I’m still amazed that my local library has this – what an obscure little book for them to carry. Even more amazing, no-one else has borrowed it since last April! Why wouldn’t you want to read a scientific analysis of unicorns!?
I know, I know. I’m so behind with this one that it hurts me a little bit inside. Only people who live under rocks have the excuse of reading this as late as I have. I wish I’d got here sooner – it’s every bit as good as you all said it was.
From Amazon (not that you don’t know already): ‘Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. But Katniss has been clse to death before—and survival, for her, is second nature. The Hunger Games is a searing novel set in a future with unsettling parallels to our present. Welcome to the deadliest reality TV show ever…’
I did have my gripes with this one, but only teeny ones. I adored it. It somehow neatly bridges the gap between YA and Adult and produces this wonderful, yet slightly brutal, novel.
It reminds me of a form of Battle Royale for teens – a Japanese film where a bunch of young people are forced to kill each other in a situation every similar to The Hunger Games. It’s a good film, but way more brutal and disturbing than this. I loved how Ms Collins actually explanied how the Hunger Games came to be – it’s annoyingly frequent how many authors of dystopian novels shove their fingers in their ears and pretend backstory is a mythological concept akin to unicorns. In this book, the situation is made more… real, I guess, by the actual reasons given for the circumstances.
It takes a very talented author to invent twenty-four teenagers and give them all completely distinct personalities. Katniss, Peeta, Rue, Thresh… they all stand out clearly from one another as different people with different thoughts. I swear, I loved Rue so much I wanted to take her home and squish her.
My only real dislike was Katniss’ complete lack of compassion. She never seems at all put-out that she may have to kill her peers, nor does she ever stop to think that it might not be perfectly okay to do so. She barely blinks when she does kill somebody and never acts like the whole thing might possibly be A Big Deal. If it were me, I’d be slightly peturbed (read: terrified) at the whole situation and you wouldn’t see me for dust. And yes, I know she’d been brought up with the concept, but even so – she’d still be nervous, scared, or at least something other than vaguely apathetic.
I could have done without the romance, but I say that so often I’m going to have it engraved on my tombstone.
It has a very predictable plot, as the outcome of The Games was obvious from the train ride to the Capitol. It barely diminishes the book though – just because you know the destination doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the ride. Without even reading the back of the next in the series, I can guess where it’s going though.
I have to admit to not being overly thrilled at the ending – I’d prefer the book to cut off straight after the Hunger Games ended. There are a good few books that would be far improved by the removal of their last few pages (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, I’m looking at you!), and this is definitely one of them. That little bit would have made more sense in the beginning of Catching Fire.
IMDB tells me that there’s going to a film next year, although that’s hardly surprising. What is surprising though, is that I don’t automatically hate the girl they’ve cast to play Katniss. She’s not perfect, but she’ll do for me. I’m sure it will be a horrifying adaptation, but then again, they usually are.
I’ve heard that these films are going to be hyped up to a Twilight-esque extent, but I really don’t see it. Everyone in the entire world was obsessed with Twilight, but I hadn’t even heard of Suzanne Collins util I started trawling through book blogs. They’re huge in our cozy little world, but I can imagine people going to see the film and then promptly forgetting that it was once words on a page.
This is a Thursday meme hosted by Jodie at Books For Company to shine a light on those books we’ve had on our TBR piles so long that they’re practically part of the furniture.
To join in, just post about a book you’ve been really meaning to read and then hop on over here and link up. I love looking at everyone else’s TBR piles, so you can see a full list of the other participants over there too.
This is Dry Store Room No.1: The Secret Life of the Natural History Museum by Richard Fortey.
It’s been on my TBr since… ooh, last February? It takes a look at the secrets of London’s Natural History museum, complete with strange artifacts, staff liason areas and interesting anecdotes.
I really do want to read this, but the fiction on my TBR always looks so much more appealing than the non-fiction, philistine though I may be.
Plot summary: Perhaps the most famous of Lawrence’s novels, the 1928 Lady Chatterley’s Lover is no longer distinguished for the once-shockingly explicit treatment of its subject matter–the adulterous affair between a sexually unfulfilled upper-class married woman and the game keeper who works for the estate owned by her wheelchaired husband. Now that we’re used to reading about sex, and seeing it in the movies, it’s apparent that the novel is memorable for better reasons: namely, that Lawrence was a masterful and lyrical writer, whose story takes us bodily into the world of its characters.’
First of all, I hate that cover. That is not a book I want to be reading on the train. I get funny looks for actually holding a book (never mind the pink hair), I don’t need to add a picture of a naked woman on top, thank-you-very-much. I just don’t think it’s necessary, especially as I didn’t find the novel to be that sexual anyway. And yes, I know, I’m the one that bought the damn thing and yes, I know, I had clearly seen a picture before I ordered it. But hey, all my classics are the Vintage edition because the spines match and they look pretty on a shelf. So yes, I know – I’m pathetic and probably deserve the naked lady cover.
Ah. That was meant to be a brief mention of the cover, not an epic rant about the naked lady. Sorry. So now, on to, you know… the book.
As I’m sure most of you know, Lady Chatterley’s Lover was banned in the UK for a long time due to its dirty language and obscenity. I’ve heard many a story about a well-thumbed copy kept in school libraries that fell open automatically to one of the many sordid sex scenes. So naturally I was a little curious as to what all the fuss was all about; why it was so obscene that the publishers were prosecuted as late as 1960.
I was a little confused – I didn’t find it that sexual a book at all (I sound almost disappointed there…). Obviously I’m aware that times have changed since 1928 and I’m sure it was scandalous for back then, but it’s not worthy of scribbling down the page numbers of the sex scenes – another story I’ve heard. I just don’t see it. There are maybe three or four scenes throughout the (not short) novel, each of which only last between a paragraph and a page. Even then, the description is mostly Lady Chatterley feeling sorry for herself.
To me, it’s a clever novel that inspects the class and gender distinctions of the 1920s instead of a psuedo-pornographic romp (now there’s a word I never thought I’d use…). Characters frequently sit around and discuss the state of society, their staff and their women. It’s also a more industrial novel than I expected – Clifford Chatterley is in the coal mining business, and long descriptions of techniques are often recorded.
Non-sex-wise, Lady Chatterley’s Lover is well ahead of it’s time. Aside from occasional phrasing, the attitudes conveyed wouldn’t be out of place today. The women complain that men are too selfish during sex and they feel used afterwards, while the men say that women are only necessary for sex and shouldn’t whine about their own gratification – sex is for men, after all. I wonder if it was partly banned because of this – because the concepts were so alien and obscene, not the actual sex?
Considering the book on it’s own merits, the plot is good but the characters are not. Lady Chatterley does nothing but whine and complain – I don’t think she has a positive thought throughout. Clifford Chatterley doesn’t see why his wife can’t just do nothing but nurse him all the time and Oliver Mellors is rude and abrasive. They are well-written however – each has their own winning (or not) personality and idiosyncrasies, and even though I don’t like them, I do feel as if I know them.
I really did enjoy this book, but possibly for personal reasons more then literatical. I had no idea that it was set in my own city. Now, that might not be such a big deal for those of you that live in New York or somewhere – cities that become settings for 90 million new novels every day – but for an uninteresting city in the middle of England, that’s pretty special. Lawrence does an excellent job of capturing the South Yorkshire accent (but more on that later).
More importantly… Oliver Mellors, the game-keeper, is the spitting image of my boyfriend. Seriously. The physical description, mannerisms, speech, phrases used… it’s like my boyfriend went back in time, dragged Lady Chatterley off to his hut and then came back and worked in a GAME shop. There’s even a scene where he tries to teach Lady Chatterley how to speak in the Sheffield accent, which my partner has tried to do on a number of occasions (he seems to think this is a favourable and attractive quality…). It’s actually eerie how similar they are.
Obviously there are millions of film adaptations, but there’s one with Sean Bean as the game-keeper I particularly want to see. He’s actually from Sheffield and is notorious for his broad Yorkshire accent, so I want to see how he does.
So the moral of the story – it’s not much good for getting your rocks off, but it’s a good read nevertheless. Just don’t tell your partner they remind you of a game-keeper – they tend to not be overly thrilled.
Read my review of Daughters of the Vicar, also by D.H. Lawrence
(although it’s not as good as Lady Chatterley’s Lover!)
Two Bibliomaniacs is hosting a Book to Movie Challenge this year. As you can probably guess from the title, the challenge is to read a novel and then watch the corresponding film adaptation.
This is wonderful for me, as I always mean to watch the film after I’ve read a book but it never happens. Never. There are always too many other books waiting to be read to bother with trivial things like movies!
I’m going for the Blockbuster level of participation – that’s six books and their six films.
You can sign up here. The challenge begins on 1st June and ends on 31st December, but you can join up anytime after that apparently.
I really don’t know where to begin. Any recommendations? I’m thinking Perfume by Patrick Suskind and Notes on a Scandal by Zoe Heller so far.
Wish me luck!
This week I actually have some books to show you, which is a pleasant change. I can’t really afford books (or anything else!) until I move house at the end of the month. After that, I swear I’m going on a book splurge of epic proportions!
Yesterday though, Waterstones’ 3 for 2 offer grabbed me by the hand and offered me a lollipop if I succumbed. I didn’t go that mad though – just all three books in Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy. I’ve been wanting to read those for a while, and I’d be silly not to get them while they were on offer, right? Right?