Book meme

My friend and fellow author Helen Morgan (whose book Blue Mauritius I am currently reading and greatly enjoying) has invited readers of her blog to respond to the same book meme she recently completed for Melbourne’s Herald Sun newspaper. So I thought I’d have a go at it and invite my readers to do likewise. I agree with Helen’s approach–to write down the first thing that comes to mind–so here goes.

What is the book that changed your life?

Part family history, part tribute to her daughter, Paula by Isabel Allende was encouraging for me as a writer. I had read and enjoyed several of Allende’s novels and was fascinated to learn how she drew on events in her life as inspiration for her fiction. More than that, Allende hadn’t started writing until she was in her 40s. I must have been 29 or 30 when I read Paula, and it made me feel I still had time to follow that dream. As it turned out, my first novel Behind the Night Bazaar was published the same year I turned 40.

What is the last book you didn’t bother finishing?

While I’m reluctant to name the books that fall into this category recently out of loyalty to my fellow authors–it’s all very well for Helen to nominate a Booker Prize winner, whose sales are unlikely to be affected–I admit that I didn’t persevere with Pictures of Us by Todd Alexander. (Serves him right for not buying my book when I bought his after we both appeared on the same writers’ panel–bad form, Todd!).

What is the best book you were forced to read at school?

We got to read Brave New World by Aldous Huxley and 1984 by George Orwell during our final year at secondary school in 1984. I still think it was cool to have such edgy, political fiction on our compulsory reading list.

[Though Helen and I went to the same school, we weren’t inspired by the same books. I don’t even remember The Dark is Rising].

What is the best movie adaptation of a book?

In cases where I’ve both read the book and seen the movie, I’d have to say Gone with the Wind is an amazing achievement in terms of movie adaptation of a book. Likewise, The Year of Living Dangerously, one of my all-time favourite films. The worst adaptation is The English Patient, which turned a brilliant book about racism into an unconvincing love story in exotic locations.

Over to you…

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About Angela Savage

Angela Savage is a Melbourne-based crime writer, who has lived and travelled extensively in Asia. Her first novel, Behind the Night Bazaar won the 2004 Victorian Premier's Literary Award for an unpublished manuscript. She is a winner of the Scarlet Stiletto Award and has thrice been shortlisted for Ned Kelly awards. Her third novel, The Dying Beach, was also shortlisted for the 2014 Davitt Award. Angela teaches writing and is currently studying for her PhD in Creative Writing at Monash University.
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5 Responses to Book meme

  1. Helen Morgan says:

    Agreed about 1984 and Brave New World (just a shame we had to read boring old Barry Jones as well eh, but I digress).

    The Dark is Rising was about this eleven year old boy Will (I was probably in love with him – hmmm, better him than Vernon) who was the seventh son of a seventh son and acquired some magical powers on his eleventh birthday and had to find things, or something like that. I’m sure you’d remember the cover!

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  2. Dean Lombard says:

    My impulsive attempt at the book meme (what the hell is a meme?)

    LIFE CHANGING BOOK
    So many, too many to choose from. The first one? Definitely something of Orwell’s, either 1984, Animal Farm, or Down and Out in Paris and London. He taught me the political power of language and thought and the value of critiqued experience… then again, maybe it was the Communist Manifesto which I read as a 19 year old and probably contextualised my understanding of Orwell as well as my wider understanding of the world we live in

    LAST BOOK I DIDN’T BOTHER FINISHING
    My tastes do range from the sacred to the profane… I started a book two years ago called the Man Who Ate the 747 by Ben Sherwood and it just didn’t sustain my interest… though it still languishes hopefully on my bedside table

    BEST BOOK FORCED TO READ AT SCHOOL
    There were too many… MacBeth, 1984, Wake in Fright, the Lost Honour of Katarina Blum, Brave New World, Animal Farm… we were so unappreciative and ignorant, I rediscovered all these in my 20s and still treasure them

    MOVIE ADAPTATION
    The Door in The Floor was an inspired adaptation of John Irving’s A Widow For One Year, that wisely didn’t try to tackle the entirety but just a section, and did it beautifully. Also Adaptation was a masterpiece that overcame serious obstacles to be a real gem. And, at the risk of sounding populist (though simply a Tolkein fan from way back), I thought Peter Jackson brilliantly captured the spirit of the Lord of the Rings despite having to dump half the content in order to fit it into a dozen hours.

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  3. Helen Morgan says:

    Hi Dean,

    A meme, according to Wikipedia is “a unit of cultural information transferable from one mind to another… A meme propagates itself as a unit of cultural evolution and diffusion”. In the web they tend to be a set of questions like this that people then invite their friends (or “tag” certain friends) to answer, and the meme goes forth and propagates.

    Another example of a silly one can be found here in my Flickr photostream. I don’t think anyone I tagged reciprocated, and I wouldn’t actually do that now 🙂

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  4. Col says:

    Huh?

    Like

  5. Alex says:

    Thank You

    Like

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