3.25.2014

in which i'm a geek and a hypocrite.

by now you might know that i have some literary passions that are not readily apparent by looking at me. aka, i read super nerdy stuff and i love it. 

my parents always, ALWAYS gave me money if it was to be used for buying a book. this engendered in me from a very young age a love for reading (and for shopping!). my dad started out his career as an english teacher and is very hoity-toity about his vocabulary and the library that helped to bestow it upon him.

so imagine his indignation (SO RIGHTEOUS!) when i would almost unfailingly return to him at the barnes & noble register with a STAR WARS book in hand for him to buy me. full credit to him, he never said no. though he did--OFTEN-- say, "i swear, i have no idea where you got this part of your personality from." neither he nor my mom have ever been in any way interested in the sci-fi or fantasy epics that drew me in.

aside: i'll just save you some time here and connect the dots, yes, i DO in fact think this is because they arent my real parents and that i was delivered to them on a flying motorcycle by an english groundskeeper when i was but a very wee lass.

it started with STAR WARS: i saw the first films (the ONLY films a far as i am concerned...ep I-III can suck on a fat helping of MY righteous indignation) after much prodding from my cousin (i had initially accepted the parental brainwash that monsters and spaceships werent worth my time or the paper/film they were printed on) and fell head over heels in love. seriously, i was a good twelve years old and still pretty confident i could harness the force.

after those three movies came out, a bunch of writers got permission from George Lucas to take those characters and write all sorts of spinoff adventures. i have read about 150 of these books. there you go. secret shame/pride.

that's just a fraction...

STAR WARS was my gateway drug that first let me be okay with being a nerd, or at least letting that have a heavy slice of my library shelf space. since then i have become a passionate fan of Harry Potter, A Song of Ice and Fire (which you might know by a different name), Wheel of Time and other such series with dragons and warlocks capering about on their front covers. 

so that's how i'm a geek. loud and proud. but here's the hypocrite part:

like any fanboy nerd, i get a little nervous when one of "my" books or series' gets picked up to be made into a movie/show. i worry that they wont cast the right people, that they'll take liberties with the plot, and that people will start to believe the movie/TV version as the "real" thing rather than the ACTUAL REAL THING.

what makes me the most confounded and upset (righteously) is when someone declares themselves "a HUGE game of thrones fan," and then i ask, which book is your favorite and they say "oh i havent read any of the books, i just love the show." 

NERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRD RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGE!! (seriously, by BP is going up just reading that sentence).

why, OH WHY!?!?! if you love the show/movie so much would you not want to go back and find every scrap of extra goodness involving these characters and these stories as you could?!? you know TV/movies cut out so much by necessity, so the books are just a wealth of BONUS experiences with these adventures you claim to love! READ, PEOPLE!!!

so there's me, sitting on the couch watching any harry potter movie or the game of thrones series and enjoying it, but --boy, oh boy you'd better believe-- calling out every, "that's not how it really happened" or "she would NEVER act that way in real life (meaning in the book)," and mourning for all the ignorants who are eating up these errors and inconsistencies as actual canon.

and now let me throw you a curveball. what is my favorite movie of all time? 

why, it's Sense and Sensibility. a lovely period drama (slash comedy) based on the classic novel by jane austen. my parents made me come along with them to see it in theaters when i was 13 and i understood maybe 40% of what was said and going on at the time but still managed to sob happy tears (and pretend not to because NEVER in front of my parents!) at the conclusion. (bonus: it's all english actors so imagine the entire hogwarts faculty transported to the 18th century! PS snape is HOT).



and oh, hey, guess what book i've never even considered reading? uh, yeah. my high horse just bucked me right out of the saddle!

so i get super high-horsey if you like Game of Thrones on HBO but havent read each book 5 times and dont also hit the fan message boards like me, but yeah, my favorite all time movie is based on a classic staple from english literature that i have never glanced twice at or considered actually reading myself.

pause for the full effect of my insanity and hypocrisy. 

but good news! before you can tackle me with your own dose of righteous indignation (deserved), let me tell you that i finally bought the book on friday and finished it within 48 hours (with a break in the middle because i just had to go back and watch the movie). it was wonderful. rich and deep and subtle and hilarious and so freaking moving and re-convicting that the Col. Brandons and Edwards will almost always make you happier than Willoughby's (every teenage girl need to be forced to watch and read this like 85 times before they are turned loose into the world of dating).

so i have successfully closed that one huge gap in my literary history and can climb back upon my high horse. lesson (re)learned: the book is almost always better than the movie. and even when it isnt (bc SEEING marianne and elinor IN the settings of gentrified england), you will learn SO much more about the characters you already love and their internal dialogues. 

do yall get nerd rage about anything? do you have a cherished book that you HATE the movie version of? do you want to unfriend me because i know that lightsabers are powered by corusca gems from the heart of the gas giant Yavin? or do you just have another nerd series that i must read?


28 comments:

  1. I am THE SAME WAY about these things. I had to force myself to calm down after the 3rd Harry Potter movie came out because I was in such a rage about how "messed up" it was. So now I try to accept movies as a separate and wonderful adventure all their own. ...but I will still rage out over how appallingly horrid the Eragon movie was...and how Game of Thrones seasons are increasingly BOGUS... *rant end*

    At any rate, if you haven't already read them, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND David Edding's Belgariad and Mallorean series. Both consist of 5 books and are TERRIFIC fantasy/quest stories. (Really one big story.) And two accompanying books, Polgara the Sorceress and Belgarath the Sorcerer are equally enjoyable after you've read the series. Rich characters, intriguing plot, tons of adventure.

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    1. ERMAHGAH the names of these series alone would be enough to send my father into apoplexy. i LOVE it!

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  2. You just got ooobbber and uber bonus points in my book. I saw GOT show first, but then the heavens opened up and I dove head first into the books. I seriously love both... and I don't feel I have to choose because the shows are so well done. Except for the 1 college age intern the writers have there who's job is to tell them to put in another UN-neccessary sex scene!!
    Geeks have PASSION! Stand proud!

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    1. i dunno...i feel like they leave out so much of the sex from the books that the bizarre completely random ones sort of even it out. but please NO MORE SHAE...she so so so so wrong!

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  3. hahaha, you are so hilarious and amazing!!! I love this post.

    now I'm going to tell you one of my deepest darkest secrets... please don't ban me from reading your blog. I too am the spawn of extremely nerdy parents and was a voracious reader as a child (well, and now). not as into specifically sci-fi and fantasy stuff, more just nerdy amounts of reading in general (actually I read a weirdly high proportion of historical fiction as a child, something I am not remotely interested in now), but I am a huge Harry Potter fan and huge Lord of the Rings fan (but not, like, SO huge that I've read the Silmarillion).

    so... last year my boyfriend and I happened to watch the first episode of Game of Thrones and IMMEDIATELY became addicted. we completely lost our social lives for a few weeks while we watched every episode. then I got really excited to read the books because they are totally up my alley and all my nerd friends really like them and I loved the show SO MUCH!

    well... I started reading the first one last summer and totally COULD NOT get into it. like, it is still on my nightstand taunting me... I only made it probably 25% of the way in. I guess I just need to try again? but I'm really ashamed that I still haven't read it. surely I should be done with the whole series by now!!!

    anyway, my nerd cred is shot and I have no great nerd book series reading recommendations for you... but I will say I just finished reading The Stand by Stephen King and if you haven't read that one, I thought it was pretty incredible. it's not really the same genre but if you like fantasy epics I think you would like it. it's almost like a fantasy epic set in post-apocalyptic 1971 with some interesting religious/supernatural elements. and the characters are sooooooooo good. I am going to have to check out Liz's suggestions!!

    oh yeah and weirdly I can't think of any book-->movie adaptations that I've REALLY hated... other than The Hobbit because that is an appalling, disgusting, money-grubbing abomination that bears almost no resemblance to the actual book! what were they thinking?!?!

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    1. totally agree with the line at simarillion. ok so i wont hate you for not immediately falling deeply in love with ASOIAF only if you wont kill me for loving the hobbit movies about 100 times more than i liked the book (which i only read AFTER LOTR and never as a child).

      and you are tracking right with me on the stand. just read it last year and loved it. PLEASE OH PLEASE tell me youve read his magnum opus series "the dark tower" seriously...go now and buy it if you havent.

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    2. NO I HAVEN'T! thanks for the suggestion!!!

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    3. YES TO HATING THE HOBBIT!!! My poor husband, I just sat there and bashed it the whole time. Where in the world did Legolas come from???? Ridiculous. It was a perfectly glorious story on its own. I might be biased though, because I did read it when I was a child and it has remained in my top 5 books of all time (and trust me, I've read A LOT of books).

      But yes to reading the nerdy books! Love delving into that side and surprising people :-)

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  4. how did you not read this in high school??

    I refuse to watch things I might want to read, but life is so crazy for us that I NEVER read, and therefore I never watch anything. And I'm such a purist (read: control freak) that I don't let Matt watch anything because I don't want him to spoil it for me. When I go out of town, Matt watched things behind my back and I regularly have to talk myself off the ledge.

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  5. You should try some Brandon Sanderson if you haven't already. The Mistborn trilogy and The Stormlight Archive are both really, really good.

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    1. JUST finished stormlight2 after ANXIOUSLY awaiting its release forever. i read the first one and loved it so much that i got the mistborn ones b/c same cosmere or whatever, but i didnt love the way that trilogy ended. but my husband and i are both SOLD OUT hard on kaladin et al.

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  6. I'm actually super nervous about the Outlander show coming out because, OMGosh, I love the books and I just don't know how they are going to get it all right. So, I totally get that.

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  7. You hit every nerve I have with this post. I have mostly gotten past how plots have to change for movies/series- but mischaracterizations enrage me. Glad you read S and S- one of my faves. I used to think it was odd that I had such a nerd boner for fantasy and Austen... But maybe it's not so odd:) I also have such a crush on Rickman's as The Colonel. And snape. Sigh.
    Why would you draw a line at the Simarillion, btw? It is awesome, in text and audio format. Why would nerds DRAW LINES????

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    1. hahahahaha i thought of you constantly while writing this post, ESPECIALLY when i drew the line at Simariliion! you're in a whole other league, bets. and i think youre onto something neurologically with the austen/fantasy connection. mmmm Col. Brandon.

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  8. So, Jane Austen. Graduating college in 3 years due to courses I took through GSU at WA, I was in my last week before exam week of my overloaded semester course (8 English and history courses due to a double major). My English Novel teacher says, "Pick any Austen novel you have not read to read this last week." Um. I thought Pride and Prejudice might be like Crime and Punishment (and I had to read that for SUMMER READING going into grade 12!). I had not read any. In the next two weeks, I read them all: Emma (maybe my fav), Sense, Pride, Mansfield Park, Northanger Abbey (almost juvenilia). And had the only semester of straight A's on that second week of exams. I reread them all at least once a year. I even read the fragment Sanditon that Joan Aiken (whose dad was a poet) completed for Jane. . . . Your former WA 10th grade English teacher suggests you keep on the Austen train till you finish!

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    1. Mrs McNash! (i tried going for "peggy" and just couldnt pull the trigger. thank you, woodward discipline for that ingrained behavior). i actually read Emma last year ONLY because it was what the plot of "clueless" was based on (for shame, i know). i really loved it and then bought a hardback of her main 4 works that was pretty and on sale (and swiftly let it decorate my bathroom but never touched it. after i finished S&S on sunday i started in on P&P, and i am really liking it. i think it may be safe to declare me officially a fan! and god bless a perennial rereader!

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  9. I am not a sci-fi fan, but am a crazy voracious reader. I did read Ender's Game recently as it is my friend's favourite book and there is a movie. I will NOT see a movie before reading the book first, books are so much better. The GOT books are amazing, I can't wait for him to finish the next one! You should read Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, you get the general story, but also the fun of sea monsters to make it a little more exciting! Oh and yes I love Rickman too. Swoon.

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    1. i LOVE ender! i read the first one in HS and read all the sequels and prequels too (even when they got WEIRD). i was pumped for the movie but heard it blew so i cant bring myself to watch that dream be destroyed before my eyes. i'm dying at the sea monsters! cant believe this is a real thing and yet completely intrigued

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    2. I haven't seen the movie yet, not sure if my Ender loving friend has either. I also suggest Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, it's even better and who doesn't love zombies! :)

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  10. Ok first, NAME OF THE WIND. Read it now if you have not. I saw someone already said Brandon Sanderson. Love him. Way of Kings? Amazing. Have you read any of the Divergent books? I'm debating jumping on that bandwagon. As far as book to movie rants, hated all the Twilight movies because of the casting. (Don't hate me on my sparkly vampire lameness and I'll forgive the light saber stuff.) Also hated Queen of the Damned from a thousand years ago because I LOVE the Ann Rice novels and most of those other movie adaptations were awesome. Oh, and I literally JUST had the GOT book versus show "true fan" debate last night. Makes me bonkers... although I get some points taken away since I have yet to finish the latest book... Aaaaaand the end. Sorry that was crazy scattered and long.

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    1. OMG totally didnt know YOU were into geekery! i havent tried divergent yet bc it reeked of Hunger Games ripoff (i know the Div. fans HATE hearing that). name of the wind...gonna check it out! i read the twilight books too! no shame. wasnt a super fan of the whole thing but read them really fast bc they were GOOD (though, more sex scenes, please...after so much build up, dont just fade to black!)

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    2. Don't start divergent. Stinks. Only trilogy I've never finished.

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  11. Agree with Unknown...have all the other Austin books if you'd like...and I just watched 8 Pride and Prejudice DVD's from the HBO series on Elena's small TV/DVD player in my room alone on the floor by staying up late two nights in a row and had a ball!!

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    1. oh that sounds awesome! i know theyve made lots of movies about it, but a miniseries would really do the full scope justice! i'll check it out for sure after i finish the book (im in progress now!)

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  12. I'm the exact same way, Ender's Game, Harry Potter, Hunger Games, I could go on. They were all a bit frustrating to watch and just not as good as what I imagined.

    But the movie that was, by far, the worst adaptation of a good book for me was Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Slayer. Found the book during a long layover in an airport a few years ago and once I've started it I couldn't put it down. I've read the book multiple times since then, love how the author was able to weave history into this story. It made me want to read non-fiction books about Mr. Lincoln. The movie was so dissapointing. I felt like the director/whoever looked at the book and said how gory can we possibly make this? There was a fair bit of gore in the book but the movie was terrifying in a way that the book just wasn't. Just awful.

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  13. This is me reading this blogpost: "Mmmhmm, mmmhmm, what? blah,blah, words I can't pronouce, is that a book? What is she saying? Jane Austen, good, I see. HUH? Lost me again....Hmm...I don't get it."

    In other news, Memoirs of a Geisha is an incredible book and a terrible movie (besides the music and scenery). I actually asked Grant if he had any clue on what was going on because I didn't see how anyone could understand anything if they hadn't read the book. And, yes, we were dating at the time. He was still trying to act like he cared about my movie choices at that point. Bless him.

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  14. Juliet Marillier's Sevenwater's Trilogy is. absolutely. amazing. She writes fantasy based off of irish folklore, and its just so wonderful. She has two books that she's written for young adults, and they are fantastic as well, 'Wildwood Dancing' and the sequel 'Cybele's Secret'. Whenever I find out someone else enjoys fantasy (which is rare because I don't divulge that information readily!) I recommend these books. Also, this post was so great because I just started reading Sense and Sensibility a few days ago! I LOVE that movie and felt like a hypocrite too! So far, its better than I could have imagined...I can't wait to have the weekend to finish it off.

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  15. Out of all of your posts that I resonate with (which are…all of them), and all of the posts I want to write you a huge comment on (again…all of them)…this post gets the comment, because I just googled "Is Jon Snow dead?" (Please don't be dead!) (Also, I hadn't read the series at all prior to this blog post, but I was itching for a new series, and then, yeah. Countless hours over the past two months, spent in Westeros, etc.) (Don't be dead Jon!) (I don't want any of the Starks to be dead, but it seems a little late for Ned and Robb.)

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