Sunday, August 22, 2010


Was a year ago today that Leah opened the etsy shop! My, how time flies. :)
Thought I'd show you another of Karma's recent compulsions. She happily rolls about...
...and scratching her head all over...
...the leg of my reader's table that holds the McLap, etc.
She's been doing this for the last couple of weeks. Apparently I am not giving her enough head scratching? hehe! And Karma is a problem solver, I guess--ROFL!
To be honest, I am totally shocked that it took her until yesterday to start chewing thru the string handle looped thru Iggy's Karma pillow.
And she only chewed thru one of the three loops. She usually loves to chew string of any kind? The pillow attributes must have blinded her--hehe! (She's sleeping on her wooden pillow as I am typing this.)
SPOILER ALERT for The Pillars of The Earth Mini-series!! Don't read any further if you don't want to know anything about it.
Okay, I finished rereading Pillars and then started watching the mini-series on Netflix instant movies. There were six episodes, so I thought that was it. Nope. I had to google Starz network to find out. There's one more--the finale--which apparently hasn't aired yet and is scheduled to be shown on August 28th.
What did I think of it so far? As a lover of the book, I was greatly disappointed.
Not that the acting wasn't good. They had just altered (or shall we say butchered) the plot to such a degree that it changed characters, motivation, and relationships so much that a lot of it was almost unrecognizable. What I loved about the book wasn't really there. All the layers and complexity disappeared. The subtlety of the political maneuvering in the church, the depth of the villainy, the emotional complexity of the various relationships, the impact of the building up and tearing down of the church...
You expect that in making a mini-series they were going to have to leave things out, right? But they added so many new facts and altered characters so wasn't quite the same story. "Based on" the book is an vast understatement!
For example: They had Ellen as a novice nun who found the lone survivor of the shipwreck on the shore and also added a ring that he wore--that she gave to her son Jack--that is going to tie in somehow in the finale. Ellen--a nun!? And Jack's father was a jongleur! What would any ring a jongleur wore have anything to do with the plot to sink the ship on purpose (so the king lost his male heir)? He was a storyteller, an entertainer? [BTW--they never used the word jongleur--and they never explained that was a profession back then and why he was on the ship in the first place. Jack just told Aliena his father was a storyteller--it was not how Jack slowly wooed her.]
Anyways, if I hadn't read the book, maybe I could have liked it for its own sake--as a separate entity, you know? I tried to watch it and forget about the actual storyline and characters, but that was impossible to do, having just read the book, you know? They altered sooooo much that I just couldn't wrap my mind around it.
Like that Jack and Aliena were attracted to each other on sight. William and his mother had an incestuous relationship! Tom and Ellen were not attracted to each other on sight and Ellen and Jack were only traveling with him so Tom could teach Jack a trade. Jack was already carving faces on the walls of the cave and they made him basically only a statue carver. Alfred wasn't as horrible, was a bit smarter, and they had him fall in love with Aliena on sight, too, same as Jack. They didn't have Ellen leave town because the church wanted them to live apart for a year (because they had been living in sin) before they could get married--but because she was accused of being witch, there would have been a trial, and Alfred was going to testify to that effect. They had Waleran doing constant self-flagellation and penance--and had Ellen stab him before she left town! Had Waleran blackmailing Remigius to do his bidding apparently because Remigius had "confessed" to something homosexual in nature that Waleran was holding over his head. Philip's brother Francis wasn't even the one who found the baby in the woods. They had one of those pig thieves find the baby and take it to the priory and then become a monk just so he could take care of the infant. Even had Eliena's vow to her father in prison be all HER idea. They had William's man, Walter, crush Jack's hand with a hammer (which was bad because he was a sculptor in this version). They had this whole thing about Philip lying! That St. Adolphus' scull was crushed in the first fire and he lied and substituted another skull so they wouldn't lose the pilgrims. And they had Philip captured and tortured and on the verge of being hung...and Jack strangled and thrown on a death heap, but he comes to or back to just goes on and on and on with the wild stuff they made up--none of which was in the book.
It was like they used the very, very basic skeleton of the original plot--removed all the major bones--and added new meat. And they decided to try to turn the book into a sort of action movie. Not that there wasn't action in the book, but it wasn't just a string of unrelenting violence, you know?
I think if HBO had gotten ahold of it and made it into a series (like they have done with Henry VIII in The Tudors) that could move at a slower pace and stay true to the plot and characters--it would have been absolutely awesome! I just don't understand why they changed it so much? It was obviously a good enough story to begin with if it was on the bestseller list for so long and everybody you talk to couldn't put it down. Why slice and dice and pad and add and switch?
My advice to any true lovers of the book--don't watch this mini-series or be forewarned to expect something VERY different from the actual book. I realize I haven't seen the final episode, but it can't possibly redeem itself to me in one hour out of seven. Not that I won't watch it to see what they have come up with for an ending--hehe! Maybe if I hadn't read the book for years and years I may have been able to accept it easier on its own as a quite different entity, you know? It has good actors and lots of action, I'll give it that. I saw on imdb that it has a 9 star rating! Maybe a lot of those people haven't read the book?
Anyways, that's what I was up to. Spent the last couple days with The Pillars of The Earth and it's deformed clone--ROFL! That's it from me this weekend. Back to the real world--hehe! :):)
"I've never felt a pain that didn't bear a blessing."
Gene Knudsen Hoffman


AliceKay said...

Looks like Karma enjoys rubbing her head on the foot of that stand. It's amazing she hadn't started chewing on those strings of her pillow until now. She must have felt the love Iggy put into it and didn't want to destroy it.

I've never read Pillars and never saw the movie. I'm sorry to hear you were disappointed in the movie after reading the book. Lots of times, movies are so far removed from the actual story of the book you wonder where they got the storyline for the movie.

I hope you had a nice day today. Have a good tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Hey there Rita, I wasnt impressed with the series either I didn't make it past the first one LOL The books are always so much better :o) I hope you have a good day!

Deanna said...

Bummer about the Pillars of the Earth mini-series. I loved the book so much, maybe I'll skip the mini-series. Time will tell.

Karma sure does have fun!

Intense Guy said...

Oh my. I'll have to get a replacement string!!!


I didn't read the Pillar's review since I'm going to watch it someday!!

Hope you don't mind!

Rita said...

AliceKay--I was shocked she had left the strings alone at all--hehe! Yup! Books are usually better. :)

Lynn--I don't blame you for not getting past the first episode! If it weren't for my insatiable curiosity and Ian McShane, I never would have watched it. Ian kind of sleepwalked thru this series, if you ask me. They didn't really utilize his subtle facial expressions, etc--at all. This series wasn't made in the US, maybe that had a lot to do with it, too. ;)

Deanna--Well, you're forewarned, anyways. :) Cats aren't the least bit ashamed for putting themselves first, that's for sure--hehe!

Iggy--Karma would only eat the replacement string--hehe!
Don't mind. That's what the warning was for. ;) Good thing you didn't read the review--and if you didn't read the book, you might like the mini-series just fine. ;)

Toriz said...

Well, she has to get her head rubs from somewhere, LOL!

Rita said...

Tori--I think she's too impatient to wait for me all the time--ROFL!! ;)

Serena Lewis said...

I must get Pillars of the Earth! I love how Karma adores her little pillow ~ :)

Rita said...

Serena--If you like stories about old England, you'll enjoy it. I've never heard anything bad about it from anyone who's read it. In fact, just the opposite. Mostly hear how they "couldn't put it down"--male and female readers, alike. :)