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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Booking Through Thursday

Suggested by John :
How about a chance to play editor-in-chief? Fill in the blanks:
__________ would have been a much better book if ______________________.
Don’t forget to leave a link to your actual response (so people don’t have to go searching for it) in the comments—or if you prefer, leave your answers in the comments themselves!


Hmmmm .... I was going to say Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows would be much improved by a lot less bloody apparating and disapparating in the middle of the book. It seemed to go on forever! "Improved" though ... that's a tricky one. I can think of books where I would have preferred a different ending; Great Expectations, for one. I haven't read it for many years, but the ending struck me as feeble and pretty much put me off Dickens for quite some time. Until now, obviously, when I'm picking through The Old Curiosity Shop.
And the ending of Fight Club, the novel, seemed unlikely, given what they'd all just put themselves through. That was one case where the ending of the movie actually improved on the original story.
I'm stuck on "improved". I have no idea whether my projected changes would improve a book or not. Well. Apart from Harry Potter maybe.
And when you edit for a living, like I do (for a newspaper; I'm a layout/copy editor), then a question like this carries more weight. If you need to edit a story, to make it fit a certain hole on a page, you need to give that story full consideration, so that it still reads right, makes sense, and conveys the original message.
I think that holds true for books, too.
Oh! One more, and I've mentioned this before; Marian Keyes' Rachel and Claire in Anybody Out There? We're up to the fourth Walsh sister, Anna, and these two are sidelined as cliches, and played strictly for laughs. I would have liked to see a little more fleshing out of the characters themselves, and it wouldn't have hurt to make them a little more likable and a little less obnoxious.
NOW I'm done!

6 comments:

gautami tripathy said...

I simply hate the ending in HP 7. Great expectations too weakens at the end.

Here is my BTT post!

Chris said...

I could have accepted Estella as 'nice' if she had shown any glimmer of it earlier.

heather (errantdreams) said...

Someday I should probably read the Harry Potter series, if just to know what all the hoopla is about!

Maree said...

I agree about the ending. I'm glad Harry lived and all, but it felt too ... tidy.
Great Expectations, for me, waffled off into nothingness at the end, which is what put me off Dickens for so long.
Heather: yes, you should ;)

jlshall said...

I had the same experience with Great Expectations. Actually, I've felt that way about the endings of all the Dickens books I've read except possibly Tale of Two Cities. Maybe it has something to do with being written as serials, but the endings always seem contrived.

Alix said...

Oh yes I do agree about Harry Potter, I read one review that said it should have been called "Harry Potter and the camping trip" It did seem to go on forever!