 pages. Actually, I (heartlessly) enjoyed the scene of his first proposal because of the disparity(?) in John Rokesmith and John Harmon’s reactions.

    Eugene is a work of artistic skill in himself. As is Bradley Headstone or at least the description of his behavior, thought processes, and etc. The Eugene and Lizzie dynamic is intriguingly intense and unique. All of the multitude of characters in this novel are interesting.

  • Reading

    Bleak House Review

    So I did not entirely like this novel. Oh, I enjoyed it while I read it, but I found many aspects that I did not like.

    I found Esther rather irritating. I thought her false modesty and silly “innocence” of why other people like her was extremely annoying; true humility and goodness do not focus on self at all. She spoils her character by speaking, and her character would have been better not displayed in first person. I thought her silly humility rather out of character for Dickens; I feel like he usually caricatures this type of person.

    Mr. Jardyce annoyed me because he avoids issues instead of repairing them. I loathed Mr. Skimpole* and the way Mr. Jardyce aids his leech behavior is disgusting. Speaking of disgusting, how gross and selfish of Mr. Jardyce, who might almost be Esther’s grandfather, to propose to Esther?! I had wondered before I reached this point in the novel whether or not he had been in love with her mother.

    I did not really feel sorry for Lady Dedlock. She is so selfish and proud. She had married into great wealth and made herself famous. She does not help Rosa, except to thwart Mr. Tulkinghorn, I think. I felt sorry for Captain Hawdon. I want to know why Hawdon and Lady Dedlock had not married. What happened? Whose fault was the separation? I kind of wondered/wished she had been the one who broke off the connection. Had her sister a hand in it? I did not think that Hawdon was the Willoughby type at all. Plus he had kept her letters. He had sent her letters of instruction. He helps poor Jo. If Lady Dedlock did not know that the baby survived, I wonder if Hawdon ever knows about the baby at all. What were those letters of instruction George Rouncewell delivers to Esther? George seems to be very loyal to Hawdon as if Hawdon deserves some help or has some merit. I do not like all these unfinished ties.

    Ada Clare and Allan Woodcourt do not have enough character development. Except towards the end they have hardly even any personality. I liked what glimpses and shadows of Allan I saw until I received a chill at his reaction poor Jo.

    Jo is probably my favorite character in point of unmixed favor. George Rouncewell comes next in that respect. Poor Jo. What cruelness and neglect and manipulation he endures at the hands of the evil and/or more noticeably selfish characters and the world in general. What cold “pity” and “aid” the “kind” characters extend to him! And this: “He wos wery good to me, he wos” . . . and his tears!

    I felt the number of the characters more in this novel. Everything seemed less developed and every character either barely connected (the Jellybys)* or too connected. I know Dickens has random characters, but often they are harmless and/or turn out to be more important than first appears. Not so in this novel.

    * All of these characters are typical Dickens caricatures or displays of certain types of troublesome people; I appreciated them for that because, as is usual, these descriptions of error and selfishness ring quite true.

  • Reading

    Review of Little Dorrit

    The miniseries preview first somewhat inspired me to know this story. I was not ready for Dickens at this point, and when I picked up the book and perused it, Mr. Clennam’s age and that awful Pet disgusted me. I still loathe Pet and her family. How dare she exist for Clennam to love. How dare he love a young woman who is not Little Dorrit. I hate that it hurts him for so long, and it is not him that separates them but her. If he had ceased to love her, that would make all the difference in the world. I wish she had turned out shallow, so that he never could have truly loved her.

    I do not mind his first love; he was younger then and does not love her at the time of the story. She and her “mermaid” manner and her extremely convoluted speech and Clennam’s  reaction to her, both his diffident gentlemanliness and his embarrassment are quite interesting, if not often hilarious, moments in the story.

    I loathed Mr. Dorrit; his conceit is tangible. And of the most irritating kind, sensitive. The rapier sort. I pitied poor, sweet Mr. Frederick Dorrit, and later I pitied the ill-fated Edward Dorrit. Fanny and Edmund Sparkler. They provided another rare glimpse of humor in this novel. The way Fanny “shuts him up like a box”!

    I feel like the story had some loose ends with Arthur’s story, with not fully explaining (at least to my understanding) Mr. Merdle’s story, and with the mystery surrounding Miss bitter.

    But oh, the end when Arthur is in the Marshalsea. When he finds out Little Dorrit loves him. When he loves her. Oh.

  • Culture and Entertainment

    Nicholas Nickleby 2000

    I did not watch this film entirely by myself and did not sit down and take notes afterward. I do not remember the other film adaptation well at all, so I cannot really compare very much. I watched this movie in the spring so my memory will be even less clear.

    ~Neither of the Nicholas characters really resembled the book Nicholas in his quick and warm-tempered impetuous, high strung personality.

    ~A very young, somewhat snaggle-toothed Tom Hiddleston appeared (to a loud round of screaming from us as two of my sisters had joined me previously, opportunely as it proved).

    ~J.J. Feilds was greeted with considerable interest himself (interesting how those two similar looking actors appeared in the same film).

    ~Again on the American-British dental divide, we thought the actor who played Smike (Gustave in Ever After) was wearing braces.

    ~Madeline looked ridiculous and rather shamelessly initiated the proposal (my sister said she proposed; it was almost that bad).

    ~There were some REALLY vulgar sexual scenes. The Kate Nickleby/Sir Mulberry Hawk scene . . . um, people the fact in the novel that he stood too near her and took her arm without asking were enough to be insulting. The movie showed him as almost raping her. Are we that dull nowadays that we cannot understand that time period?! I am sorry, but many of us NOW would feel threatened in the book situations aforementioned.

    ~My sisters complained of the much to loud and dramatic music. Very ’90’s one said.

    ~Obviously I need to watch the other version again. I saw both a high school play and the 2002 version before I read the book, so I missed a lot I am sure.

  • Reading

    David Copperfield Review

    I started/skipped through this novel a couple times, so I was familiar with much of the story. The beginning is so gloomy I just picked up where I started last year.

    This book seemed to have a series of hurdles I had to overcome. The first is the Murdstones, but I had mostly got through this period last year. Then there is a time of hardship before he meets his aunt. Then a respite and oh, my word, the interlude chapter is just richness. After the respite: The Steerforth Delusion and Looming Doom. Yes, please let that storm break, and DAVID WAKE UP. Next to the smaller hurdle of the Dora delusion. Actually that period was not as bad as I was expectingβ€”I found much of it quite amusing. Then David takes his time falling in/declaring love to Agnes.

    Anyway, I really enjoyed this novel, more than I was expecting. I really learning to enjoy Dickens’ style of writing with his insights into human and nature and his way of revealing those and his humor.

  • Reading

    Hard Times Review

    This novel caught my interest faster than the other Dickens’ novels that I have read. A brief glance at either the preface or introduction indicated that this novel is about a quarter the size of some of his other works which explains the lack of filler and tedious drag of plot and/or over-filled plot. I wonder if this work is short because not written as a serial? Anyway, for a Dickens’ read to to start so smoothly and proceed so quickly I found quite refreshing. 

     A note of caution. Readers easily absorb the outlooks of an author especially when the author does not consciously state his world-view but rather displays his concepts of morality in the tone, action, and outcome of the story. I do not agree with Dickensian reasoning and morality always, especially in regards to the personal responsibility question which is an issue in this novel. The major issue in this novel for me regarded Louisa. Louisa was to blame for what she was and what she did. People are not merely acted upon by others; they also make choices, and Mr. Gradgrind neither could control Louisa’s thoughts nor did he force her marry Mr. Bounderby; he did not really attempt to even strongly persuade really.

    I found the mini-plot stories and the characters quite interesting (I apparently have a thing for mills and factory towns and master/worker struggles–North and South, Shirley, Mary Barton . . . ). I greatly appreciated the redemption of Louisa; she, unlike so many in her position, literally followed the Biblical principle to “flee sexual immorality.” I also appreciated the belated repentance of Tom (whom I liked better than Louisa; Tom had to bear all his responsibility and his father did not receive much or any blame, quite unlike the Louisa situation). I found the obnoxious absurdity of Mr. Bounderby and the ludicrously extreme nosiness of Mrs. Sparsit quite well-executed, but Dickens’ applied his humor, which is always rather grim, rather darkly in this novel. I found the mortifying of Mr. Harthouse quite satisfying. The story had no wholly good romance (certainly no happy one) and ended sadly (although less gloomily than much of the plot seemed to indicate), yet I still enjoyed it.

  • Culture and Entertainment

    Great Expectations 2012 Film Adaptation

    The film-makers took the Pride and Prejudice 2005 approach: dumbing down and modernizing the story for the non-literature reading public πŸ˜› How could I have thought the other film over-dramatized? I should not have been surprised, this is the Downton Abbey generation after all. Great Expectations  is too understated, so lets ramp up the drama so the sensitive people feel like the drama is punching them in the face: “FEEL THIS” “THIS IS SAD,” and etc.

    How could I have thought the other film too changed? These film-makers took liberties with the story line from the very beginning. I am allergic to book/original to movie changes, so this movie put me in anaphylactic shock. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE SMARTER/KNOW BETTER THAN DICKENS?!

    The “small” and/or early changes that had great overall effects on the tone and interpretation of the film:

    This film showed Pip give the pie as a gift (Magwitch mainly requested food in the book). No, this is not a slight change; this change makes it appear as if Magwitch was a logical thinking person, and that he had to have a “reason”  for doing what he did for Pip (how calculating our society is). Joe wasn’t stupid. Mrs. Joe wasn’t mean enough. Where was Biddy? Her nonexistence made Joe’s situation more pitiable . . . and in consequence Pip’s behavior worse. Little Pip was better in this film (smaller, paler), but the pale young gentleman much worse than in the 1999 version (he was not the pale young gentleman at all, but rather a bully-clown).

    This film’s Satis House was too light for a house without electricity, with the windows regularly closed, and with little light used as the book implied and described. Miss Havisham herself was too young and creepy (WAAAY overdone)–she wasn’t believable. And the hand sores–what on earth was that about?! Orlick had them too, but with how this film portrayed him, they made sense for himI think that Satis House was faaaar too grand in both movies; modern people in Western cultures do not want to acknowledge how wealthy we are. Many people in the even lover middle class in Western cultures have as much or more as some of the wealthy did then. There is more wealth in existence now and more people have it, and the rich are far and above more rich than they were then. In the same wealth exaggeration vein, Pip rode in a hired coach not the public coach as in the book (I think maybe when he traveled with Estella in the book he did have a hired coach because Miss Havisham paid). I liked the 1999 portrayal of London better, Victorian London was filthy for anyone who was NOT filthy rich. Good grief, the city was what, 500 or more years old by that point. We have no comparison in the germ theory era U.S.

    Compeyson was a convict and had never been wealthy much less a real gentleman–he could never have been in those circles as the film portrayed him especially after being a convict. Magwitch’s wife DID murder someone. Yes, the poor are criminals and she WAS NOT Jaggers’ mistress (nor were his home and office the same in the book). Pip was yet again made to look like a fool in that scene with Jaggers and his mistress in the film.

    Orlick was changed . . . to be made pitiable. I hurt for him. What is it with blackening heroes and uplifiting villains? Also, Orlick looked like a zombie. I could be wrong, but I do not think that Orlick would have had easy access to opium, and he sure seemed like he was on something. I cannot remember how much he to do with Magwitch’s capture in the book, but I think he was not as involved as the movie portrayed him to be. Of course they could not have the book’s dramatic Orlick scene (how ironic, considering the drama of the film) because it would not have fit in with this weaker Orlick.

    Bigger issues by character by character:

    The film makers made sure so much of the action reflected badly on poor Pip. They made the story that of a prodigal rather than an erring and misled (funny how that was not emphasized, but rather only Pip’s stupidity and vanity which the book did not display that he had so much more than anyone else) young man. Herbert in the book was better than Pip but as a gentleman (in character) is to another gentleman. Miss Havisham implies Pip is not truly a gentleman, but I do not know if she meant birth/education or character. He was a gentleman in character and always had been despite his mistakes. Pip made mistakes (our culture is too self-righteous–bring down the “proud” i.e. conscientious, and raise the “victims”–if they are poor). I do not like being told I should like Herbert, especially not at the extreme injury to Pip–what suBtlty!

    There was NOTHING wrong with Pip leaving Joe–he does again in the book when he joins Herbert in Cairo (which fact neither films portrayed). He was a grown man, hello. What Pip repented of in the book was his neglect and coldness (coldness, not bratty-teenager-unbelievable-rudeness).

    I do not understand why he was portrayed as disliked and friendless except for Herbert. He did not bribe people in the book like the film portrayed him as doing. In the book he belonged to a club, but I do not think the club of the book was remotely similar to the posh one of the movie (back to the wealth exaggeration issue). In the book Mr. Pocket was his friend and Startop was his friend.  In the book some “mundane” actions/relationships etc. were assumed in order to focus on the more dramatic action (again, irony). Wemmick was Pip’s friend not Herbert’s like the film portrayed. I am not sure Herbert was even acquainted with Wemmick personally. I do not think his family had any more to do with Jaggers than as Pip’s tutor. Wemmick knew Pip because he, Wemmick, invited him to his house. Apparently the film makers decided that not being a gentleman in blood+having lots of money=unliked. Pip was not so rude in the book except to those who deserved it.

    Why did they have to change Herbert’s story? More melodrama. Were they trying to make him more honorable–oh, he left his rich, horrible relations for love while you, evil Pip, left your poor-which-equals-good relations for wealth to egotistically chase after love)? What was the point in his getting married? It just made his coming back ludicrous. I also seemed whacked on the head about him wanting a family (oh, of course he is better than Pip, he wants a family . . . so does Pip, he is not a rake!). In the book I do not think that Jaggers warned Pip about getting into debt (I do not think that would have been considered by him as his business), and Herbert was in debt too in the book nor was this circumstance unusual for such young men. Herbert himself seemed rather affected, and the dancing scene was stupid and awkward.

    The film makers made Estella’s role wrong and the actresses acted it wrongly. The young Estella was better than the old but still was too nice which in the film was the reason Pip could not come again. The book Estella was a cruel child, even “good” children can be cruel, and she certainly was not good. Pip and Estella were more equally matched in looks (but I did not think he fit as a rural Englishman of the time as Douglas Booth looks somehow Asian and/or Grecian); he was not as handsome as in the 1999 version, and she prettier, but still not stunningy like the book describes, and she also looked too modern with her hair and make-up. Estella acted as if she could not help but show she liked Pip (even as a little girl when she definitely did not like him in the book). She was fickle, not cold and cruel as in book; she did not seem to have fully imbibed the heartlessness and calculation of her education. Therefore, in the film portrayal the fact that this Estella married Drummle did not make complete sense.

    Regarding Drummle. Another strike at Pip. Pip was good friends with Herbert in the book and would never have befriended someone of whom Herbert so obviously disapproved (and Herbert’s rushing away was odd and not truly explained). Besides that fact, in the book they both knew Drummle, Pip more so I think, and knew he was a wretch. He would have been so without the scandalous propensities the film makers felt it necessary to add. Pip’s background was not a profound secret like this film implied and nothing was odd about Estella who had been raised as a lady so was a lady.

    About the scandalous stuff. The Drummle of the book could have visited such places although that is not implied, but the real Pip would not have been so stupid as to allow himself to be led to such a place. I was, at how the movie was going, amazed he left in the film. Relieved definitely, but I do not really understand the purpose of the scene for Pip unless it was supposed to make Pip look like a fool for allowing Drummle to lead him there. In what seemed like the very next scene (after Drummle’s disgusting scene), Estella pulled her skirts almost completely up, waded into the river and allowed Pip to kiss her. Immodesty and freedom are not one and the same and what about Pip’s earlier morals just the scene before? Film makers need to be consistent on morals or none of it, morality or immorality makes sense. Pip also grabbed her at a later scene; any attempt on the part of a gentleman to restrain a lady would have been hand to hand or mind to mind or he would be no gentleman.

    So obviously I prefer the 1999 version, and I should have known that would have been the case as more recent adaptations take more liberties; it is as if the 90’s were the golden period of accuracy for period dramas or something.

  • Culture and Entertainment

    Great Expectations 1999

    I watched my first Great Expectations film/T.V. adaption in its three hour entirety in one sitting about 1-2 months ago at home alone. I then immediately sat down and scribbled out a bunch of thoughts. Apparently watching a movie in its entirety on the T.V. by myself seems to inspire me to reflect on the film better than I would normally*; I did the same with next Great Expectations film, but the Nicholas Nickleby adventure didn’t quite work out so well as you will read in future.
    Normally being watching a movie in snatches on my computer, watching a movie with my family and  bouncing in and out and chattering regularly, or, more rarely, watching a film at the theatre and walking out dazzled brainless.

    Actors/Actress I Recognized (Or Should Have)

    Grown up Pip: Ioan Gruffudd (Despite the fact that we own Amazing Grace and my sister owns the Horatio Hornblower books, I had only previously seen him in The Secret of Moonacre).

    Grown up Estella: Justine Waddell (I had seen her in Wives and Daughters).

    Magwitch: Bernard Hill (Theoden, WHAT! I thought he was familiar, but not this).

    Various Comments

    ~This film has several slight and not so slight changes from the book. I cannot recall the book fully, so I cannot explain the slight changes I more sensed than knew (as in rearrangements of the sequence of some of the details of the story). The changes seem to snowball in intensity somewhat, so I can explain some. Small changes add up to a different take from the novel on the story over all, and that is why some of these seemingly insignificant changes bother me (and that goes for any book to movie adaptation). Such is the case for all the slight changes regarding Estella’s part in the story.

    ~First Pip himself. He was an adorable child and a amazingly handsome man. I liked Pip’s accent switch from his native accent to the refined London one. Ioan Gruffud is both handsome and striking. I don’t know that Pip was plain in the book as all indications seems to point that Estella, had she been kind, would have considered him handsome enough to marry him. I don’t care how inaccurate his looks were, I loved them. However, as to accuracy with regards to Estella, he was far and above Justine Waddell’s Estella’s league, and she was already not pretty enough for Estella.

    ~Oh, Herbert. I have a sort of compulsive like/loyalty to acceptable main characters simply, I think, because they are main characters, so I do not know that I can honestly say that Herbert is my favorite, but he is truly the better man. The book did not feature him enough, and this film featured him even less. He was excellent both as boy and young man even if he was not Will Scarlet (and judging from Harry Lloyd’s acting as that darling personage, lovable though he is, I am going to pre-judge Lloyd’s Herbert and assume this 1999 Herbert is better in acting). Aaaannnd I was rather right I think.
    *Eomer, Fred and George Weasley, all these characters I love in books who get slighted in the books sometimes and in the films!

    ~The film was too melodramatic. I don’t think that Magwitch smothered Pip, and I know Pip did not yell, “Nooooo!” at the discovery of  the identity of his benefactor. That stayed in his head. The filmakers carried the creepiness  into places it did not belong. Pip had too much of a temper. He yelled at Herbert and Wemmick and the latter instance rather spoiled the hilarious wedding scene of Wemmick’s.

    ~Some ommissions and quibbles. This film didn’t explain/show who Biddy was, she just appeared. Joe and Mrs. Joe had their coloring switched (coloring changes irritate me, don’t laugh at the triviality); besides that I thought the actor fairly decently portrayed Joe. The filmmakers rather took out the obnoxious but excellent Pumblechook scenes. The film portrayed Orlick as a creepy sneak rather than a brute sneak. He also appeared too smart. The actor for Jaggers did not make his character Jaggerish enough nor did the distinctions between the two Wemmicks show enough. And I think the movie could have done better with Wemmick’s house. The movie left out the awesome fireside showdown between Pip and Drummle. I know time constraints probably necessitated this. Even though the film was three hours, to give us perspective, Pride and Prejudice is five, and Pride and Prejudice  is a much smaller book than Great Expectations.

    The more serious issues. 

    All of these relate to the desire to obliterate the fact that some people are more evil (i.e. have less common grace) and more stupid than others. The filmmakers did this by both by raising the pathetic/horrible characters and lowering Pip and making him look like a fool (good grief, he was just a young man). Sorry peoples, we aren’t all equally intelligent and good even though fundamentally we are capable (key word please note) of the same evil and therefore have the same worth and the same possibility of worth in salvation (but still after that intelligence is not equalized). I hate this constant attempt to cut noble people down to fit mediocre and pathetic peoples’ sizes, in order that the mediocre and pathetic people don’t feel bad or have to change!

    ~I already mentioned Pip’s anger.

    ~Magwitch did not suspect Pip of feeling horror in the revelation scene in the novel, and I don’t think that the “real” Pip, after the beginning shock, would have shown it enough for Magwitch to tell (remember Magwitch was simpler, yes, some people really are less perceptive, believe it or not). In the film this detail and a few other words of Herbert and other slight things added up to make Pip look dishonorable in the Magwitch situation. In the novel even before Pip reached the point of pity and caring, he always intended to take the honorable course

    ~I doubt the “real” Pip was on first name basis with Magwitch nor did he love Magwitch as a father, that is absurd. The man was much lower in breeding and intellect than Pip even aside from the issue of their short acquaintance. The book Pip loved Joe more than Magwitch because Joe raised him, and Pip still did not love Joe as he deserved.

    ~Pip fell ill and his creditors left him alone. In the movie the filmmakers put him in jail to lower him to the level of other criminals.

    ~Orlick let Pip go and then told him he was the better man for giving him mercy (no wondrous rescue, no Herbert?!). The sort of man who tried to kill a woman in a despicable, cowardly way and planned to then burn her body, would never have let Pip go. Even threats would not have compelled him, much less begging. And I don’t think the “real” Pip begged nor did he want to die. An already-essential-murderer in the attempt of another murder cannot gain anything of the upper hand by mercy to his innocent-of-crime intended victim! Everything Pip did against Orlick (and some of it Orlick made up) was right because Orlick did and was quite evil. The portrayal of this whole scene tried to make Pip no better than even murderous wretches!

    ~Pip waved a candle in Miss Havisham’s face and was unforgiving of Miss Havishsham at her funeral.

    ~Pip proposed to Biddy on her wedding day. Um no, just no. Give him some dignity.

    The Estella changes. These I am not all certain about, but there are enough to put a different look on her part in the story.

    ~I don’t think Pip spoke of his love to Estella in the same setting in the book as he did in the movie. I cannot remember if he spoke to her of his love at all. I think he did.

    ~In the book he did not see her after her wedding. The acquaintance ended. Therefore he did not know of her abuse by sight (as in the film), and I don’t think he heard about it until later. So of course he could not tell Miss Havisham (as he did in the film). I don’t know how much he went on about her treatment of Estella in the book, but I think he took too long on this in the film. I doubt he still raged at Miss Havisham’s funeral.

    ~Pip was not discrete about Estella’s identity in the movie while he was in the book. It wasn’t his secret to tell (also her mother did not know her identity as they show she does in the movie).

    ~The ending. Hmm. It smacked of scandal, more than the book did anyway. This was Dickens novel, people. I shut off the stupid commentator right at his remark on ambiguity (I muted him in the beginning and middle too). The film also neither showed anyone else at the end nor showed the passage of a decade which also made the ending less plausible and more scandalous (as did her speaking to him of the separation and then their kiss).

    Three hours is obviously a long time. My mom brought me once-but-no-longer-frozen yogurt which I put in the freezer. While I was talking to her I took it out to put my name on it and then put it back in the freezer. Then I realized what I had done: 

  • Reading

    Nicholas Nickleby

    I laughed out loud several times.

    I read somewhere how someone thought Nicholas was boring, I didn’t think so, but at the end I got annoyed with him about the whole “honor” issue with himself and Madeline and then also Frank and Kate. The description of the maiden lady and bachelor brother is ridiculous. I get something of his problem, but he should have known the brothers Cheeryble better than that, and I am sorry, even if it is the 19th century I am sure he didn’t have to be quite so extreme . . . but that is Nicholas for you.

    I had watched one of the film versions (2002) a couple year ago, and for some reason expected Smike to feature a bit more, I guess when you see him more it feels that way. He was always there in the book but not mentioned as doing anything. Why did it seem as if he lost his lameness?

    I like that the book followed all the several interesting plot lines and mini plots. I could feel a bit more in this book how Dickens dragged out the story for the serial, but I think all this back and forth helped keep my attention. I either read or heard something about Dickens and personal stuff in Nicholas Nickleby, and so I noticed a lot of the references to writers’ trials, like the one part when Nicholas gets into an argument with a stranger . . . which seemed totally out of character. He got angry about his family but didn’t pick petty fights.

    You know how I mentioned in my Great Expectations review how I didn’t like the stupid good characters? Yeah, I didn’t like Mrs. Nickleby at. all. She needed a good smack. I found it a bit ridiculous how Nicholas defended her, I mean I know he should and would, but it was soooo ironic. She was the stupider version of Mrs. Dashwood whom I also do not like.

    I was surprised at the depth of Ralph’s hostility and evilness. I guess the movie didn’t give a strong enough impression, or I just didn’t pay attention to that aspect. He want Nicholas dead, he said he would kill him if he could and let him be eaten by dogs, and he said this not as a figure of speech, but in all truth. I knew he wasn’t nice, but I guess I expected him to soften although I realized the ending and it seemed familiar. I think I am just used to crotchety old men who soften up rather than truly hardened characters. But his nephew!

    I cannot wait to pick up the film/television adaptations of this book and Great Expectations from the library.

  • Reading

    Great Expectations

    So, um. I read to about the middle of this novel years ago (as in possibly like six; I am ancient, I could read at this level six years ago?!). I put it down because it was my sister’s copy, and I was mad at her (that was the reason, I kid you not). I might add that this occurred during the period when I skipped through books before reading them and often consequently instead of reading them; I am a bitΒ (notice the emphasis) better about that now.

    I took this novel up again last summer, and I think got half-wayish again. I picked it up in the last month or so and got myself hooked. I really enjoyed it. I may or may not have been imagining Pip and Herbert as they appeared in the newest film/television rendition (I cannot WAIT to see it although I will make myself watch some older versions first, or not).

    Oh, Pip. Oh, Herbert.

    The patheticness of convict and his story πŸ™ (yes, I am using emoticons to describe Dickens, get over it).
    Pip’s softening towards him. Excellent.

    Wemmick, and the Aged. And Walworth sentiments. That needs to be a code phrase, “will you give me your Walworth sentiments at a later period?”

    Herbert’s perfect, total, self-sacrificing friendship. What he did for his fool of a foppish friend (let us be real about Mr. Spend-money-and-do-nothing)!

    I am not the biggest Joe fan (he is the stupidest character, and I cannot abide stupidity when cloaked in goodness). Stupidity ranking starting with the lowest I.Q.: Joe, Orlick, Drummle and the convict.

    The Drummle fireside showdown. Hysterical. The Pumblechook saga. Real. I love how even though Dickens is Victorian; his characters don’t have to be “above all that”; they can be petty and nice all the same.

    I hate Estella. I hate that Pip does not give her up. I prefer the original ending, naturally.