Tag: Adaptations

Robert Louis Stevenson – Kidnapped | Review

Title: Kidnapped

Author: Robert Louis Stevenson

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 232

Rating: 3.25/5

I’ve had this for a while but had been putting it off because I didn’t much like Treasure Island. My issue there was that I thought the story line was good but that the writing let it down, which is why I tend to enjoy adaptations of it more than the source material.

Here, I quite liked the character of David Balfour and I found the story a little more balanced with better pacing, and I also thought that Stevenson’s writing was a little more approachable. The downside is that there aren’t any pirates, but I can live with that.

True, I still don’t think that Stevenson is the writer for me, but I did think that was perhaps more accessible. I’m sure there are some pretty cool adaptations of it too, although I can’t say I’ve ever seen any. Now that I know the story, though, I can go ahead and check some of them out, I guess.

So would I recommend it? Well that kind of depends as it’s a complicated question with no easy answer. It’s not a bad shout if you’re into classics and you’re looking for something that’s a little more of an adventure. If you’re more of a general reader then perhaps you’re better off just skipping it. Huh.

Learn more about Kidnapped.

 


Max Brooks – World War Z | Review

Title: World War Z

Author: Max Brooks

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 344

Rating: 3.25/5

This is one of those interesting examples of when there’s been a movie adaptation of a book that really doesn’t lend itself to movie adaptations. In fact, there’s arguably not even a plot to this book, and if there is one then it’s deliberately thin and disparate. Instead of following a central story, Brooks wants us to see the war against the zombies as a whole, and he does this through this sort of found narrative, epistolary approach that reminded me of Dracula, although I definitely preferred Dracula.

It’s not that there’s anything wrong with this, and indeed I think it would be a good source if you were writing about zombies or studying their impact on popular culture for whatever reason. It’s just that it reads almost more like a non-fiction book than a fictional one, and in fact for something that focusses on zombies, it gets surprisingly boring. The epistolary layout, consisting mostly of the transcripts of interviews, is kind of cool to begin with, but after a while it started to jade on me and ultimately, it felt like a bit of a gimmick.

Still, it wasn’t too bad, and the writing itself was pretty good, as was the world-building. In fact, I’d argue that it’s the world-building that makes this worth reading in the first place. It’s more interesting to learn about the response that people have to the crisis from around the world than it is to follow any one group of characters, and indeed the structure of the story makes it almost impossible to do that in the first place.

Ultimately, that makes it an unusual book but one that’s worth reading, even if I myself didn’t fall in love with it. It was pretty cool to see what Brooks has in mind when it comes to our human reaction to the walking dead, and I don’t regret picking it up, though I doubt I’ll ever re-read it.

Learn more about World War Z.

 


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