As the frequency of these book haul posts increase, the amount of money I have left decreases. Sounds like a maths problem – luckily for me, maths is not my forte, so I’ll leave that dilemma to a more intelligent being to solve.
Solve? Ha! All that’s going to happen – regardless of whether I get my book-hoarding in check – is ten years on, I’ll either be hideously successful or plain hideous, and be living with three cats, a coffee machine and a typewriter.
Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
You lot have another series of Murakami appreciation posts to look forward to. This novel sounds like it could play with my mind big-time (kindly remember that I couldn’t even finish Turn of the Screw), but I also feel like I’m going to be able to relate to the characters even more so than in 1Q84. ‘Cats converse with people’? That’s a daily occurrence. I spent yesterday running after Winston, yelling ‘PUT IT DOWN YOU ARE A CAT AND CATS DO NOT EAT STICKS’, while he mewled in reply.
The Trial by Franz Kafka
Let me reassure you that the whole Kafka – Kafka thing is a complete coincidence. I had no idea about it until about five minutes ago; now I’m intrigued about the reasoning behind Murakami naming his protagonist Kafka. The Trial sounds like a brilliant novel. I love a lot of Kafka’s work – who doesn’t love wondering what waking up as a giant insect must feel like? – and I hope that this doesn’t disappoint. The words ‘insanity of totalitarianism’ and ‘excesses of modern bureaucracy’ draws me like a moth to a light. Let’s hope that I’m shocked, but not electrocuted.
1984 (stage adaptation) by George Orwell/Duncan Macmillan/Robert Icke
Reading the novel and watching the play fucked with my mind. Watching it was, for me, the optical equivalent of being whacked into a blender and seeing everything you love turn into sludge, but being pulled from the blades at the last minute in order to live a lonely existence. Reading this adaptation produced much the same reaction; but this time, I can rewind, and annotate the text accordingly. Two days after I got it, it’s now littered with mini Post-Its screaming ‘MIND FUCK’, ‘WHY YOU DO THIS?’ and ‘HOW YOU DO THIS?’. Despite my non-verbal screaming session, this still remains my favourite book-to-stage adaptation.
Uncle Vanya (script); the new adaptation by Robert Icke (original by Anton Chekhov)
I’ve not seen Uncle Vanya *stifled sobs*, but I am halfway through reading this, which is a damn fine compensation. As you can probably tell, I like my Russians, but what I love about this is the changes made by Icke to update the characters to our society. Ivan becomes Uncle Johnny; Petrovna becomes Faith, and with these alterations, I’ve found that empathising with the characters becomes easier. No more trawling through pages to trigger the memories of who on earth a character is, thank God. (I still haven’t finished A Hero of Our Time – that memory really has died, along with the book, that’s probably languishing in my study.) Loving it.
Vanya, not Lermontov. Not Lermontov yet, anyway.
Have you read any of these titles? Have you seen 1984 or Uncle Vanya? Give me a shout!