Monday, 30 January 2012
I really wish I had read the book before I saw the film. Atonement was a great read, but a bit tarnished by the fact that I knew what was going to happen. I'm a bit surprised though, call me crazy, but I actually found it a bit uplifting towards the end. After a lifetime of regret over a childhood mistake, it felt like a bit of a breath of fresh air to conclude with Briony taking back control of her life a little. I wonder how much reading all of these profound and affecting novels will actually shape me as a person. It seems that every other book I get through gets me thinking about all manner of deep life issues - Atonement is, in it's most basic form, simply a story about human error, miscommunication, childish motives and how one moment can shape the rest of your life. Who's to blame in it? Several people I think. They all could have done something differently and altered the outcome, and so I take from it the idea that we're all fallible and can make bad choices but that it's how to move forward from them that is the important part. No mistakes, only lessons. I hope I never have a part in such a dramatic 'lesson' that people's lives are ruined in the way Celia and Robbie's were though! So, while on the deep, thoughtful and rather eye-opening themes I've moved straight into The Colour Purple by Alice Walker. A fast and easy read with a harsh and pretty shocking storyline. I'm once again developing my southern American drawl - must remember to get into something with a very English accent soon before it becomes permanent.
Tuesday, 17 January 2012
Time flies doesn't it?! Well, the new year did bring with it a bit of quality reading time and I've thoroughly enjoyed getting completely drawn into The Help. I did suffer the consequences of adopting a southern American drawl for a while - torrents of abuse from my Yorkshire friends - but when you've got your head in Mississippi every evening some of those phrases just seem to stick! Far from finding a follow-up that would assist in correcting my English I moved on to Catcher in the Rye, J D Salinger's classic. I have to be brutally honest here. I just found it irritating. Perhaps I missed the point, but getting through to the end was more the case of a tick in the box than desperately wanting to know where the arrogant, depressed and rather annoying subject character would end up. Still, a nice short one and now I've decided to go right into the thick of traumatic and hard-hitting novels and have opened Atonement. I've seen the film, which I'm hoping won't make it any less of an intense read, but it was a while back now and the details are definitely back to being fuzzy. I've yet to get my head into it (but then I'm only one chapter in) - perhaps a couple of hours dedicated reading tonight with a nice mug of Horlicks will do the trick. Yes, Horlicks. It's winter!