It will not be a surprise to those of you who have followed this blog for sometime that I was able to maneuver a second read of Jane Austen into my calendar this year. It just happened to be the same I read back in January. If you really want a laugh, go read my fan-boy love letter to Austen for that response here. I’ve tried to rein it in a bit for this response, but let’s face it that’s not really going to happen.
As I said back in January, very little can be added to the conversation that hasn’t been said. But EVERY single re-read brings something different to light. For instance this time the one scene that particularly stood out to me was when Lydia and her friends made a young male character dress in drag. I mean really? Weren’t they all prim and proper back then? It just made me laugh at the whimsical way in which Austen described it and everyone partook of the action.
If possible, Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return was better than Satrapi’s first graphic novel Persepolis: A Story of Childhood. Don’t get me wrong, they were both great and the first one’s wit and humor (from the perspective of a 10-year-old) was better placed and timed, but this novel just dealt with adult issues an early 20s individual faces and thus I identified more with it.
I sill say, however, that this book provided less history and explanation about the revolution and continuing Islamization of Iran than the first and focused more on the challenges Marjane and other young women faced as women under the new rule from the stricter veiling and gender segregation to the lack of freedom of mobility and education for women and mandatory military service for young men.
I flew through this book and will need to read it again to savor more of the story. When I say I flew, I mean I read it in just over an hour. I read every bit of it and even glorified in the illustration a few times, but I’m moving on to Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return.
I’ve wanted to see the film adaptation for a long time, but I never got around to seeing it. I’ve seen previews for it on many of the other films I’ve watched but I never took the initiative to seek out the film. So when our books into movies book group started to discuss a graphic novel I put this one out there and we selected it! I’m very glad I did and I’m still super excited about seeing the film. I believe the film encompasses both volumes of the story, but I won’t know until I watch it. I’m reading both volumes as if you remember I picked them up for helping out at the local library book sale.
Am I the only person in the world who didn’t realize that this was a true account?
For some reason when I saw the movie back in high school I assumed the book was a fictionalized account and I would never have discovered this if it weren’t for my books into movies book group. I will say that the movie stayed pretty close to the book until the last 30 minutes or so when the director changed things to make Kaysen a first hand witness to a few things, ultimately increasing the dramatic tension, but other than that the novel and movie were great.
As part of Kaysen’s story she shares many of her own medical records (with redactions of course) that explain why and her admissions as well as updates on her progress while institutionalized. But what I found most interesting were here insights into the families of people who institutionalize they’re loved ones, such as this line: Click here to continue reading.
One of my friends put it best, ‘So apparently Cujo is just a bad lifetime movie with a rabid dog’ and although he was referring to the movie, it pretty much sums up the book as well. I just was not impressed and couldn’t get into the novel. The major plus side was that it felt like a short novel.
If you haven’t figured it out yet I didn’t enjoy this book. I am glad I can now say I’ve read a Stephen King novel but overall it was lack-luster and disappointing. I didn’t choose to read this novel on my own, it was the selection for our April Books into Movies library book group. So my disparaging review is totally legit. I did have major issues with the formatting of this book. I read this book through Overdrive from my local library and somewhere during the conversion process a lot of mistakes were processed. It was really distracting and felt more like a galley than an actual published book.
I had a lot of problems with the book especially after it started out with such a good sense of terror and what was to come. I definitely freaked out within the first ten pages, but that feeling slowly disappeared and never returned, a lot of this had to do with King’s writing. It felt like he was writing down to his readers, almost dumbing things down for them and this bothered me. (I will provide a caveat that I read this in the middle of reading Middlemarch which is incredibly well written.)