Madame Bovary Read-A-Long, Week 3
thoughts / November 3, 2010

During the month of October, Frances of Nonsuch Book is hosting a read-a-long of Madame Bovary. I have somehow owned two copies of the book for years upon years, but have never gotten past the first few pages … so I’m joining in! This week, we have read Part III of the book. I’m very behind on this one, so I’m going to keep it short: I finished the book, finally. It took me forever to get through the first half of part three – it just seemed to drag on and on! I found myself getting more and more irritated with Emma, and I absolutely couldn’t believe it when she decided that killing herself was a better option than just telling her husband about the debt. Such a coward. I get that this is supposed to be a classic and all, but I just wasn’t all that impressed with it as a whole. Bits and pieces were good, but there was just so … much … dragging. Like I’ve said earlier, and a few people thought it might be true, this might be because of the specific translation that I read. I really hope it is. Maybe I’ll try…

Princess Bride Read-A-Long, Milestone 5
thoughts / October 30, 2010

During the month of October, Chrisbookarama is hosting a read-a-long of The Princess Bride. For this week’s milestone, we have read Buttercup’s Baby. I didn’t realize that this part was an add-on to the original story. I’m so confused about this entire edition that I have now! Honestly, I’m not sure how I feel about the addition of Buttercup’s Baby to the end of this book. I’m not really sure that it adds much in terms of the things that I liked about the story to begin with: it’s simply a continuation of the sarcasm and fantasy-parody. To be honest, I liked where the story ended originally, even with the cliffhanger. Once you go on into the future, that just adds detail and an unfinished trajectory that just isn’t needed! The Princess Bride stands alone well, why did Goldman think it would be a good idea to add this extra section? Having said that, I did find the extra bits interesting once I resigned myself to reading through the end. It was good once it was there and I was reading it, but I wouldn’t have felt like I missed out if it hadn’t been there. Yanno?

Princess Bride Read-A-Long, Milestone 4
thoughts / October 23, 2010

During the month of October, Chrisbookarama is hosting a read-a-long of The Princess Bride. For this week’s milestone, we have read parts 7-8. I really enjoyed these two chapters, but at the same time, they weren’t really as special as I was hoping for. Maybe that was because I saw the movie before I got to this part, with all of the adventure and swordfighting, and so it wasn’t the same reading it on the page as seeing it on the screen. Having said that, once I pushed past my preconceptions from the movie, I simply enjoyed the original text for what it was! And what it is, in the end, is the same kind of cheesy, over-the-top fun as the rest of The Princess Bride has been. There is drinking! There is fighting! There is deception! There is an adventure through scary animals! There are miracles! There is “true love”! There is a priest-guy with a speech impediment! I mean, really … how much more awesome could that be? It was fantastic being able to see and hear the characters in my mind, extrapolating from the scenes in the movie. I think it would have been just as fun…

Madame Bovary Read-A-Long, Week 2
thoughts / October 22, 2010

During the month of October, Frances of Nonsuch Book is hosting a read-a-long of Madame Bovary. I have somehow owned two copies of the book for years upon years, but have never gotten past the first few pages … so I’m joining in! This week, we have read Part II of the book. I have to start by saying that I’m very happy that I’m reading Madame Bovary as part of a read-a-long. I probably would have given up on this book – again! – if I hadn’t committed myself to reading it with other people. It’s not that I find the story itself boring, though it isn’t exactly the most engaging book I’ve ever read. What I find hard to get through is the convoluted prose. I’m not sure if it’s because of Flaubert’s original text, or simply the translation that I’m reading, but I have found myself quite often slipping into a state of reading where I’m not actually absorbing anything that I’m running my eyes across. Sometimes, I don’t really grasp what is being said – the text doesn’t make clear sense, and I find myself having to guess at what is meant by a certain passage….