My Reading of This Summer

This summer, I have read nine books in all, which consists of four different genres, which are classic, mystery, fantasy, and nonfiction. The books are Oliver Twist, A Clearing in the Forest, Five Little Pigs, The Hundred Story Home, Same Kind of Different as Me, The Land of Stories: Beyond the Kingdoms, Land of Stories: The Author’s Odyssey, Queen of the Tearling, and 150 Years of Musical Theatre. Below I will try to describe what I thought of each of these books.

Oliver Twist: was a very easy classic to read, but still difficult. Grow fond of Oliver pretty quickly and loved the innocence and goodness found in him and glad he was able to keep that even when in the hands of Fagin and Sikes. This will be a nice classic to read someday if you are a fan of the classics.

A Clearing in the Forest: I read this so quickly. It was quite enjoyable and loved how the main character was able to figure things out. She had to figure things out alone for the most part. This is a good book to read if you want a quick fantasy book.

Five Little Pigs: the main problem with this book is I thought it was odd that a mystery was being solved sixteen years after the murder that the book centers around. The daughter of the mother wanted to prove that her mother was innocent of the supposed murder of her husband’s murder. Other than being solved sixteen years after the murder, it still was a nice read.

Land of Stories (Beyond the Kingdoms/ Author’s Odyssey): I will group these two books together. I have enjoyed reading the series for some time now. I loved seeing how the stories continued. In Beyond the Kingdoms, Alex and Conner were starting to get together an army from works of fiction such as Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, and Wizard of Oz in order to fight against the masked. In the Author’s Odyssey, the twist continued getting together an army, but they instead used some of Conner’s works. To get through in these works, the twins used a magic portal portion. These books will only be enjoyable if you start at the beginning of the entire series.

One Hundred Story Home: This was an incredible story of how one women housed many chronically homeless men and women. Even though I don’t like nonfiction, I still enjoyed reading it especially because of my passion for wanting to give back to those living in poverty.

Same Kind of Different As Me: I read this book since it was brought up in One Hundred Story Home. This is the story of how a homeless man became friends with a non-homeless man. It all started when Ron Hall, encouraged by Deborah (his wife), to volunteer at Urban Ministry Center. Ron Hall eventually became friends with Denver Moore, who at first was not that interested in that couple. But eventually he decided to be friends with Ron. So again, I am not a fan of nonfiction, but it shows that the homeless are the same as everyone else, but at the same time different and enjoyed it due to that passion I have for giving back to the poverty population.

Queen of the Tearling: This was my first time starting the series. I loved the main character, Kelesa, but I had some trouble with this book. There were times where it felt like there was plot development, but at times it felt dragged. I loved the nature of the two necklaces that Kelsea wore.I honestly by the end of it couldn’t really decide if I want to continue the series or not.

150 Years of Musical Theatre: This was the last book I read and this was such an incredible book. It talked about the origins of musical theatre, which started with Paris Comic Opera and ended about talking about Rent. It brought up some very well-known musicals like West Side Story, Anything Goes, Les Misérables, Phantom of the Opera, Cats,  Sound of Music, South Pacific, Oklahoma, King and I, Chorus Line, Annie, and Annie Get Your Gun. For any fan of musical theatre, this is a must read.

Advertisements

Review of Musical Movie of Oliver

Yesterday, I finally got to watch the musical ,Oliver, through the movie adaption. By reading the book, watching the 2005 movie and finally the musical movie was quite interesting. It shows the same story, same character, but with slightly different adaptions and interpretations.

This movie was quite enjoyable as a matter of fact. Through songs such as “Where Is Love”, “As Long As He Needs Me”, “Consider Yourself”, “I’d Do Anything”, and “Food Glorious” and so on makes quite a classic musical. Each time I was exposed to this story, I always ended up being fond of Oliver.

Spoilers Ahead:

In the movie, Mark Lester played Oliver. He makes a wonderful Oliver. He brings out Oliver’s spirit and innocence from the book. Of all the Oliver Twist characters, Oliver is my favorite character and I am not saying that because he is the main character. Not many people treat him fairly. Mark Lester brings out Oliver’s anger as well such as when Noah Claypole insulted his mother and Oliver’s fear such as when Bill uses him in a burglary.

Unknown

Ron Moody played the villainous Fagin. Unlike the 2005 movie and the book, in my musical, Fagin is portrayed as being comical. Ron Moody brought out Fagin’s villainous nature without being too terrifying and brought out Fagin’s comical nature as well. Jack Wild played the Artful Dodger, who is the one who brought Oliver to Fagin in the first place. The Artful Dodger is a favorite of Fagin’s.

Of all versions of Nancy, I loved the interpretation of her in the musical the most. Shani Willis played Nancy. Nancy loves Bill Sikes even though he abuses her and will do anything for him, which is easily seen in the heartbreaking song, “As Long As He Needs Me”. But when Oliver enters the picture, Nancy grows fond of the boy. It seems in the musical adaption, Nancy cares about Oliver the most. Towards the end, she does a courageous act by getting Oliver away from Fagin and back to Mr. Brownlow even though that causes Bill Sikes to brutally beat her to death.

Her rendition of “As Long As He Needs Me” reduced me to tears.

images

Oliver Reed played Bill Sikes. Oliver Reed made Bill Sikes more and more terrifying as the movie went on. I hate him even more than how much I dislike Fagin. Oliver Reed brought out the character’s abusive nature and his terrifying nature.

Unknown

Outside of memorable songs, there are also wonderful dance numbers as well. As a matter of fact, what got be interested in Oliver Twist in the first place was Les Misérables. Due to being obsessed with the musical, I learned that is was the Artful Dodger that made the lyricist think of Gavroche when he saw the musical. Due to that, I was led to wanting to read the book, which led to wanting to see a musical adaption.

What are your thoughts about the musical, Oliver?

 

 

Review of 2005 Oliver Twist

Just last night, I watched the movie of Oliver Twist, which is the 2005 version. I still have yet to see the musical adaption.

Major Spoilers:

This movie closely followed the book. Since I read the book, it was interesting actually seeing it. I thought the acting was well done on many actors. I loved the boy who played Oliver. Just like the book, I grew very fond of Oliver. I honestly did not like many of the people Oliver ended up being around. He is only a boy, but had to around abusive and villainous people throughout his young life. He had to put up with Noah Claypole saying mean things about his mother especially considering the fact that Oliver is an orphan. Things were even more terrifying to Oliver when he ended up being around Fagin and Bill Sikes. The only person who treated that kid kindly was Mr. Brownlow, who eventually took him in and adopted him. It is crazy how all of the action unfolded just because Oliver said “please sir, I want some more”.

As a matter of fact, the actor who played Bill Sikes was so believable that each time I saw Bill Sikes on screen, I was terrified and at times even terrified of his dog. Just actually watching Bill Sikes in the movie, I ended up disliking him even more than how much I didn’t like him in the book. Bill Sikes seemed to become more terrifying as the movie went on especially when he brutally beaten Nancy to death. I hated how poorly he treated both Nancy and Oliver.

When it comes to Nancy, the main moment I loved her was when she told Mr. Brownlow information when it comes to Oliver. That was quite courageous because she knew that if she told anyone about Oliver that Bill Sikes will most likely murder her. At times she stood up for Oliver so in a way she cared about Oliver. At least she wasn’t as evil as Sikes or Fagin was.

The actor who played Fagin was able to show his villain side, but I actually like Fagin more than Bill Sikes even though I disliked both of those characters. He didn’t horribly abuse all of boys he was teaching to be pickpockets. He just wasn’t very nice especially because he was teaching all of boys how to live a life of pickpocketing.

Just by watching the movie, I fell in love with the story even more. Emotions can seem to be greater when you are actually watching the action compared to words in a book. I was terrified of Bill Sikes and that was a good sign. You could easily feel for Oliver due to how poorly he was treated and despite all of that, nothing was able to corrupt the goodness found within him.

Next thing I honestly need to watch is the movie musical of Oliver Twist. Most likely if I fall in love with the musical, the musical has a good chance of becoming meaningful. I actually saw Oliver live in middle school, but I do not even remember watching it. I actually found a journal entry about my experience with Oliver and it was only like three or five sentences and based upon what I found, I did say it was a wonderful show and did list songs that I did love. But due to not remembering seeing it, I need to form a new opinion on it.

Review of Oliver Twist

I am happy to say that I finished Oliver Twist yesterday. I started reading it on the 13th of May. Of all the classics I have read into between semesters, this book has taken me the shortest amount of time to read. On this post, I will try to review this book even thought it is difficult to come up with many reasons why I loved the book.

Spoilers ahead:

In this book, Dickens does a good job in grabbing you in just about three pages. Once I only read like that many pages, I started to fall in love with the story and Oliver. The entire book I was very fond of Oliver. He was actually my favorite character in the entire book. In my opinion, it is important to love the protagonist in order to get the most out of any piece of literature. Oliver was born an orphan and raised in a workhouse, which has poor conditions.

I love the spirit and goodness and innocence that Oliver shows even when people mistreat him at times, he always stays a good person. Even when he is in the hands of Fagin and Sikes, he does not turn to their criminal ways because of the goodness he has. I do love some of the characters that treat Oliver fairly such as Mr. Brownlow and Rose Maylie.

When it comes to the book, I just didn’t like Fagin or Sikes. They are two of the villains in the piece. While I don’t like the two characters, they provide conflict to Oliver’s journey and that is important. Oliver encounters Fagin first and did not understand he was training kids to be pickpockets at first. He did not figure that out until he saw the Artful Dodger and Charley Bates steal a handkerchief from a gentleman, who turns out to be Mr. Brownlow. Oliver just wouldn’t let Fagin or Sikes corrupt him at all.

I find Sikes to even be more evil than Fagin is. True he is also a villain like Fagin, but he is quite abusive. He does work for Fagin and later hated the fact that he killed Nancy. He only did that because Nancy gave away Fagin and Sike’s latest scheme of trying to recapture Oliver for the second time. The first round, Oliver was staying with Mr. Brownlow. It was Fagin’s goal to recapture him the first time. But the second time was when Oliver was staying with Rose Maylie and her family. When Oliver was staying with both of him, he was recovering from sickness and just did not want to be sent back to both Fagin and Sikes. Later in the story, there is another villain involved, who is Monks, who did plan with both Fagin and Sikes to recapture Oliver the second time.

I actually enjoyed Nancy more than both Fagin and Sikes. I found it hard to like her at first. But when she gave away Monks, Fagin, and Sike’s schemes to recapture Oliver, I loved her at that moment even though she knows that if she gave them away, she could possibly be killed and that was an act of courage right there.

This has to be the easiest Dickens book I ever read. He always makes you want to know what it going to happen next. Whenever he was with Mr. Brownlow and Rose, I always hoped that he wouldn’t be sent back to misery. I am so glad at the end that both Sikes and Fagin did die. I also am glad that Oliver got adopted by Mr. Brownlow, so Oliver’s journey did lead him to salvation. Now I am wondering should I watch the musical adaption? I honestly watched the musical live in middle school, but I have no recollections of seeing it.

If you like Oliver Twist, why did you love it?

Survive

Classic Book Challenge

This week was finals week and I got to go back to my hometown yesterday. Today starts the beginning of summer break. Every summer break, I enjoyed spending time with my family.

I like to read as well. In between semesters, I always do a challenge with books that are classic. I attempt to start and finish them by the end of the semester. This summer break’s book is Oliver Twist. Some of the classic books I read were books that were recommended by others and some were not.

The ones that were never recommended were Les Misérables and Oliver Twist. I actually read the entire Les Misérables in less than one summer. It was my love for the musical that gave me the courage to read the unabridged book. I honestly have no idea what made me decide to read Oliver Twist at some point. I think it might have something to do with Les Misérables because the musical of Oliver inspired the lyricist to make a musical of the book.

IMG_1202

My dad recommend Don Quixote, Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations. He recommended me to read Tale of Two Cities due to my love for Les Mis because the book takes place during the French Revolution and that event happened before the events in Les Mis took place. He even knew that I should read Great Expectations as well because I love Charles Dickens. My dad told me some about Don Quixote and I think he told me about the nature of him being a knight errant and told me about his squire, Sancho Panza. I eventually did a project in school about Don Quixote and was fascinated in reading the book after discovering that Don quixote is a tragicomic character, a type of character I never discovered before.

So why do I attempt to read the classics in a short period of time? Well during the school year, it is too hard to read a classic due to how challenging they are. So the only time I can actually read them is in between semesters. Also giving me a goal of when to finish them gives the motivation to continue reading. Look at Don Quixote and Les Misérables: they were the longest classics I read and finished them in one summer. There are days while reading these classics that made it much harder to read them.

So this summer’s challenge belongs to Oliver Twist.

a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/final/”>Final