Monday, April 23, 2012

The Last Dragonslayer, Jane Eyre movie (2011)

I counted and this will be book #16 for me. I didn't count movies. I wish I could throw in all the movies I sleep through. That's when I get my best REM sleep.

Jasper Fforde has been at the top of my list ever since I picked up The Eyre Affair about 8 years ago. I think I've read everything he's had published (at least that's available in the U.S.) He writes literary fantasy, and his pages are chock full of wild connections between dissimilar things. I adore it. My friend Amanda met him at a book signing in Seattle last year, and it's a good thing I wasn't there or I would've gone all fangrirl on him, and that's never a good thing.

The Last Dragonslayer is the first installment in Fforde's first YA series. It stars a 15 year old girl named Jennifer Strange who works as a driver for sorcerers, who (in this society) have been relegated to doing home renovations like rewiring houses and redoing plumbing. The back cover blurb reads, "In the good old days, magic was powerful, unregulated by government, and even the largest spell could be woven without filling in magic release form B1-7G." Fforde weaves the mundane into the fantastical, and it's good fun.

That said, this book was a little slow going for me. The pacing seemed off, and I was on page 136 before I went, "Oh! She has a goal!" Then I cared more about her and read the rest really quickly, but it wasn't quite as fun to me as his adult novels. Still, I've no doubt I'll keep reading what Jasper writes. Bring on the Quarkbeast, I say.

Movie-wise, I sat down with my *boys* and watched the 2011 version (all artsy) of Jane Eyre. I'm assuming everyone knows the story. Things I liked were the cinematography--it really showed the sweeping bleakness of the moors; the casting--Jamie Bell was especially good as Sinjun, and I loved the choice of Mr. Rochesters; the way it effectively portrayed why Jane did not fall for Sinjun (I've never seen that work as well as in this version). However, my kids said, "I think I need to watch an episode of The Andy Griffith Show to cleanse my palate now," when it was over. While I adore the book (it just might be my very favorite ever) it translates into a pretty bleak screen experience. It can't help it. 3 stars out of 5.


  1. I like Jasper Fforde, too. I haven't read too much by him, but it is fun and creative and quirky. Most recently I read The Big Over Easy. Poor, murdered Humpty Dumpty!

  2. He's great! Glad you like him too!