Apr. 9th, 2016

cyphomandra: boats in Auckland Harbour. Blue, blocky, cheerful (boats)
I have watched just over 15 minutes of The Durrells, the latest adaptation of what is apparently called Gerald Durrell's Corfu Trilogy (I am not enthralled with this description, as it sets up much more of a separation between three of the books and his others than I think is warranted, but this is probably also because in my head Fillets of Plaice is the sequel to My Family and Other Animals, because it was the other one we had a copy of when I was small and I read them both excessively).

I am also not enthralled with the adaptation so far, but it's hard to know how fair this is because My Family and Other Animals was such a formative book for me. This adaptation has made Louisa Durrell, Gerald's mother, the main figure, and started off with her rescuing him from school where he has been caned for feeding rats instead of studying, and then has a lot of heavy father figure imagery as well as a neighbour proposing to Louisa while she hits the gin bottle before they all head for Corfu. The book, if memory serves me correctly (there is a gap on my bookshelf where my copy should be and I know I've seen it somewhere else), starts with a very short scene in which everyone is sick, miserable and bitchy, and is much funnier and far less heavy-handed. They have also skipped the hotel and Greek sanitation and the bit with all the other villa shopping (but they've kept Lucrezia, who I do like) and possibly I shouldn't have even tried (I couldn't watch the 1990s adaptation either) but I keep thinking I should try visual narratives again. Hmm.

On the bright side, I am now 27 pages into Birds, Beasts and Relatives, which was in its correct place, and now giggling helplessly as Gerry, various eccentric relatives and eight Bedlington puppies navigate the London Tube on their way to a spiritualist meeting.

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cyphomandra

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