September 18, 2006

Random Literary Observations

**The Missus and the Eight Year Old just got finished reading the first of the Harry Potter books together, an experience both of them thoroughly enjoyed. In fact, the 8YO liked it so much, it was all she could talk about when we went out to breakfast Saturday morning. I gather that they plan to start the next one almost immediately.

Sigh. I've managed to hold myself aloof from this whole Harry Potter business until now, but I supposed I'm going to have to read the damned things now just to keep up. Oh well, at least I'll be able to answer for myself an intriguing question that I've seen flipped about the Blogsphere before: Would Harry Potter use the One Ring to defeat Voldemort?

**Speaking of the One Ring, I've started reading The Hobbit to the Six Year Old for the first time. I do wish that Tolkien hadn't taken so much time setting up the unexpected party - waiting for all those dwarves to arrive and get settled is tough going for a small child. Once the actual adventure bit picks up I think she'll enjoy it, but I fear that her attention is going to stall out before we can get that far.

** I accidentally left my copy of Eveyln Waugh's Vile Bodies in the hotel when I was on travel last week. Reckoning that I'd never see it again, I ordered a new copy from Amazon, together with a copy of Brideshead Revisited (which I needed anyway).

Amazon is carrying a series of reissues of Waugh's novels from Back Bay Books, a division of Little, Brown & Co. The cover designs are actually pretty snazzy. Unfortunately, though, emblazoned at the bottom of the cover of Vile Bodies is the legend: "The novel that inspired the acclaimed new movie BRIGHT YOUNG THINGS."

We hates this brand of middlebrow cross-marketing. At least the cover doesn't feature a pic from the movie, as is so often the case these days, but the thought that somebody believes the mere mention of a movie on the book's cover should be reason enough for me to buy the thing makes me grind my teeth. I'm considering taking a big black magic marker and simply crossing out the text just to show Back Bay Books a thing or two.

(BTW, it's been some years since I last read Vile Bodies. I'd forgotten just how funny it actually is.)

Posted by Robert at September 18, 2006 09:32 AM | TrackBack

Well, you know, if it were a good movie ...

Posted by: Rachel at September 18, 2006 12:26 PM

What I really hate is when they put pictures from the movie in the book. Totally ruins it for me.

Posted by: rbj at September 18, 2006 12:44 PM

Lots of hotels have vile bodies in them.

Posted by: Sarah at September 18, 2006 01:19 PM

True. True.

Posted by: Robbo the LB at September 18, 2006 01:42 PM

I really hated it when we had Russell Crowe's phis staring out at us from every Aubrey/Maturin section...I mean really, this is Holy Ground! Not even the Kurgan violates Holy Ground!

Posted by: Basil Seal at September 18, 2006 03:45 PM

By the way, the misplacing of a Waugh novel is a very serious offence...A little more careful next time, what?

Posted by: Basil Seal at September 18, 2006 05:13 PM

Having not read the Vile Bodies (shame on me) I must say that Bright Young Things actually was a very nice little movie directed by Stephen Fry.
But the cross-marketing vexes me too - I never bought the book "Beach" (A. Garland) only because every copy had a head of that insufferable Di Caprio emblazoned on its cover. Yuck.

Posted by: lemuel kolkava at September 18, 2006 06:38 PM