04 November 2007

More catch-up book reviews

Okay, I'm going to do 2 books in one post this time. The idea behind these two was that I was finally going to read the books that a couple of my favorite childhood movies were based on; "The Last Unicorn" by Peter S. Beagle and "The Never Ending Story" by Michael Ende

I read "The Last Unicorn" first. I don't own this one on DVD yet but it's on my Amazon wish list My Amazon.com Wish List, so if you're looking for something to get me for X-mas or my birthday...

It was a very good book and I was surprised at how true to the book the movie stayed. There really wasn't a whole lot of difference as far as my memory serves. I think the movie left out the whole curse against the town where the King lived and his "son" being part of the curse that would be his downfall thing... They also left out the very moving plight of Schmendrick and his battle to do "true magic" and his destiny as a very powerful wizard. It was pretty deep and I really appreciated the connections one could make with Schmendrick and trying to succeed at something in your own life. There are a few reviews out there that don't understand why this is considered a "classic" and I'm inclined to side with them. While it is a very good book and one worthy of reading I'm not sure I would classify it as being part of the children's or fantasy literature's cannon. But then again, we debated this to death in my undergrad, what really is the good of a cannon in the first place? Who's to say what's good or not or really worthy of reading? I say this book is worth reading, it won't take you much time and it is enjoyable. I think it would be a good book to read out loud with your kids as well.

Next, "The Neverending Story". I've always liked this movie, something about skipping school and hiding out in the attic to read really appeals to me. (go figure) I always cry when Atrau's horse dies and I wanted a headdress like the princess with the gem on my forehead. :) What I didn't know was that the book was originally written in German and translated to English. I thought that was very cool and a little noticeable while I was reading as some of the sentences I thought could've been constructed a little better, now I know why. I have never seen the second (or third, is there a third?) movie. I'm not big on sequels. Most of the time (but not all) I think they ruin it by trying to capitalize on the popularity of the first one. What I've learned now though is that the first movie is only the first part of the book! Now I want to see the sequel to see if they do the rest of the book. It was very interesting to read the part of the story that I hadn't known about. A little Gulliver's Travels-esque in the second part, which I liked.

I know these reviews are pretty shitty but I read these books while I was still in NC so we're talking before June 1st. They'll get better as I get to the books that are more recent. At least I hope they do anyway...

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