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Book 20

  1. Meredith, Martin — The State of Africa: A History of Fifty Years of Independence (736 pages)
  2. Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o — Wizard of the Crow (766 pages)
  3. Coetzee, J.M. — Life & Times of Michael K (182 pages)
  4. Saint-Exupery, Antoine de — The Little Prince (101 pages)
  5. Brunner, John — Stand on Zanzibar (661 pages)
  6. Dahl, Roald — Fantastic Mr Fox (79 pages)
  7. Walker, Barbara — TEENY-TINY and the Witch-Woman (29 pages)
  8. Shakespeare, William — A Midsummer Night's Dream (23 pages)
  9. Powers, Richard — The Time of Our Singing (631 pages)
  10. McEwan, Ian — In Between the Sheets (134 pages)
  11. Ishiguro, Kazuo — A Pale View of Hills (182 pages)
  12. Niven, Larry — Ringworld (284 pages)
  13. Anderson, Poul — Tau Zero (184 pages)
  14. Eisenberg, Bryan & Jeffrey, with Lisa T. Davis — Call to Action: Secret Formulas to Improve Online Results (273 pages)
  15. Andrews, Stephen E. and Nick Rennison — 100 Must-Read Science Fiction Novels (205 pages)
  16. Andrews, Stephen E. and Nick Rennison — 100 Must-Read Fantasy Novels (197 pages)
  17. Niles, Steve and Ben Templesmith — 30 Days of Night (103 pages)
  18. Terkel, Studs — And They All Sang: Great Musicians Talk about Their Music (321 pages)
  19. Andrews, Stephen E. and Duncan Bowis — 100 Must-Read Books for Men (200 pages)
  20. Dahl, Roald — The Witches (202 pages)

Page count: 5390.

Roald Dahl's The Witches was the second of my three Halloween-themed reads. The first was a sensationalist disappointment; the third, still unfinished, is truly macabre and atmospheric. I decided I also wanted something fun, hence the Dahl.

I don't have a terrible lot to say about The Witches right now except to say that I enjoyed it a great deal. (Perhaps too much time has passed since I read it to have anything more insightful to say, or perhaps other concerns monopolized my thoughts back then.) I love the inventiveness and boldness of Dahl's imagination and the simplicity and directness with which he expresses it. I also love the grandmother's deliciously un-PC attitude.

I watched the movie a couple of weeks ago, and I enjoyed it as well. It was fairly faithful to Dahl's book except on one point, and I do have a quibble with this one point. I don't understand why the film felt the need to introduce a good witch and turn the boy-mouse back into a boy. Dahl properly understood that this sort of thing cheapens a story; why doesn't Hollywood get that? Oh well….


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 4th, 2010 03:23 pm (UTC)
He was interned in the gulag and, just like Rawicz, he escaped in a snowstorm. Just like Rawicz, he took the same route, surviving the heat of the Gobi Desert and the heights of the Himalayas, with one instinct forcing him on.

The Gobi Desert, being next door to Siberia, is cold in wintertime. There's no heat to survive.

Incidentally, I saw a German movie recently that tells essentially the same story, but the protagonist is a German POW who escapes through Uzbekistan and walks across the border to Iran.
Dec. 4th, 2010 05:10 pm (UTC)
Weißt du der Name aus den Film?

Since I'm 99% certain I have completely butchered that into incomprehensibility, I am attempting to ask what the name of the film is. ;) I'd be interested to see it, unless you tell me it's a total dud.
Dec. 5th, 2010 02:33 am (UTC)
I saw The Witches (the movie) when I was about 8 yrs old, with a very high grade fever. This movie imprinted on my brain as terror-inducing for YEARS. Sometimes nightmares, mostly insomnia, ... I think the happy ending helped keep me from going totally insane. (I was watching this at a sick-kids daycare place, my parents never would have chosen that movie).

I read part of the book years later and did not find it fun at all - for some reason, it was in a children's humour collection. I think I probably would have been better with the whole thing if I hadn't been SERIOUSLY ILL when I watched it! Fevers will mess you up. But mostly I remember years of this fear stalking me. I don't even remember how I got over it, other than time.

So, I'm glad you enjoyed it! But I don't regret the change in the end of the film.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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