Saturday, January 1, 2011

Stephen Fry: The Stars' Tennis Balls

This is my first encounter ever with Stephen Fry. A very pleasant one, I dare to say. I finish the book in two days, while trying to be more careful to the dialogues - one of my weakest points in writing - without acknowledging from the very beginning that the story might be a modern remake of the Comte of Monte Cristo. A book, that in fact, I never raved for, anyway. The first half of the book I've read a bit as an obligation - I rarely gave up after starting a book - and I was curious if something extraordinary will go on after 200 pages. The waiting was worthy, as once the main character is preparing to leave its recluse mental hospital, everything is going better and better: more action, more spontaneous decisions. The revenge part of the book - maybe here I have to give credit to my latest thriller lectures - is the best, including the introduction of Internet as part of the life framework of the story and of some of the characters. The rhythm is becoming more and more alert and colourful - with lots of blood stains. 
I finished the book with a big question: how can we still read stories as Comte of Monte Cristo in the age of Internet? A couple of days ago, I asked my daughter, who is an avid reader, if she ever read Tartarin of Tarascon or Baron Munchhausen. Not, she didn't and when I told her in a couple of lines what are these stories about, she didn't look too tempted to find them at the library. So, maybe re-writing them, by combining the eternal human feelings - hate, envy, love, friendship (and Shakespeare is mentioned a couple of times in Fry's book). After hundreds of years, who will know what is Comte of Monte Cristo about, but rewriting his story will always be interesting.
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