Saturday, 8 May 2010

To Sequel or Not to Sequel

I have a rather strong opinion on two approaches regarding books: the movie is ALWAYS a mistake (expect soon my opinion on the Dorian Gray adaptation) and a sequel most probably will ruin the pleasure of reading a book.
Among two of my favorite books as a young girl (before I met the literature of Ayn Rand to be specific) were Pride and Prejudice and Gone with the Wind. I have read them a million of times, I know every line and every chapter. So when I realized both of them had sequels, I was quite excited to read them.

Julia Barrett's Presumption focuses around the life and love affairs of Darcy's little sister, Georgiana. My hopes of meeting the clever Elizabeth and the proud Darcy again were unfortunately not met. Instead, this was just another novel about a young girl searching for love in 19th century UK. If the cover didn't actually say it was Pride and Prejudice's sequel, I would have never known. Barrett's style is far away from the satirical, yet clever and amusing approach Jane Austen adopts towards ridiculing stupidity and shortsightedness in her works. It says that Austen's heirs chose Barrett. Well, if I had met them, my suggestion would have been to either read their famous relative's novels CAREFULLY or not to bother finding another author that just ruins the pleasure and expectations of Austen's fans. Is money the root to all of this?

You are wondering why I am bringing the subject on. Well the famous maxim "Leave it. Learn it. " obviously doesn't apply to me. I have given Gone with the Wind's sequel a fair chance to change my opinion. Again, helpful relatives have chosen Donald McCaig to write Rhett Butler's People. I have just started the novel and it focuses on Rhett's life before he meets Scarlett. She is supposed to appear at the end of the novel (again a huge disappointment; Rhett without Scarlett is as good as Poirot without Hastings, Holmes without Dr Watson, or Bonnie without Clyde). So far I am not impressed as it REALLY IS Rhett's people because for the first 80 pages Rhett is hardly in the story. Instead another sister pops up. What's with the sisters, dude?

I will keep you updated but as I see it, it is just another sequel that is going to prove my point.

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