Author Topic: How and when do books change for you?  (Read 7138 times)

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workingmum

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How and when do books change for you?
« on: December 27, 2012, 05:18:08 AM »
When you read a book at 14, you fall in love with the story. When you read the same book at 22, you fall in love with the characters. When you read that same book at 36, you cry....

The book in question? Shogun

How it changed for me? :

When you are 14, it is a sweeping tale of feudal Japan with a bit of a love story thrown in

When you are 22, itís a beautiful love story set against the back drop of feudal Japan

When you are 36, its the tragic inevitability of an impossible love set against the backdrop of an ancient culture capitulating  in the face of foreign influence

How have books changed for you over the years?

"I sold my soul for freedom - it's lonely but it's sweet" -Melissa Etheridge

Giggity

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Re: How and when do books change for you?
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2012, 08:16:58 AM »
Piers Anthony and Anne Rice got a lot worse when I was no longer a teenager.
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bonyk

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Re: How and when do books change for you?
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2012, 08:30:18 AM »
Diary of Anne Frank -- when I read it as a teen/pre-teen the Peter/Anne relationship was the main idea of the book, and it was almost romantic. 

Also agree with Anne Rice.  I loved the Mayfair Witches as a teen.  I decided to reread the books a few years ago, and wow -- what crap!

hobish

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Re: How and when do books change for you?
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2012, 09:14:58 AM »
Piers Anthony and Anne Rice got a lot worse when I was no longer a teenager.

Oh my goodness, yes. Heinlein's young adult novels, too.
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Thipu1

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Re: How and when do books change for you?
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2012, 10:16:15 AM »
Hermann Hesse's work.

When I read them in college, I thought they were wonderful.  I tried again lately and got a nasty surprise.  I had never noticed the xenophobia and racism in them.

kajunchick

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Re: How and when do books change for you?
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2012, 10:31:47 AM »
For me, it was There's a Boy in the Girls' Bathroom by Louis Sachar, I think. Reading it as a kid, it was just a funny book, but I read it again a few years ago. As a mother, my heart aches for that little boy and his parents.
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Hillia

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Re: How and when do books change for you?
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2012, 02:57:36 PM »
Catch-22.  When I read it in junior high, it was about adults having these sometimes tragic, sometimes hilarious adventures.  When I read it again in my 40's, it was about children - the characters are mostly in their early 20's - pushed into an impersonal war machine and struggling to make it out the other side.

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magicdomino

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Re: How and when do books change for you?
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2012, 02:58:29 PM »
Piers Anthony and Anne Rice got a lot worse when I was no longer a teenager.

Oh my goodness, yes. Heinlein's young adult novels, too.

Agreed.  Podkayne of Mars encouraged my interest in science fiction because it wasn't just some boy and his space ship.  I loved it.  Years later, I got a copy, thinking that I would give it to a teenaged girl.  Fortunately, I first read it again.  Never mind the swampy colony on Venus, we have colonies both there and on Mars, yet have never had a female spaceship pilot (or any other officer higher than stewardress, from what I could tell).  Teenaged Podkayne plans to become that first female spaceship pilot; she has the brains and has been taking the appropriate courses.  But, after helping in the ship-board nursery, she decides babies are cute and she wants to be a pediatric nurse.  Nothing against pediatric nurses, but this is a 180 degree turnaround -- Podkayne and her brother are on the trip in the first place because five fetuses stored by her parents were accidently "hatched" and Podkayne certainly wasn't impressed by all those infant siblings.  Later, the relative who was escorting Podkayne and brother chews out their mother for concentrating on her work instead of her children, even though they got in trouble on his watch.   ::)

Tea Drinker

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Re: How and when do books change for you?
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2012, 03:01:17 PM »
One I don't understand: Tom Holt's humorous fantasy novels. Fifteen years ago I found them funny. I picked up the first one, Expecting Someone Taller, to reread some months ago, and it was a very weird experience. I could see where the jokes where, but I didn't laugh once, I may have smiled a time or two.

This is separate from what a friend of mine calls the Suck Fairy, which sneaks around and adds various forms of bigotry to the books we loved as children. There was nothing wrong with this book, there was just nothing in particular right about it either. ("Suck Fairy" is my friend Jo's name for it.)
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Morrigan

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Re: How and when do books change for you?
« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2012, 03:20:20 PM »
Piers Anthony and Anne Rice got a lot worse when I was no longer a teenager.

And Laurell K Hamilton.  Although the last might just be because her writing went downhill as I grew older.

rose red

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Re: How and when do books change for you?
« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2012, 03:22:25 PM »
Judy Blume's Forever.  When I was young, it was really romantic and "grown up."  I reread it about a year ago and I hate all the characters, including the parents.  Only the sister was OK.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.  As a youngster, I thought the dad was so fun and thought the mom should lighten up.  Now I understand and identify with the mom, and think the dad is a weak deadbeat.  Fun doesn't put food on the table.

Piratelvr1121

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Re: How and when do books change for you?
« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2012, 03:29:08 PM »
"The Giving Tree" I loved as a kid, when the tree was just being loving and generous.

As an adult it was an irritating book about a codependent tree and an entitled kid.
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RebeccainGA

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Re: How and when do books change for you?
« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2012, 04:01:11 PM »
I'm rereading the "Wheel of Time" for the first time in a few years, and even though I read them as a teenager, and as new ones came out, I'm finding that I have a lot more understanding of some of the characters. When I was younger, it was about the adventures. Now, it's about the characters.

PeterM

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Re: How and when do books change for you?
« Reply #13 on: December 27, 2012, 04:44:10 PM »
"The Giving Tree" I loved as a kid, when the tree was just being loving and generous.

As an adult it was an irritating book about a codependent tree and an entitled kid.

I still like The Giving Tree, though now it's just because the tree ends up happy after a long, truly crappy life. It has the happiest ending it possibly could, short of re-writing the whole thing. Kinda like when Odysseus' dog dies after twenty years of neglect, but it's okay because at least he got to see Odysseus one last time. But of course Odysseus's prolonged absence wasn't his own fault in the first place.

Crap, now I'm tearing up. Argos, that was the dog's name. And you know what, Odysseus should've gone to him. I don't care if would've blown his cover, he was already planning to kill everyone anyway. Bah.

Back to The Giving Tree. The Rainbow Fish has pretty much the same basic message, but it appalls me.  The fish is oh so pretty with its rainbow scales, and the other fish are jealous so it learns to share by giving each of the other fish one of its scales. So apparently the moral of the story is that if you have something others want, you have to share it with them, even if that means tearing off pieces of your body. And the book is not only popular, it's been turned into a whole series.

MariaE

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Re: How and when do books change for you?
« Reply #14 on: December 27, 2012, 04:53:44 PM »
Wuthering Heights - loved it when I first read it at age 16. I didn't think I was a moody and emo teenager, but I stand corrected at this evidence.

I reread it at age 22 - so only 6 years later!!! - and absolutely hated it. I wanted to take Cathy and Heathcliff and smack their heads together.
 
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