Friday, March 27, 2015

Flash Fiction Friday #3

Yikes, only three (three and a half?) weeks into this "Flash Fiction Friday" and I've already forgotten to post one on time. I really don't have anything to say in my defense except that I had a busy weekend and it just slipped my mind. I'll try not to let it happen again. In other news, 1Q84 is taking me an extremely long time to get through, so my review for it may end up being posted a lot later than I intended it to be. Sorry, but I have no idea yet when you can expect that. In the meantime, if I have the time for it I might end up reading something else so that I at least have a book to review in a decent amount of time. We'll see what happens.

Yeah ok, Leanne, keep telling yourself that...

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Book was DEFINITELY Better

As a follow-up to my previous post, I figured I would countdown some of the movie adaptations that were infinitely WORSE than the novels. This one is a pretty short list; the majority of movie adaptations I've seen, even the good ones, haven't been quite as good as the book, so the films listed here are the ones that particularly grind my gears. But before we get to that, there's one more movie that I neglected to mention in my "book wasn't necessarily better" list, which is surprising because it's a particular favorite of mine:

6) The Princess Bride- Another classic, although perhaps not quite as universally renowned as The Godfather or Gone with the Wind. But in my experience, it's hard to find someone who hasn't seen this movie and loved it. As with The Godfather, I was unaware for quite some time that The Princess Bride was based on a real book. Naturally, once I found out that it was I had to read it.

My personal opinion of this one once again mostly comes down to writing style. Just like The Godfather (and I never imagined I'd ever be comparing these two), The Princess Bride is a story that simply works much better as a film than it does as a novel. I can appreciate that William Goldman was trying to do something unique by pretending to be translating/retelling a story originally written by a fake author, but the novelty wore off pretty quickly and it became a distraction from the main plot. Goldman, clever though he may be in other respects, spends way too much time going off on extended tangents, often right in the middle of a scene. I can appreciate the book for being the inspiration for one of my favorite films, but ultimately it was kind of a letdown.

Ok, now that that's out of the way, on to the crap... 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Book Was Better... Or Was It?

It's common knowledge among fans of popular books and series that "the book is always better"... or is it? Film is just as much of an art form as literature, and though it may be rare, there are times when the transition from one medium to another has no detrimental effects on the story, or perhaps even improves upon the original. So here is my--perhaps controversial--list of five times when I believed that the book was NOT better.

1) Fifty Shades of Grey- I'll just get this one out of the way first. There's not much to say that I haven't said already in my review of the movie, but it's hard to deny that the Fifty Shades movie is objectively "better" in a lot of ways  when compared to the book. The filmmakers consciously decided to tone down Christian's abusive behavior, they improved the dialogue in what few places they could circumvent E.L. James' iron grasp, Ana was made to be more likeable, and the overall story was marginally less cringe-worthy. However, by improving upon the source material the movie was also paradoxically worse for people like me who milked entertainment out of how incredibly bad the books were. So better technically and "artistically" (I still refuse to acknowledge Fifty Shades as actual art) yes, but also much less fun to hate.

2) The Da Vinci Code- This is mostly an old opinion of mine from back when I was still an Dan Brown fan (when I was about 14). Since then I have seen the movie multiple times and now think that it mostly sucks, but it's been longer since I've read the book, so be aware that this is not a fresh comparison, just a trip down memory lane for me.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Book Review: The Last Swordmage

Hello, friends! Not too much news to report today, so I won't waste much time getting into the review proper. I should warn you that two book reviews only four days apart probably won't be a frequent occurrence around here: I managed to get this one and the last one out fairly quickly simply because both were short books. But it's a pretty busy time in the semester for me and the next book on my list, 1Q84, is a 1157-page brick. Hopefully it will be a fascinating and enjoyable brick, but a brick nonetheless.

This review marks a pretty exciting occasion for me: it's the first book that's not a kink-themed erotica I've reviewed on this blog since Eragon, can you believe it? And what do you know, it also happens to be fantasy! Oh, how I have longed for the warm, tender embrace of my beloved speculative fiction. Despite whatever impressions I might've left with my previous reviews, I'm pretty far out of my element with erotic romance as a genre. So with The Last Swordmage, I almost felt like I was coming home after a long and exhausting business trip... only to discover that what I was coming home to were busted pipes and water in the basement. But home is still home no matter what, right?

The Last Swordmage- Martin F. Hengst

(Note: For once, I'll be trying to keep this review as spoiler-free as possible, just in case any of you would like to check it out for yourselves.)

Friday, March 13, 2015

Flash Fiction Friday #2! Plus Some Other Stuff.

I'm starting to realize that I really do need to come up with a stricter posting schedule for this blog. School and life and everything else is pulling me in a bunch of different directions right now, so it's kind of hard to stay focused on not only keeping up with book reviews, but also trying to incorporate more varied and original content as well. I suppose committing myself to posting a flash fiction every Friday is progress, but I don't want to let this blog become one short short story every week and maybe a review every once in a while. I think my pet project (or at least one of them, besides reading a new book to review, writing a story, and working on that sewing project I've been meaning to get around to for weeks) will be to make a set of blog "resolutions" for myself. I know it's way late for New Year's resolutions, but who says I can't make some blog-related ones now?

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Book Review: Venus In Furs

I apologize for not having a new review out this time last week as I had originally intended; you would think that being on "spring" break would give me more time to write, but alas, it was not to be.

I think this review will be a slight deviation from what has started to become the "norm" for my blog, largely because it's the first book I've reviewed in a while that is not Fifty Shades and also because... well, I'm not sure if my usual snarky style is well suited for it. I am still polishing my reviewing technique, though, so we'll see where my ramblings end up by the end of this.

(Note: Spoilers ahead, and uh, that's about it, I guess...)
Venus in Furs- Leopold von Sacher-Masoch

Perhaps you may be thinking that this is an odd choice of book for someone like me, to which I reply, "you obviously don't know me very well". It's an old book, a somewhat tedious book, and certainly an odd sort of book, but sometimes I like that. Did I like Venus in Furs? Well... not exactly. Was it interesting? Erm... sort of? It's hard to know exactly what to say about it. 

Friday, March 6, 2015

Introducing Flash Fiction Fridays!

Wow, 60+ Twitter followers now! I guess that's still pretty modest by Twitter standards, but it's big news for me! And 6 blog followers, too! Hard to believe that I actually have "fans" now, or at least an audience... thank you so much, everybody. I was afraid I was going to start losing followers this past week considering I haven't posted anything, for which I do apologize. You'd think that over spring break I'd be having, ya know, some kind of break where I have all the time in the world to read books and blog about them, but of course life can never be that simple. On the bright side, I'm one step closer to securing a great internship for the summer! Which probably will mean less time for blogging... oh joy...

Anyway, I promise that I will have a new book review posted very soon, but to celebrate my growing popularity I've decided to introduce a new feature to my blog: Flash Fiction Friday! Basically, in an effort to get my creative writing mojo back (I've been in somewhat of a slump for a while), I've committed myself from now on to write one flash fiction/microfiction/short-short story every week, and post it on Fridays because alliteration makes everything sound cooler. Read on, my friends...