Daily Book Challenge: Day 29

15 Sep

So I’m behind again – cannot finish on time, as that would be yesterday, but I’ll make the next post go in a few hours, so I’m not coming up with an excuse. I had a tension headache two nights ago – yesterday, I was rewatching Les Miserables last night on call while I was sketching, so no real excuse other than I just didn’t feel like it.

Day 29 – A book everyone hated but you liked

I don’t normally follow reading trends, I’m more likely to read small-press books and I honestly don’t care what anyone thinks of them unless we’re sitting around talking about books. I’m going to cheat and talk about a movie. As much as I like indie films, I have a lot harder time finding them then indie books.

JC

I know that not everyone hated it – it got written off before it came out as a flop, even though it grossed super-high overseas and, at the very least, everyone seems to agree it’s an aesthetically beautiful movie.

And I don’t think there were too many purists crying out that they ‘changed it’ because the source material was so old, and those of us who grew up with Burroughs know that it heavily influenced other works. Hell, without going into details, it influenced me directly – even though I read my share of other pulp authors and got comic books, if I had to pick one source for “Why do you like science-fiction/fantasy so much?” it would be because of these old pulp novels – particularly the Barsoom series, though I read all the books I was given.

 I watched the movie the first time in theatres with really fond feelings with my dad because he’s the one who gave me all the pulp science-fiction Burroughs novels – he got them as a kid from his parents, who I learned about two years ago they got them from a friend for Christmas. We both knew we weren’t being objective because we both read and adored the books as kids, but we would have been the biggest moaners if the source material was being treated badly. We rewatched the movies again on DVD, and neither of us could really take issue with the movies. I watched it again last week – trying to nitpick. Honestly, my biggest complaint is that it was going for a POTC sense of humor at times, but it also broke up the overdramatic tone. I overanalyze everything; my dad, he’s not generally as fussy but he’ll say when he thinks something is stupid. Thing is, the rest of my family, the ones who think this kind of stuff is stupid, they for the most part also enjoyed the films. (My one sister made it a point to come with us because she knew who John Carter was).

Anyway – I’m not saying that the movie is the best thing ever because there was no way to adapt the source material and make it new and exciting because we’ve seen Superman, Star Wars, and if we were to change it too much, it would no longer be the Barsoom series. Edgar Rice Burroughs was influential on what the genre became, and while I think Tolkien set the standard for high fantasy, I think Burroughs and Robert E. Howard set the standard for the less-epic scope of adventure fiction, be it science-fiction, fantasy, or a combination of the two.

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