Do you know, we've got such a comprehensive Bones forum and yet hardly anyone has ever mentioned the originator of all this, the writer? Hello there Kathy Reichs.You have created something huge and extraordinary.
This occurred to me when ever-devoted hubbie, wanting to cheer me on a bad day, came home with a fantasy book that might appeal. Anyone ever heard of Jasper Fforde? I couldn't believe how long he has been writing and putting together an entire bizarre world without me noticing. The series I'm thinking of consists of his five books on the adventures of one Thursday Next, who lives in an interesting alternative universe where you can jump into books and stories. She's part of an organisation that kind of polices the book world and makes sure books stay the way they are, so you don't get rogue characters straying into other books with nefarious intent (you know - James Bond in Jane Austen, that kind of thing, only far more complex) or getting out into the 'Outland', or normal world. Fforde is possessed of an astonishing imagination, genuine writing talent and a profound knowledge of all kinds of literature. And in the book I was reading, guess who turns up while Thursday is having an entirely believable afternoon tea with Mrs Tiggywinkle (no - can't explain how it works - it's the Stewie thing again)? Temperance Brennan. I couldn't believe it! Only a brief conversation, but duly acknowledged with a grateful nod to Kathy Reichs.
And it got me thinking.
The Kathy Reichs creation is so different. I possess 'Bones To Ashes', 'Cross Bones' and 'Break No Bones', but I can't say I read them very much. I'm one of those who can't quite come to terms with the older Tempe and her much more messy emotional life, built round kids and relationships. I could do if I enjoyed the read, I suspect, but I don't like Ms. Reichs' style. I was only into my third chapter of the first one I read when my spirit rose up in exasperation and protest at all those three-word sentences which are intended to engender tension and drama, but in reality are a very tired and over-used narrative device. So, if you like, I haven't warmed to the character or the writing, and I would love to hear from those who have.
Why is Mary Poppins in the thread title? Well, Mary Poppins for me is the same experience in reverse. In the film/musical, which I delighted in as a child, she is cloyingly sweet and bright, smiley and understanding. When, book-ravenous as I was in my youth, I turned to the novels (I love series, where characters can be developed, if you hadn't guessed), I was initially shocked at this acerbic disciplinarian, vain and arrogant, who ruled the kids with a rod of iron, snapping at them in irritation whenever they stepped out of line. And yet - and yet - she was so magical, with her unearthly background, and enthralling adventures with bizarre and equally magical friends and relatives. And she loved those kids. She adored them and, though she hid it, was devastated at the farewell; hell, she was devastated when the youngest child, as a baby, grew out of being able to hear the animals and birds and speak of her mysterious universal origins. So much better than the film version.
This is true in general of my experience. I read original fairy tales and despise Disney's mawkishness and manipulation of children's primal fear of losing a parent; I read Harry Potter and am surprised when Hogwarts looks even a mote as I visualised it; the one exception was Lord Of The Rings, where the film helped me to get the myriad members of the huge cast straight in my head (it's controversial, but LOTR to me is a very male-oriented book; it gives me no-one to truly relate to. That's a whole other discussion which I may take over to Random).
Basically, in a roundabout way, I'm saying who shares my preference for the show Temperance, and who likes the books better?
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"We make our lives out of chaos and hope. And love." - Angela Montenegro