In reading One Day, my curiosity for Dickens was piqued much more than I thought was possible, since leaving behind British Lit in high school and college so many years ago. There were several quotes from Great Expectations that tied in with the theme of the novel, as we moved into adulthood with Dexter and Emma, following them for 20 years after graduation day.
I honestly thought, more than once, “Hmmmm. Maybe I should revisit that novel after all.”
Then Emma referred to Wuthering Heights quite a bit, and I had to wonder if I hadn’t given Catherine and Heathcliff the proper attention when I was in high school. I began to feel like there was something to all that calling out over the moors (I think that another mention of the novel elsewhere had already perked me up to this possibility).
THEN when I sat in on the conference call with David Nicholls, author and screenwriter of One Day, he talked about Tess of the D’Urbervilles being one of his favorite novels, and there was a reference to that book within One Day as well. Thomas Hardy is known for being thick dense fiction, but yes, because I like Nicholls’ storytelling, what he said had weight. In spite of always being a little afraid or put off by Thomas Hardy, I put it on my “lifetime classics to read” list!
What’s funny is that One Day is not a high-brow literary fiction sort of novel. Yes, it’s well-written, and yes it’s thought-provoking and rather grand in scope, but it’s basically a very relatable coming of age adult love story. Maybe that made it speak even more loudly? Because it isn’t high-brow?
I wonder why my feelings about certain books — specifically classics — would change based on them being featured within a book or a movie? I guess it’s because I come to think of characters as friends who I can trust, and if they are excited about a book, I wonder why and give it a second chance. I suppose that the same is true when I hear a real-life friend mention a book that impacted her, either back when it was an assignment, or as an adult, and it’s certainly true that if a like-minded book blogger reviews a classic work that I thought I had forgotten, I might reconsider.
So is it just me? Or have you been moved to look into a certain book or author — classics or contemporary — after another book featured it?
Jennifer appreciates the classics, but is okay sticking with contemporary fare in movies and books. She blogs at Snapshot.