Pygmalion By George Bernard Shaw
“The difference between a lady and a flower girl is not how she behaves, but how she’s treated.”
Alright, I admit it- I'm not a fan of Audrey Hepburn. Therefore, I've only seen part of My Fair Lady (she doesn't even do the singing AND she got the part over Julie Andrews. JULIE ANDREWS!), and I had not read Pygmalion until now. I definitely prefer novels to scripts, and I felt the story line was actually rather choppy- Shaw skips over character development and moves the plot along by simply opening on a new scene further down the time line. I agree with the point Shaw was making with the story, but felt it was less impactful because he placed more importance on entertaining than on substance.
So now I've angered the Audrew Hepburn fans and the George Bernard Shaw fans. I did, however, love his passionate disdain for apostrophes:
"The apostrophies [sic] in ain't, don't, haven't, etc., look so ugly that the most careful printing cannot make a page of colloquial dialogue as handsome as a page of classical dialogue. Besides, shan't should be sha"n't, if the wretched pedantry of indicating the elision is to be carried out. I have written aint, dont, havnt, shant, shouldnt and wont for twenty years with perfect impunity, using the apostrophe only where its omission would suggest another word: for example, hell for he'll. There is not the faintest reason for persisting in the ugly and silly trick of peppering pages with these uncouth bacilli. I also write thats, whats, lets, for the colloquial forms of that is, what is, let us; and I have not yet been prosecuted." :)
The Jane Austen Project by Kathleen A. Flynn
This is the kind of book that people will read cover to cover because it is about Jane Austen even though they'll be disappointed by the plot holes and frustrating clash between the Regency era and more modern customs. I can absolutely see how they came up with the idea- how can we get a Jane Austen fan to actually MEET Jane Austen? Bringing to life this time period of Jane Austen's life and telling it through the eyes of Jane Austen fans experiencing it first hand made the story fun to read. I've read Jane's biography and watched BBC's Miss Austen Regrets, so the historical aspects and characters of the book felt well researched and factually based. However, accepting the necessity of a time travel mission that could disrupt the course of history in order to see what was in the letter's Cassandra burned (and possible to diagnose Jane's fatal illness) seemed rather weak. And then there was the main character, Rachel, who I loved as a contemporary of Jane but despised as person and peer of my own- It's through Rachel that the author tried her hand at adding crude modern language and suggestive scenes that I would deem Fifty Shades of whatever a gentleman's trousers are made of to an otherwise proper romance. It added nothing to the plot or the characters and ultimately proved to be a distraction and a disappointment. But if you can get through that, you do get to imagine what it would be like if you could go back and befriend Jane (which made it worth it to me in the long run).
A Bridge Across the Ocean by Susan Meissner
I enjoyed the book- but I wish the book summary had warned me that the plot would rely so heavily on a paranormal element. It took me a while to get used to the Sci-Fi twist to the story when I was expecting pure historical fiction. I kept reading because the WWII and Queen Mary plot lines were well-researched, engrossing stories with strong characters. By the end of the book, I could enjoy the interwoven stories for what they were, but it never stopped feeling like the introduction of the phenomenal was a shortcut that ultimately hampered the overall success of the book.