What I read in September 2010

What I read

The Castle of Otranto  by Horace Walpole. What a load of tripe! I quite enjoyed it though. So this is a gothic novel? OK, so gothic = old fashioned but readable tripe, gotcha. I thought Ivanhoe by Walter Scott a load of hooey, but found it reasonably enjoyable trash. Is that a gothic novel too, by any chance? I guess not, though, because there is nothing spooky in there.

Les trois mousquetaires de Alexandre Dumas. C’était le choix estival du club de lecture franco-américain auquel j’appartiens : nous choisissons traditionnellement (je peux dire “traditionnellement”, parce que notre club de lecture a maintenant plus de quatre ans) un livre plus long, puisque nous ne nous voyons pas pendant deux bons mois, et je me suis de nouveau régalée.  Ce livre était le préféré de mon grandpère, et il l’avait raconté tant de fois et avec tant de détails à ma grandmère, qu’elle m’a dit ne jamais avoir éprouvé le besoin de le lire. Quant à moi, je l’ai lu pour la première fois il y a une dizaine d’années et étais déjà tombée sous son charme.  Ce qui m’avait surtout plu, et ce plaisir ne s’est pas émoussé à la deuxième lecture, c’est la dôlerie à chaque page. Un vrai régal.

Life on the Refrigerator Door by Alice Kuipers. I believe that this is considered to be a young adult’s book, which of course it is. It’s certainly enjoyable by older adults too. I liked it very much, but found that it did read a little like a cancer nurse’s handbook. I guess that that doesn’t take away anything from it.
I heard about it from French friends, one of whom lent me their daughter’s school library copy, in French of course, and I instantly downloaded it in English on my Kindle (well on my iPhone actally, because I was in a car at the time, isn’t technology wonderful?) On comparing the two versions, I was horrified to read in the postscript that “Thank you to Margaret Buckmaster, whom I never had time to meet” had been translated into French like this: “Merci à Marguerite Buckmaster, que je n’avais jamais le temps de voir”. In French, the reader has the impression that the author was always too busy to meet Margaret B., whereas the inference in English is clearly (in my view, thoughts anyone?) that the said Margaret had passed away, probably of cancer. I hope that the rest of the translation is better…

What I listened to

Villette by Charlotte Brontë on good old BBC7. Just wonderful. How I love audio productions of books…

What I watched

An adaptation of John Buchan’s 39 steps written by Lizzie Mickery, directed by James Hawes. I loved this.

A couple of episodes of that new take on Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes by Guy Ritchie with Robert Downey Jnr and Jude Law, which I rather like.

3 thoughts on “What I read in September 2010”

  1. Entirely agree with the comment on faulty translations which again & again lead to misunderstandings,very difficult to get the French especially to see this…


  2. i read the book as well, in my opinion i believe marquerite buckmaster may be a doctor who experienced this locally and shared it with a fellow person who told the author.

    “whom ive never had to meet” reason being, she does not have breast cancer.


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