Monday, April 30, 2018

I read a book.

Well, a PDF of a book. It's not that shocking, really.  I did the same thing a few weeks ago, reading 1984 over a day and a half, because DS2 had recently read it and may be using it in his senior thesis.  That book is even more grim than I remembered, and not exactly a fun read.

Yesterday, I read Treasure Island, somewhat unbelievably, given my wide reading habits, for the first time.  This was occasioned by our 8th grade being on a multi-day trip to Washington D.C., their teachers being gone with them -- and me teaching language arts to the 7th graders while they're gone.  They're just finishing up TI, so I thought I should read it so I could, you know, actually answer some of their questions.

Anyway: I loved it, as unlikely as it was.  It's the kind of story you just go with, because it all happens at such a breathless pace in gorgeous old-fashioned prose.   Perhaps the thing I loved the best is the clear lineage from TI to Pirates of the Caribbean.  I maintain that the PotC The Curse of the Black Pearl is one of the most perfect adventure movies ever made, and I still enjoy it when I catch it from time to time.

By way of giving the substitute language arts teacher a break, the students have been watching the old Disney movie version of TI and I am 100% sure that Geoffrey Rush, who played Capt. Barbossa in PotC, based his performance on Robert Newton's Long John Silver.  His voice is uncannily similar.  Of course, the whole Capt. Sparrow as "pirate, and a good man" conundrum has its origin in the character of Long John Silver, who is clearly a pirate, but also, when possible, and sometimes even when it's not very convenient -- a good man.

I only saw half the movie, since I'm switching off classes with the other 7th grade homeroom teacher, and so today taught social studies (the Kansas-Nebraska Act!).  I may just borrow the DVD later this week to watch the rest of movie, just to see how they treated the material.  Huge chunks of dialog come straight from the book, the film's Jim Hawkins (Bobby Driscoll) looks entirely too young and soft to pull off even half of Jim's exploits from the novel.  Skimming the plot summary just now, though -- I don't think I'll bother.  Silver making off with the treasure in a skiff?  Bah.

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