Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Books and Movies and Food: The Collision

I am in a "Read the Classics" book club.  The books so far have been:

House of Seven Gables
The Brothers Karamazov
The Scarlet Letter
The Maltese Falcon
Cyrano De Begerac
The Count of Monte Cristo

I read the first two and then slacked off on the rest.  Since I am deep in the throes of the annual Autumn Quilting Frenzy, I need some good books to listen to as I quilt and travel nearly non-stop.  I decided to catch up with my reading, starting with the latest.

The Count of Monte Cristo is a big book.  Huge.  I listen to my books while I quilt and this book came in at nearly 53 hours long.  I love big books but was worried how I would get through 53 hours of a musty old book.  I listened as I quilted, as I packed, and as I drove.  The book was so great that I couldn't stop listening to it.  I kept an earbud plugged in while I was in stores and restaurants and in the library (picking up a copy of The Count of Monte Cristo movie!).  I drove home from last weekend's event with 58 minutes left.  I waved hello to my husband and then kept listening while I unpacked, started a load of laundry, and sorted my mail.  I knew after the first several hours of listening that I would love this book unless it totally derailed.  It didn't.  This is now in my top ten favorite books ever.

Summary:  Book = Excellent.

The morning after I finished the book, I ran the Jim Caviezel version of The Count Of Monte Cristo movie on my laptop in my office and quilted while watching/listening.  Oh, the disappointment.  I've ranted before about my love of The Little Princess BOOK and my disgust at The  Little Princess MOVIE.  In both cases, the movies are probably just fine but would probably be better served if they had completely different titles.  Shirley Temple's The Little Princess could be titled "Cute Little Girl Sings and Dances and Makes Everyone Happy."  The Jim Caviezel The Count of Monte Cristo could be known as "No.  Just no."  It's a fine tale of adventure that was marred by the casting of Luis Guzman. He's a fine actor and I really like him, but he's not quite cut out for a period piece.

Summary:  Book > Movie.

The book had one flaw, though.  I waited 53 hours for Edmond to make a Monte Cristo sandwich.  SPOILER ALERT:  he didn't.  So I did.

Look closely at the homemade currant sauce made from berries grown a mile from my house.  Be impressed.

Confession:  I did shop for the ingredients with an earbud in my ear, listening to the second to last hour of the book.

Summary:  Sandwich = Yum

I'm going to tackle either Walden or The Maltese Falcon next.  I've been warned about Walden.  Any advice on getting through that one?


Lisa said...

So I'm reading your post and approving of your count of monte cristo choice and then I get to the "gonna watch the movie" bit and I'm thinking 'no, no! don't do it!' but of course you can't hear me and had already watched the disappointment by the time you wrote the post.

Sometimes they do movies well - for example the whole hunger games bit is not bad so far - there is still half of mockingjay to be released (all three books totaled is about 33 hours of listening) and the Harry Potters get a little disjointed towards the end but still recognizable as from the books.

Jocelyn said...

I read the Count of Monte Cristo with my son about 5 years ago when he was doing a Literature class. Yes it was VERY long, but it was also very intriguing. How can you not root for him? That's why it is a classic! He also was to read Les Miserables, but I did do the audio for that one. Another classic. I had seen the movie before I read the book, so I at least understood the whole story line before the reading. I love the classics. I usually have better retention when I actually read the books, but it's amazing how much you can "read" when you listen to the audio.