Monday, January 22, 2007

Book Morning

I finished "The Devil Wears Prada," and am sure that this is a case where the subject matter trumped the writing talent in getting this book published, purchased, and read. She's not that strong a writer. Period. A good example is structure: almost every chapter ends with a near cliff-hanger, or at least a moment of transition, but then the next chapter starts firmly in a moment in the future. For a few paragraphs we inhabit this scene and then there's a long flashback to fill us in as to what transpired between the end of the last chapter and now. That's not a bad approach, used sparingly, but in nearly every chapter? Dreadful. It's like someone slept through most of their college writing courses and only can remember one writing exercise.

Another brilliant moment is when the character, a fictionalized version of the author, says something about the importance of good grammar, just pages after she writes that she "felt badly" for someone. It doesn't say much about her editor that it wasn't caught, but as we all know, it's "feel bad" not "feel badly." ("To feel" is a verb like "to be" and takes an adjective, not an adverb; you'd say "I feel happy" not "I feel happily," just as you'd say "I am bad," not "I am badly.") (Should I just throw in the towel and write a "Grammar for regular folk" blog? I feel a theme.)

As I felt early on, this is a great example of a film outshining the original book. I seriously want to rent it now, if only to wash the taste of the written material from my brain.

I am now reading "Never Let Me Go," by Kazuo Ishiguro. I fell asleep last night on chapter one, so will reserve comment for a bit.


Blogger madabandon said...

Please write a grammar blog. Please.

I try to use proper grammar, and am well educated. But I mess up too. And so much of what I read, even in "legit" sources, is poorly written. Yikes.

6:20 PM  

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