Thursday, 23 June 2011
Reading Challenge- 1st Book and Film completed
Well folks, I am pleased to say that I have just completed my first book and film in the Two Bibiliomaniacs reading challenge.
First up is The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory. I love historical novels and have read many over the years, but for some reason I have shied away from books about The Tudors.This may be because so many people have written about them and I already know quite a lot about Henry VIII and his wives from history lessons at school.
However, I picked up a copy of the book in a local charity shop and after reading the blurb decided to include it in the challenge.
What can I say but "Why oh Why haven't I read Philippa Gregory before?" From the first page I was hooked and spent several nights reading until I could no longer keep my eyes open. At over 500 pages long, it is a meaty book, but at no stage was I bored nor did I feel that the story was too long. In fact, I slowed down my reading towards the end as I did not want to leave the world of Mary Boelyn and her outrageous family.
Ms Gregory's style of prose is, in my opinion similar to that of one of my favourite authors, Ken Follett. The story moves along at a good pace- it isn't bogged down by overly descriptive phrases or stilted dialogue. All of the main characters are brought vividly to life and I found myself still thinking about them several days after I had finished reading.
As if you haven't already guessed, I loved The Other Boleyn Girl and give it 10 out of 10. It is without doubt the most engrossing book I have read for a very long time. Highly recommended.
This now leads me on to a review of the film.
Having enjoyed the book so much, I was prepared for the fact that I may not like the film as much as if I hadn't known the story first.
However, when the DVD dropped through my letterbox this morning, I was still excited to see how the book had been interpreted and from what I knew of the cast, and the writer Peter Morgan (The Last King of Scotland) it sounded very promising indeed.
Sadly, I have to say that I was very disappointed. I understand that it must be a real challenge to condense a 500+ page book into an under 2 hour film, and that parts of the storyline will, inevitably be affected.
However, many of the important threads in the book had either been totally omitted or changed beyond recognition and this made the film seem disjointed and hard to follow. I became increasingly annoyed by the bits that were left out and by other elements of the story, (such as Anne's trial and execution) being rushed through.
I feel that it would have been far better to dramatise the story on TV over several parts and am sure the BBC with its talent for dramatic productions would have done it far much justice.
I would score this film 5 out of 10. It is not a bad film and I am sure if I hadn't read the book first, I would have enjoyed it more. But I don't think I will be rushing to watch it again.
Anyway, that's the whole point of this challenge so on to the next one!
Have a great weekend everyone!