Posts Tagged ‘Reviews’

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Book : Journey To The Center Of The Earth by Jules Verne

Category : Classic , Science Fiction

Protagonist : Otto Lidenbrock

Summary of the book from Good Reads

As irascible scholar Professor Lidenbrock pores over a rare Icelandic tome, he discovers a scrap of parchment with cryptic writing tucked away between the ancient pages. And when his nephew, Axel, finally breaks the writing’s secret code, he learns of a hidden underground passageway that may lead deep into the center of the earth.

Despite Axel’s misgivings, he and the obsessed Lidenbrock travel to Iceland and, with a guide named Hans, set out on a perilous expedition in the course of which the trio will encounter an extraordinary new world of extinct yet living species, an underground sea, and gigantic, battling monsters.

Things I liked about this book:

This book was published in 1864 and the forward thinking Jules Verne conceptualised a plot that continues to enthrall readers of all age even to this day. It is a perfect balance of science and fiction . The fictionalization has been in everyplace accounted with facts that can at least partly explain the occurence. Writing this stuff in 1800 itself makes me wonder what kind of imagination Verne must have had.

The excitement is never-ending in this book. The well placed obstacles make it a fun reading as well as keep the story moving.

Most importantly, it was the book I read as a kid in form of Illustrated Classic. It was my first book in that series and has always remained a favourite. I really wanted to read the unabridged form but never got a chance until I landed up participating in the Classics Challenge 🙂

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This is the cover of my Illustrated Classic version of the book  [Googled for the image 🙂 ]

Things I disliked about the book : None

On my rating scale :4 out of 5

Challenges for which the book is listed : Classics Challenge 2009

Fill In The Gaps 100 Project

I watched Hitchcock’s Rebecca at a friend’s place where they had some sort of marathon viewing Hitchcock movies. It revived my interest in reading Rebecca which though I had read , wasn’t very clear in my mind.
As to which one I liked better , I am still not able to come to a conclusion because the storyline has been faithfully maintained and executed with utmost perfection.

rebecca

Book :

I have been a great fan of Daphne Du Maurier not only for Rebecca but also for Frenchman’s Creek.
With one of the most unforgettable opening lines , the book holds on to you. The timid new Mrs de Winter is in awe of most of the things at Manderley. She is always being compared to Rebecca , the late Mrs de Winter and made to feel she is not sophisticated enough for a mansion like Manderley. The root cause of troubles is the staunch silence her husband maintains in relation to Rebecca and the house keeping in charge Mrs Denver ( read evil personified, I just hated that lady)
She keeps falling in to the traps that Mrs Denvers sets for her. For our narrator it is as if people are trying to keep Rebecca alive even though she is no more. Does the narrator  have her happily ever after ? I am not going to give you that. Grab the book read it.

I do have some problems with the characters though. Firstly , why is our new Mrs de Winters such a mouse ? I literally wanted her to open her mouth , speak up and take a stand. It’s her husband’s house for God’s sake.Mrs Denvers doesn’t own it. But all you get from her are whining.

Secondly , what kind of husband would leave his wife with no explanation about his previous wife when he knows what she is going through at the house. Constant mention of Rebecca does not seem to strike as odd to him.

Other than these two things , I had no problem with the book. It was an absorbing read .

Book Rating : 4.5 out of 5

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Movie :

I have to say I was  surprised that they stuck to the book for most part.  Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine suited well for the roles of Maxim and Mrs de Winter . The pace of the story is fast as is any Hitchcock movie. Only difference is mode of Rebecca’s death which differs in the movie version. With a movie as good as this I would gladly over look that. Another problem was that Mrs Denvers wasn’t as malicious looking as she had to be ,though she tried hard and I felt she was little too young for that role.I had imagined someone older for that role.

Movie rating :5 out of 5 ( I can’t give anything lesser than this for a Alfred Hitchcock movie )