Tag Archives: Diana Gabaldon

Outlandish Film Adaptations? STARZ is the Genuine Article

WHAT IF YOUR FUTURE WAS THE PAST ?

jamie-and-claire

I regard film adaptations of books I love with great suspicion, even that is probably a gross understatement. Truly I don’t see how anyone wouldn’t? Despite my enduring love for Robert Redford, I submit The Horse Whisperer as exhibit A to support my argument. Before you facetiously remind me that he is 77 years old, I will counter with have you seen Barefoot in the Park? ‘Nuff said.

Barefoot Image copy

 

i_robot_ver4Honestly, they pretty much rewrote the story to my abject horror viciously cutting out the best parts and leaving a sanitized cookie cutter variation that could have been any movie of the week rather than the deeply moving thought provoking original penned by Nicholas Evans. However that is not to say that it cannot work in the reverse as well. As a child of the 80s I was a great fan of the Fresh Prince before he was simply known as Will Smith sans DJ Jazzy Jeff. I loved the film I, Robot and thought that as such I would appreciate the original by Isaac Asimov. I couldn’t have been more wrong pretty much the only thing the two entities had in common were the three laws.

StephaniePlum3Since it’s original publication in 1991 there have been numerous rumoured adaptations of Diana Gabaldon’s best-selling novel Outlander. To which I snorted and returned to whatever book I was reading at the time. The only one that gave me pause was when it was reported that Katherine Heigel had optioned the book and planned to play the lead part herself which was horrifying in its own unique way. Though I am willing to credit that One for the Money was cute, not at all what I visualized but cute once you are willing to admit that the casting of pretty much everyone but Katherine Heigel as Stephanie Plum, a surprising turn of events in and of itself, was suspect.

Outlander-TV-coverI allow that this is because as a reader I often rigidly adhere to the descriptions of the characters provided and this is obviously open to interpretation as everyone’s understanding of art is ultimately subjective. Even if everyone else is wrong… I think. It has long been a bone of contention between teachergirl73 and I about what precisely Elena Michaels the protagonist in Bitten one of our favorite novels of all time looks like. She would maintain that her Elena was brunette, an idea that was patently ludicrous in my opinion as  Kelley Armstrong describes her as a blonde, however my bestie prefers to imagine the characters in the stories she reads without the novel giving more than a starting point for which she then fills in the details. One would think that with my rigid adherence to the letter of the law or book if you will that I would be pretty much impossible to satisfy but I am more than cautiously optimistic (okay try gleeful) about the upcoming STARZ production of Outlander which premieres August 9th or to my chagrin August 24th on Showcase here in Canada.

Perhaps my stance was softened by the television adaptation of Bitten earlier this year or I was simply captivated by Sam Heughan? In whom they have done the impossible in my opinion and cast the perfect Jamie. It would be nitpicking to say Caitriona Balfe’s hair isn’t curly enough to be Claire but now it’s out there I said it, whaddya gonna do? Regardless the promos are captivating and I am awaiting the first episode with bated breath.

 

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How Books Change Your Life

I wrote a paper for psychology class a few years ago about the influence books have on the reader. My argument, extremely simplified, was something to the effect of if you were to read a book where everyone jumped off a bridge and survived it was unlikely that the reader would try it themselves. I believe that it is Murphy’s Law that when I want to quote the paper itself I cannot find it anywhere. Upon reflection I have since revised my thoughts on the matter somewhat.

Indirectly a woman, who I have never met and likely will never meet, is partially responsible for one of the most important decisions I will have ever made. All because Diana Gabaldon conceived the character of Jamie Fraser, I found Outlander in the romance section attracted by its artistic cover and substantial size, serendipitously because according to the author it was not in fact intended for this genre. The significance of this purchase would not become apparent for another three years, a friend wanted to arrange an introduction and when I was asked what I liked my response was immediate “smart and red haired”. My husband is the 6’4 red head I was introduced to after that faithful conversation beyond the superficial he does not have much in common with this iconic character but it was enough to drastically alter the future I envisioned for myself. Considering my own experience it lead me to wonder how something so outwardly innocuous could have such a powerful effect on us and in how many other ways have the written word dramatically altered the course that we have set for ourselves even unknowingly.

Various Outlander Covers