Some time ago I got all het up about television programmes being made from novels. I now
have to retract everything I said then. Well, no, perhaps not everything - I still think a decent novel is not well-served by being turned into a television programme, for all the reasons I outlined at the time. However, I have discovered one advantage of television adaptations of excellent novels - that is, they may introduce you to a novel you might never otherwise have read.
This is what seeing the first episode of Parade's End, the BBC's adaptation of Ford Madox Ford's trilogy of novels set around the time of the First World War did for me. I had been vaguely aware of these novels but, until I watched - and was annoyed, but intrigued, by - the beginning of the BBC's attempt to convert the books to the television screen, I'd never got around to actually finding them and reading them.
Watching Benedict Cumberbatch, (with, for some reason, peroxided hair plus, in some scenes, visible roots), gurning ridiculously in the central role, and Peter Hall's daughter- actually I have to admit doing a slightly better job than she usually manages - playing his wife, it became obvious that somewhere underneath all the pretty scenery and excellent costumes there really might be a great piece of fiction. Therefore, I went to Amazon and found the full set of books available for Kindle for 99p (oh no, I wuz robbed - getting that link, I see they're now only 77p).
They are marvellous. I've just finished them and, as a result - and as always when I've become really absorbed in a great work of fiction - I feel bereft. Thank you, BBC, for nudging me in their direction. Sorry you wasted your money making episodes two, three and four. The books are, needless to say (but I'm going to anyway), a hundred times better than the shows.
Traveling In The Moment — Part Two
1 hour ago