Usually when I say I’m ashamed to admit I haven’t read a book, I mean the opposite. If by saying so I can divert people from bothering me about it, I will. So shut up and leave me alone if I throw hand to forehead, sighing out a confession I haven’t read Fifty Shades or DaVinci Code or James North Mitch Richard Patterson Sparks Albom. Because honestly, I don’t care.
But I should know what all the people are reading, to better understand the sorry fact the lowest common denominator regularly rises to the top of popular culture. Already knew that, thanks. The word “popular” in popular culture sort of gives that away, considering the average reader in the U.S. is happily puttering away at an 8th grade level. Day officially ruined and it’s not even noon.
Moby Dick is an exception to my Rule of Dishonest Reading Shame but I’m remedying that (new posts in the queue). So, too, (and I’ve just given you no reason to believe me) I am sorry I haven’t yet read The Book Thief. I’ll locate my copy and fix that, since I plan to see the film and can’t before I’ve read the book. It’s bad form to either see the film before knowing the book, in the intellectual sense, or to read the book after the film, something which acts to color your impressions of what the book should be but isn’t. “Literary” license is taken in adapting books to the screen. Plots are changed; characters added or dropped or altered; faces, voices and mannerisms assigned to characters you don’t yet know. Scrambling up all that is unfair to the author, who probably had nothing to do with the screenplay. Don’t judge a book by its film.
I know the “secret” of The Book Thief , which, in academic parlance the average American will understand, “sucks the big one.” I wish I didn’t because it’s a fantastic device, one I’m angry and bitter I never thought of, because I would feel very smug had I concocted such a good idea I was neither making use of nor blurting.
[ASIDE: Wickedness can be so satisfying. Have you tried it?]
If you’ve read the book I’d be curious to know if you’re planning to see the film. If you haven’t read the book I’d be saddened, but no less interested, to know if you’re planning to see the film
so I can mock you inside my head because I don’t judge people by the books they read and whether they share my feeling books are ALWAYS better than their film adaptations. ALWAYS. ALWAYS. ALWAYS.
Now, take ten seconds and circle the lies!
I should have just posted the trailer and shut up, shouldn’t I.