Sunday, August 8, 2010

Beauty school sure isn't what I thought it'd be

Every time I read an old "classic" novel, I'm surprised that it isn't at all what I expected.  Off the top of my head, Frankenstein, Dracula, and Jekyll and Hyde were not what I anticipated.  Frankenstein I knew was the doctor, but I had no idea that the story was all about the monster's search for--what? Humanity? Companionship? Accountability?  In Dracula I was under the impression that they spent the bulk of the novel trying to figure out what he was. They knew right away, and spent the rest of the book tracking him down.  Jekyll and Hyde was unexpected because half of the book is his written confession.  Part of my misconception is due to the musical, which adds women and all sorts of subplots, because there actually isn't much plot to go on.

I guess my ideas of the books are formed by other things--TV, movies, musicals, popular cultural conception.  It's just weird how many times I read a book and say "That wasn't what I expected at all!"  Anything that took you buy surprise?


  1. You are the only other person I know who has heard of the musical version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I love it but agree that it is not at all like the story.
    Have you seen it live?
    As for being surprised; Moby Dick is possibly the most boring book ever written - in any language - and I did not get that from anything I had heard previous to picking it up.

  2. Wicked was a really big surprise to me. I've heard songs from the musical and I don't like them, so I've had vaguely negative associations with it since I first heard of it. My sister just made me read the book, though, and once I got past the (quite weird) beginning I ended up really loving it.

  3. That's interesting that you enjoyed Wicked; I've heard nothing but bad from everyone I've ever known who read it. But it's also important to note that the musical isn't an adaptation of the book so much as an "inspired by."

  4. And no, Jane, I haven't seen Jekyll and Hyde, but I know the music. It's my husband's favorite show, so I'm sure I'll see it if there's ever a production around.

    I do hear bad things about Moby Dick.


Be nice.