March 22nd, 2012

Relax!  Grab a Book!

Book 34 (from 2011)

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  1. Dumas, Alexandre (Robin Buss, transl.) — The Count of Monte Cristo (1117 pages)
  2. Straub, Peter — Ghost Story (497 pages)
  3. Crockford, Douglas — JavaScript: The Good Parts (149 pages)
  4. Brontë, Emily — Wuthering Heights (316 pages)

Page count: 9912.

I was supposed to read Wuthering Heights in high school. It didn't happen. But I've been most curious for a long time, especially when I learned that it contained an element of the supernatural. Who doesn't love a good ghost story set in the English moors?

The book has been sitting on my shelf waiting to be read for years, probably for at least a decade and a half. Last year I heard there was going to be a new movie adaptation, and that finally gave me the nudge I needed to pick it up.

It wasn't quite what I expected. I expected Catherine, or the ghost of Catherine, to be a more prominent character — beyond having the spectre of Catherine hovering over everything, that is.

Heathcliff was a despicable character, but I often felt sorry for him. It wasn't his fault he was thrust into those circumstances. A better person, though, would have handled it differently and not sought retribution on everyone. (The extent to which he carried out his vengeance, in contrast to Edmond Dantes, never felt justified.) Heathcliff made it hard to feel sympathetic towards him.

I enjoyed the narrative structure of the book. Yes, it's a rather tired literary device, but I thought Brontë used it to good effect.

I was hoping to have seen the new movie adaptation by now, or one of the many previous adaptations, but the former got negative reviews that discouraged me from paying cinema prices, and I haven't had an opportunity to see any of the latter. Thus, I can't compare, but doubtless the comparisons would favour the book in any case.

Relax!  Grab a Book!

Book 35 (from 2011)

    Collapse )
  1. Dumas, Alexandre (Robin Buss, transl.) — The Count of Monte Cristo (1117 pages)
  2. Straub, Peter — Ghost Story (497 pages)
  3. Crockford, Douglas — JavaScript: The Good Parts (149 pages)
  4. Brontë, Emily — Wuthering Heights (316 pages)
  5. Foreman, Michael — Cat in the Manger (24 pages)

Page count: 9936.

Cat in the Manger is a children's book which tells the nativity story from the perspective of a cat who lives in the manger where Christ was born and is transformed by the experience. The cat's transformation is completely unrealistic, but the story is beautifully told and the artwork is gorgeous. This was a wonderful Christmas Eve read and I look forward to sharing it with my kids one day.