trude: (harry potter)
Review of Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch" where reviewer Julie Myerson doesn't like the book (fair enough) because it is a "Harry Potter tribute novel" (WTF?).

I'm currently reading The Goldfinch (It's OK. It certainly has flaws, but I enjoy reading it.) and every parallel to HP that Myerson drags up falls under "oh, that is a somewhat similar situation, only playing out in a totally different way"*, which makes me think that Myerson familiarity with HP is something like "read the first book, seen bits and pieces of the movies".

OTOH, it did strike me how one could map Tartt's debut novel The Secret History (which Myerson liked) on the HP books. Lonely boy grows up with boring middle class Californian parents/muggles! He gets the opportunity to leave this behind and go to artsy New England college/magic boarding school! At the school there is lots of wacky faculty and students/lots of wacky faculty and students! Our hero makes (new) friends/(new friends and meets a charismatic but morally ambiguous professor/Dumbledore! Horrifying and wondrous things happen!/Horrifying and wondrous things happen!

The Secret History came out a couple of years before the first HP book, but I doubt Tartt will file a lawsuit against Rowling anytime soon. (Though it would be a magnificent train-wreck if she did.)

*Obviously, Tartt and Rowling DO have some influences in common, Charles Dickens being the most obvious.
trude: (donna noble)
Did you know that if you read The Count of Monte Cristo AND Busman’s Honeymoon at the same time that you’re watching Doctor Who (the Tennant years) you can get at “some dude, and the woman he travels with, walks into a room and suddenly becomes the centre of everything”-overload?

And your brain starts going: “Oh noes, they’re not setting up Albert as the next companion, are they? Please bring back Miss Climpson instead!"
trude: (alsana)
Theory: Zadie Smith used to lurk at Harry Potter-boards during the Blaise Zabini-related kerfuffles after HBP.

"Proof": In her new novel, NW, there is secondary character who is a rich, handsome, British public school-educated Black(Trinidadidan)Italian.
trude: (antonia)
Spent the week-end re-reading Margaret Drabble's The Millstone. Back in the early nineties it made me (very, very briefly) want to have a baby. Now it just made me the impulse to fantasy-cast the thing (being in a sixties mood after a recent Mad Men-marathon. Anyway, I started the fantasy-casting with George, the too-skinny BBC-presenter, and went through Ben Winshaw and Matt Smith and Colin Morgan before I decided to check if it had been filmed at it turns out it had. In 1969. With Ian McKellen as George.
Sometimes real-life casting is even better than fantasy casting (at least on paper)?

Checking out the movie on IMDB (it's called A Touch of Love), I also discovered that it a)it has Margaret Tyzack in a small role and b) sadly enough, Ms Tyzack died about a year ago.

Did look for the dvd at Amazon (it exists), where I also (via the "since you've shown interest in similar items-function - don't ask) found out that this exist.
Now why don't I have any children, again?
trude: (lix)
1. Chrétien du Troyes/Marie de Champagne/Godefroy de Lagny Media fandom/Social Media Modern AU-RPF

2. Remus/Tonks-fic where they spend the last two years of their lives in a happy, functional relationship and Tonks' death isn't really, really stupid. And we shall call it movie-verse, and it shall be sort of canon-compatible.

3. The Hour/Downton Abbey-crossover where Lix Storm turns out to be descended from Mrs Hughes. (Granddaughter? Daughter? I can't work out the timelines.)

4. A Discword-story where a talented young witch meets Granny Weatherwax and finds her awesome. And then she meets Nanny Ogg and finds her awesome, too. Oh wait, Pratchett already wrote that. Thanks, Sir Terry!

5. Crack-fic where MI6 really is run by Kilgarrah, Sirius Black, Mr Darcy, Caesar and Dobby the Free Elf, with some assistance from Sherlock Holmes.
trude: (selma lagerlöf)
What's wrong with the Nobel Prize in Literature

You know, I suspect the author wastly underestimates the Swedish Academy's willingness to read a)contemporary English-language literature in English and b) authors that are on the freaking short-list, but on the whole, he's not all wrong.

(Though I'm mainly a prose reader, I AM happy that they finally awarded a poet, and not un-pleased that it one whose work I've read and enjoyed. Having said that, if this was the year for choosing "poet who has been on the long list for ages and is in kind of frail health so it might be high time to give him the prize" Adonis would have been an equally good choice from an artistic point of view and a better choice from a "representing large, but largely ignored by the Nobel Prize literatures.)

(Still, I like the prize and the whole silly media circus around it. Warts and all.)
trude: (boyband of the round table)
I've been reading Chrétien de Troyes Arthurian Romances and sometimes it feels like I'm stuck in some medieval version of ff-net, where Gawain is Harry, Guinevere is Hermione and Erec, Cliges, Lancelot etcetera is a never-ending stream of exchange students knights.

(At other times the romances vacillates between being intentionally funny, unintentionally funny, just plain weird and downright offensive.)

And now: silly poll-time!

Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 6

What plot-points form Chrétien should the Merlin-writers borrow in series four?

View Answers

Gaius and Merlin help somebody fake their death. Evil physician guest star gets suspicious and tries to make the faker stop faking by beating her/him up. A bunch of women rush in and throws evil physician out of the window. No ladies ever did better!
3 (50.0%)

Lancelot participates in a tournament. Everyone in the audience swoons, then decides not to stay single forever for the next year, if they cannot marry him. Gwen looks smug.
2 (33.3%)

The winsome damsel Lunete comes to Camelot to attend an“how to tell your boss s/he’s an idiot”-seminar with Merlin and Gwen and become intimate friends with Gwaine. Inspired by their combined awesomeness and hotness everybody begin to flirt, too.
5 (83.3%)

Someone gets a pet lion who forms a habit to show up and save the day at critical moments. Much cooler than one of those venomous, wicked dragons! (Sorry Kilgarah.)
2 (33.3%)

The town of Dire Adventure – Merlin saves a bunch of people from working for below minimum wages, Arthur gets the credit.
2 (33.3%)

Perceval gets offered a new outfit, but declines because his mummy made his clothes and therefore they’re the best!
2 (33.3%)

A teen-age fashionista gets into an argument with her sister about whether Gwaine or Sir Whatshisname is the best knight in the world. Much hair-pulling and name-calling ensues.
1 (16.7%)

Sir Kay the seneschal shows up. And is rude.
5 (83.3%)

trude: (geoffrey)
The Orphans Tales: In the Night Garden (Catherynne M. Valente): Two long (slightly connected) fairytale-like (the non-sugary kind) stories made up of several short ones (plus a framing story which felt superfluous at times). I liked the ongoing mockery of Heroic Men on Heroic Quest, but could have lived without the cutting off of various limbs (I’m squemish about that). The loveliest thing though, spoiler )

Coraline (Neil Gaiman) – vintage Gaiman of the creepier kind. Liked it but did not love it.

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (N.K. Jemisin) : It has some absolutely stunning mythic back-story, and a sympathetic and interesting protagonist/narrator. Some of the supporting cast are good, others a bit wooden – mostly the female ones, sadly enough. The story of how the protagonist discovers the truth about her dead mother (both about her personality and her actions) is brilliantly done, though, and I also liked the bit with her paternal grandmother.

Queen of Camelot (Nancy McKenzie) : Good points – it has an Arthur/Guinevere/Lancelot triangle where everyone is portrayed as both sympathetic and flawed (to varying degrees), spoiler ) It also has a smart, sweet, snarky Mordred whom I love (this is a first) and some rather neat re-imagining of various pieces of Arthuriana.
Bad points – this is one of those books where the author tries to show how fabulous the heroine is by making every other woman either evil, boring or both. Thus we have the most wretched, annoying Elaine imaginable, an evil, but over-the-top hilarious Morgause, an evil and boring Morgan and a bunch of minor female characters who are evil and Jealous of Gwen because she’s prettier than they are. Other women are either victims of rape or other male violence, info-dumpers or there to be info-dumped on.

Grail Prince (Nancy McKenzie) : Sequel to the above, a rather free retelling of Galahad’s Grail Quest.
spoiler )
For both novels: not recommended reading if you want a book where not everyone is white and straight.

Filter House (Nisi Shawl): Short-story collection, more SF than fantasy – though there is an absolute adorable story about a princess from Al-Andalus and a dragon. Well-written, but I found the stories set in futuristic space colonies a bit hard to follow at times, and liked the more earth-bound, like the quiet little dystopia of “Momi Watu” better.

The Ruins of Ambrai (Melanie Rawn): Re-read, have planned to do a separate post on this since October, and has still not given up the idea. Short version: still like most of the bits I used to like, dislike the things I used to dislike (though my huge irrational hate for Taig Ostin has cooled down to indifference) and some of the things I never could make sense of probably ARE plot-holes.

Song of the Sparrow (Lisa Ann Sandell): YA-novel in free verse about Elaine of Astolat/Ascolat. Actually quite lovely. The world-building reminded me a bit of the movie King Arthur, though thankfully Sandell doesn’t start the book with a note about how Historians Agree that this is the True Story of the Lady of Shallot. (Actually, she does the complete opposite.) What I loved was spoiler )

The Silver Phoenix (Cindy Poon): YA-fantasy based on Chinese culture and folklore about a girl who hits the road when her father disappears and her mother gets bullied by a local evil businessman to let him marry her (the girl). Then weird stuff starts to happen, and she meets up with two brothers (one with a quest of his own, one without) and the rest is road trip fun and angst with some almost-sex thrown in at times. I really enjoyed reading it and would have loved it when I was thirteen. Could have done with some active, positive female characters besides the heroine, though.

Merlin Tie-ins: The Mark of Nimueh (Jason Loborik): Rather boring scene-by-scene retelling, though with bonus Geoffrey.
A Fighting Chance (Jaqueline Rayner): “Lancelot” and” A Remedy to Cure all Ills” in about 150 pages – first half is awesome Merlin/Lancelot/Gwen/Arthur-crack, second half is mostly Gaius angsting, though with one or two sentences of Gwen/Morgana thrown in.
Lancelot and Guinevere (Martin Day): Has one or three passages too many about Morgana’s alabaster beauty – hey, this is supposed to be the Gwen-centric story! Well, at least her glasses, buck teeth and annoying family are nowhere to be seen.(And she is indeed described as perfect and flawless at one point, when Lancelot-cam is on. And then they kiss and his heart "thumped with the gentle pulse of a butterfly's wings". Which I've decided is how Lancelot later described the event in his diary. Gwaine occasionally reads it to get a good laugh and nick some bad pick-up lines.)
trude: (P&P)
...I still have no great desire to marry Mr Darcy myself (though he and Elizabeth are each other's ideal choice as a partner, at least compared to the other candidates available to them).

I do, however, feel, that if I had to choose between Darcy, Heathcliff and Romeo (Wuthering Heights and Romeo and Juliet being the other classic love stories Harper wants me to try out), I'd marry Darcy, shag Romeo and throw Heatcliff off a cliff.

*The novel itself seems to be unaltered, but there is an essay about the similarites between PxP and Twilight, which I haven't dared to read, and a couple of silly tests.

* * *

Post episode four-AU that really, really should be written: Gwaine and Goblin!Gaius go clubbing together.
trude: (love_her)
I don't know which version of this song I enjoy the most.
William Shatner
Bryn Terfel

OK, I lied, I love Terfel best, because of his phrasing of "rigmarole".

* * *

The Orange Prize longlist is out, and someone does the bi-annual (or is it annual) whining about women writing depressing books, with some racism thrown in.
But it made me discover that Andrea Levy has published another novel!.

[Puts on to-read list.]
[Looks at to-read pile.]

SFF in 2009

Feb. 5th, 2010 08:25 pm
trude: (mr norell)
Fantasy and SF (terms used really, really loosely) read in 2009
cut for length )

Four things

Jan. 3rd, 2010 07:39 pm
trude: (mr darcy)
*Patrick Stewart wasn't the only I, Claudius-alumni getting honored by Queen Elizabeth this New Year; Margaret Tyzack received a CBE. Congratulations, Antonia!

*Tiny thing about the Doctor Who-finale: spoiler )

*[personal profile] selenak has written Gwen-fic, do go and read.

Poll #2017 I'm thinking of buying a copy of Pride and Prejudice.
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 2

Which edition should I choose?

View Answers

The if you liked the cover of Twilight you might enjoy this cover-edition?
1 (50.0%)

The Penguin Classics Deluxe-edition?
0 (0.0%)

The cheapest edition available?
0 (0.0%)

Check flea-markets for a used copy?
1 (50.0%)

You know there are free digital editions on the net, right?
0 (0.0%)

You do not deserve to own a copy of this book, you Darcy-hating fiend!
0 (0.0%)

(I actually do like the Twilight-cover, though not enough to read the book.)
trude: (keats)
*2009 has been a better year for me than for a lot of people (and it turned out a lot better than I could imagine a year ago), not least financially. I'm trying not to get my hopes up about 2010, because that's the way I work.

*In the space of three weeks in december, there was a birth and a death in my extended family. I'm feeling happy and sad an tired about this.

*I went to see Bright Star on Monday, and now I'm in love with Abbie Cornish's and Jane Campion's Fanny Brawne. I love how much of the first half of the film is about challenging the still-pervasive idea that Things That Men Do (here: writing poetry) automatically is of more value than Things That Women Do (here: sewing). And although I've known for more than twenty years when and how Keats died, I cried at the end, because his death broke Fanny's heart.

*I'm reading Jane Austen's The Watsons. The heroine is named Emma and I keep imagining her wearing a frilly pink dress and raising her eyebrows a lot.

Sort of related to That Show:
*The god's of "finding the episode with that particular guest-star" smiled at me the other night, when me and random family members decided to watch Lewis for the first time and it turned out to be the episode where Bradley James plays a student.
(I'm terribly amused about how Morse manages to screw things up even after his death.)

*General Arthuriana: Bibliotèque Nationale de France has an exhibition. Nice pictures.
trude: (rawdon crawley)
Finished Vanity Fair. I hate George. And I'm weirdly ambivalent about Dobbin, but otherwise it was awesome.

If the characters were sent to Hogwarts to be sorted, there would be an astonishing lack of Ravenclaws that year, right?

Also, funnily enough both Becky and Amelia are the literary precursors of Scarlett O'Hara.
trude: (when canon goes wrong)
Made a quiche with some broccoli and Västerbottenost. Remembered half-way through why I havn't made anything similar in ages - I always fail with the crust. (This time, I accidentally heated the empty casserole, and the crust melted when I put it in.) Nevertheless, the result was pretty good and the leftovers will probably be even better.

Did some quite, quite necessary book-shopping. Isn't this the prettiest Austen-cover imaginable? [Back-cover blurb by J.K. Rowling]. Apart from maybe this. [Front cover blurb by Helen Fielding].

Also bought Strong Poison. Not with the cover I wanted (it's probably out of print), so it won't match the rest of my Whimsey(&Vane)-novels, but at least now I can read about Miss Climpson faking a séance whenever I need to. [Back-cover blurbs by P.D. James, Minette Walters and Ruth Rendell and an introduction by Elizabeth George. Bit of over-kill, there.)

For anyone who'd like to read short snippets of Harry Potter-fic, fernwithy has had a challenge-call again. I especially recommend number 3 and 11.


Apr. 26th, 2009 08:36 pm
trude: (middlemarch)
RL: Have been busy the past couple of months with changing jobs/moving. Expect to continue to be busy for a while.

Movie log: Have been watching the 1994 version of Middlemarch. Solid costume drama. According to the subtitles (but not the actual sound, I think) Lydgate addresses Rosamond as Ms Vincy, which feels terribly out of place. (BTW, is Andrew Davies really writing the screenplay for another version?)

Belated fanfiction rec: A Timely Intervention by [ profile] gm_weasley.
Rated NC17 (but there is plenty of plot if you're not interested in the sex-scenes).
This is post DH AH/AU Neville/Tonks. I haven't really considered this pairing before (other than as mild crack, perhaps), but it works really well here. What I also really like is how Gin deals with the Remus-issue; instead of dismissing the entire relationship with one sentence she works to put Tonks in a place where she is ready to move on. (I really wish there was more Tonks/people who aren't Remus-fic like this.)
And the way the Tonks and Teddy-issue is handled is...I do like it, though it makes my heart ache.

Recent Fantasy-reading: The Graveyard book by Neil Gaiman. Short version: I liked it, except for the parts that annoyed me.
More spoilery comments )
trude: (blackadder)
Belated Happy new year!

Saw a novel about Miss Moneypenny from the James Bond series in the bookstore today. Almost bought it, but then I remembered that I have no shelf space left.

Hey! The BBC will adapt Andrea Levy's Small Island into a miniseries(?) this year. With Naomie Harris and that-actress-from-that-Jane Eyre-adaptation-I-havn't-seen-yet as Hortense and Queenie. Good news.

Rec time!
More ficlets-on-demand from [ profile] fernwithy:
Hermione's and Ron's wedding [Lovely fluff, lovely Hermione.]

Hermione and McGonagall during H:s seventh year [And it's a pretty good take on post-war Hogwarts, too. A bit sad, but hopeful.]

Harry and qudditch, post-war [More excellent fluff]

Young Albus D. and headmaster Black (Nigeullus) [Absolutely brilliant and heartbreaking take on a 13-year old Dumbledore, who has his very own way of getting into trouble.]

Lily, James and Harry in Godrics Hollow, 1981 [Just as cute and doomed as it should be.]

And something entirely different, a slightly older fic I re-discovered when I was looking for something else:
Just Impediment by [ profile] doyle_sb4
Blackadder/Doctor Who crossover. Starts with Edmund dissing Shakespeare:

“Of course it’s got good reviews. It’s a Shakespeare comedy,” Blackadder said, with all the venom such a prospect demanded. “It’ll be cross-dressing, willy jokes and hilarious misunderstandings between identical twins. All of which the general public eats up like one of Mrs Miggins’s Wednesday Surprises. Will ‘Predictable’ Shakespeare must have one of the cushiest jobs in England: write the same thing over and over and wait for the girls and cash to come rolling in.”

and it only gets better from there.
trude: (dumbledore)
For me, it worked as a sweet post-birthday, pre-christmas treat. Recommended if you enjoy the quirkier side of the Potter-verse, and like Dumbledore.

Spoilery )

Still here

Dec. 5th, 2008 10:46 pm
trude: (tiny little princess)
I've ordered Rowling's Tales of Beedle the Bard (wasn't going to, but then I realized that a. if I don't read it soon there's no way for me to read Dumbledore's comments unspoiled and b. I like "fake" fairytales, anyway), Gaiman's The Graveyard book and a cook-book for seasonal food as a birthday present for myself. I've no idea if they will arrive in time for my birthday or not, but since it falls on a Friday this year and I'm having a small party in the evening, it doesn't matter that much.

Recent fantasy reading: Almost nothing. Well, there was Hope Mirrlees Lud-in-the-Mist, which I didn't hate as much as yhlee did. My feelings towards it are only lukewarm, but for pretty much the same reasons.

Oh, and Jasper Fforde's First among sequels, which made me officially decide that I won't buy Fforde's books anymore. (Yay for libraries!) I don't know if there has actually been any significant drop in quality between Something rotten and FAS, it's just that I loved the ending of SR so much. (Lobsters! From the future! You cannot really beat that.) Also, Landen should have stayed eradicated.

So, still need new authors. Has anyone read Cornelia Funke, and is she any good?
trude: (brontës)
Finished re-read of Wuthering Heights last night. (Haven't read it in 16 years or so.)

No big revelations, I still believe that people who claim that Heathcliff is a great romantic hero or that Catherine/Heathcliff is a great romantic couple haven't actually read the book, I like Cathy II, dislike Isabella and Linton H. (a bit more than I did last time, actually) and I like the structure with the different narrators (and how completely biased Nelly is).

Just one new observation:

Sometime, somewhere, someone must have written Heathcliff/Hareton II. It's like totally canon twice as canon-compatible as Snape/anyone.


trude: (Default)

November 2016



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