Recommendations

Frankenstein Recommendations

Book Cover of Frankenstein

Claire

A Movie Adaptation for Your Consideration: It just doesn’t get better than the 1931 Frankenstein, the  monster movie of all monster movies. This flick popularized the idea of the monster as a green dude with bolts in his neck, and was so iconically played by Boris Karloff that no image of the monster has ever been able to overtake or even hold a candle to the cultural influence wrought by Karloff’s shambler. Truly unmissable! 

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Recommendations

A Tale of Two Cities Recommendations

Book cover of A Tale of Two Cities

Erin

For those who enjoyed the historical french side of A Tale of Two Cities, I would recommend checking out the wildly over the top, but oh so fun film Marie Antoinette (2006) directed by Sophia Coppola. It is a lovely film not so historically accurate, but bright and entertaining and will transport you to historical France. 

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Recommendations

Silas Marner Recommendations

Book Cover of Silas Marner, by George Eliot

Claire

A Movie Adaptation for Your Consideration: Masterpiece Theater’s 1985 adaptation for TV starring Ben Kingsley! So stately. So stalwart in his silent suffering of trials. Not the most attractive Benny’s ever been, though, but still a great performance.

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Recommendations

The Hunchback of Notre Dame Recommendations

Book Cover of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, by Victor Hugo

Erin

My first recommendation is the musical written by Andrew Lloyd Webber The Phantom of the Opera. The 2004 adaptation is a very decent film version starring Emmy Rossum and Gerard Butler. It is a work based on the novel by Gaston Leroux the Phantom of the Opera and covers the theme of an outcast trying to find his place. It is also a very tragic story  of a disfigured man and elements similar to this one and has hauntingly beautiful music. 

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Recommendations

Ivanhoe Recommendations

Book Cover of Ivanhoe, by Walter Scott

Claire

A Movie Adaptation for Your Consideration: The 1952 Ivanhoe, directed by Richard Thorpe and starring none other than Robert Taylor, Elizabeth Taylor, and Joan Fontaine. It’s quality mid century American period fantasy and won plenty of awards and praise to prove it. A regular proto-blockbuster, and generally straightforward as far as adaptations go! 

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Recommendations

Faust Recommendations

Book Cover of Faust, by Johann Wolfgang Goethe

Erin

Faust plays on the theme of someone on a quest for knowledge going too far. There are a number of different works that play on a similar theme. A number of the works we will cover in this podcast, notably Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jeykll and Mr. Hyde, Gaston Leroux’ The Phantom of the Opera, all cover similar messages. The song “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen was also, in part, inspired by this work. But for a recommendation outside of our podcast, “Manfred” by Lord Byron is an interesting Romantic take on Faust. It is a play meant by Byron to be viewed as a poem of sorts and the titular character Manfred goes through some dealing with Spirits similar to Faust’s journey except that the ending has a decidedly Romantic Literature spin which I won’t spoil here.

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Recommendations

Don Quixote Recommendations

Book Cover of Don Quixote, by Miguel de Cervantes

Claire

I can’t help myself, I love musicals. Try out the 1972 adaptation of the 1968 musical, Man of La Mancha. It has a really lovely cast album, too. But on a less La Mancha centric note, I think you rather might enjoy Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth (2006). It is a gorgeous and mythic yarn spun in a more blatantly dark (though I would argue equally so when you consider Don Quixote’s sad state and the destruction that follows him. And also, it’s spanish. But more importantly, it revolves around a girl, Ofelia, who becomes lost and deeply buried in her dreams and imaginations (or her reality) and tries to escape the Francoist Spanish Civil War terror that besets her pregnant mother and herself. It is one of my favorite films of all time, and I am fine with making a bit of a stretch in order to recommend it, but I think it fits very well thematically. 

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Recommendations

The Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc Recommendations

 Book Cover of Joan of Arc

Erin

I am a lover of strong female leads who challenge the system and a great book series this reminds me of is The Song of the Lioness by Tamora Pierce. This series is about a young woman in a fantasy world who decides to become a knight despite the fact that it is illegal for women to join the military. She hides her gender and works hard to carve her own path. The series is wonderful and it builds the world that the rest of Tamora Pierce’s works take place in, which I recommend you check out if you are interested.

For something very different, if you enjoy reincarnations of Joan of Arc and manga or anime, you should check out the series Kamikaze Kaitō Jannu or Phantom Thief Jeanne (in English) written and illustrated by Arina Tanemura. This series follows the adventures of a high school girl who is a reincarnation of Joan of Arc herself while she fights demons and has normal high school troubles. It is beautifully illustrated and full of excitement. It is enjoyable as either the manga or the anime and if this has interested you at all, you should check it out!

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Recommendations

Rip Van Winkle Recommendations

Book Cover of Rip Van Winkle, by Washington Irving

Claire

Did you think the term “Gotham City” to represent New York started with DC Comics? Well you would be wrong. Washington Irving coined the term and gave New York City a lot of its perceived cultural and lexical character. Therefore! I recommend the Batman comics. Sure, they have nothing to do with Rip Van Winkle, and it would’ve been easier to recommend a fireside story. And more respectable. And yet here I am! Batman excellently represents modern urban development and change, just as Irving wrote about the rapid changing face of the world that he knew in New York during the gestation period of our country. Start with Batman: Year One

You may not be surprised, but there are not many film adaptations of Rip Van Winkle! Shocker. So, after some research, I’m going with Rip Van Winkle (1972) by Will Vinton, which is a darling claymation short that shows Rip’s curious tale in a homey and americana fashion. True to story, and true to form, it represents Washington Irving excellently!

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Recommendations

The Hound of the Baskervilles Recommendations

Book Cover of The Hound of the Baskervilles

Erin

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is a master of mystery novels and Sherlock Holmes is such a wonderfully iconic character it’s hard to compare these books to other mysteries out there. The series will be visited again in another Wishbone episode, but feel free to check out other Sherlock Holmes books in the meantime. Otherwise, I personally loved the Nancy Drew series as a fun and not graphic mystery series. Nancy solves many different cases, so there are a number of choices for people new to the series to choose from. She uses ingenuity and creativity to get through many different situations and these novels are interesting to sit down with.

To switch gears, I also highly recommend Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries TV series! It is a show set in the 1920s with a lead female detective, Miss Fisher, whose character is inspired by Sherlock Holmes. There are gorgeous costumes, fun characters, and plots that keep you entertained. There are murders and mysteries all set in such an interesting time period. Please watch if it appeals to you and enjoy!

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