The National Theatre’s Frankenstein (Cumberbatch as Creature) was fantastic! It’s an unusual version in that it’s from the point of the creature rather than the doctor- also there is very little set dressing and the acting must carry the story entirely. Which, btw, it totally does. Being a stage play, there are very few ‘special effects’ as we have come to know them but the way the lighting is used is something marvellous. If you get a chance and you haven’t seen it- do. I wish National Theatre would put it out on DVD so people who can’t see it in the threatre could see it as well. (And I could watch it over and over…)
Most of the week, I’ve been book geeking. I started to read my copy of ‘Huckleberry Finn’ to discover that the Easton Press version has been edited (!!!!) and at least in one place a word changed that changes the entire meaning of the sentence. Plus the introduction is huge- 30 pages or so- and the illustrations are poor. So, ok, I need to replace that copy with either one illustrated by Norman Rockwell (to match my ‘Tom Sawyer’) or by Worth Brehm- unabridged and unedited. If I have to bind it myself, so be it.
Just as an aside- who has the arrogance to think they can improve on a master writer like Mark Twain? Some people have no sense.
In looking for a decent copy of Huck Finn, I lucked into a copy of ‘Siddhartha’ from Easton that was quite reasonably priced… and a limited edition of ‘The Silver Chalice’ for $5. It looks like the signed edition that was limited to 750 copies although it didn’t say so and I’ll have to get it to find out. I still want an Easton press copy… and I want the one illustrated by Paul Laune. I’m hoping either the limited or the Easton Press edition has the Laune illustrations and I can get by with two copies.
I’ve also found an Easton press edition (with original illustrations so that’s alright) of the complete Uncle Remus. I don’t know what happened to my copy but it seems to have gone and wants replacing. I’d also like to get a copy of the antique edition of ‘Songs and Sayings’ for the cover illustration- B’rer Rabbit smoking a pipe which is charming.
And I’ve found a pair of Tom Brown books that are not leather… but are so nice I want them anyway. ‘School Days’ had gilded imaged of cricket bats and ‘Oxford’ has a graduation cap and oars and a boat. So very appropriate!
I’m going to end up with a small collection of books that are not leather bound- even if I have a leather copy- simply because the book is fantastic as it stands. I have finally managed to talk myself out of the notion that I should only have one copy of any book. My reasoning was that I can only read one copy (at a time) and it’s foolish to duplicate when there are so very many books I want but I’m running up against my own indecision about which copy I would prefer. Then it occurred to me that I can have both of them if I want- why not?