Monday, November 06, 2006

Wizard of Earthsea - Ursula K LeGuin

I saw the made-for-tv-movie first with Kristen Kreuk from Smallville and that guy from X-Men, Sean Ashmore. I can't say I was impressed because the storyline felt rushed and at the same time I didn't understand the ending at all.

Then I discovered the four books had been smushed together into one gigantic story. (I was under the impression that the Wizard of Earthsea was a standalone book). So the writers tried to tell three stories in one film. Sorry, but you didn't pull it off. Also, while I loved the cultural diversity of the many peoples in the book, this is something the filmmakers missed. Hello, Ged is supposed to have reddish brown skin.

As for the book, it's an interesting coming of age story where a young man literally has to wrestle with inner demons. I thought the story also created this interesting parallel between how scary growing up can be with what happens to Ged. I also thought his personaltiy was a breath of fresh air. Yes he eventually became "wise" and smartened up but he started off greedy and vain and made a lot of mistakes with real consequences. Too often the heroes of stories are goody-two-shoes who can do no wrong and get their long-johns in a knot if they step on a couple bugs. Puhlease. Gag me with a spoon.

I thought the simplicity of the structure and sentences were good but I didn't think the plot was particularly amazing. I get more out of George R. R. Martin. I suppose I have to remember though that this book is for young adults and it's simplicity may have had something to do with reading levels. For me, this book would have been more enjoyable if I'd read it as a child because I'm missing the ornateness, the details that really help to bring a world to life. As well, I had a tough time feeling the tension that I've been told is in the story. I think this was because at times, more time seemed to be being spent on backstory with historical and mythological aspects. For me, not enough time was spent in the present. As well, there was more "telling" than "showing" and for me this is a big drawback.

So overall, yeah I liked the book but it needed more meat. I almost want to say 'where's the beef?' I wanted to sink my teeth into a big juicy hamburger and I got chicken fingers instead.

Rating: 3/5


thoreaulylazy said...

The movie was a complete bastardization! How could "Ged" be his spoken name and "Sparrowhawk" his real name? Heresy! Heresy, I tell you!

No director better screw with the A Wrinkle in Time.

The duck thief said...

There was a made-for-tv version of Wrinkle in Time. I watched and didn't think much of it. I guess the special effects were okay.