Thursday, March 13, 2008

Playing Editor - Booking Through Thursday



Suggested by John :

How about a chance to play editor-in-chief? Fill in the blanks:

__________ would have been a much better book if ______________________.

I can’t limit this to just one book.

The Brothers Karamazov would have been a much better book if Dostoyevsky hadn’t been such a pessimist. Of course it wouldn’t have been so powerful and intense but it would have been a lot happier and more joyful.

War and Peace would have been a much better book if it weren’t so long. Tolstoy could have reduced the battle scenes, or better still left them out all together.

Ulysses would have been a much better book if Joyce could have organised his sentences so that they read coherently, instead of being a stream of consciousness monologue. (I shouldn’t really comment, as I haven’t read the book!)

This is of course written with tongue in cheek. I love The Brothers K, even though they have such long names and it took me ages to read it and War and Peace is one of my favourite books - I wish I'd could have written it! Ulysses is still a closed book.

15 comments:

Melody said...

I haven't read any of the books you listed, but I do have War and Peace sitting in my pile. The thickness of the book is real intimidating, hehe...

Happy BTT!

Table Talk said...

Yes, this is question you either have to take with a pinch of salt or suggest that you know better than the writer. I'm definitely with you over the battle scenes in 'War and Peace' but I know someone who thinks they're the only parts worth reading.

Mervi said...

I agree about Ulysses. I couldn't get past a few pages of it.

gautami tripathy said...

I never went past page 4 of Ulysses. It is gonna stay that way forever. War and Peace has too much of Battle scenes.

Yet to read The Brothers Karamazov! I am unable to pep myself up for it!

Lezlie said...

My husband read the first 100 pages of Ulysses and said all he could remember was that the guy (how do I put this nicely. . .) went to the restroom. He *hated* it and never went any further. Now I'm afraid of it. . . :-)

Lezlie

John Mutford said...

The only one of these I've read was War and Peace. I agree it was a bit(!) on the lengthy side. Plus it had so many characters, I'd forgotten who half of them were. Perhaps if my edition had a cast of characters, I would have been helped. I still enjoyed it though.

joanna said...

I haven't read Ulysses but I understand that its 'charm' is in the style - I wonder if it would be considered a classic if it wasn't written in a stream of consciousness style!

heather (errantdreams) said...

Hehe---I love that you commented on such classics.

trish said...

Unfortunately, I haven't read any of the books you mention. I wonder what they would be like with your changes...?

Nithin said...

I haven't read any of the books you have mentioned. I myself wouldn't edit any book, no matter how many flaws it has. If the author wanted it that way, that's how it should remain.

bethany said...

i haven't read these books....but I am glad that you answered the question! I was beginning to feel like I was the only book reader who wasn't going to skip it!!! I am disloyal to my books...what can I say.

pussreboots said...

I was enjoying Ulysses before one of our moves. Then it got packed away and reburied in my TBR pile. I should get back to it one of these days.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

I've got two degrees in English and haven't read any of the classics you mention.

I do wonder what those books would be like if they were written today. You raise a point well worth pondering.

BooksPlease said...

Melody, don't be intimidated, War and Peace is not hard to read - just long.

Table Talk, I tend to glide over the battle scenes, but they are rather essential to War and Peace.

Mervi, Gautami,& Lezlie, Ulysses seems to be a closed book for a lot of us.

John,yes a list of characters would be great.

Joanne, Heather & Trish, well they wouldn't be the same books and probably not be classics either.

Nithin, I'd had difficulty in real life editing, but it was fun to imagine being able to change the stories.

Bethany, I did enjoy this question, I'm glad you answered it too.

Pussereboots, you've encouraged me to actually read Uylsses. I hope you find your copy soon.

Susan, of the three War and Peace is the easiest to read. I was surprised how much I enjoyed it.

Monica said...

I couldn't do this BTT because I couldn't think of a book I'd want to change. Even when I don't like characters or styles, I still realize why the author may have chosen to do so. Although a stream-of-consciousness book would really annoy me too.