Friday, April 17, 2009

Books VS. Movies

Another in between questioned borrowed from Booking Through Thursday.
Books and films both tell stories, but what we want from a book can be different from what we want from a movie. Is this true for you? If so, what’s the difference between a book and a movie?

I don't know that I want different things from a book and a movie. I want a good story. However, I have noticed about myself, that I'm much more forgiving of the movie if I saw it first. Here are some examples:

I read the Chronicles of Narnia, before seeing the Disney version movies. When I saw the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, I had this lingering erk that the White Witch was supposed to have black hair! And don't get me started on my issues with Prince Caspian.

However, I grew up watching "The Sound of Music", I loved it, it's still one of my favorites. I read Maria, around my senior year of high school. I was upset about some of the things that they changed, but I understood why they did. The movie wouldn't have flowed and had as many highs and lows if they'd totally stuck to true time frames and personalities etc.

It was the same with The Counte of Monte Cristo. I saw the movie first and really liked it. When I read the book I thought, "That's not even the same story!" I liked most of the book better, but I totally understood the movie changes, even liked one of them.

I've read Janette Oake's "Love Series". When they made Love Comes Softly into a Hallmark movie, I was so excited. I couldn't wait to see it. When I did see it and the sweet and loving two year old in the book was a snotty, rotten 7 year old in the movie, I was furious. For years I thought, "They ruined the book!" In truth, they told a very cute story, it's just not the same story.

Most recently was Journey to the Center of the Earth (by Jules Vern) My son and I finished reading it a couple of weeks ago, so last night we rented the old 1959 version, because I knew that the newest version was really different-just from the commercials.  I got onto netflix and looked up all the different versions. Read about the plots of the movies and chose the one that sounded most like the book. When we watched it last night, even my son kept looking at me saying, "That's totally different that in the book!" or "He wasn't even a character in the book." "Where did the girl come from, they don't have a lady with them in the book."

We also rented Moby Dick after we finished that and that movie had big differences as well, although, after reading the novel, I totally understand why.

I haven't figured out why I can forgive the movie makers if I see their versions first, but I do know that if you want me to go watch Twilight with you, you better ask before I get around to reading the books.

Well, now it's your turn. Which do you prefer Movies or Books? What do you expect out of them?

Monday, April 13, 2009

And the Winner Is...

Well, we did get a couple more votes and the book selection for May will be....

Anna Karenina by Tolstoy.  

The Three Musketeers came in a very close 2nd place and will be added to my list of previously voted on books to be chosen from again early next year.

I hope that you are all enjoying this months read, Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne.
Happy Reading.

Friday, April 10, 2009

We Like Ties Around Here Don't We?

Once again it looks as if this months voting is going to end in a tie.  If you have not voted yet PLEASE do so. If the result is still a tie when the poll ends tomorrow, I will remove my vote to break the tie.  (The only reason I didn't vote for the other favorite is because I've already read it, but I can read books twice *wink*)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

About The Author

Harriet Beecher Stowe was born in Litchfield, Connecticut, on June 14, 1811. She was the seventh child in her family.  Her father was a Calvanist Minister of the Congregational Church.  Two of her brothers ( Henry Ward and Edward) followed in their father's footsteps. (Henry Ward Beecher also became a famed abolitionist.)

She experienced slavery for the first time when her family moved to Cincinnati.  She met run away slaves, abolitionists and heard their stories, she also saw race riots and began to aid fugitive slaves from the South.  She was very "stirred up" to hear of the "heartless hypocrocy" of forcing children from parents, husbands from wifes and the fact that even though slaves were expected to be Christians, sometimes even married in churches, their marriages were not legal and when spouses were separated they were expected to marry someone else where they went.  The quote that upset her the most, she heard among slave owners, traders, and catchers, was "they don't have the same feelings that we do." (She even puts it in the book.  Mrs. Marie St. Clare says it.)

In 1836 she married Calvin Stowe and in 1850 the moved to Maine (where he worked at Bowdoin College). They had seven children. The first two were twins, one of which was named Eliza. Their fourth child Samuel died a year after he was born from Cholera.  It was there, after the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act, that Harriet wrote Uncle Tom's Cabin.

It was first published as a series in an abolitionist paper.  When it was published into a book, by a Boston publisher, it sold 10,000 copies in the first week and 300,000 copies in it's first year.  But the book later became almost out of print in the middle of the twentieth century because of the harsh feelings left over from both sides of Emmancipation.  It wasn't until the 1960's (during yet another civil rights movement) that it regained popularity.

Of, Uncle Tom's Cabin, she said that she felt it was "forced upon her by the horror of slavery".  She was not worried about creating a work of literature as much as she was to persuade people through reading literature.  The book made her an instant celebrity and she traveled much to promote the book and to urge those that read it to stand up against slavery.

Uncle Tom's character was symbolic of Christ.  She said that the death scene of his character came to her as if in a vision, that "I only put down what I saw.  God wrote it."

Stowe won the respect of famous people like, Tolstoy and Abraham Lincoln.  In fact when she met Abraham Lincoln, he greeted her as, "the little woman who wrote the book that made this great war."

She also met and corresponded with people like, George Elliot, Oliver Wendell Holmes and Lady Byron.

When asked if Uncle Tom's Cabin was a true story Harriet wrote a Concluding Remarks chapter to ad to the book in the second paragraph it reads: 
"The separate incidents that compose the narrative are, to a very great extent, authentic, occurring, many of them, either her own observation, or that of her personal friends.  She or her friends have observed characters the counterpart of almost all that were introduced; and many of the sayings are word for word as heard herself, or reported to her."

Her work has since been made into a play and is considered today to be a classic.
Harriet went on to write almost another book a year as well as poems, biographical sketches, childrens books and travel books, but was always in financial hardship.  Before she died she had written over 30 novels. She is only remember, though, for her first.
Harriet died on July 1, 1896

Monday, April 6, 2009

Apparently I'm Not Very Good At This Job

You all have my apologies.  I don't usually do blog posts on Sundays and totally spaced off that yesterday was the 5th.  And as of the moment I don't have my review typed up yet.  

Please feel free to start leaving your comments on Uncle Tom's Cabin and I will ad my thoughts to yours in the comments.

(And don't forget to vote for May's book in the side bar.)