Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
(#58 on The Big Read. My combined score: 8)
Going in I was vaguely aware of the story. I was pretty sure it has something to do with a horse.
Total: 8 out of 30
Overall: I had no idea this book was written from the horse’s perspective. But that is it’s only redeeming feature. I can understand young girls liking this but what adult is enjoying reading the account of a happy slave describing how terrible his life is and how wonderful it is when he gets a good master? This book pulled off one feat that I did not expect, I hated it more than I did The Twits.
Recommendations: No one. I suppose at one time the book served a purpose in pointing out how people might unintentionally mistreat their horses. But since hardly anyone has a horse now and if they did there are a lot of better sources of information on their care and upkeep I would not recommend this book to anyone.
Emma by Jane Austen
(#40 on The Big Read. My combined score: 10)
I think this was Austen’s fourth published novel, maybe fifth. I’m not sure how to count Susan. A quick reading of her bio is kind of confusing. She apparently started and abandoned a lot of books and frequently changed the titles. Anyway, Emma was first published in 1815 and was the last one of her books published while she lived.
Total: 10 out of 30
Overall: Hated this book. Hated the main character, hated having spent time with her, hated that she got off with a happy ending. The one positive to come out of reading this is my respect for Amy Heckerling has gone way up. That she was able to take this story and turn it into a movie as enjoyable as Clueless is amazing.
Recommendations: Who would I recommend this book to? Masochists. People locked in prison for committing heinous crimes. Anyone with a very short time to live who wants to make the time pass very, very slowly.
I see there is one more Jane Austen book on the list, Persuasion. I am definitely not leaping into it next. I think instead of reading that or jumping back to the top of the list I will knock a few of the short young reader/children’s books out of the way. Both to add some quick content to this blog and to get the taste of Emma out of my mind.
Available on Amazon.com
Free Kindle Edition: Emma
Paperback Edition: Emma (Paperback)
DVD: Emma (Starring Gwyneth Paltrow)
5/10 I don’t like Gwyneth Paltrow much but she makes a passable Emma. Which isn’t really saying much since I don’t like Emma either. The movie stays fairly close to the book which is normally something very important to me.
DVD: Clueless (Starring Alicia Silverstone)
8/10 This is a great movie and as far adaptions go it is stunning. To take a book I hated and turn it into a movie I really enjoyed is amazing. Since the story is retold in a modern setting it strays very far from the book but that was not an issue for me at all.