Archive for May, 2011

Oprah’s Book Club – the Dickens you say

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

Linda is always looking to expand my reading list. I was brought up in a French Canadian family and the reading of Charles Dickens’ works never came up. That doesn’t mean I never heard of him or that I am not familiar with his stories. My first exposure to the classics was through the colour comics. Classic Comics put out many of the stories written by Dickens. Eventually my dad bought a brand new black and white television and we watched some of the older films such as “Scrooge”, “A Tale of Two Cities” and others. I thought the English were quite a strange group of people. So as a kid, comics and television were my first introduction to the works of Charles Dickens. Peculiar that I never read anything of his while attending an English High-school for four years. So comics, movies and more movies with different versions and a musical or two thrown in was my exposure.

Oprah’s List? Linda saw a book containing two works by Charles Dickens. She found it at Chapters on the Oprah’s List discount table. Wow, what a deal. And approved by Oprah! Can’t get any better reference than that. Of course I am thinking that if it was only a book containing one work by Dickens, perhaps it wouldn’t have made it to “The List.” So she bought me the book and it was a delight reading the two stories.

A Tale of Two Cities… I thought I knew the story, read the comic and saw the movie. It was a grand tale of characters who were English and French. I thought the English were strange! In the novel the French didn’t take a back seat to strangeness. The tale of these people and the struggles they faced in London and Paris of the 1700’s was educational.

I still shake my my head when I reflect on the story. It begins with the famous line, “It was the best of time, it was the worst of times”. Very familiar words. It ends with “It is a far, far better thing I do…” Great lines but the story seemed to be a mystery to me. Nothing else seemed familiar.

What I found strange is the way it is laid out. I thought I was watching a serial rather than one continuous story. Like watching “Flash Gordon” or “The Rocket Man” at the movie theater. Later I found that this story was a series in a magazine… so I guess my impression was right.

The other story in the book was “Great Expectations”. Again, I thought I knew the story but was far off the mark. Only in a few places did I remember a scene. The story of a young man living a strange life. I won’t get into any details… just pick it up and read it for yourself.

Both stories were good. I told Linda I can hardly wait to see the old movies once again to see how different the written tales are to the film versions. I don’t know if you can still get this book at Chapters. Linda bought it at Christmas time at a discount. What I do recommend is that you get a copy of the stories and read them for yourself. I do not think you will be disappointed.

Why I am not posting? How am I doing?

Monday, May 16th, 2011

A month without a post? That is nothing new, though I am trying to get away from that and post more often. Reason I’m not?

Physically? A new back injury/muscle injury… stops me from walking because of a great deal of pain. An operation, slated and cancelled and slated again and done (took longer than expected before the bleeding stopped). Burns on legs… not healing as well as they should. Sores on feet… not improving and still painful. Sitting at the computer writing/surfing/playing… next to nothing at all… leg goes numb and then quickly becomes too painful to continue. Overall, hasn’t been a very good six weeks.

Spiritually? Doing pretty good. In fact this year has been the best one spiritually than any in the past two decades. Hmm… perhaps the enemy, not being able to get me spiritually, has decided to attack me physically? Now if I could get a word of knowledge about it that would be great.

Mentally? Caught between The Rock and a hard place. Thanks to Jesus I am not overwhelmed by the current difficulties. I do have a lot of empty time that I am having trouble filling with good things. The drugs I am on give me the slightest buzz so that time slips away a little easier/faster than normal.

Tomorrow I will do a post about a book I just finished reading. That will be done between a blood test at one hospital and an MRI at another. For today… it’s about me: the good (spiritually), the bad (mentally, though not that bad) and the ugly (physically).