I have not blogged in awhile and am feeling rather bad considering I have had a lot to say and on my mind lately. Reading continuously and enjoying the Complete Jane Austen…there is lots to write about. First off perhaps we shall talk about Mansfield Park. I cannot help but say that I did not really care for it. It was over-cut and so much of the plot was left out. Characterization seemed off as well in characters such as Lady Bertram and Mrs. Norris. Lady Bertram has always been a favorite with me…for her utter silliness and of course Pug. But not in this adaptation it seems…we have a new Lady Bertram emerge.
In this work she came off as somewhat thoughtful and wise…where did that come from? And she cares so very much for Fanny and her love for Edmund. She is what brings them together in the final scenes making it easier for him to make his vow of love after his sappy falling for you stare in an earlier scene (with background music no less). Also we got none of the naughtiness of the adultery just a curt explanation of the events. Nor any delving into the slavery issue with Sir Thomas. (Let’s keep it simple and short eh?). I could continue into other things but you get the idea, it was chopped and served without spice or flavor. These works just can’t be condensed most of the time into an hour and a half and done well. I did like Northanger Abbey quite a lot but I was lukewarm about Persuasion. However as of yet Mansfield Park is my least favorite so far. But we shall see….at least I will get a few weeks of Mr. Darcy coming up…that’s something. I had wondered if I had been alone in my condemnation but from the other Austen bloggers I see that is not the case. I know that Masterpiece has a lot riding on this new Austen Series and I know they felt that “every generation” needs their own adaptations but aren’t we supposed to be doing Jane Austen. Should it not be faithful to the book? The book which is the origin of it all….am I getting to librarianish?
And now for some praise…yes I do have some for things that are done well. And Jay Asher’s Th1rteen R3asons Why is something done well, very well. What a wonderful job he has done bring a young teenage suicide victim to life. Emotionally, physically he seems to understand her in every way and we get such a pure picture. I love how he shows how the smallest actions “snowball” into what can be the end. It’s great to make teens think about their actions but also to make all of us realize that the small stuff is important. Sometimes we might try to make them feel it is not, but the feelings they feel over the little things are very real. I simply loved to book and read it straight through. I know everyone I have spoken to has loved it as well as everyone on the YALSA discussion list. So I must recommend it as a must read.
For a review check out the PLCMC Reader’s Advisory site.