Should I Just Watch The Highly Acclaimed West End Production? The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon, adapted by Simon Stephens

Which is more satisfying, to have the culturally stimulating experience of sitting in the architecturally and historically embellished Gielgud Theatre? Or to pick up a book and have the intellectually invigorating experience of being invited into a mind very different to one’s own?  Of course, these are not the only contributors to making a decision as the price of a book tends to be around £7.99 and West End ticket prices tend to be, well, not that.

THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME London _R2_6423.CR2
THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME
London
_R2_6423.CR2

If you haven’t had the opportunity to read the book or watch the play, the story encapsulates the inner struggles of Christopher, a boy of fifteen with Asperger’s Syndrome, as he comes to terms with the murder of his neighbour’s dog and decides to go against everything his body tells him to in order to become a ‘Detective’ and discover who killed Wellington. Despite the simplicity of the book’s basic plot, the complexity through which Mark Haddon describes the mind of a child with Asperger’s makes it undeniable that any theatrical interpretation deserves recognition, with this being no exception. Continue reading “Should I Just Watch The Highly Acclaimed West End Production? The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon, adapted by Simon Stephens”

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Should I Just Watch the Movie?: ‘Great Expectations’ by Charles Dickens

A commonly held opinion is that reading the book is always the more intellectually beneficial option when in comparison with passively absorbing the film adaptation. Reading is in essence the pursuit of knowledge exercising the human mind, whereas watching is thought to remove any need for brain activity altogether, since the worlds are already created for us, rather than in our imaginations. What this initial observation does not take into account however is the quality of the moving picture and to what extent it adheres to the basic plot or message of the book. When looking at classic, canonical texts such as the work of Dickens, the common perception is that ‘just watching the movie’ is an act of blasphemy disregarding the timeless workmanship of such geniuses as Charlie D. In the case of Great Expectations at least, I beg to differ. Great Expectations has been adapted on to the big screen again and again but the film I am referring to at large is Mike Newell’s 2012 adaptation for the BBC starring such big names as Helena Bonham-Carter, Robbie Coltrane, and Ralph Fiennes (all of whom coincidentally take up a large proportion of the Harry Potter cast list).

Continue reading “Should I Just Watch the Movie?: ‘Great Expectations’ by Charles Dickens”

Fads

Millions of people tuned in to watch the 50th anniversary special of Doctor Who. Whilst I never really watched the series – neither the original or newer series – I can understand the hype behind it from the fans.

Some were left satisfied with the episode whilst some were disappointed, but there’s no denying that it was the defining point in the show’s history. That is, high viewing figures – over 10 million at its peak – with plenty of debate and discussion following that.

It’s safe to say that Doctor Who is one of the biggest “fads” of this generation – and a couple of others as well. That’s a generation where it rivals other huge franchises such as Twilight, Harry Potter, and even One Direction (yep, you may hate them but their fanbase is one of the most prominent that there’s ever been).

fads

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Banned Books Week – The Shocks

From the 22nd -28th September 2013, it was Banned Books Week, a celebration of the freedom to read. Although it’s mainly an American thing, and the list I will be looking at is from the American Library Association, I still think it’s a shock that challenges are made about whether certain books should be allowed to be read. Basically, the term that a book has been challenged is acknowledging that someone has complained about the book to the Office of Intellectual Freedom that it shouldn’t be allowed to be read, in some cases these challenges are acted upon in local communities – a book may be banned from a school or similar institution to protect people. Why not read some of this years challenged list for yourself and see if you think it’s earned it’s place there? Read on for more information later.

I’ll start with 2012, in which there were 464 challenges made to the Office of Intellectual Freedom and the top of the most challenged titles list?

Captain Underpants – Dan Pilkey.

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Book Nostalgia – Pure Dead Magic

What is the first children’s book that comes to mind? What book in your childhood did you love beyond compare? Possibly within our lifetime, and especially within us younger generation the response may be Harry Potter, or A Series of Unfortunate Events, and if you were to ask me last week then I would have said one of the two. However, over the weekend something possessed me to pick up off the shelf my most loved, most cherished children’s book; one that will quite possibly never be replaced as my favorite book of all time, and I could not believe that I had left it idle on the shelf for so long. Reading it again after such a long time nearly brought me to tears, as the strong presence of nostalgia was wrapping me up in a great big blanket and warming me up inside. The book I am talking about is called ‘Pure Dead Magic’, the first in a six part series, written by Debi Gliori. Continue reading “Book Nostalgia – Pure Dead Magic”

Fifty Shades of Grey: Fathoming the Phenomenon

No longer is it Edward Cullen or Harry Potter that is sweeping girls off of their feet, but Mr Grey with his firm hand has now penetrated the literature market and soon will take an undoubtedly high position in the film charts. What is it about this character that has women ‘doing salsa dances in their heads though’? It is certainly unheard of in my opinion for the man of your dreams to carefully calculate exactly how many carrots your going to eat a day as well as how long you’re going to spend on the running machine (oh and the continuous reminder that you are not romantically but only rampantly attached) But, something has made fifty shades of grey the fastest selling novel ever.

I decided to struggle through the book to gain a more informed idea of the story and try and fathom the phenomenon of which it has become.

Continue reading “Fifty Shades of Grey: Fathoming the Phenomenon”

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