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Book 16

  1. Amis, Martin — London Fields (471 pages)
  2. Morpurgo, Michael — War Horse (182 pages)
  3. Winterson, Jeanette — Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit (177 pages)
  4. Robinson, Bruce — Paranoia in the Launderette (43 pages)
  5. Carter, Angela — Heroes and Villains (152 pages)
  6. Burroughs, Edgar Rice — A Princess of Mars (209 pages)
  7. Hill, Susan — The Woman in Black (152 pages)
  8. Fowler, Karen Joy — Sarah Canary (293 pages)
  9. Rennison, Nick — 100 Must-Read Prize Winning Novels (174 pages)
  10. Beresford, David — Ten Men Dead (426 pages)
  11. Freedland, Jonathan — Bring Home the Revolution: The Case for a British Republic (245 pages)
  12. Kierkegaard, Søren — Fear and Trembling (150 pages)
  13. Nothomb, Amélie — Fear and Trembling (132 pages)
  14. Delany, Samuel R. — Babel-17 (194 pages)
  15. Raine, Craig — History: The Home Movie (335 pages)
  16. du Maurier, Daphne — Jamaica Inn (312 pages)
Page count

I always thought the first du Maurier I would read would be Rebecca. But you know how I love reading location-appropriate books when I travel, and when I found out I was going to visit Cornwall in May — we drove within spitting distance of the real Jamaica Inn — and Jamaica Inn was sitting on my shelves, well, really, I had no choice in the matter.

I have nothing insightful to say. Jamaica Inn is a well-spun tale, dark, exciting, peopled with intriguing characters, a cross between Wuthering Heights and Treasure Island. I often questioned Mary's choices, but that did not detract from the story in the least.

I very much look forward to reading more du Maurier, and I was excited (as I think everyone else was, too, for I kept talking about Jamaica Inn during our trip) when we stumbled across a house in St. Ives where du Maurier lived and worked.

I watched the movie as well, but I must say it was not nearly as impressive as the book upon which it was purportedly based. Several of the characters were removed or changed, and the resolution seemed to lack any suspense or drama, unusual for a Hitchcock film. (I think it's generally regarded one of his worst films and really was just a vehicle for Charles Laughton and a young Maureen O'Hara.)


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 3rd, 2012 07:36 pm (UTC)
My mother read Rebecca to me when I was in high school, I believe -- reading together was one of our favorite things. We also watched the movie. I believe I liked the book better, but my memory is that the film was remarkably faithful.

I find references to Rebecca in so many places in my life... I wish I could get Andy to read it (I really don't think he'd enjoy it, though). I've always been glad I read it. One thing to note: the narrator never gives her name. I mentioned it to my mother and she had never noticed, despite having read the book before. It's never mentioned in the film, either. I think it's a subtle but important choice on du Maurier's part, which is I why I point it out ... in case you ever do read Rebecca.

Now I'm thinking I should read Jamaica Inn!
Dec. 5th, 2012 12:09 am (UTC)
Yes, you should! And then I should read Rebecca, followed by Susan Hill's Mrs de Winter.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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