October 1st, 2013
|04:57 pm - Where You Lead I Will (NOT, at least in this instance) Follow|
It is a blue-sky Tuesday, full of humidity shimmering under the sun. Or maybe that's just my eyesight because I only had 5 hours of sleep last night. (Sore throat, allergies, let us not speak of it.) Instead of talking about that or about important news of the day, however, I wanted to check in on something.
As you might or might have heard in the past couple of days, the third Bridget Jones novel by Helen Fielding will be released in a week or two. I'd had high hopes for it -- I love the first novel unreservedly and like the second -- but then. Then.
The spoiler came.
I won't say it, but here's a news story, carefully selected so that the link title doesn't give away the goods. All I will say that there is a backstory death of a Person V.V.V.Important to the narrative tapestry.
My immediate reaction was No. My more carefully considered reaction was Hell No. And then, once I'd stopped shaking my fist in the vague direction of England, I thought again. The deal is that I don't trust Helen Fielding to tell that story.
Of the rom-com-type British writers of the 90s, I would trust Richard Curtis to tell it on film. (Yes, there would be possibly problematic pop music -- say it fast -- and a wee bit of treacle, but he could do it.) I might trust Nick Hornby to write the novel, maybe. But Fielding, much as I've loved her Bridget-voice....No. Her great gift has been for
souffles damn Doctor Who's Clara for making that metaphor difficult confectionery delights, for detailing the real-life difficulties of getting through an average day when your tights ladder and you want some wine and sometimes your best friends or your work make you crazed. I think she must want to recapture that lightness in a new decade, but.... I as a reader need time to mourn. She's not going to give that to us. So I'll have to skip it.
So, let's cue up the audio of a very old Carole King classic (the video is merely a picture of the Tapestry album). Generally, "Where You Lead I will Follow"... but not here. V.v. much not here.
Has there been a writer or filmmaker for whom you will go no further?
May you have the best along the paths you do take this month!
I very much enjoyed the first Bridget Jones novel. I was delayed at O'Hare airport, as we all are eventually in life, and I had about six hours to kill. I bought a copy in the airport bookstore, got myself a nice glass of wine, and proceeded to have a fine time, including laughing right out loud.
Everything else I've read by Fielding has been quite the disappointment, and I agree with you 100% about the spoiler -- she does not have the skills to handle that deftly. The few quotes I saw in the voice of Bridget were quite cringe-worthy, so I'll be giving the whole thing a miss.
As to your question? Hmmm. There are! I'll have to give that some thought. Well, Woody Allen, of course, but that's obvious, and I know that not everyone shares my disdain for his choices.
I liked the second Bridget Jones novel, but her plotting issue was already clear there (and I'd read the original newspaper columns so I kept getting thrown out of the novel). After that, yes, oh dear.
Woody Allen's a tricky one for me -- but I certainly see why his work would be hard to watch now. [nods]
Cheers and good stuff, and maybe a nice glass of something. :)
|Date:||October 1st, 2013 09:13 pm (UTC)|| |
Absolutely. Whedon. Since Chosen.
So I know totally what you're feeling.
He's one that I approach with great caution, much like a Doberman that I'm not sure is trained. I'm watching SHIELD, but I'm not giving it my heart yet, not by a long shot.
I somehow knew that was coming. :) I'm looking forward to Much Ado on film, but otherwise I generally don't follow his stuff, for the same reason as you.
Hugs and better things to watch! :)
|Date:||October 1st, 2013 09:19 pm (UTC)|| |
I enjoyed the first book but I haven't read the second and I don't intend to read the third. I don't trust her to tell that story either.
Never say never is my motto so there aren't any writers or filmmakers I have definitely sworn not to touch again, but there are some I approach with caution.
Caution is always warranted! Even with writers we love. :)
I admire your breadth of reading and watching, K, and I thank you for sharing the results!
I thought the second story was a bit of a stretch, not even interest in the third.
There have been a couple writers where I've given up mostly because they stuck to their own universe of characters for so long it got stale and forced. Also, when a long time main character has a Surprise! grown-up child show up to drive a story along, I walk away.
The second Bridget Jones novel was a good idea to complicate the courtship narrative which seems to end with the first book, but yeah, even there it wasn't quite holding together. (She was pulling in stuff from her newspaper columns that didn't quite fit, like the Thai drug-dealing stuff.)
Hugs and no unhappy narrative Surprises! :))
I know the spoiler you're talking about, and I agree that she was insane to try to pull off that particular plot twist. Unless it comes out that the whole thing was faked, but how could he (the character) possibly justify doing something like that? No no no, this just sucks.
|Date:||October 1st, 2013 10:21 pm (UTC)|| |
Reportedly -- because I too thought, well, it could be faked -- it's a car accident 5 years before the 3rd novel begins. So REALLY, really, no. Just... no.
Cheers on this Tuesday, Chase!
I haven't read the Bridget Jones books, but I know the spoiler, and it just doesn't seem right for the series.
I will usually keep going with writers/filmmakers when they make questionable choices, but I won't trust them, which makes the reading/viewing experience very different!
|Date:||October 1st, 2013 10:23 pm (UTC)|| |
The spoiler truly doesn't make sense! I guess she wanted to revisit courtship narratives, but no, no, no.
A suspicious reading/viewing of a text is indeed a different experience! (And occasionally it can reap rewards, although I can't think of an example right now. ;))
Cheers and hugs, Gwynne!
Yes. A cynical observer might opine that she needed to do that so that she could do the whole Bridget Jones Looks For a Man In Her 40s Thing.
I never would, of course, but a Cynical Observer might.
Edited at 2013-10-01 10:49 pm (UTC)
A Cynical Observer would have very keen eyesight, I suspect. ;)
There are a few filmmakers/writers I've walked away from- Woody Allen being one- though most are more a matter of my perception of the quality of the work than disagreement with the choices made.
Probably Elizabeth George would be one of the latter, though.
Elizabeth George, yes! I still have all the books up until That One, and I've thought about rereading, but... I've still a bad taste in my mouth.
Cheers and hugs, and I hope you're feeling better.
|Date:||October 1st, 2013 11:46 pm (UTC)|| |
I hadn't got around to reading any of Fielding's work, and now I guess I won't bother. It sounds like she's one of those writers who had one good book in them, and everything since has been floundering. Sad.
I actually think she's uncomfortable with novels -- her gift is fast funny reactions to modern life, but plot is just hard for her.
Still, the first Bridget Jones novel is great if one is in the right mood for lightness and silliness. :)
Hugs to you, A!
Once upon a time i was a solid Robert B. Parker fan, but after meeting him at a signing and seeing that there was no progress in his characters beyond their original 1970s mind set....just. No.
That's hard -- making characters change with the times while retaining what was good about them in the first place.
And ooh, a signing! You are as ever cool, ALH. :)
After plodding my way through the second book, my thought upon reading of the spoiler was simply that Fielding can't write anything but light fluffy romance (i.e., nothing with the couple actually TOGETHER), so she took her most popular characters and got rid of one of them so she could go back to the chase again.
Foo, say I.
And this coming from someone who's still reading Carole Nelson Douglas's "Midnight Louie" series (on volume 23!).
I generally like series, too (if handled with the appropriate mixture of character growth and story continuity)! But I bet you're right about Fielding's preferred courtship narrative not working for THIS series, anyway.
You are smart, K. [beams] Happy day!
There are quite a few producers and writers that I used to love and that I no longer trust. It sucks.
It does, doesn't it? Ah well.
Hugs and a great Wednesday!
I remember being a young thing and reading (enjoying) the first few Xanth novels -- and I'm really glad I stopped early. :)
Cheers and hugs for GOOD series and things you love, including thoughts of Charles Gunn! Happy Wednesday!
That comment up above reminded me that I no longer trust Elly Griffiths after the fourth Ruth Galloway book.
Oh dear. I hate when that happens. :(
Hopes for better reading, Stevie! Happy...almost the weekend!