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26th-Sep-2010 05:18 pm
Agora Hypatia Look Down
Excepting the Top #3, the books are listed in no particular order.

1. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
2. City of Dreaming Books by Walter Moers
3. La tête en friche by Marie Sabine Roger
4. Lady of the Camelias by Alexandre Dumas
5. L'Étranger by Albert Camus
6. Faust I by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
7. Balzac and the little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie
8. Firmin by Sam Savage
9. Geisha: A Life by Mineko Iwasaki
10. The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler
11. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
12. The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde
13. Woyzeck by Georg Büchner
14. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by Joanne K. Rowling
15. Le Roi s'amuse by Victor Hugo
(Deleted comment)
26th-Sep-2010 10:08 pm (UTC)
I have never been a fan of Jane Austen's novels, but I love books about books (as you can clearly see in my list), and I am always open for new reading experiences, that's why I always try out new genres, etc, although I do not really like Crime books, for example, so Jane Austen didnt't really retard me from reading this book.
Although I have to admit that I didn't read the book first but watched the movie, because one of my favourite actresses, Amy Brenneman, was cast for this film.
I usually read the book before watching the film adaption, because I always want to get to know the original first.
As stated above, it was different in the Book Club case. I was so impressed by the movie that I went to buy the book just a day after watching it for the first time and finished it shortly after.
I think the movie is nicely made and I think the cast is well-chosen, despite the obvious age-differences. That's what I love about the book: The main characters are mostly middle-aged women, not teenagers oder twenty-somethings. Women at the age of 40-60 are almost never protagonists in books like that, that's what makes the JABC so special for me.
The movie definitely compares to the book, because the producers did a really good job in capturing the conversions the main characters were running through. They all developped in a wonderful way, which is clearly noticable in the movie, that's why I think that it is definitely worth being watched, even after having read the book.
27th-Sep-2010 01:17 am (UTC)
I love Walter Moers' books! But sadly, nobody has ever heard of them when I try to talk about them. Have you read the other books in the Zamonia series? How did you come across them? And what do you like the most about The City of Dreaming Books?
27th-Sep-2010 01:51 am (UTC)
I know that problem, none of my friends know him, that's why I'm always getting on their nerves telling them they really have to buy some of his books!
I have read Captain Bluebear, which I adore almost as much as City of Dreaming Books and Ensel und Krete (idk the English title...?), a rather short novel (maybe even a novella?) compared to the other Zamonia books. I didn't like this one that much, to be honest.
I also own Rumo and The Alchemaster's Apprentice, which I am definitely going to read in the next few months. As stated above, I love books about books, that's why I always came across The City of Dreaming Books, but never bought it, I don't really know why. Christmas time in 2009 I participated in an Online Secret Friend activity and got The City of Dreaming Books from my Friend, which made me totally freak out!
Well, I spent the next few days in my room reading this book and almost couldn't stop laughing or crying at the end.
I immediately got fascinated by Moer's creativity, he made this novel to a sort of "interactive" book because of hiding so many anagrams of famous authors. I'm still not sure whether I found all of them when re-reading the passages!
It was wonderful to get to know Hildegunst (I'm so sorry if I mess up the English names, I have read this book in German and don't know whether the names were translated or not) as a young, gifted author at the very beginning of this career and not, as the pretty snobby poet he seems to be after becoming the most famous author of Zamonia. That's what made him very sympathetic!
Moers is also very gifted in drawing, his illustrations were partly hilarious and partly just stunning!
It is easy to make me cry when I am watching movies, but I'm a little stronger when it's about books, there are very few ones who made my cry for half an hour and about sixty pages after making me laugh so often. I was a wreck after finishing The City of Dreaming Books, because what I had expected and feared for so many pages really had happened. And because I finished the book and couldn't continue reading!
28th-Sep-2010 05:10 pm (UTC)
Since a number of the titles you listed aren't in English, I hope it's safe to assume that you speak French. Did you read those novels in their native language? Do you think that the language makes a significant difference in how a person interprets and experiences the writing?
28th-Sep-2010 10:01 pm (UTC)
My native language is German - I had French as a subject at school, but unfortunately I'm not very good at talking/reading, so I'll have to answer your question with no, I've read the books in German. Excepting "Le Roi s'amuse", a play where I couldn't find any German copies, that's why I bought it in English. This is not what I usually do, since I am convinced that translations "deform" the actual creations.
I think that there are many fantastic translators out there, but translators can't be good enough to completely "adopt" the whole meaning of the original. (I hope you know what I want to say!)
Only a single word that's translated diferrently can change the meaning of a whole sentence, even if people only interpret it differently. So, yes, language makes a difference!
29th-Sep-2010 10:22 pm (UTC) - Yes
Ah, okay. I've always been a bit jealous of people who are fluent enough to read in several languages. It's difficult to rely on translators, since multiple people can create entirely different viewpoints and themes in the work they interpret (just look at Beowulf).
26th-Oct-2010 06:20 pm (UTC)
Hello there fellow HIH-er!

Of course I love the Harry Potter series! And as HBP is a very popular favourite I love how many people often have different reasons for liking it.
I'd like to ask - were you disappointed by some things from the book being left out in the film adaptation and also, why exactly is HBP your favourite from the series? :)
28th-Oct-2010 01:27 pm (UTC)
First of all - HBP was the book were my final favourite characters came out. I always loved Snape, McGonagall, Dumbledore etc, and when Bellatrix first appeared in OotP she kicked Minerva off the first place.
And then, suddenly in HBP, Narcissa appeared and my top3 was sealed. Furthermore, my top three characters all appeared in one scene - Spinner's End, seriously one of my favourite scenes in all of the HP books.
Additionally, you get to know so much about Voldemort's past, about the Horcruxes and everthing else, which is really, really fascinating!
For the film adaptions - I stopped having expectations of the films, so I,of course, was not disappointed when I saw the movie. When it's about Harry Potter always pretend to not-know the books in order not to get disappointed, because Harry Potter never disappointed me before and I want to keep this kind of "magic" alive. It works. So: No, I was really happy with the movie.
28th-Oct-2010 01:41 pm (UTC) - Yes! :D
I love your answers here.

Additionally, you get to know so much about Voldemort's past, about the Horcruxes and everthing else, which is really, really fascinating! I completely agree! I was glued to the book, especially, during those parts.

I really have to agree with what you said about the film adaptations. I do sometimes get disappointed if scenes I was looking forward to are left out - The Gaunts in HBP for example, but I love the films dearly anyway and it doesn't spoil them for me, even though some things may be left out.

I want to keep this kind of "magic" alive. Same here :3