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'classics'

Sep 25

But is the movie really better? by Michelle Flaws

Posted to Campbell Unclassified on September 25, 2020 at 1:34 PM by Genesis Gaule

Recently I found myself scrolling through all of the newest book adaptations available on Netflix. Young adult novels are really having a moment--which got me thinking about some of my favorites. Some readers may argue with some of my choices but polling my coworkers on their picks was entertaining because we all appreciate different genres and their adaptations

So what movies made it onto the good list?

What about the bad?

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne was filmed in 1995 with Gary Oldman and Demi Moore, in one word: embarrassing. The adaptation miserably failed to portray the suspense and restraint behind this forbidden love story. Eragon by Christopher Paolini hit the big screen in 2006 and despite having seasoned actors and a well established production company, it left the fans much to desire. The costumes, the special effects and the dialogue did not match the thrill we felt when reading the novel for the first time.

The Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells received a second screen adaptation in 1996 with Marlon Brando, Val Kilmer and David Thewlis playing titular characters. Filming and production on this movie was notorious for setbacks and crew disagreements; did the heat from filming on location render them unproductive? The movie lacks the ability to demonstrate the horror that is a man toying with nature to create hybrid creatures. While the story is supposed to be disturbing, this remake leaves much to be desired. Every time I think of Marlon Brando wearing white face paint and a giant kaftan I face-palm.

What about those adaptations that have inconsistencies with its novel counterpart but are still worth seeing in the movie theatre?

Here are some recommendations:

Watch them and compare! Decide for yourself and become a fan of the book and the movie!

Jun 26

My First Visit to a Public Library by Charlotte Helgeson

Posted to Campbell Unclassified on June 26, 2020 at 1:57 PM by Genesis Gaule

I was 16 years old before I entered a public library.

jane eyre by bronte book-cover

My driving started early on the farm, but it didn’t translate into driving my own vehicle regularly until I left for college. Driving to town usually meant running an errand for my parents, like groceries or going to pick up an equipment part. Those errands never included the public library. In fact, I’m certain I never considered it until I couldn’t get a copy of Jane Eyre at the high school library.  

I didn’t regularly read classics as a teenager, but I was intrigued when a title was not included in our school library and my teachers and librarian would not help me get a copy. What was it all about? Why didn’t they want me to read it?

Curiosity is powerful. 

I walked up the front steps to our brick public library. Straight in from the front door, the circulation desk held court. Nervous, even though I spent a lot of time in our school library, I stood directly in front of the desk and waited for the librarian to address me--in a whisper.  

“May I have a copy of Jane Eyre?”  I asked.

“Do you have a library card?” She knew me as well as she knew everyone in our small town. I’d be willing to bet that she also knew the name on every single Library Card.

“No.” I was prepared to turn around and leave. I had no idea what I was supposed to do to gain the privilege only she could bestow on me.  

“Age.” That was meant as a question though it sounded like a condemnation.

“Sixteen.” She pulled out an application card and continued with the questions until she had filled it with her beautiful script. Without another word, she walked through the doors behind her and I listened intently to make sure she hadn’t abandoned me. On her return, she set the library’s copy of Jane Eyre on the counter, removed the card in its back pocket, wrote my name on it with a due date two weeks in the future and stamped the same date on the slip inside the back cover.  

She looked up at me and said, “As you can see this book has been well used. Be kind to it and I expect it back as you have received it.”  

I was afraid to pick it up. A rubberband held it together. Honestly, I had no intention of taking a deep breath while holding it certain that if it didn’t smell like a Great Uncle then my eyes deceived me. Decrepit, abused or much loved? I didn’t know the difference. I had a public library book. I had a library card!  

I read that book, gently turning each page, breathing shallowly and then returning it--early.