Posts Tagged ‘Literature’

Penguin recently posted a new cover for their new adult edition of a classic book on their Facebook page, and people started guessing which book it was for.

I was surprised and horrified to discover that the book in question turned out to be “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” by Roald Dahl, and that THIS is the cover:

“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” by Roald Dahl (via the Guardian)

This is a rather sexualised image of a girl, who one imagines is meant to be Violet Beauregarde or Veruca Salt from the book, and it sends the wrong message about what the book is about. Don’t judge a book by its cover? How about judging a cover by its book?!

Unless it’s a supposedly clever marketing ploy which they are using to try to make girls read a book in which the protagonist is a boy by sticking a girl dressed in pink and a feather boa? If that is the case, then it’s a bit sexist assuming that all girls like pink and fluffy things.

Given that it’s aimed at adults, the inappropriate sexualisation of the girl is just plain wrong if it attracts men to reading it, and women would just find it bizarre.

I can see why people are saying that it’s creepy because the girl looks like a doll, and i’m not a fan of dolls! I was surprised that the Roald Dahl  Literary Estate actually approved this cover!

This cover makes it look like the novel focuses on the girls in the book, but the book is a about a BOY visiting a chocolate factory, the owner is a boy, and the girls don’t play that big a role in it!

Apparently, it is supposed to represent the twisted parent-child relationships in the book because of the 4 spoilt children who accompany Charlie into the chocolate factory. Ok, so they are a bit strange in the book, and there are some questionable aspects in the book (eccentric recluse of a man hides in his chocolate factory, making up strange sweets, is helped by what are essentially orange dwarves, who invites children into his factory and tests them to find his heir? Really?), but it seems odd to fixate on the relationships instead of the chocolate, Charlie or Willy Wonka himself.

I’ve never really tried to get all “English Student” on this book and rip it to shreds by pointing out all the dodgy stuff, but this cover just seems completely wrong for what is a delightful and entertaining novel.

Penguin, you’ve just ruined my childhood!

….

There is an article about this in the Guardian, and if you want to read it, click here.

I have just finished reading “Waiting For Wednesday” by Nicci French.

“Waiting For Wednesday” by Nicci French (via Goodreads)

I have read several of Nicci French’s novels and enjoyed the mysteries behind murders. This was a impulsive purchase because I wanted something new to read and I knew this would be good. I didn’t realise that it was the third book in a series, but it stands alone fairly well as it explains what happened to the protagonist previously as you go through the book. It also makes you want to read the previous books!

The blurb reads:

I had power over him, and that made me feel strong and tender at the same time.

Just a chance remark made by a potential client, but to psychotherapist Frieda Klein it sets off alarm bells. Haunted by their significance, she is driven to find out more, and her search draws her into a dark world of missing young women inhabited by a predator so careful, so subtle that the police aren’t yet aware of his crimes. With each step Frieda gets closer to a silent killer whose determination to stay hidden is matched only by her desperate need to find him. An stay alive…”

Occasionally, I like to read murder mystery books, and this turned out to be another complex and interesting novel. I’m not sure it’s as good as others by Nicci French but it’s still good quality. I suspect that being introduced to Frieda Klein part way through the series isn’t the best situation as there are a few things that are confusing if you haven’t read the previous books.

Frieda is an interesting character with a clever mind who picks up on things which seem odd, and her basis for her search for a missing girl and an elusive killer is a small remark made by a patient. Her hunt to get to the bottom of this mysterious sentiment causes her to get involved with another murder, the main story in this novel: a mother and wife is murdered, and secrets start to emerge and people’s lives start to unravel as the police and Frieda start to investigate.

There is a lot of confusion in this book because it flits from the police carrying out their investigation, Frieda dealing with her recovery from nearly dying and her relationships with her friends, family, lover and work colleagues, to the mystery of the missing girl. It is also follows a journalist trying to seek the real murderer of a girl and find other missing girls, so he can prove that the man convicted of the murder was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. He is very determined to find out what happened to the girls. There are so many little hints and twists in this novel which make you change your mind constantly as to who was the murderer, but it takes a particular mind to piece together all the subtle clues.

Frieda is a strange character, who seems to have issues with herself: she recently nearly died so she’s trying to deal with the aftermath of that; she treats her friends oddly, pushing them away when she clearly needs their help to sort herself out; she is discredited as a therapist when she is tricked by people out to get her and instead of just getting on with things, this is where she hears the remark that triggers her therapist instinct and leads her down a trail to find a murderer; and she has a distant lover in New York who writes to her throughout the novel but she doesn’t make an effort to communicate much with him when she clearly needs to.

I give this book 7/10 because it is well thought out with all the little hints which get thrown into the plot, and the characters are suitably complex and full of secrets. Most of it is Frieda trying to work through her own issues while solving mysteries and deal with others’ issues so it gets a little confusing but it works in the end.

J.K. Rowling posted a new short story about Harry Potter as an adult this week.

To see the piece, click this link: http://www.today.com/books/read-j-k-rowlings-new-post-latest-harry-potter-gossip-1D79887288

I have to admit that I was disappointed in it. It’s written by Rita Skeeter, and she’s a horrible character so the piece is sort of awful written from her point of view. It’s just annoying gossip.

I also feel that we don’t need more stuff about Harry Potter: she should have stopped at the end of book 7 with the epilogue telling us about Harry waving off his kids on the Hogwarts Express. That was a good ending for the series and anything else just wrecks it! It was bad enough when Rowling told readers that she regretted making Ron and Hermione get married at the end!

Stop while you’re ahead, please! Don’t ruin what was an epic series with some naff little “newspaper” article!

Ok, so I am happy that we get a little bit more information about Harry’s later years, but it doesn’t really tell us anything new. It’s all very well doing the piece to tie in with the World Cup (which I really can’t stand anyway), but I feel short-changed by it. If you’re going to release extra information, it may as well be decent, and not a cop-out article written by one of the more annoying characters in the series.

Dare I point out that I find it slightly ironic that Rowling would post such a gossipy news article which doesn’t do Harry or the others any favours, when she attacked the newspapers who were accused of phone-hacking?

What did you think of this new story?