Wednesday, 3 November 2010
52 books: Book Three- A Thousand Acres
Like, Brokeback Moutain, this was in fact another book I had to read for class, but I read it, nevertheless, so I'm going to count it. The shortness of Brokeback Mountain means that I'm a little ahead of schedule, but I'm sure which my ridiculous workload I'll need those extra few days to catch up soon.
A Thousand Acres was for my Shakespeare Class, as it is a modern-day adaptation of King Lear. The book is set on a farm in Iowa in the 1970s. I admit, I read this book as a book, and perhaps didn't concentrate enough on its similarities and differences to King Lear, but key moments are highlighted, and it would be interesting to read alongside King Lear.
Many of the characters from King Lear are in the book, although under heavy guises. The Edmund of the novel is not quite the evil and manipulating bastard of the book, but socially rejected for his avoidance of the draft, not his out-of-wedlock birth. A bastard in 70s America is not quite as shocking as it would have been in Elizabethan England.
The novel is taken from Goneril (or Ginny's) perspective, which forces us to consider another view outside of the seemingly perfect Cordelia's. Also because of this, we are advised to keep a distance from the narrator, who perhaps in unreliable at best.
Having read King Lear, I knew the ending of the novel, or at least some aspects of it, and I felt the characters were much more fleshed out than in the play, which is natural when a 3 hour play is compared to a 370-page book.
I thoroughly enjoyed A Thousand Acres, completely forgetting it was for class. It is an enjoyable read whether or not you have read King Lear. I would highly recommend this book for something easy and enjoyable, but with interesting context if you read it alongside Shakespeare's classes.
I haven't decided yet what this week's book will be. I shall see what takes my fancy!!
Are you enjoying my 52 Books in 52 Weeks? Writing about it on here is definitely inspiration for me to get reading!! What are you reading right now?