Fanfic gone wild?


austen

As some people know, I am an unabashed Janeite. For the uninitiated, that means I adore Jane Austen’s writing. She was brilliant, witty, comical, insightful, a master of the language and vastly underappreciated by modern readers.

So when I saw Pride and Prejudice and Zombies at an online bookseller’s site, I had to see what this was all about. I’d heard mention of it previously and thought it was a joke until I saw the book listed for sale.  And I admit I was predisposed to dislike it. I have not had the chance to actually read this thing, but was so (how can I put it? annoyed? offended? disgusted?) by this line in the synopsis I wouldn’t accept a free copy:

 

 

 

 

Complete with romance, heartbreak, swordfights, cannibalism, and thousands of rotting corpses, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies transforms a masterpiece of world literature into something you’d actually want to read.

Because god knows I wouldn’t want to actually read a masterpiece of world literature as it stands. I don’t believe I will waste my precious reading time on this dreck. Frankly the whole sentence is a contradiction of itself: If it’s a masterpiece of world literature, why would you not want to read it, without turning it into a gore-fest? I get that this is supposed to be humor, but I can only imagine Jane spinning in her grave like a turbine. The reviews are mixed: Those who love zombies will read anything with the word “zombie” in it. Others who appreciate the original seem to hate it. If Pride and Prejudice wasn’t out of copyright I doubt Austen would have given her blessing to this.

I realize people like to do their own takes on classics, and Jane Austen’s works seem to inspire a lot of it. By contrast there is Lost in Austen, a television miniseries in which a fan of the book is transported into the pages of her favorite novel. It’s out on DVD now. (There is also a movie by the same name apparently slated for a 2011 release but I have no other information on that.) It sounds similar to Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler. This I can handle. But Lizzie Bennet as a ninja, cannibalizing the neighbors? You’ve completely lost the spirit of the book, and lost me.

Perhaps Emerson was right:

People do not deserve to have good writing, they are so pleased with bad.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

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56 thoughts on “Fanfic gone wild?

  1. You know, I’m always impressed by authors who manage to allude to classic literature without being obvious about it. They might create a character with a similar personality to that of Elizabeth Bennett or Mr. Darcy or Henry Dashwood. Or maybe they take elements of a particular plot and weave it into their own story.

    In that situation, the author is paying homage to an author he admires rather than ravaging someone else’s story.

    Anyone who feels the need to make PRIDE AND PREJUDICE a horror novel should get an imagination, STAT. How much creativity could it possibly take to write such a novel?

    Thanks for pointing this out. I probably never would have discovered it otherwise.

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  2. A tribute to another author is one thing (I’m thinking of Michelle Cliff’s biracial character, Annie Christmas, a name clearly influenced by Faulkner’s Joe Christmas, or the way Alice Walker’s narration in The Color Purple becomes more complex and literate as the character matures and becomes more literate, much like James Joyce’s Stephen Dedalus,) but as a rule I hate blatantly derivative fiction – it’s like cheap spin-offs of TV sitcoms. It’s also why I never read fan fiction – if the fans are such good writers, let ’em devise their own characters. The only exceptions I can think of are, believe it not, “The Lion King” (“Hamlet” with a happy ending, for kids! I love it to pieces. Show it to the Munchkin as soon as she’s big enough to handle the stampede -sob!) and “Gertrude and Claudius” (a PREQUEL to Hamlet, and just brilliant. You know I’m not lying when I say Updike was capable of stuff that almost nobody else could pull off.)

    Any critic who thinks Austen needs to be helped along into “something you’d actually want to read,” is not one whose opinion I’d take very seriously. No worries, Jane will be doing nicely for herself long after the novellist and that crap critic are gathering dust on the remainder shelf. Forget the damn zombies – Austen’s the one whose bullet-proof.

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  3. Hi Sam,

    I don’t have a problem with something if it’s well done, for instance I enjoyed “Bridget Jones’s Diary” immensely, as a modern take on “Pride and Prejudice”. It was clever, funny, the characters were engaging. But this is a cheap shot at trying to ride the coattails of greatness to the bank. And anyone who “needs” something like this to appreciate Jane Austen is probably not bright enough to bother reading anyway.

    So there, I said it. Better they stick to comic books (with apologies to the well-done graphic novels like Neil Gaiman’s Sandman). This sounds like something dreamed up by a bunch of stoned/drunk frat boys.

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  4. Hiya MaryJ,

    And of course there’s WSS, the classic update on Romeo and Juliet. But if someone has no more creativity than something like this, they really should just go back to flipping burgers at Mickey D’s. God, is this what literature is coming to, the cheap spin-off sitcom?

    I’m just so appalled at the drivel that is being published these days, when all we keep hearing is how hard it is to get published, and how hard agents and publishers are struggling to find really worthy pieces of writing to commit their time, energy and $$ to. This was the best they could do? I read the interview with Michelle Brower at Editor Unleashed, and she pointed out that editors and agents don’t want to gamble on something they don’t think will sell, and sell well. And yet this gets published. We’ve probably already given it more than attention than it deserves.

    And you’re right, Jane’s bullet-proof. Nearly 200 years after her death she probably has more fans than ever.

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  5. Pride & Prejudice and Zombies? ..It’s not often that I am speechless but I believe this is as close as I have ever come. I am so baffled by what is going on here–does the author like the book and is trying to make it accessible to horror enthusiasts in an woefully misguided way? I have always thought Jane Austen’s books were more a satire of the times that she lived in than romance novels and turning one of her books into a horror novel may be a satire on our times.

    Thank you for teaching me a new word. Guess I am an unabashed Janeite too.

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  6. I’m pretty sure the author is just a gimmick artist – I read last night that his next book is going to be called “Abe Lincoln, Vampire Slayer.” No, I’m not kidding.

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  7. Hi Venus,

    I totally agree, I see so much more to her books than the romantic angle. Especially “Sense and Sensibility”, Marianne kind of gives up at the end and marries Col. Brandon when it appears she has no other options. Not very romantic. The guy was twice her age, very few seventeen-year-olds are interested in 35-yr-old men, even in those days! Her relationship with him is never romanticized at all. Granted, he was a decent guy who was totally smitten with her, but I know when I was 17 anyone over the age of 20 seemed ancient! 🙂

    But this ….thing… It’s just unnecessary at best, and puerile and insulting at worst.

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  8. Abe Lincoln, Vampire Slayer??? Whose work is he plagiarizing for that? Is this going to be a Buffy rip-off? At least Joss Whedon is alive and can sue the pants off this clown if he tries using that.

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  9. Some people will do anything for their 15 minutes of fame, including libeling those who are dead and can’t defend themselves. Doesn’t look like too many people bought his idea (literally and figuratively). 😉

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  10. I heard about this book from a friend awhile ago. It took about 10 minutes to get my mouth closed and stop saying, ‘you’re kidding, right?’ Just yesterday, as I was following the Twitter Queryday (I should know better – I always end up feeling like I’d driven by a horrible car wreck and stopped to look) an editor said, ‘don’t send me any new twists on the King Arthur legend, there are no new twists – just send me zombies. I love zombies.” This is not an exact quote, but close. Now, the King Arthur legend, while certainly not new, has elements of mythology, sin, redemption, reaching for the unattainable – meaningful ideas that I’d like to believe are still relevant. And Zombies? Oh for heaven’s sake. For what it’s worth, I believe there have always been sensational writers, their work has always been popular, but it doesn’t live on the way Austen’s works do.

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  11. Oh good god. I guess this is what comes of 20-somethings working as agents. This could go a long way to explaining why so much dreck keeps getting published. I guess I always had this vision of agents as seasoned professionals (read: over 40), people who appreciate good literature, and actually know it when they see it.

    I guess we could all turn to writing zombie stories and saturate the market for the next few years until they start screaming “NO MORE ZOMBIES!” and start begging for something with some depth and relevance. Just pick a throw-away nom de plume and hope no one ever finds out.

    The Arthurian legends live on like Austen because the motifs are timeless. I don’t know who these frat boys are that can’t get enough zombies but one would hope they will soon be replaced by someones with real imagination.

    I just checked Powells.com, and PPZ has fallen to #2 this morning, behind the gardening book that was #2 last night. “New Moon” (second in Meyer’s vamp quadrilogy, if that’s a word) is holding at #5.

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  12. I don’t bother much w/bestseller lists b/c they have always been crammed with junk – occasionally an Alice Walker or Philip Roth or Charles Dickens makes the list, but mostly they reflect the crapular culture of the time. Self help books scoot straight to the top b/c Americans like the idea that you can enlighten yourself in 10 easy steps, spending just one hour a day! ; diet books are huge even though they all say the same damn thing (take in fewer calories than you burn – except a lot of people are too dumb to even buy that, so the successful versions rely on “points,” “exchanges,” “colors,” and wacky trendy jargon that establishes the dieter as somebody ahead of the curve) and tales of sentimental romance and lovable animals never fail to sell (basically, there are 2 versions of each: the star-crossed lovers live happily ever after, OR one of ’em dies; the lovable animal changes everyone’s life and is returned to the wild, or it dies.) It’s no big shame to buy a book like that if it suits your needs now & again, but the lists in no way reflect the potential for excellent writing that is out there, and sometimes even gets published and read.

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  13. LOL, all too true! I generally make it a point NOT to pick up anything on the bestseller list. I figure if it appeals to the masses like that, well…

    God knows I’ve read my fair share of craptastic novels over the years, but these days I have such limited time for reading I hate to waste it on something that’s cliché and poorly written. I’m busy playing catch-up with all the classics I should have read years ago.

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  14. Well – there is a lot of trash on the bestseller lists, I’ll grant that. But there is also a lot of excellent work. I only wish I’d written The Secret Life of Bees, for example. And I do enjoy a well written thriller or mystery, with emphasis on the well written and not like everything else out there. In fact, one of my novels turned into a thriller, completely without any intent on my part, and if it happened to make The List, I certainly wouldn’t object!! Trouble is, in this publishing culture, if it doesn’t appeal to the masses like that, the probability of finding a market for it is bleak.

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  15. Heya Uppington,

    I hear ya. I do occasionally pick up something that is best-seller listed, and as you and maryj pointed out a real piece of good literature does make it into the mainstream now and then so to reject out of hand anything listed as a best-seller would be cheating myself. And I’m sure I would have no objection to my own being so listed 😉 However, I don’t really see that happening anyway, I don’t think I have what they call a “best-seller mind.” I know I’m sort of odd and off in my own little world, and I don’t really look at things the way most people do. I’ve always known my odds of being published are slim to none, but I like my characters and am having fun playing in their world(s) so I persevere.

    In part I am trying to stick to reading the classics to learn to write better. I’m hoping it will rub off on me subconsciously. I don’t know how much good it’s doing, but I figure it couldn’t hurt 😉

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  16. Rita Mae Brown (one of my favorites, AND she winds up on the bestseller lists now & then, AND she’s written some truly absorbing murder mysteries) swears that reading the classics is super-integral to becoming a good writer. My friend Professor Dessa adds that we mustn’t just limit ourselves to the dead white male giants of English and American literature – in addition to shaming me into reading Faulkner while interrogating me in order to defend my love for James Joyce (it was OK to love him, she agreed, but I needed to be able to explain WHY. that’s more than I got from any course in college,) she turned me on to a lot of great Black American women authors, and we have a pact to read “Don Quixote” when we retire. I really want to read Proust but I fear I might not get to that until I’m laid up in traction, or committed to a nursing home or something. I swear before all of you as witnesses that I will read Homer’s “Odyssey” this summer.

    Whose thrillers and mysteries do you prefer, Uppington? You’ve all heard me go on & on about Westlake/Stark, and I also love Walter Mosely, Sue Grafton, and Elmore Leonard (I prefer his crime novels to his cowboy stories, although they have a lotta fans too, and some of them have been made into excellent movies.) They can be a little formulaic, but as one of my English teacher friends sez, a sonnet is a formula too, and that doesn’t mean that good writers haven’t done great work within those confines.

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  17. DD – I don’t know, I think seeing the world differently than everybody else is what often makes a truly fascinating novel, so I don’t accept that as an excuse. One of my favorite authors, someone I think of as classic, is Robertson Davies, Canadian (and, sadly, dead) The perspective in his books is not mainstream, which is what makes them so fascinating. They are also big, fat, slower moving, deep books, much like the classics. Part of my current problem as a writer, I think, has to do with all of the classics I read and loved as a child, Dickens being a favorite for years. There was a man who never dove into the middle of the story. But I was always willing to read along as he developed the characters. I guess most readers today are not.

    maryj – I’m sort of indiscriminate right now. For awhile, read everything by Kellerman as I love the psych component and I was in love with Alex Delaware, but the newer ones just don’t quite have the same flair. I love Martha Grimes mysteries – Richard Jury is so well developed and conflicted, and the other characters are so funny in the way they interact. Loved the Amelia Peabody mysteries, again largely for their characters. I will read nearly anything if I like the characters, and the writing is good. There are authors I won’t read because they annoy me. Really, most of the stuff I love is old, or at least older.

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  18. Oh, I love Robertson Davies, and you’re right – that is not exactly a “bestseller mind” at work – everything that happens is so odd and yet so sensibly explained, his stories are not like anything else I’ve ever read.

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  19. I’m enjoying everyone’s comments here (as usual).

    The mention of classics, made me recall an article I read online awhile ago. Basically, the author interviewed booksellers who spoke of how classics like Jane Eyre (though they may not be on a bestseller list) continuously sell. Whereas, there have been many modern books that are huge hits and then disappear.

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  20. You’re right, Gypsy – we need no better proof than the fact that stuff like the latest zombie tome gets a Big Push at Barnes & Noble the first week it’s released (and I’ll be honest – I could walk around there all day and drink the coffee, but I KNOW B & N is not exactly a risk-taking champion of experimental literature,) and then winds up on the remainder shelf 2 months later, whereas they continuously have that tidy little table of paperback classics set up, week in and week out, all year ’round – they wouldn’t do that if those books didn’t sell nicely.

    You know what was the hardest book for me to obtain, in recent memory? Those of you who live outside the NY metro area will LOL, but when my husband asked for Joe Torre’s autobiography, “The Yankee Years,” I went to 4 stores and it was sold out at all of ’em! I’ve never had that experience in all my book-buying life – finally had to buy it online, and pay enough for Express Shipping that I probably could have flown Joe back from California and made him dinner for the same cost…

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  21. Ok, first off I have to tell you I don’t know who Joe Torre is. I’m guessing he played for the Yankees at some point. (yes, I’ve heard of baseball, and the Yankees, thank you 😉 ) It’s those books that end up in the used stacks, at Powells. They sell like hotcakes briefly, and then you can hardly give them away.

    I can only surmise that since Jane Austen is a hot property right now, with all the recent BBC adaptations and the continued popularity of the A&E Pride and Prejudice from 1996, (not to mention the Keira Knightley version — please, don’t mention it) this guy is just trying to cash in on her fame.

    It is a relief to know the classics do still sell well, as Gypsy and maryj pointed out. I’m always surprised to see the big displays of them when I go to the local B&N. I never actually see anyone looking at them while I’m there, but publishers wouldn’t keep printing them if they couldn’t sell them, that’s for sure.

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  22. MaryJ, I am so excited to find another Davie’s lover. I haven’t been able to hook any of my friends on him – I don’t know what is wrong with them!!

    Tasha, One of his Trilogies deals in a fascinating way with both Gypsies and the Tarot – bet you’d love it!

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  23. I have a friend of a friend, a real sweet guy but not somebody I see more than a couple times a year, and after he reaed “World of Wonders” he told me that of all the people he knows, he thought I would enjoy it. He was 100% correct, of course, but I’m not qute sure what gave me away 🙂

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  24. Thanks Uppington and MaryJ for the heads up on Robertson Davies. I will definitely check him out when I have a chance.

    Oh, and DD- yes, Joe Torre was manager of the Yankees. And despite being my enemy team- I have great respect for him. He’s always been very classy.

    I can’t resist: Go Red Sox! 🙂

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  25. Thanks for the recommendation on Davies, uppington and maryj. I looked at his books over at the Evil Empire, they sound very interesting. I’m going to need to clone myself into triplets to get through all the books I want to read!

    Heh, Tasha, hard to resist a plug for the homies 😉 Do you get to see the games over there?

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  26. Morning Astro Sis,

    We get ESPN America which shows some Sox games. Last year they aired about 60% of them. They’re either shown live (about 1 am due to time difference) or shown the next day. I always feel weird when I watch the taped games. I realize that screaming during live games probably doesn’t help, but you feel even weirder doing it during games that have already been played out!

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  27. One of my favorite students did a research paper a few years back on the effects of TV watching on families in general, and young kids in particular. She found some very legit studies that maintained it is not the AMOUNT of TV that determines whether it impacts the kids to their detriment, but rather the way the family watches: families that park their kids in front of the set and expect them to not only watch without question, but to look at the little folks in the box as role models and cultural norms are causing trouble, even if the kids only watch a few minutes a day, whereas other families that watch hours and hours of TV are fine, if they watch critically, question what they see, and basically, yell at the set.

    It made me feel better about my viewing habits, as I come from a long line of very vocal viewers – from the youngest to the oldest, we holler at the news, holler at the commercials – hell, we talk back to the Spanish station and none of us even speaks Spanish. Until I got married, I didn’t realize that EVERYONE didn’t watch TV this way. I think that’s why although I am a Yankee fan (and boy you shoulda heard me yelling at the set this past Saturday, when they were stinking up the joint in a humiliating fashion,) I HAVE had a lot of fun the few times I’ve been to Fenway b/c the fans will say exactly what’s on their minds. (Plus the concession stand sells nice fresh Dunkin Donuts coffee. Worst hot dogs in Creation, though)

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  28. I still don’t understand who even has the time to watch tv! 🙂 I guess the internet is my time-waster of choice. Not that I’ve ever felt the need to yell at the monitor… ok, maybe a couple times at stupid news articles.

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  29. WOW! Iam sorry I missed this convo…another good one DD 🙂 I couldn’t believe it at first when I read a review for this book…for about a minute, then I remembered the schlock that gets sold… Zombies are apparently the new vampires. It is a sad statement on reading today, but it definitely won’t last, unlike the originals. Most of those first sold were probably as a joke or for horror collectors. I cannot help wondering if most of the zombie fans will get the references in the book.
    [PS: Jane is definitely a satirist-that was my senior thesis! Remember, she didn’t give in to all of society’s pressures, she lampooned them 🙂 ]

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  30. Hiya Jan,

    Never too late to join the fun 🙂

    Personally, I think this guy ought to be publicly flogged. But that’s just me. It’s not that Jane is sacred, but she was brilliant, and to cheapen her writing like this is just wrong. One review I read of it tried to point out that she had a sense of humor, and therefore the reviewer reasoned she would enjoy this. I’m sorry, but Jane had real intelligence, and class, and depth. She didn’t need to resort to crassness to be funny. She also didn’t much hold with the gothic horror story, as her Northanger Abbey shows. Maybe this guy fancies himself the next Monty Python. I’d say he’s got a ways to go in the originality department.

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  31. i’m of 2 minds about the “big push/lowest common demoninator” books such as the zombie book in this thread. In some ways you get to reach a bunch of folks who have no idea that Jane Austen IS an author (not just a film character played by Keira Knightly). You may even activate their curiosity and motivate them to pick up one of her *real* books.

    My other mind finds it a crass way for a person with scant creativity to cash in on Jane’s intellectual property, and that is repulsive.

    At least the whole “Twilight” book series has an author who spent some of her own energy creating setting, plot and characters. And I like to think this is a gateway book for the younger set to jump off to much better goth fiction. I know I needed to be exposed to something to get a benchmark. It also helped that a few of my peers were reading “above” me and gave me the confidence to jump in myself. (thanks to you both DD and MJB)

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  32. Hiya Rosie!

    I wish I could be as optimistic that this will actually interest someone in reading Jane’s work, and maybe I’m just taking it all way too seriously, but I’m skeptical that anyone who is drawn to zombie books will read Jane’s books in their original form. But I’ve been wrong before, and stranger things have happened, eh? 🙂

    As far as the “Twilight” series, that is true, at least Meyer did something original even if it’s not good literature. And at 13 (her target age) I suppose it’s natural that these kids are going ga-ga over the cute boy stories. We can hope they will outgrow it in time. It’s the adults that rave about it that really frighten me.

    Remember all the Georgette Heyer books we read in 7th and 8th grade?? 🙂 I can still quote that one line: “Sweetheart, sweetheart, here’s no matter for tears…” LOL But by god I learned a lot about Regency England from them.

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  33. Oh DD, those Georgette Heyer books were a real escape for me. And it took me a little time to realize that they weren’t actually written during the Regency — LOL!!! When I finally got that Georgette made them up, but needed to research and understand the period THAT opened my eyes even more!

    I stumbled on them in my local library and literally got lost in the stacks flipping thru them….Man, I love books! 🙂

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  34. Weren’t you two all atwitter over some Heyer novel starring a guy named Torvald? I couldn’t get thru the first chapter (no offense, ladies; I have read plenty o’ crap in my day, and y’know what, I don’t plan to stop. I firmly believe that reading anything is better than reading nothing – as you said yourself recently, Didge, at least you get to see proper English at work,) but I seem to recall he had a petulant pout and really long eyelashes.

    My teenaged niece loves that “Twilight” crap but I don’t despair b/c it’s not the only thing that interests her – she is already a better student than I will ever be, and in all her 15 years on earth, I don’t think she’s ever gotten anything other than an A on a report card.

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  35. I believe the guy’s name was Torquil and he was a a very pretty sociopath who murdered a rabbit long b4 Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction….

    Funny the stuff that sticks with you after 30+ years.

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  36. Aw c’mon! We were kids! 🙂 And I have no memory of character names, or plots. About all I recall of those things were the detailed descriptions of the clothing, and how the society functioned, the various sorts of coaches they drove around in, more the details of daily living back then. And that was where I learned the word ton. Spencers and pelisses and barouches, oh my!

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  37. I have to admit, after looking more into the Jane Austen Zombie thing, I kind of want to read it. From a lot of the reviews (many from Austen fans), it sounds Terry Pratchett-ish.

    And Rose may be right about it getting more people interested in the original. I read P&P when I was about ten, and loved it. Fast-forward several years, I went to re-read it, and found it so dull I had to put it down. Go figure. Since then (and many attempts to read her other novels), I’ve considered her an author I highly respected, but didn’t resonate with personally. Now, I’m in the mood to give her another try.

    On other news, when I finish this WIP, I’m all set to write, “Emily Bronte and Vampires”. Kidding!

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  38. Oh no, not Emily and vamps, this dude’s doing Abe Lincoln, Vampire Slayer next. I think Emily would be more suited to werewolves, I think werewolves are the next big thing 😉

    I suppose if this guy was as brilliant as Pratchett he could pull it off, but somehow I’m just not getting the impression he’s on the same level. Personally zombies and cannibalism don’t really interest me, heh.

    Jane is very subtle, she doesn’t club you over the head with obvious plot devices. Her subjects were the everyday concerns of regular people, occasionally the rich and privileged, but she seemed to studiously avoid the nobility (with the exception of Walter Elliott in Persuasion who is a really minor noble but obsessed with his rank). You might start with either Persuasion, or Northanger Abbey which is lighter. I defy you not to want to punch John Thorpe’s lights out 😉

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  39. Hey Astro Sis,

    I actually prefer werewolves over vamps. But I think, regarding WH, it would have to be the bloodsuckers. Heathcliffe was a very Byronic character; and Polidori based his “Vampyr” on Byron…

    Now, “Charlotte Bronte and Werewolves” would be doable. There was something peculiar about Rochester… 😉

    – looking forward to punching out John Thorpe’s lights 🙂

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  40. This thread is killing me. 🙂

    I *love* MaryJ’s idea. And DD, your response to that, “Now that’d I’d pay to see on the Big Screen: The Bard speaking Japanese, out of synch “. was priceless!

    Okay, I’ve got Emily and Charlotte covered. I don’t want to neglect Anne. Maybe “Anne and Mr.Hyde”? “Anne and the Invisible Man”?

    DD- go Huck in Jurassic Park! I’m sure he’d be a lot more fun than the annoying characters in that film.

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  41. Almost sort of back to the topic – how did you guys like “Shakespeare in Love” ? I just love that one b/c the screenplay is so funny and sweet and cleverly written, and PAYS ATTENTION to the beauty of the language. It never feels as though it’s cheapening Bill S. – instead, it’s putting him in a plausible context.

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  42. I LOVED “Shakespeare in Love”. I saw it with a friend not long after my divorce, and my girlfriend was hesitant to ask me to go see that one due to the timing. She wasn’t sure I’d be up for a love story. 🙂 I like to see these historical characters really come to life as fully realized human beings, warts and all. I loved the whole backstory of the struggle to get his plays produced, the competition with Marlowe, etc.

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  43. Mary,

    I saw “Shakespeare in Love” in the theater and loved it. I know a lot of people were outraged when it beat “Saving Private Ryan” at the Oscars- but I think that was a rare time the academy got it right.

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  44. I agree, Gypsy – “Private Ryan” is a very good movie, but it’s a pretty basic war story, just excetionally well executed. It doesn’t have a complex story-in-a-story that goes beyond basic plotting, the way “S in L” does, as it nails that exact place where love and art intersect.

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  45. I still have to buy “Shakespeare in Love” on DVD. I have it on VHS, but my VCR sort of shuts itself off randomly anymore, which as you can imagine makes watching movies tricky. Luckily I don’t have too many movies I need to replace with DVDs 😉

    Believe it or not, I’ve never seen “Saving Private Ryan”. I have a really hard time watching war movies. The old ones made in the 40’s and 50’s aren’t so bad, most of them weren’t terribly realistic, more propaganda to bolster the populace at the time. The newer ones are much more cringe-inducing for me.

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  46. I heard about this book a week or so ago and looked it up on Amazon. Can I say that THIS is something that I’d actually rather NOT read? There is a hell of a lot of presumption in saying, about a classic of literature, ‘transforms… into something you’d actually want to read.’

    What next, Ulysses? Vampires at the Martello tower? 😉 Gahd ‘elp us and save us from stupid rewrites!

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  47. LOL seriously! What’s with all the reboots? Like all the movies coming out of Hollywood lately are reboots. Is there nothing original? Has everyone’s imagination dried up?

    Hunchback of Notre Dame vs. Devil Woman from Mars?

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