The Art of Fiction and Films from Books

I have now finished reading ‘The Art of Fiction’ by David Lodge. I enjoyed this immensely and it turned out to be a fine complement to ‘102 Ways to Write a Novel’  by Alex Quick that I was also reading. ‘The Art of Fiction’ treated a number of the same topics, but in a much more expansive fashion, going into considerably greater depth. Each section was illustrated by passages from classic and modern texts. This allowed consolidation of the information provided by both books in an enjoyable way, each offering slightly differing explanations.

Now that I have finished both of those books I am going to concentrate a little more on ‘The Guermantes Way’ by Marcel Proust, before perhaps starting something new. Maybe when I move on to the next book in Proust’s ‘A la recherche du temps perdu’ which is ‘Sodom and Gomorrah’ I will also start something a little lighter.

So those are my current reading plans, and frankly I have little else planned for the weekend, and the next week, except the usual boring stuff like food shopping.

I did watch a film that I really enjoyed the other night. It was ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’ with Emma Watson. I had been eager to see this since reading the book by Stephen Chbosky and first hearing that a film was in the pipeline. Then it appears that I completely missed its release and only by chance saw that it was on Sky Box Office the other day. I have to say that I enjoyed it immensely, having really liked the book. I always approach the film versions of books that I have enjoyed with a little trepidation, but on this occasion I wasn’t disappointed. Perhaps the fact that the screenplay was written by the author and that the film was also directed by him may have helped.

Are there film versions of books that you have particularly liked? Conversely are there ones that you have disliked or that you felt bore no relation to the books? I really enjoyed the Jason Bourne films and as a result read the Robert Ludlum Jason Bourne books. I liked the books but felt that they were so different from the films that naming the films after the books was just a little disingenuous.

Let me know your views on film versions of books.

The Best Laid Plans …

Well, I intended to write about my trip to London on Friday yesterday, but that never happened – the posting that is, the trip went ahead. I had a great day Friday although all my plans to visit some book shops before the meeting kind of fell by the wayside. I didn’t leave until late, caught a slow train and by the time I arrived at Kings Cross I did not have much time for side journeys to bookshops, although I somehow managed to find time for a pint in the Euston flyer on Euston road. Lunch at the Gilbert Scott was amazing. The food was fantastic, the wine excellent and the service brilliant, everyone was so attentive. We even managed to talk some business. I will definitely consider going there again.

After lunch we had a bit of a pub crawl and met up with one of my friends. I did manage to come across a book shop whilst we were moving between pubs. The book shop was Judd’s books which I visited for maybe 10 minutes, although it wasn’t ideal, given the amount of alcohol I had imbibed. It was still interesting although I failed to buy anything. Caught the train back from Kings Cross and was home before midnight, which was kind of unusual. This almost never happens when I have a day in London.

Spent much of yesterday just relaxing although I didn’t seem to have much of a hangover, I just felt tired. Managed to finish my Jason Bourne novel and make some more progress on ‘In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower’ by Proust. In fact I have almost finished the Proust. I think I may have a little break before I start on the next part ‘The Guermantes Way’. I am amazed still at how relevant to my life I am finding Proust, there are so many parts that make me think ”Yes, that’s just so true, I feel exactly the same’. It will be nice to spend the rest of the day reading, and I do not even need to get up too early tomorrow as I have an appointment and am not going in to work.

Wilko and more books

Since hearing , in fact even before I heard, that Wilko Johnson had been diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer, I have been obsessed with watching old clips of Dr Feelgood (obviously with Wilko playing guitar) on YouTube. I just cannot seem to get enough of his unique, choppy guitar style lately. Such sad news about a true legend.

Books wise I have finished ‘Books v. Cigarettes’ and moved on to ‘The Art of Fiction’ by David Lodge for my reading at work book. I am still reading Proust and a Jason Bourne novel. So lots of variety in my reading. I am still enjoying the Proust and every time I read some of it I seem to feel that he is talking directly to me. So many of the things that he writes resonate deeply with me. I suppose that is the mark of a good book. If it can make us feel like we are connected with the author in some way, that we are not the only person who feels a certain way about something.

Nothing much more to add today as I have quite a busy evening, but more soon, hopefully something a little more interesting too. I am trying, believe me!

A Quick Post

I have been off of work sick the last couple of days, with the likelihood that I will also be off for the next couple of days too. Sadly the painkillers that I am taking have left me a bit disinterested and disoriented, making reading difficult. Typical that I have this extra time but not the inclination to read. I suppose it could be the type of books that I am currently reading that is the problem. I am currently reading ‘The Way by Swann’s’ by Proust and Homer’s ‘The Iliad’, both books that need a considerable degree of engagement. Maybe I will have better luck in maximizing my usage of this extra free time if I tackle something a little less complex. I have also been reading ‘The Bourne Legacy’ so I may try prioritizing that for now, until I no longer need the painkillers and can resume normal reading anyway.

Hopefully I can think of a few topics for posts, although all I am really doing at the moment is laying on the sofa watching daytime TV. It sucks being sick!