I grew up watching the 1968 film Oliver! but for some reason only bought a copy of the book last year. The magic of the film has stayed with me throughout my life. When I was little I loved the fact that it was both frightening and funny, and I still can’t get enough of the wonderful songs!
Perhaps because of the music and singing, I was always under the impression that Oliver Twist was a children’s book. However it’s much grittier and at times downright gruesome. There’s also less laugh-out-loud humour, which is replaced by sharp and dark satire. In fact, the book is simply dripping with sarcasm, showing Dickens’ total disgust of the workhouse and justice systems of the time. Continue reading
It seems like only a minute ago that I was writing up my 2016 end of year post! 2017 has been a reasonably eventful year for me. I started a new job, turned 30, and got married. I’ve also enjoyed getting to know the Czech Republic a bit better, travelling further afield than my local hangouts in Prague, which means I’ve done quite a lot of reading on trains and buses!
Most importantly, I’ve read some really fantastic books, even if I haven’t managed to review them all. Here are just a few of my favourites in no particular order: Continue reading
I’m getting married in less than a month, which has got me thinking about my favourite weddings in literature. It turns out that authors don’t usually write about perfect weddings and marriages. After all, that would just be boring! So this post won’t be brimming with romance. Also, please read with caution, as there will be spoilers…
*** Spoilers Alert ***
We’ve had a dusting of snow here in Prague, which makes everything look very pretty. But it’s a reminder that winter is here to stay, at least for a while. Christmas is over, it’s cold outside and there’s a general feeling of deflation. The long wait for springtime starts now and it can be the most miserable time of year. However, there are some advantages, such as grabbing a blanket and a hot drink and curling up with a good book for hours on end (preferably by a crackling fire). So put on your woolly socks and take a look at some of my favourite winter reads…
This Tuesday The Broke and the Bookish would like to talk about characters that they wish had their own book. There is often a side character with an interesting back story that I would like to learn more about. Here are just a few of them…
This week’s theme for Top Ten Tuesday brought to you by The Broke and the Bookish is all about Halloween. I’m not really a huge fan of scary books, so I’ll be splitting this week’s Top Ten into two Top Fives.
Today’s theme is: Books to Read to get into the Halloween Spirit and Characters I Would Want to be for Halloween.
Our Mutual Friend opens in true Dickens’ fashion with a grizzled man and a young woman rowing on the murky waters of the Thames. A repulsed Lizzie Hexam and her father have just found a corpse in the river.
In a sudden change of environment in the next chapter, we head over to Mr and Mrs Veneerings’ ‘bran-new house in a bran-new quarter of London’. I’m not sure what’s more horrifying, the grimy scene we just left or the shiny, well polished world of the Veneerings with their extravagant dinner parties and ‘bran-new’ artificial friends.
What brings these characters together in one book is an old miser’s will, and the body of his son John Harmon, found in the Thames. As always, Dickens’ mix of characters is a delight and his settings range from the gaudy dinner table of the Veneerings to my favourite, the dark and peculiar taxidermy shop owned by the gloomy Mr Venus. Continue reading
I feel as though I have known the story of Pip for most of my life. I have vague memories of listening to audio books and watching adaptations. Maybe that is why I have never felt a real need to pick up the actual book and read it.
The beginning is pretty much exactly how I expected it to be. All the characters seemed to be just as I had seen them before; the scary convict, the kindly Joe Gargery, the nasty sister, stuck up Estella and timid little Pip. Even Miss Havisham didn’t seem any different to how she has been portrayed. It’s not until half way through that I began to feel as though I was coming to the story for the first time. Possibly I’ve not paid as much attention to that part of the story when watching adaptations? Continue reading
Summer is a busy time for the classics section at Oxfam. We receive piles and piles of donations at the end of July from GCSE, A Level and university students who have finally come to the end of the year. They struggle in with heavy bags, eager to rid themselves of any course material that will remind them of long evenings spent at the library, scrutinising old texts. It’s a time of year when we get a huge increase in Shakespeare study guides, poetry and tattered old penguin classics.
There has been a big media frenzy this last couple of weeks with the last Harry Potter film being released, which I for one am excited about. I’m looking forward to the film, even though I can’t help but complain about all of them. The films can’t begin to live up to the book and they have turned Harry Potter into something else, a franchise, rather than books to spark the imagination of children all of the world. Children no longer have to conjure up their own personal ideas of the characters, they simply have to picture Daniel Radcliffe.
There have been some terrible film to book adaptations. And I don’t actually think Harry Potter is that bad compared to some of them. It must be extremely difficult to take a good book and turn it into a decent film. Even if you manage to cast the film with brilliant actors and have budget high enough to fill the sets with the perfect props and clothes, there is still so much to think about. So much of the dialogue must be cut down and many scenes scrapped. In fact I think it must be such a daunting task, I’m not sure why anyone would even attempt it!
Here are a few examples of films that I think have been adapted excellently.