Saturday, July 30, 2011

30 Days of Books, Day 23.

[A book you've wanted to read for a while but still haven't.]

Two for you today, because it's Indecisive Sunday here.

The sensual, rebellious Anna renounces a respectable yet stifling
marriage for an affair that offers passion even as it
ensnares her for destruction. Her story contrasts with that of Levin,
a young, self- doubting agnostic who takes a different path to fulfillment. 
Why I want to read it: The storyline looks to be fantastic. Of course, I've had any spoilers well and truly spoilt after reading both the Wikipedia entry and the Sparknotes entry, but kaphwoar this looks to be great reading. The majority of reviews on Goodreads declare it perfection, Dostoevsky described it as "flawless as a work of art", and it has been criticised countless times, referenced in myriad novels, and adapted into film, TV, opera, radio, ballet, theatre and a not-so-well-received stage musical. 

Even the Quirks got a hold of it.
I'll admit it: there is something in me that wants to read it for the sake of reading a Tolstoy. When I'm invited to a literary party (you know, the sort that Gary Shteyngart trains his writing students for), it will be bliss to go, "Oh? Tolstoy? Yes, I've read Tolstoy. Who hasn't?" 
But that's only a small part. The majority of me responded to this:


Why I haven't read it yet: Alongside my "Of course I've read Tolstoy; are you still reading Twilight?" snobbery that I jokingly long for, there's the fear.
What fear? you ask. 
If you buy the Penguin Classics version, it's 864 pages. I've felt how thin these pages are, too. They're borderline tissue-paper. Probably just a tiny bit thicker than the pages in my Bible. Of course, it's not as daunting as War and Peace in this same version (1440 pages, thin as rice paper). Still, very daunting.

Other things that I've realised in writing this post: Joe Wright is making a movie out of this. The cast is reportedly as follows:

Keira Knightley (Anna), Jude Law (her husband, Karenin), Matthew MacFadyen (Oblonsky), Kelly Macdonald (his wife, Dolly), Olivia Williams (Countess Vronskaya, Vronsky’s mother), Saoirse Ronan (Kitty, Dolly’s sister), Aaron Johnson (Anna’s lover, Vronsky), Andrea Riseborough (Princess Betsy) and Domhnall Gleeson (Levin).

Of course Keira is the leading lady (Joe Wright, be creative! Find someone new!). Extremely excited for yet another Matthew MacFadyen drool-fest (though, once again... be creative, Joe). Apparently Kitty and Levin marry one another... I tell you, I'm going to be getting so confused throughout this entire movie. "NO! LIZZIE, STOP KISSING WATSON. GO BACK TO MR DARCY. Incidentally, why is Mr Darcy with the Grey Lady? AND BRIONY YOU ARE NOT FLEUR STOP ATTEMPTING TO SEDUCE BILL."
If that's the correct pairings, anyway.
However, I'm most excited about Tom Stoppard writing the script. Squee x a million.

Next up...
Falsely accused of treason, the young sailor Edmond Dantes is
arrested on his wedding day and imprisoned in the island
fortress of the Chateau d'If. Having endured years of
incarceration, he stages a daring and dramatic escape and
sets out to discover the fabulous treasure of
Monte Cristo, and to catch up with his enemies.
Why I want to read it: This book seems to be the great adventure novel I've been searching high and low for. I don't know much about it to see how accurate that is. Once again, Goodreads made it look very promising, as did a quick Wikipedia scan (I didn't read too much for fear of spoilers. I refuse to have this one spoiled). It looks like it's going to be filled with brilliantly written characters, which is my absolute favourite thing when reading.
Character relations in the novel (click to enlarge. You'll need to).
The saying "it's a small world after all" clearly came from
a fan of this book.
My friend Joshua has been extremely inspired by this book, and has urged me countless times to read it. Much to his dismay, I still haven't actively hunted for it and haven't bought it when it's been right in front of my face. (I can still remember the day when I bought a Sophie Kinsella novel instead of this one. He nearly cried.) So that's another reason: I sort of promised him I would before I died.

Why I haven't read it yet: I'll chalk this one up to laziness, and there always being an easier read around. Case in point, I'll choose chick-lit over something that will stimulate my mind more. (No offense, chick-lit writers. I'm probably going to be one of you anyway.) With books like this, I have an, "Eh, next time" frame of mind as I'm scouring libraries. I nearly missed out on the joys of Jane Eyre, The Virgin Suicides, and Pride and Prejudice as a result of this, but still I persist in this way of thinking.

Other things I realised in writing this post: Jim Caviezel (aka Guy Who Starred in A Movie Once With Jennifer Lopez, But Who Is More Commonly Recognised Due To Playing Jesus in The Passion Of The Christ) is in the most recent (?) film adaptation.

Guy on the right.
Who is guy on the left, though? And can I have his sword?
Apparently, he makes the ladies swoon.

Caviezel outwardly is calm, but inside is frantically
trying to remember the DRABC method.
The question remains... when will you get around to reading these books?
Oh, all right. Stop twisting my arm. I'll aim to do it by this time next year, okay?
I have a full list of books I've been meaning to read but keep forgetting to. But I'll put these ones first, because I love you all.

No comments:

Post a Comment