Archives for May 2011

Free Prequel to Chaos Walking Trilogy on Amazon Kindle

We talk a lot about Harry Potter here, Twilight and The Hunger Games get their fair share of posts, and we’re always looking for new titles to discuss. Books in the queue for review here include James Owen’s Imaginarium Geographica (I’ve read the first five… and hope to write something before the sixth is published!), T. M. Doran’s Toward the Gleam, Gary Gregg’s two Sporran novels, Matched by Ally Condie, The Mortal Instruments saga(s), Stephenie Meyer’s Official Illustrated Guide, and Linda Buckley-Archer’s The Gideon Trilogy. Did I mention that Lev Grossman’s sequel to The MagiciansThe Magician Kingcomes out this summer?

We’ll be all over that. I’m also reading the seven Charles Williams novels and the Narniad for alchemical and Ring Composition notes (check out the aside in chapter 9 of Shadows of Ecstasy about Coleridge and Imagination and the multiple circle and center references in the two middle chapters; did the I mention the lead figure draws his power from imagination and the “transmutations of energy”?). Lots to say there. The photo above is of the Philips Exeter Academy Library whose interior has something of a ring composition ‘turtle back’ motif.

Today, though, just a quick note about a book series with all the Potter signatures — literary alchemy, ring composition, soul triptychs, annual sacrifice and resurrection, etc. — with a taste of Hunger Games dystopia, too: Patrick Ness’ Chaos Walking. If you enjoyed these disturbing books as much as I did, you’ll want to know a free prequel to the series, ‘The New World,’ a short story Ness for the Book Trust to fill out Viola’s back story, can be downloaded to a Kindle or Kindle app (or free pdf — see comments below!). That’s almost enough to get me to purchase one of the doggone little things. If only I could fold over pages so the corner touches on an important phrase… (H/T to Justine!)

Hunger Games Movie News: Entertainment Weekly Article, Filming Starts Here in NC, and We Have a Cinna

Last week, we posted on the Entertainment Weekly cover that gave us our first peek at Jennifer Lawrence. This week, we’ll poke around in that article to see how the Game is being played, on multiple levels. We also have an update on the filming taking place just down the road from this Professor’s office. And, of course, we have some thoughts on the casting news this week, in particular the announcement that Cinna will be played by musician and actor Lenny Kravitz. Let’s face it, if we have any more exciting announcements in this post, we need trumpets, and I’m changing my name to Claudius Templesmith. [Read more…]

Harry Potter is Here to Stay: Another Ten Years of Films!

Final Minutes Of Last Harry Potter Movie To Be Split Into Seven Separate Films

The Onion announced today that Warner Bros. will recut the last four minutes of “The Deathly Hollows: Part 2” and stretch it into seven films so fans can enjoy the Harry Potter franchise for another decade

Twilight vs. Harry Potter: Follow the Money!

Forgive me for loving this web page at, on which the Twilight and Harry Potter book and film franchises are compared strictly in light of money made and spent — by movie makers, by products, by authors and actors/actresses. I have been trying to think of a more senseless basis of comparison. Page counts? Number of translations? How about counting the number of Onion parody stories each mania has inspired?

I can see three points of value in money quantity comparisons:

  • I learned something: Hermione Granger is smarter, well, better at making money, than the whole lot of actors and actresses, i.e., life imitates art.
  • On this scale, at least, Harry Potter has at last vanquished The Lord of the Rings.
  • I think quantities of money is as valuable a measure as the usual literary taxonomy gauges and personal preference standards many readers and fans use to compare the two series.

Reading The Deathly Hallows Lectures and Spotlight: A Close-Up View of the Artistry and Meaning of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga is much better way to go about comparing the two series. Even just looking at these posts at Forks High School Professor makes more sense than the money measure — and it’s just as inexpensive! Ka Ching!

Two other links for serious readers to follow today: John Patrick Pazdziora on literary alchemy and fairy tales, Snow White and the Philosopher’s Stone, and an interview with the editor of a Tolkien essay collection focused on LOTR’s Christian content.

First Look at Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss in The Hunger Games

Entertainment Weekly’s cover this week sports the first peek at Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen in the highly anticipated film adaptation of The Hunger Games being filmed here in lovely Western North Carolina, where it’s still rainy and 50 degrees today. How highly anticipated is this film?  The movie won’t be released until next spring, and filming doesn’t even start until next week, but the star is already featured on magazine covers, with her mockingay pin in place and her bow at the ready. Rather than an attempt to stir up hype–there’s already quite a bit of that, and the big press push will be closer to release time–this cover and the accompanying article appear geared toward readers who have been skeptical of Lawrence’s casting, despite the endorsement of author Suzanne Collins. In this piece of the interview in EW, Lawrence shares her experience of getting the starlet treatment, an expereince much like Katniss undergoes in the Remake Center. The reverse process seems to have been followed by her HG film handlers, who have dyed her hair, made her tan (though it looks much more beach than mountain-girl-in-the-woods tan), and pretty much taken her to “Beauty Base Zero.”  This cover shot, though, looks retouched, so it’s unclear if this is really the Katniss we’ll see on screen. We should know something more next week when filming starts. I hope to hear great details from my friendly extras on the set as they get started bringing this incredible story to the screen. If you haven’t yet, take a look back through our copious Hunger Games posts and join us in our lively conversation of the book and its most talked-about-yet-to-be-made movie!