amandaink: (Default)
Saw this over at [ profile] book_memes and decided to fill it out and post it here before I have to rush out.

1) What was the first Stephen King book you ever read?
Carrie. I was twelve and I didn’t actually know much about Stephen King beyond the fact that he wrote horror and that my parents had a hardcover copy of Gerald’s Game that they told me I wasn’t allowed to read. I just picked up his shortest work to test whether I liked his style or not. Lo and behold.

2) Does he actually scare you? Or just entertain you?
Not gonna lie, a few of his stories and scenes have gotten under my skin. I don’t easily get outright frozen-under-the-covers, batten-down-the-hatches scared but a few of his works have left me going WHAT IF. WHAT. IF.

3) Scariest King scene (from a book)
When I was eleven and just starting middle school we had to go through this process called “Wheel” where we spent a week experiencing each elective course before making our choices for the second semester. I got to chorus a week around Halloween and the chorus instructor was a really awesome guy who, instead of teaching us about the class or singing or any of that, played us the “Halloween” theme on the piano and then told us scary stories. One was called “The Boogeyman” and it TERRIFIED me. That story stuck with me for five years before I learned that it was, in fact, a Stephen King story from the collection Night Shift.

So yes, that’s my answer right there. The Stephen King story that frightened me before I was even reading Stephen King.

4) Scariest King scene (from a film)
The scene from It where Pennywise lures Georgie over to kill him. That was in the movie, right? It’s been a while. Either way, it was creepy as hell in the book, too.

5) Would you rather face Pennywise or Randy Flagg?
I haven’t read any of the books featuring Randall Flagg but I sure as hell don’t want to go up against Pennywise. Is the devil I know better? whatdoido whatdoido

6) Are you a Dark Tower fan?
I haven’t read them yet.

7) Favourite Stephen King novel?
Again, Carrie. I’ve reread it like ten times since I was twelve.

8) Favourite Stephen King short story?
Again, “The Boogeyman”.

9) Favourite Stephen King short story collection?
I don’t know if it counts as a short story collection since they were all technically novellas but Four Past Midnight. Between that, Nightmare at 20,000 Feet, and a general fear of falling miles out of the sky, fuck you if you think you’re ever getting me on a plane.

10) Favourite SK quote?
“I am the literary equivalent of a Big Mac and fries.” It’s from On Writing and I giggled a lot after reading it for the first time.

11) Your five favourite/most memorable King characters…
1. Carrie White.
2. Pennywise.
3. Jack Torrance.
4. Annie Wilkes.
5. The entire town of Salem’s Lot.

12) Would you rather live in Castle Rock or Derry?
Derry. Just cuz.

13) Favourite King film adaptation?
I don’t want to say Carrie again (even though the original adaptation with Sissy Spacek was fantastic) so I’ll go with The Shining.

14) Worst King film adaptation?
They’re not really adaptations but any of the TV sequels. Especially Carrie 2: The Rage.

15) Least favourite book?
Dreamcatcher. I couldn’t finish it.

16) Stephen King has a habit or bringing up previous works in his novels. What random other-book character would it most tickle you to see in Dr. Sleep (other than surviving characters from The Shining)?
Any of the characters from It. Which might not be that far-fetched since one of the characters from The Shining was in It.

17) Are you looking forward to 11/22/63 or Dr. Sleep more?
Dr. Sleep. I’m sure both will be great but really now—a sequel to The Shining.

18) M O O N … that spells… ?
amandaink: (Default)
What house would you want to be in? What house do you think you'd be put into?

According to this quiz, I'm in Slytherin which is pretty much what I expected, although I won't be able to find out my legit results until Pottermore.

But I do think Slytherin suits me best. I can't be in Hufflepuff--I'm not hard-working. When I was in high school I was unduly impressed with myself for even bothering to write papers, let alone write them on time. I can't be in Gryffindor--I don't count myself as particularly brave. I wouldn't call it cowardice though. Self-preservation sounds nicer. All the same, things like the interstate, elevators, and roller coasters scare me. Ravenclaw wouldn't be too bad but I don't think of myself as particularly smart.

Ambitious though? You bet your ass. Working towards an ambition is about the only time I kick into "hard-work" mode. Cunning? The jury is still out but I would say that I've demonstrated cunning in a few circumstances.

(Everyone take the quiz and tell me your results.)
amandaink: (Snape)
This is a couple hours late. Shhh.

Favourite male character and why.

I'm not into going and searching for a picture and fighting with formatting so please look to my icon for further information.

Oh Snape, this complex, sadistic, emotionally wrecked, fascinating, confusing, divisive, fucked up man. I love characters who embody these things. And love him or hate, Snape is a well-crafted character and nothing wins my literary heart like a well-crafted character (with or without the complex wrecked fucked up-ness, but I do admit that's a bonus).

True story: when I was little, I hated Snape. I only had the first four books to work with for the longest and every time I went to re-read them I would always think Snape, you dickbag.

But, you know, in little kid terms. Like jerk. Or meany. Or whatever.

And he is a bit of a dickbag (or more than a bit) but that's what makes him GREAT.

Maybe I'm not explaining sufficiently why being a dickbag, or any other kind of dick, is a great thing but hear me out. His dickery makes sense. He's not a hero, but he is heroic, and he's not evil despite doing evil things. He's not a sadistic teacher for the sake of the story needing a sadistic teacher, and all of his Freudian excuses don't excuse the fact that he really and truly is not a good person but not being a good person doesn't make him a bad one either.

I didn't start feeling this way until Snape's Worst Memory in book five which gave me great pause.

I had a moment of I'msympathizingwithSnapewhatishappeningtomylife.

The fact that readers were completely divided on the subject of Snape's loyalty after book six (and I do mean divided--Borders gave out bookmarks listing both sides of the argument, as I recall) should speak for Snape's complexity.

And if you know me, there isn't anything I love more in fictional characters than complexity.
amandaink: (Default)
Your least favourite female character and why.


Umbridge is my least favorite and the answer why should be obvious. Granted, she was supposed to be a despicable person and JKR did her job quite well on that front. I seethe whenever I read OotP. Seething, white-hot rage.

AVPM!Umbridge on the other hand...

amandaink: (Default)
Which (if any) of the films have made you angry because they've ignored important parts of the book?


No, actually this is the perfect time and place to get me started so let’s do this.

The first two films managed to more or less capture the books insofar as a movie adaptation can capture a book. Of course, there were a few minor things like Nearly Headless Nick’s deathday party but to be honest, I don’t give a damn about Nearly Headless Nick or his deathday so I’m willing to be forgiving for cutting such small things in the interest of saving time. HOWEVER, the one thing that did annoy me about CoS was Hermione crying because Malfoy called her a Mudblood. Not only did Hermione not know what a Mudblood was, she didn’t really care. Ron was the one to explain it in the book, but once you take a close look at the movies you see some Flanderization of the characters, namely in Ron who exists precisely for comedy relief. Hermione might be the genius of the group but she was raised in the muggle world—it makes a lot more sense for Ron to be the one to explain what “Mudblood” means given that it’s something specific to wizarding culture rather than something to be learned about in a book.

In the case of the third movie, they did a decent job of preserving the story but there were a few sacrifices made. For example, it never explains who Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs are, or why the map is significant in this respect. I also did not get the point of Sirius sending the broomstick at the end of the movie rather than at Christmas. I guess they wanted to avoid the whole subplot with Harry and Ron being mad at Hermione but shoehorning it in at the end there felt lazy (and Harry’s weird face freeze frame, oh Lord) and I felt like they were trying to avoid having to write in tension amongst the main trio since the only “fight” we see is some brief bickering between Ron and Hermione about Scabbers. It irritates me a bit once I look back on it since the characters are rather simplified from their book counterparts, and the complexity of the friendship suffers as well. It seems that the writers wanted to avoid interpersonal conflict whenever possible, perhaps since they didn’t think it would translate as well to film, perhaps for time constraint reasons, perhaps because they like plot-driven stories more than character-driven stories, perhaps because they didn’t think it’s as important as I do. I don’t know. Moving on.

The fourth movie is where this really became a problem for me. First of all--where are the house elves? The house elves were important, damn it. The entire twist with Winky was BRILLIANT. FREAKING. BRILLIANT. Not to mention Dobby because quite important in the last novel and was just one of the many things they had to randomly shoehorn in. (Like Bill Weasley—he gets his introduction in this book and gets an incredibly belated introduction, werewolf scars and all, in movie seven. Neither hide nor hair is seen of Charlie.) They simplified this movie. My best friend who had never read the books saw the movie and guessed the ending. Really now? Barty Crouch Jr. is disguised as Moody, okay. He has this little twitch that was added in there, I guess as their idea of foreshadowing since they couldn’t have it come completely out of left field now that they were dropping all the plot and everything. The best part, though, is Dumbledore’s comment that the dementors will find that they’re missing a prisoner or however that line went.

OKAY—so we have a guy who escaped from Azkaban—no, wait, didn’t we have that in the last book and it was such a huge deal because Azkaban was impossible to escape from? Isn’t that part of what made Sirius Black so dangerous supposedly—being the only one to escape this heavily guarded island fortress? But here’s it’s just given a passing, “Oh, well, you can exit stage left now.”

Order of the Phoenix was my least favorite movie precisely because of how much was cut. You could have called it Harry Potter: Abridged. Since there is just SO MUCH I would have to talk about to cover everything that made me grate my teeth I’m just going to hone in on one very important thing—Snape’s Worst Memory. I was so looking forward to seeing young Snape and young Lily and the young Marauders and just watching that brilliant scene play out—it’s my favorite scene from that book. I’ve often gone back just to read that one particular chapter. And they turned it into some thirty second insignificant clip. Why exactly was this scene Snape’s worst memory? Well you won’t know if you only watch the movies. There’s so much more I can address—Harry and Cho Chang and why he ended their doomed-to-fail budding romance (you’re an asshole for that one, movie!Harry), the introduction of the wonderful Luna Lovegood (why the hell does Hermione know who she is?), Fred and Harry being banned from Quidditch, the scene in St. Mungo’s, MORE ELVES (and why does Hermione know what the Room of Requirement is?) Sirius giving Harry the mirror which becomes very important in book seven, the brilliant scene with the Quibbler and Rita Skeeter, Molly’s boggart(s)…I could go on. They kept the one thing I wish they would have left out which was Grawp.

I’m going to be unique in my complaints for movie six and whine that they added in something—namely, that scene with the burrow. What the fuck. It wasn’t in the books. It served no purpose. It was never addressed again afterward. The only positive thing it brought to the table was to give Helena Bonham-Carter more screen time. They could have dedicated the time to much better scenes which were actually in the book. In particular, they could have done a better job with the Sectumsempra scene. Why does Snape just watch Harry run past him after he attacked a student? A student from Snape’s own house much less? What were the writers thinking with that one? Instead of having Snape righteously flip his shit, we’re treated to a weird scene in which Ginny and Harry go to hide the potions textbook in the Room of Requirement, make out, and then flout consequences. Given that I’m pretty sure Snape gets out of bed in the morning to punish Harry, he would not pass up an opportunity to get Harry expelled for attacking another student. He’s tried to get him expelled for much less. You really flubbed that one, writers.

Also: the entire battle at the end of that movie. They killed Dumbledore and were like, ‘lol bye ya’ll.’ I am very disappoint.

As for the last two movies, I’m quite okay with how they turned out. DH was my least favorite of the books and I don’t have much to nitpick beside the fact that people were WATCHING the battle between Voldemort and Harry and the whole Lupin/Tonks/Teddy thing. Why was Teddy thrown in there during the Resurrection Stone scene and literally never talked about before or again? Weirdest shoehorn of them all.
amandaink: (Default)
Your favourite of the 7 movies.

harry-potter-and-the-deathly-hallows-part-1.jpg Harry Potter 7 part 1 

DH Part 1 is my favorite, easy. Maybe both of the last movies but I'm still processing Part 2. I'll get back to you once I re-watch it on DVD.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was the most action-oriented of the series which translated the best to film. During the previous movies, much as I liked them, I never felt like they caught that balance between action and the more low-key school and character interaction scenes, which was one the aspects that made the books so three-dimensional. DH really shined since the story was more linear and there wasn't the big questions of what could and couldn't be cut for time. I guess what I'm getting at is that it was more straightforward than the others.

The one thing that I especially want to bring to attention was the way the tale of the three brothers was illustrated. So gorgeous. I was almost disappointed to go back to Harry, Ron, and Hermione.
amandaink: (Default)

Now that summer is going away and I'm starting to get back all of my energy and inspiration and general enthusiasm, I went searching for one of my most favorite, most banal, most fangirl-y things: 30 Day LJ Challenges. And I've stumbled across a Harry Potter one which I cannot let myself pass up in good conscience.

Here's the meme in all its glory. )

Your favourite of the 7 books.

After some deliberation after reading DH, I decided that Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire ranked the top of my list by the barest margin. I've said this in other places so I'll be brief: it's a wonderful transistional novel from the lighter and softer magical adventures of the first three books to the more mature content of the later novels--notably, we get our first death in this one, which was quite a shock to nine-year-old me. It's the novel in which the wizarding world expands beyond what little Harry has seen and the political elements of the series are finally given exercise. Most importantly, it puts the lessons in magic that Harry has learned to their first practical uses, namely the Triwizard tournament and the graveyard duel with Voldemort.

Also, I really liked the Quidditch World Cup.

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