This is an odd one to try to explain to people.
Lily and the Octopus is about Ted, who talks to his dachshund, Lily, and thinks he can hear her talking back. It’s unclear whether he genuinely believes she is talking to him, or if it’s just how he copes. At the beginning of the book, Ted notices a tumour on Lily’s head, although he doesn’t name it, instead seeing it as an octopus, which shortly also begins talking to him.
It seems all movies make their way to the stage in the end. Young Frankenstein is a welcome addition, as would be much of Mel Brooks’ catalogue, familiar as his films are with raucous laughter and ridiculous songs.
This musical parody follows the story of Frederick Frankenstein, sceptical descendent of Mary Shelley’s Victor, who visits Transylvania to settle his late grandfather’s estate. While there, he picks up where his grandfather left off to create his very own Creature.
It’s almost too faithful to the original film, not adding much of its own flair. However it works as a stage show and the nostalgia wins out in the end, to the point where the audience are laughing seconds before the best lines. There are moments from the film that really needed changing: a rape that becomes consensual is a backwards idea that could have been updated, instead of copying the film outright.
It is a star-studded cast, and of course Ross Noble’s Igor won the audience’s hearts the moment he stepped – or should we say, skulked – onstage. He added his own flair to the most famous lines (giving the audience some extra giggles during the “walk this way” moment) and, although the role will always belong to Marty Feldman, he is a worthy actor to play the part – though his cockney accent is a little overkill.
It’s been a good start to 2018 (in reading terms, anyway). I found a brand-new favourite novel in January, and am really enjoying my general attitude towards reading at the moment. Gone are the days of reading a book just so I can write a review/tick it off my TBR/add it to my Goodreads challenge! Now I only read books I really want to read, and I feel so much better for it.
I’ve also tried to be better with my blogging this year, and have scheduled every Monday at 7pm for a weekly post. I did miss last week – oops! I would’ve just posted later in the week but sadly my Macbook doesn’t want to turn on at the moment. Fingers crossed it’s just the battery!
The Power by Naomi Alderman
This won the 2017 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction so has been on my radar since then. I didn’t read any of the shortlist but from the synopsis this was the one that sparked my interest the most, so I was quite surprised when it won (as my idea of an award-winner is often quite different to that of literary judges). I love the premise behind it: a switcheroo of male and female roles in society, women suddenly finding themselves in the seats of power when they develop the ability to electrocute from their fingertips.
I should tell you now, this is not a balanced review.
Only the other week, I was telling you I hadn’t found a new favourite book in a whole year and that I hoped 2018 would bring something wonderful. Here we are, not even a month in and I’ve met Eleanor Oliphant, a stoically sensible, socially inept woman disrupting her careful routine and embracing new experiences for the first time in ten years.
It was published back in May (on my birthday – is it fate?) yet it still feels very new and is everywhere in the media, due to recently winning the Costa First Novel Award. The novel already feels timeless so I’m sure there are many more awards to come.
I’d like to say I didn’t read any new books or write any new blog posts in November because I was busy with NaNoWriMo, but that would be a lie. The truth is, I got a puppy whom I wanted to cuddle all the time, and I was just feeling a bit lazy.
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I re-read lots of books in November, though!
Girl Up by Laura Bates – This is a great introduction to feminism for teenagers and adults alike. It is primarily aimed at girls navigating puberty but anyone can read it; it’s highly accessible and very funny (though rage-inducing at times).
Happy New Year!
I love this thing Goodreads do at the end of each year. If you’re not on Goodreads, it’s basically social media for book-lovers, and although it leaves a lot to be desired, it’s a great tool for blogging because you can easily log each book as you finish it. You can also use it to collate the books you want to read (although that doesn’t really work for me) and they do this awesome ‘Year in Books’ tool each year to show what your reading habits have been like for the past 365 days.
I didn’t do a reading challenge this year – I felt it affected my enjoyment of books in 2016. I read 100 books in 2016 but only 37 this year – however I felt a lot less stressed about it! I think this is a fairly accurate representation of my reading habits in general, as I seem to remember it being around that number in 2015 as well.
The shortest book I read in 2017 was Hunger by Susan Hill, a creepy story that wasn’t quite up to scratch for me, not when I’ve come to expect so much from Hill. The longest was Stephen King’s Pet Sematary, which was nothing special either.