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Search tags: classics-of-sf
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review 2017-11-23 05:37
Attractive romance-manga retelling
Manga Classics: Jane Eyre - Charlotte Brontë

Jane Eyre is super well-suited to a shoujo manga format - very soapy! I liked the cute art, though backgrounds were sometimes a little sparse. The plot moves pretty quickly to cover childhood through maturity, and parts are inevitably summarized, but key events got good coverage, and the central romance was, if anything, more enjoyable in this format than others I've seen.

 

I've also reviewed Great Expectations in this series, and I enjoyed the Jane Eyre version quite a bit more. The language used is startling at first, since it's overly formal, but you quickly adjust to the classic lit tone. Really detailed liner notes and character art at the end are a nice addition.

 

Great for kids new to the title, fans of manga-style art and romances, or those looking for an accessible entry point to a classic novel.

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review 2017-11-22 23:11
Fun, expressive whirlwind trip through the bones of Charles Dickens's GREAT EXPECTATIONS.
Great Expectations (Manga Classics) - Crystal Chan,Charles Dickens,Nokman Poon

Disclaimer: reviewing an uncorrected eARC via NetGalley.

 

Art: It's actually better than the covers would suggest. The black-and-white manga-style artwork is attractive, emotional, and expressive. Comedic cartoon-style distortion helps add levity to a fairly heavy plot, while some subtlety of storytelling is better expressed through the illustrations than the deeply abbreviated text. I found the colourized cover art too "plastic" looking, but overall the style holds up, with clearly-differentiated characters, detailed backgrounds and solid transitions. Occasional problems with distinguishing who's speaking or what's going on.

 

Story: This is an adaptation, and necessarily a heavily abbreviated one. I thought they did a surprisingly good job of conveying the scope and emotional underpinnings of the story while racing through it at a breakneck speed. The language does get pretty heavy-handed at times, with little subtlety in expressing themes and character perspectives. There's some odd switches between original lines and modern-day, but as an accessible entry-point for children, avoiding continuous use of dense and dated language makes sense.

Extras: The book includes several pages of liner notes about the adaptation, as well as a helpful section indicating how to read manga-style ("backward") books.

 

Overall, a solid, entertaining and surprisingly informative Coles-notes style manga adaptation. Could be good to introduce (older) children to a classic novel in a more accessible way, to help reluctant readers understand key themes without wading through heavy language, or as a fast, fun refresher to those who are already familiar with the original source material.

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review 2017-11-22 20:10
The Time Machine - H.G. Wells This is truly a classic! The description of the Morlocks and Eloi are a little sad considering they are the future of mankind. The ending left me wanting more.
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review 2017-11-22 20:02
Rendezvous with Rama - Arthur C. Clarke

I read this book a long time ago and remembered it fondly so I decided to re-read it. I enjoyed it just as much, if not more, this time around. I haven't read the following 2 books, but I can't wait.

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review 2017-11-20 21:55
16 Tasks of the Festive Season: Square 12 - Saturnalia: Sayers's Harlequinade
Murder Must Advertise: A BBC Full-Cast Radio Drama - Full Cast,Ian Carmichael,Dorothy L. Sayers

 

Another quick trip down memory lane, courtesy of the BBC's full cast audio adaptation of this novel starring Ian Carmiachel (who also starred in the first of the Beeb's two TV series based on Sayers's novels).

 

This was Sayers's revenge on the advertising business, based on her own early job experience as an advertising copywriter -- as well as (so her biographers tell us) her revenge on an ex-colleague who tried to blackmail her and who is made to tumble down an iron staircase modelled on the one at their former workplace, ending up dead. -- This is also the one Wimsey book (perhaps with the exception of the very first one, Whose Body?) where Wimsey is, at times, most similar to Bertie Wooster ... except that he's playing a role here, as he has been smuggled into Pym's Publicity for purposes of an undercover investigation into the tumbled-down man's death.  What ensues is one of Sayers's wildest rides; a veritable harlequinade that has Wimsey even impersonating himself (or his evil look-alike cousin).

 

I would have preferred to obtain a reading of Sayers's actual book by Ian Carmichael (he was a brilliant narrator and had played Wimsey so often by the time these audio recordings came around that he had the character down pat and could slip him on and off like a well-worn sweater), but since for this particular book that doesn't seem to be available, I'll happily content myself with this full cast recording.

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