The Importance of Being Earnest
10 journalers for this copy...
For the most part, the graphic novel sticks to the text of the play, though there's an amusing opening sequence set in a gay bar where lots of peripheral characters spout quips from Wilde's other works. After that we focus on the lives of Al and Ernest, their various little experiments with untruth ("Ernest" himself, of course, and the very amusing "Bunbury" subplot), and their romances with Glenn and Cecil, with all the attendant confusions and obstacles.
Most of the original text works quite as well with the gay romances as with straight ones, with only a few changes of pronoun and "girl" to "boy" here and there. [There were a few other changes; for example, I was tickled to find that the cigarette case that became a significant clue in the play is presented here as a monogramed condom box!] Bouden's simple drawing style (which reminds me of Hergé's Tintin books) fits the tone of the story very well, enhancing the humor of Wilde's words, and I enjoyed the whole thing very much indeed!
*** To see all of the Tom Bouden books I've registered, click here.
The book is a slender softcover that weighs under 11 ounces. I'm willing to make it an international ring if I get enough participants who are able to mail internationally. Please post a reply in the forum thread or PM me if you'd like to participate, and include any mailing restrictions you may have.
When you receive the book, please journal it, and PM the next person in line for their address so you'll have it ready when you've finished the book.
Note: even if you've sent books to that person before, please PM them before mailing this one, to confirm that the address is correct and that they're able to take on a bookring book at this time.Try and read the book promptly - ideally, within one month of receiving it. (If you expect to take longer, you can request to be put at the end of the list. If you find you're swamped with other books when the person before you contacts you about the bookring, you can ask to be skipped, and then let me know whether you'd like to be moved down the list or dropped entirely. If you receive the book and find it's taking longer than you'd planned to get through it, I'd appreciate an update in its journal entries or on your profile, just to let me and the other participants know you haven't forgotten it.)
When you're ready to pass the book along, please add your comments about the book and indicate where you're sending it, either through a journal entry or through the new controlled-release-note option. If you find that you're having problems contacting the next person in line, or don't think you can manage to mail the book as originally agreed, please let me know; I'll be glad to try to work something out!
Participants, in mailing order:
Supertalya [APO address, media-mail rates fm US]
...and back to GoryDetails [NH].
I'm sending this off to BCer Katekintail in Virginia to kick off the book ring. Hope you enjoy it!
I'm PMing azuki right now for an address since I don't think this shall take me too long to get through :-)
I liked the simple line art drawings. It made the characters (three of whom are blond) easy to recognize. And the art was just lovely enough to not overshadow the witty text. It was a nice balance in presentation.
I really liked it. There were lots of clever twists and more than once I actually paused in reading to warn the characters of the misunderstandings I saw coming up right behind them (incidentally, the characters didn't listen to my warnings). I don't remember the original enough to be able to pick up on the differences, but from GoryDetails' comments it looks like there weren't that many. It seemed quintessentially Wilde with so many recognizable quotes that had power and were amusing. If anything, it benefited from this choice of "cast" since the unacknowledged possibly homoerotic meanings were clearly MEANT to be acknowledged and played with here. I chortled at the Bunbury references. The story flowed quite well, with plenty of tense moments, moments of clever discovery, and intimate poses (mmm). Naturally, I approve of the ending and got a kick out of the whole, creative retelling. Well done Tom Bouden!
Thanks so much, GD, for including me in the ring!
Mailed off to Azuki this afternoon. I'm glad I finished it just in time to send it off in my weekly post office run!
USPS Delivery Confirmation #: 03080660000132406591
As first it took some getting used to, the use of word "marriage" between men and the nonchalant attitude Lady Bracknell has (keep expecting her to flip on seeing two men hugging), and have to remind myself about the adaption. However, once I get into the story, it is immensely entertaining, and I often cracked with laughter at Wilde's witty dialogue. Examples:
"Are your parents living?"
"I have lost both my parents."
"Both? That seems like carelessness."
"Pardon me, you are not engaged to anyone; when you do become engaged to someone, I will inform you of the fact."
This will be mailed out in a week to the next participant.
Thanks for sharing GoryDetails!
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
sent to Supertalya
Very interesting. I like how the illustrator tweaked some details around to make the relationships work as gay couples. The story used the original dialog from the play and thought it was pretty funny. I just hated the illustrations. I felt like I was reading an Archie comic book. I have the next reader's address and will send it on soon.
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
On its way to France!
I absolutely love "The Importance of Being Earnest" so I had very high expectation for this book. What took me by surprise was the gay aspect of the graphic novel. I've read Wilde's play so many times that it was really hard for me to get used to such a drastic plot change! Still, I think this is a pretty good adaptation of the original story and I enjoyed Bouden's simple drawing style.
Thanks for sharing GoryDetails:o)
This is the play by Oscar Wilde that I know the best, as I use extracts from it with my students every year -the part where lady Bracknell interviews Jack.
Thanks for sharing, the book will travel on to Oslo soon.
I'll journal again when I've read it.
I agree wholeheartedly that Wilde would no doubt have approved of this work. :-)
Thanks again for sharing, Gory - it was a very worthwhile read which I'm sure I would never have come across if it hadn't been for BookCrossing. :-) I've PMed crazy-book-lady for her address, so hopefully the book will be travelling again soon.
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
The book's finally on its way to Toronto. Happy travels, little book, and happy reading, crazy-book-lady! :-)
In an eerie coincidence, I had just reached a subplot about Oscar Wilde in the book I was reading (The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - a book I probably wouldn't have picked up had I not recieved it for my birthday). Weird! (Cue creepy music...)
I really enjoyed this version of The Importance of Being Earnest. For the most part the text is lifted directly from the play, and it works very well. I agree with those who have said that Oscar would likely approve!
Thanks so much for offering this book as a bookring, GoreyDetails. I mailed it back to you yesterday, so it should return home safe and sound in the next few days.
This book's going out again, on loan to a friend of KateKintail's in Virginia. Enjoy!
Handed to a friend at a DADA meetup. I hope it's enjoyed! Please return it to me when done so I can mail it back :-)
Will return to Kate at our next DADA meeting.
Sending this back. Thank you so much for letting me borrow it! *hugs*