Sunday, October 12, 2008

Weekly Geeks #16 and #19

I know I am terribly late with this, my excuse is I have been away so much it has been really hard to stay on top of my blogging for the last month. I am around a bit more in October but next month I will be away for about 2 weeks again. Me so sleepy...

Anyway, I had the pleasure of interviewing Reader Rabbit for Weekly Geeks #16. They asked me about Wicked by Gregory Maguire and my interview is below:

Who was your favorite character in Wicked and why?
That's easy, Elphaba. She was very well written and it's very easy to asssociate with a girl misunderstood because of the way she looks. It is also very easy to empathise with some of her more difficult decisions and it was a fantastic twist on the Wizard of Oz take on the Wicked Witch.

Who would you reccommend Wicked too? Do you think that it's a good book for all audiences?
I would definitely recommend it, but not to children. Since the musical came out I have seen lots of parents buying the novel for their children expecting it to be very similar. The novel is much more difficult with adult themes and content in places. It is also very political througout. This makes it no less appealing, just a slightly different audience.

Is the world that the book takes place different from that of the original Wizard of Oz?
No, it is the same world, just a different perspective. The wizard and wicked witch kind of switch places in terms of good and evil with Glinda the Good being another product of misunderstanding. There are many of the same characters between the novel and the original books by Frank L Baum plus the film, but you see them in a whole different light by the end of the tale.

Have you (or do you want to) see the musical of Wicked? If you have, how does it compare to the book and if you haven't what would you expect from it?
Yes, I have seen the musical about 8/9 times (I lose count) in the West End. The musical is excellent and can be watched without having read the novel. The best way to describe it is by saying it is the Disney's Little Mermaid to Hans Christian Andersen's Little Mermaid. It is the all singing, all dancing version of a serious story made more palatable for a family audience. It also changes the focus of the book from a politcal agenda to looking at the nature of wicked and good.

There's a theme of evil and good. How do you think it affects the reader?
The theme is more evident in the musical, but it definitely makes you question just what is wicked. A lot of it is about perspective. One of the lyrics from the musical is about one man's freedom fighter being another man's terrorist and the story very much looks at this.

And, do you think we should read it? =]
Definitely, it is an excellent book, just be aware of the differences from the more sugary musical version.

I was able to ask the Rabbits about The Princess Bride by William Goldman which I still haven't read (I know shame on me espcially as I love the film). Their interview is below:

I have watched the film a few times but somehow never gotten around to reading the book. How does the book compare to the film?
Aagh! To be honest, I watched this movie five years ago and I don't quite remember it. However, I do remember thinking that as books turned into movies go, it was pretty darn good.

Are there any major changes between the two? Anything you wish had been in the film from the novel or vice versa?
Once again, I barely remember it. However, I don't think that there are any major changes. The script was actually written by the author so it stays true to the book.Oh! But the one thing that it IS missing (but I wouldn't want it to be included-it just wouldn't work) is William Goldman's "abridgement" notes. Those notes make the novel HILARIOUS.

Who was your favourite character and why?
Ooh, that's a tough one. William Goldman has created so many unforgettable characters.(They're just all so unique!) Hmm..I think I'll go with Inigo. I've always felt a little sorry for him, what with his father dead and his entire life spent working towards that one goal. And, I've never been able to scratch that line out of my head (My name is Inigo Montoyo. You killed my father. Prepare to die). (And Wesley is interesting too...who can't admire someone who'd sacrifice so much for lurrvee).

What was your favourite part of the book and why?
My favourite part? Hmm....I really love the section *spoilers* where Buttercup is kidnapped by the Sicilian trio. And then, the man in black comes to kidnap Buttercup from her kidnappers-and has to go through three obstacles (Inigo, Fezzik and the Sicilian himself) to get to Buttercup. It's very action-y and exciting and we also get to know more about Inigo's and Fezzik's childhood.

How would you describe the novel to someone who is unfamiliar to the story?
It's about a beautiful (but unfortunately, not too bright) girl and a poor but (very) smart guy. Throw in some sword fights, a collection of unforgettable characters, some humour and you got yourself The Princess Bride.

Would you recommend it?
READ IT. READ IT! I think the Princess Bride has something in it for everyone. There's romance, there's action, there's everything, combined to make one incredible book. I've never grown tired of it. There's a reason why this book is still in print more than 30 years after its first publication! And, besides that, I think this also a novel that can be read and enjoyed by people of all ages.
Last weeks challenge was to post about your favourite books published in 2008. I haven't read too much that was published in 2008 but here is what I have read and the order I rated them:

Best Urban Fantasy
Iron Kissed - Patricia Briggs
Second : No Humans Involved - Kelley Armstrong

Best Fantasy:
Wildwood Dancing - Juliet Marillier (paperback was published in December 2008)
Second: Tangled Webs - Anne Bishop

Best Manga:
Bizenghast v4 - M Alice LeGrow
Second: Legend of the Dark Crystal v1 - Barbara Randall Kesel, Heidi Arnhold, and Max Kim

Best Young Adult:
Breaking Dawn - Stephenie Meyer
Second: Slam - Nick Hornby
Third: Once Upon a Time in the North - Philip Pullman

Best Graphic Novel:
Kin - Holly Black & Ted Naifeh


Ana S. said...

Two great interviews. I loved what you said about Wicked, and yes, you have to read The Princess Bride!

And I have to read Tangled Webs, Slam and Wildwood Dancing.

RR2 said...

Wow, I've never seen that cover of the Princess Bride. Interesting...

I've heard of Slam before-it sounds like a good book. I may just have to read it...

Kellie said...

omg I HATED Wicked. I found it preachy and boring. ::shudder::

But I'll forgive you for loving it! :D