Let me tell you about Possession.
In fact, I’ll give you a quick outline of the novel in case you were considering reading it. No real spoilers, but here’s the breakdown: Read more
I will review Possession on Tuesday.
Until then, every word I write on this blog zaps any potential energy I could use to write that review. How I do dread writing that review.
Consider this an off-day courtesy of A.S. Byatt. New post tomorrow.
Possession has left me speechless. But I’ll still write 296 words for this post, because I like you guys so much.
Or maybe I should say “unable to write”—or whatever the synonym for that is. I feel like this novel has sucked all the life out of my creative bones. It’s a literary Ambien that leaves me in a daze.
I want to finish it badly so I can move on to the next novel and cleanse my bookish palette, yet moving forward is so painful and there are so many other more worthwhile things I could be doing—like trimming my sideburns or spending two hours on the phone with AT&T’s customer service. Read more
I’m over halfway through Possession at this point, and I’m dizzy.
As a general rule, I believe a novel should have at least made a small amount of plot progression by page 250.
Possession has the pacing of a curling match. To this point—and I emphasize “to this point”—it’s just dry. I’m struggling to read this book.
We’ve all had the experience of reading a novel, loving it, then being terribly disappointed by its film version.
In my 6 Things That Suck About Reading post last week, I listed crappy movie adaptations as one of the things that irked me.
But in defense of the screenwriter, translating a book to film isn’t easy. Though I believe the screenwriter should respect the novelist’s intent in writing the story, the screenwriter also is working in an entirely different art form than the novelist. Changes happen.
Take Possession, for example. This 2002 movie, written and directed by Neil Labute, was based on the A.S. Byatt book published in 1990. The movie was widely criticized for the amount of freedom LaBute took in changing the story. But, as Labute says below, many of his changes were based on A.S. Byatt’s notes on earlier versions of the screenplay.
From The New York Times:
The title of today’s post sounds a little like you guys should be expect an exorcism on the blog soon. But let’s hope things don’t get that dramatic.
Possession is a “romance” novel between two Victorian poets! How fabulous!
That’s what I get with A.S. Byatt’s Possession, my next novel from the list. But, really, there’s much more to it than that.
The novel was written as a response to John Fowles’ The French Lieutenant’s Woman, a novel I reviewed back in August 2011.
So here are a few facts about Possession and its author, A.S. Byatt: