The Book Thief (2013)

Title: The Book Thieflarge_xwun4gftft3eha1culkrbuodrjq
Year: 2013
Director: Brian Percival
Genre: History/Drama
Date Watched: March 5th 2017
Category: #51. A historical film

Let me preface this by saying that if you haven’t already dne so, you should definitely check out the book version of this. While I loved the film there is a lot missing from it and a lot to be gained from reading the book version that it’s based on.

Set in Nazi Germany this book tells the story of Liesl Meminger and the town of Molching. The film starts out in the same way the book does and for the most part does follow the plot as it appears in the book, albeit some of Liesl’s books have different titles and there is now a full dictionary in her basement rather than just parts of it.

There were only two changes in the movie that really bugged me though – rather than taking a little time to warm up to Max and become comfortable, she immediately gets along with him. And secondly, she doesn’t have the chance to feed bread to the walking Jews with Rudy. But as I said, it does stick to the story fairly well despite these and a few other omissions.

If you liked the book then I would definitely see the film version, the acting is good, the sets are good, it’s just a well made film. If you haven’t read the book, I would pick it up and give it a shot, it’s worth the extra effort for what it will add to your watching of this film.

Rating: 4/5 stars

 

Advertisements

The Sound of Seas – Gillian Anderson

Title: The Sound of Seasthe-sound-of-seas-9781471137785_hr
Author: Gillian Anderson
Genre: Drama/Thriller/Mystery
Pages: 277
Category: 18. Finish a series
Format: Paper

Date Started: February 27th 2017
Date Finished: March 5th 2017

The final instalment in this series, started right at the beginning of the year. This third book in the trilogy somewhat diverges from what I’m accustomed to for a trilogy but it does work for it. If you’re looking at this and haven’t read any of the books then stop right here and go back to the first review and decide if it’s something for you.

Picking up right where the previous book left off we are thrown right into the Galderkhaan lifestyle. Yet another new side of Galderkhaan that we haven’t seen before, this time focussing on fishing and the use of the airships. We see a return of Madame Langlois from the first book as well.

Although the majority of the questions I had were answered in this book, there are still things I would’ve liked to see more of. Unfortunately, the many intertwining stories make it quite difficult to devote all that much time to any one of the stories which is both interesting and limiting.

Regardless, I found the series an interesting read and I don’t think it’s quite like anything I’ve read before this and it did open my eyes to how many different cultures and customs could be incorporated into one belief system that is still based primarily on science. I think the quote at the top from a different Gillian Anderson work sums that up perfectly: Nothing happens in contradiction to nature, only in contradiction to what we know of it.

Rating: 3/5 stars

Just One Damned Thing After Another – Jodi Taylor

Title: Just One Damned Thing After Another25876872-_uy200_
Author: Jodi Taylor
Genre: Science Fiction/Adventure
Pages: 480
Category: 22. Read a long book, one between 100,000 and 250,000 words
Format: Paper

Date Started: February 22nd 2017
Date Finished: February 25th 2017

If you tell me this isn’t the coolest plot for a book series ever then I would probably be more than a little surprised. A series of books about historians who travel to the past and learn about history and obviously get into a bunch of trouble while doing it. And naturally they all live together and sleep together. Oh and there are dinosaurs.

Unfortunately the potential of this plot remains largely unrealised. I wouldn’t say that the writing is terrible, but it is often cliche and trying to be funny without actually being funny. But mostly my issue is the continuity throughout the book which for me is always important but even more so when you’re dealing with time travel.

Let me explain a little further. The first part of the book deals primarily with the protagonist’s arrival at St Mary’s and subsequent training. This part is all fine with me though it’s unclear how long the training actually takes. It’s then unclear how much time passes between this and subsequent missions, particularly before the final mission. By the end of the book supposedly five years and a half years have passed. However, at the end of this period the same staff are employed at St. Mary’s as immediately following the conclusion of Max’s training. My assumption based on hints in the book is that training takes 6 months, let’s assume one intake per year with approximately 10 students (only a portion actually becoming staff), so we would assume that there would be maybe 20-25 new staff members. Based on the indications that staff don’t last long at St. Mary’s I would also assume that some of these staff would have died in the course of 5 years, including some of the new staff. But, that is not the case, the staff has remained completely static. Not just that, but there is absolutely no indication of the relationship growth between characters that you would expect after 5 years of working together.

In addition, the plot itself is a little bit all over the place. I realise that this is the first book in a series and some things will naturally be unresolved, but you’re thrown from one historical event to another and never quite sure if the focus is meant to be the history or the politics going on back at St. Mary’s. Once tied together some of these events do make a lot more sense and perhaps this would be less of a concern if it weren’t for the timeline issues to begin with.

All that being said, the little history buff inside me is still fascinated by a world in which you can view history as it’s happening. There are so many places I would want to visit, so many things I would want to see. So in that sense I am torn between continuing with the series to see what else happens and letting it go because I was just so frustrated by the writing.

Where would you go if you had the chance to see anything in history?

Rating: 2.5/5