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The Book Blog

profile-icon Dr. Brittnee Fisher

Book versus movie. For most book lovers, hearing that a favorite book is being adapted into a movie or, more often, a television show is cringe-worthy. And let's face it, some REALLY BAD adaptations are floating around out there, ruining excellent books for potential readers. My perfect example of this is The Help. Hey Hollywood, this story isn’t meant to make people feel good!

And now for something controversial- sometimes the movie (or show) is better than the book. *I'm ducking in case someone throws a shoe at me.* This topic has come up several times at the Palatka Campus Vikings Read More book club meetings (join us!). These discussions motivated me to put a recent read to the test- book versus movie!

The first contender:

The book trilogy is known as "Area X" or "The Southern Reach." The three titles of the trilogy are Annihilation, Authority, and Acceptance. Author Jeff VanderMeer published the sci-fi trilogy around 2014. Here’s a quick synopsis provided by GoodReads:

Area X has been cut off from the rest of the world for decades, explored only in a series of expeditions dispatched by a secret government agency called the Southern Reach. So far these expeditions have returned -- when they have returned -- with more questions than answers.

At the beginning of the Southern Reach Trilogy, we join the twelfth expedition. What unfolds in Annihilation, Authority, and Acceptance is an exhilarating, disturbing, and all but unbearably suspenseful story of humanity engaged in what might be an existential confrontation with nature. The series is destined to become a classic of its kind.

This series has been on my radar for a while so when I was able to score a set of the books, I was eager to jump right in! I consumed the first book like a fiend! I couldn't get enough of it. The writing style was a bit dense, as it is written from the point of view of a very scientific-minded biologist. But, I was dying to know more about Area X!

I finished Annihilation in just a few days and immediately continued to Authority. This book offers new characters, a new narrator, and a shift in perspective. My eagerness to learn more didn't waiver, but I had to adjust to a new way of learning about the phenomenon of Area X. It’s difficult to offer much more of a review because I’m trying to limit spoilers. Let’s just say that I enjoyed book two but not as much as book one. As for book three, Acceptance, it ended with nothing but disappointment for me and spoiled my overall experience.

Enter the next contender:

A film adaptation of VanderMeer’s Area X trilogy, titled Annihilation, was released in 2018. I managed to avoid the film until I finished the books. I was reeling from disappointment and hoped that the film would give me what I felt the books lacked (again, not going into detail because I'm not a spoiler)! Natalie Portman plays the lead and is joined by a strong cast, including Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tessa Thompson, and Oscar Issac. The film was written and directed by Alex Garland, known for Ex Machina and 28 Days Later. Film rights to Annihilation were acquired before the publication of the trilogy's first book, and the adaptation is solely based on that novel. Before watching the film I read online, Garland referred to his adaptation as "a memory of the book" rather than a strict book-referenced screenwriting. I found this promising and looked forward to his creative freedom and imagination.

Around the time I watched the film (recently), it had a strong approval rating of around 88% on Rotten Tomatoes. But then again, the books got relatively good reviews, so I only took that information with a grain of salt. I could only hope that the film adaptation had the goods.

After viewing the film, I was very pleased. I felt that a lot of the good stuff from the book was used, and a lot of unnecessary stuff was left out (purposely vague to avoid spoilers). I also think Garland offered more character development in the film (not something you'll often hear about a film adaptation). Much of the phenomenon of Area X was beautifully rendered on screen, and I loved comparing what I imagined to what I saw. The majority female cast did a fantastic job. And most importantly, Garland offered an alternative ending, which I enjoyed much more than what the book gave me.

I hope you take this as an opportunity to review the books and the movie. I'd love to hear your thoughts once you've finished. All three books and the film are available via your SJR State Library!


Cover ArtAnnihilation
Call Number: St. Augustine Audio-Visual ; PN1997 Annihilation DVD
ISBN: 9786317246287
Publication Date: 2018
Biologist and former soldier Lena is shocked when her missing husband comes home near death from a top-secret mission into The Shimmer, a mysterious quarantine zone from which no one has ever returned. Now, Lena and her elite team must enter a beautiful, deadly world of mutated landscapes and creatures, to discover how to stop the growing phenomenon that threatens all life on Earth.
Cover ArtAnnihilation by Jeff VanderMeer
Call Number: Palatka Circulation ; PS3572.A4284 A84 2014
ISBN: 9780374104092
Publication Date: 2014-02-04
A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE FROM ALEX GARLAND, STARRING NATALIE PORTMAN AND OSCAR ISAAC The Southern Reach Trilogy begins with Annihilation, the Nebula Award-winning novel that "reads as if Verne or Wellsian adventurers exploring a mysterious island had warped through into a Kafkaesque nightmare world" (Kim Stanley Robinson). Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; the second expedition ended in mass suicide; the third expedition in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another. The members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within weeks, all had died of cancer. In Annihilation, the first volume of Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach trilogy, we join the twelfth expedition. The group is made up of four women: an anthropologist; a surveyor; a psychologist, the de facto leader; and our narrator, a biologist. Their mission is to map the terrain, record all observations of their surroundings and of one another, and, above all, avoid being contaminated by Area X itself. They arrive expecting the unexpected, and Area X delivers--they discover a massive topographic anomaly and life forms that surpass understanding--but it's the surprises that came across the border with them and the secrets the expedition members are keeping from one another that change everything.
Cover ArtAuthority by Jeff VanderMeer
Call Number: Palatka Popular Fiction ; PS3572.A4284 S688 bk.2
ISBN: 9780374104108
Publication Date: 2014-05-06
In Authority, the New York Times bestselling second volume of Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach trilogy, Area X's most disturbing questions are answered . . . but the answers are far from reassuring. After thirty years, the only human engagement with Area X--a seemingly malevolent landscape surrounded by an invisible border and mysteriously wiped clean of all signs of civilization--has been a series of expeditions overseen by a government agency so secret it has almost been forgotten: the Southern Reach. Following the tumultuous twelfth expedition chronicled in Annihilation, the agency is in complete disarray. John Rodrigues (aka "Control") is the Southern Reach's newly appointed head. Working with a distrustful but desperate team, a series of frustrating interrogations, a cache of hidden notes, and hours of profoundly troubling video footage, Control begins to penetrate the secrets of Area X. But with each discovery he must confront disturbing truths about himself and the agency he's pledged to serve.
Cover ArtAcceptance by Jeff VanderMeer
Call Number: Palatka Popular Fiction ; PS3572.A4284 S688 bk.3
ISBN: 9780374104115
Publication Date: 2014-09-02
The New York Times bestselling final installment of Jeff VanderMeer's wildy popular Southern Reach Trilogy It is winter in Area X, the mysterious wilderness that has defied explanation for thirty years, rebuffing expedition after expedition, refusing to reveal its secrets. As Area X expands, the agency tasked with investigating and overseeing it--the Southern Reach--has collapsed on itself in confusion. Now one last, desperate team crosses the border, determined to reach a remote island that may hold the answers they've been seeking. If they fail, the outer world is in peril. Meanwhile, Acceptance tunnels ever deeper into the circumstances surrounding the creation of Area X--what initiated this unnatural upheaval? Among the many who have tried, who has gotten close to understanding Area X--and who may have been corrupted by it? In this New York Times bestselling final installment of Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach trilogy, the mysteries of Area X may be solved, but their consequences and implications are no less profound--or terrifying.
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profile-icon Kayla Cook

Eric Bogosian is everywhere. Odds are, you've seen him in something and not even noticed because he's everywhere. Currently, he's probably best known for playing Senator Gil Eavis on HBO's Succession, reporter Daniel Molloy on AMC's Interview with the Vampire, and Captain Danny Ross on Law & Order: Criminal Intent.

Outside of theatre and history circles, few people are probably aware that over the last few decades, Bogosian (who is a playwright, novelist, historian, and comedian in addition to being an actor) has written nearly two dozen books. Two of these in particular are most impressive to me: his 2009 novel Perforated Heart, and his 2015 historical monograph, Operation Nemesis: The Assassination Plot That Avenged the Armenian Genocide. To me, these two books show not only the extent of Bogosian’s knowledge and perspective of the world, but also his mastery of the conventions of both fiction and non-fiction writing. 

Born in 1953 to a second-generation Armenian-American family, Eric Bogosian began writing and performing professionally in the mid-1970s. Since the beginning of his career, his goal has been social commentary, prompted by the culture shock of moving from a small town outside Boston to New York City in his early twenties straight out of college. For the first time, Bogosian saw hatred and prejudice firsthand, and he saw the hardships of homeless people and people with mental illnesses, and he wanted to do something about it. However, as a young artist still new to New York, he wasn’t sure what he could do to help fix the problems he saw every day on the streets. He barely had enough money to support himself, and he didn’t have the connections or status to make any major changes. The most effective thing he could do, he decided, was to put what he saw on the stage in hopes of bringing it to the attention of his audience and the New York Theatre crowd. In the almost fifty years since, Bogosian has remained committed to that goal. 

Bogosian doesn’t shy away from sensitive subjects or try to make them more palatable. Instead, he explicitly presents his audience with a variety of American prejudices, primarily those held by white American men. Rather than showing his audience the perspective of the broken, beaten-down victim, he confronts them with the unsavory perspective of those doing the beating—or, at the very least, those who would stand by and do nothing, or even judge the victim. Thus, he sparks guilt in another, much more visceral and self-reflective way, seeming to ask his audience members, “Do you think like this? Do you know someone who does? Do you want to continue thinking this way or associating with people who do now that you’ve seen how hurtful it can be?” 

Perforated Heart tells the story of Richard Morris, a writer in his fifties who finds himself looking back on his life after a series of rather unfortunate events which include the death of his Aunt Sadie, his own diagnosis with a serious heart condition, and the lack of success of his most recent novel. He also must contend with his elderly father’s diagnosis with Alzheimer’s, the failure of his current romantic relationship due to his infidelity and his refusal to marry and start a family with his partner, and a potential lawsuit from his ex-partner Elizabeth who believes a character he wrote was based on her. Throughout the book, Richard fails to take responsibility for his actions. Instead, he blames others: doctors, the women in his life, his Jewish family members, and various colleagues and acquaintances. It isn’t clear to Richard that the roadblocks he faces are often ones he built himself, but to the reader, it’s obvious that Richard’s bigotry and selfishness are the root of most of his problems. 

At the opposite end of the spectrum sits Bogosian’s Operation Nemesis: The Assassination Plot That Avenged the Armenian Genocide. The first half of this book summarizes the history of the Armenian people, from the time of their arrival in what is today Armenia several thousand years ago until the Armenian Genocide in the 1910s. The second half focuses on Operation Nemesis itself, a mission organized and executed by a handful of Armenian and Armenian-American citizens who sought to kill the government officials responsible for the Armenian Genocide, and who were later executed for these assassinations. Prior to this book’s publication, no books in English had ever been written about Operation Nemesis. As a result, it took Bogosian over seven years to write this book, during which time he worked with top researchers and translators from across the globe to gather sources. The final product was a historical monograph which was both accessible for readers unfamiliar with the history of Armenia and the Armenian Genocide, and eye-opening for experts in the field because it contained information and analysis not previously found in any other books on this period in history. 

With both these books, Eric Bogosian shows an unwavering devotion to not sugarcoating details, and instead painting as accurate and authentic a picture of his subjects as he can. In Perforated Heart, he gives his readers a look into the minds of older, privileged white American men and shows clearly that he does not condone the unsavory mindset of its narrator, which is, unfortunately, not an uncommon one (at least according to Bogosian). In Operation Nemesis, he similarly gives his readers a glimpse into a disturbing but largely forgotten period of world history, the Armenian Genocide. Looking at these two entirely unrelated books in conjecture with one another also demonstrates the breadth of Bogosian’s skill and talent as a writer, a researcher, an artist, and a historian. 

Perforated Heart is available to read online through the Internet Archive, a free, legal, and safe-to-use online library. Operation Nemesis: The Assassination Plot That Avenged the Armenian Genocide is available to check out from the SJR State Library. 


Cover ArtOperation Nemesis by Eric Bogosian
ISBN: 9780316292085
Publication Date: 2015-04-21
A masterful account of the assassins who hunted down the perpetrators of the Armenian Genocide. In 1921, a tightly knit band of killers set out to avenge the deaths of almost one million victims of the Armenian Genocide. They were a humble bunch: an accountant, a life insurance salesman, a newspaper editor, an engineering student, and a diplomat. Together they formed one of the most effective assassination squads in history. They named their operation Nemesis, after the Greek goddess of retribution. The assassins were survivors, men defined by the massive tragedy that had devastated their people. With operatives on three continents, the Nemesis team killed six major Turkish leaders in Berlin, Constantinople, Tiflis, and Rome, only to disband and suddenly disappear. The story of this secret operation has never been fully told, until now. Eric Bogosian goes beyond simply telling the story of this cadre of Armenian assassins by setting the killings in the context of Ottoman and Armenian history, as well as showing in vivid color the era's history, rife with political fighting and massacres. Casting fresh light on one of the great crimes of the twentieth century and one of history's most remarkable acts of vengeance, Bogosian draws upon years of research and newly uncovered evidence. Operation Nemesis is the result -- both a riveting read and a profound examination of evil, revenge, and the costs of violence.

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profile-icon Kendall McCurley

Love them or hate them but the movie and television industry love a good book adaptation. Here are a few that are already out or releasing this year. Check them out and see how they compare to their new adaptation! Let us know what you think! Our next book club is February 22nd at noon at all three of the SJR State libraries!

The Lying Life of Adults by Elena Ferrante

“Giovanna’s pretty face is changing, turning ugly, at least so her father thinks. Giovanna, he says, looks more like her Aunt Vittoria every day. But can it be true? Is she really changing? Is she turning into her Aunt Vittoria, a woman she hardly knows but whom her mother and father clearly despise? Surely there is a mirror somewhere in which she can see herself as she truly is. Giovanna is searching for her reflection in two kindred cities that fear and detest one another: Naples of the heights, which assumes a mask of refinement, and Naples of the depths, a place of excess and vulgarity. She moves from one to the other in search of the truth, but neither city seems to offer answers or escape.” – Amazon Description

Release Date: January 4

The Lying Life of AdultsThe Lying Life of Adults by Elena Ferrante; Ann Goldstein (Translator)
Call Number: PQ4866.E6345 V5713 2020
ISBN: 9781609455910
Publication Date: 2020-09-01

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

“Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon—the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him “the bitter neighbor from hell.” But must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time? Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.” – Amazon Description

Release Date: January 13

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
Call Number: Popular Fiction PT9877.12 .A32 M3613 2014
ISBN: 9781476738017
Publication Date: 2014-07-15

The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay

“Seven-year-old Wen and her parents, Eric and Andrew, are vacationing at a remote cabin on a quiet New Hampshire lake. Their closest neighbors are more than two miles in either direction along a rutted dirt road. One afternoon, as Wen catches grasshoppers in the front yard, a stranger unexpectedly appears in the driveway. Leonard is the largest man Wen has ever seen, but he is young, friendly, and he wins her over almost instantly. Leonard and Wen talk and play until Leonard abruptly apologizes and tells Wen, “None of what’s going to happen is your fault.” Three more strangers then arrive at the cabin carrying unidentifiable, menacing objects. As Wen sprints inside to warn her parents, Leonard calls out: “Your dads won’t want to let us in, Wen. But they have to. We need your help to save the world.” Thus begins an unbearably tense, gripping tale of paranoia, sacrifice, apocalypse, and survival that escalates to a shattering conclusion, one in which the fate of a loving family and quite possibly all of humanity are entwined. The Cabin at the End of the World is a masterpiece of terror and suspense from the fantastically fertile imagination of Paul Tremblay.” – Amazon Description

Release Date: February 3

Cover ArtThe Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay
Call Number: Popular Fiction -- PS3620.R445C33 2018
ISBN: 9780062679109
Publication Date: 2018-06-26

Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

“Everyone knows DAISY JONES & THE SIX, but nobody knows the reason behind their split at the absolute height of their popularity . . . until now. Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it’s the rock ’n’ roll she loves most. By the time she’s twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things. Also getting noticed is The Six, a band led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she’s pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road. Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes that the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend.” – Amazon Description

Release Date: March 3

Daisy Jones and the Six : a novelDaisy Jones and the Six : a novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Call Number: Popular Fiction PS3618.E5478 D35 2020
ISBN: 9781524798642
Publication Date: 2020-02-04

American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer by Kai Bird and J. Martin

“‘The Father of the Atomic Bomb,’ J. Robert Oppenheimer was instrumental in the Manhattan Project. Yet, after the bombing of Hiroshima, Oppenheimer was faced with the moral implications of his work. Radically proposing controls on nuclear armaments, making him a prime target of J. Edgar Hoover during the Red Scare.” – Booklist Queen

Release Date: July 21

Cover ArtAmerican Prometheus by Kai Bird; Martin J. Sherwin
Call Number: QC16.O62 B57 2005
ISBN: 9780375726262
Publication Date: 2006-04-11

The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty

“Originally published in 1971, The Exorcist, one of the most controversial novels ever written, went on to become a literary phenomenon: It spent fifty-seven weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, seventeen consecutively at number one. Inspired by a true story of a child's demonic possession in the 1940s, William Peter Blatty created an iconic novel that focuses on Regan, the eleven-year-old daughter of a movie actress residing in Washington, D.C. A small group of overwhelmed yet determined individuals must rescue Regan from her unspeakable fate, and the drama that ensues is gripping and unfailingly terrifying.” – Amazon Description

Release Date: October 13

Cover ArtThe Exorcist by William Peter Blatty
Call Number: Popular Fiction PS3552.L392 E93 2011
ISBN: 9780062094353
Publication Date: 2011-10-04

Dune by Frank Herbert

“Meet Paul Atreides, the heir apparent to the House of Atreides. At the beginning of the novel, his family takes control of the desert planet Arrakis, the source of the most sought after commodity in the galaxy. But power like that breeds many enemies who will stop at nothing to take over Arrakis. Mixing politics, religion, and mysticism with a whole lot of adventure, Herbert sends you on an epic journey worthy of any science fiction reader. After the massive success of the first film (which is a must-see if you haven’t already), the second half of the novel is being adapted in 2023.” – Booklist Queen

Release Date: November 3

Cover ArtDune by Frank Herbert
Call Number: PS3558.E63 D8 2010
ISBN: 9780441172719
Publication Date: 1990-09-01

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

“A new musical adaptation of Alice Walker’s modern classic, The Color Purple, is one of the most intriguing books becoming movies in 2023. In the novel, poor young Black girl Celie writes letters to God in the early 1900s, begging for help from her father who beats and rapes her. After Celie is married off to an abusive man and helps her sister run away, Celie begins writing letters to her sister. Talking frankly about domestic and sexual abuse and homosexuality, The Color Purple won the Pulitzer Prize in 1983.” – Booklist Queen

Release Date: December 20

The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Call Number: PS3573.A425 C6 1982
ISBN: 9780151191543
Publication Date: 1992-05-22
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profile-icon Brenda Hoffman

Spoilers afoot…

I avoided the television series “Breaking Bad” (AMC, 2008-2013) created by Vince Gilligan about a chemistry teacher, Walter White, diagnosed with lung cancer who turns to manufacturing and selling methamphetamine with a former student, Jesse Pinkman, to provide for his family after his inevitable death, because of its popularity. My friend, Nancy (whose opinion I value), was a huge fan who devoured the series in real time and sang its praises saying, “I like the way it mixes an ordinary family with the over-the-top crime and violence. Characters and relationships are really well developed. Unforgettable, in fact.” During winter break, my husband and I binged the five-season hit for AMC, and I conceded my argument against the show—but not against Walter White.

Walter is an egomaniac whose purpose in producing 99% pure meth goes beyond securing his family’s future. Before WW sold the rights to Gray Matter to his colleagues for, in his words “a couple of house payments,” White was on his way to becoming a billionaire. But as the series opens, he heads the science department at a high school where he makes $43,000.00 a year, while moonlighting at a car wash to make ends meet. His cancer diagnosis and ride-along with his DEA brother-in-law to break up a meth lab are the catalyst for his foray into the drug world. I contend, however, that it is ego, hubris, and arrogance that morph a mild-mannered teacher into a meth-making madman. Earning money is secondary; Walt wants recognition for his meth-cooking method.

Akin to his namesake, Walt Whitman, Walter White is a conceited man who inflates his self-worth: Whitman does so through his writing, specifically “Song of Myself,” where he claims sole authority to fully capture the American experience. I wonder, then, if Gilligan’s naming of Walter was intentional. (My husband made the spelling connection of Walter, Walt, White and Whitman for me!) Duh, and yes! I agree with D. H. Lawrence who wrote in his essay “Whitman” that “Something is overdone in Whitman; there is something that is too much.” After all, Walter White, too, is “overdone.”

Watching (read: bingeing) the third season, I turned to my husband and said, “I get what’s going on here. The characters, including DEA agent Hank, his klepto wife, Marie, Jesse, Walter, Skinny Pete, and Badger are obsessives. But obsessiveness doesn’t stop with the series’ characters. Gilligan, either intentionally or not, breaks the fourth wall to include the obsessive viewer. Me? My husband? Obsessives? Dang that Vince Gilligan and his Walt Whitman copycat! We’re all obsessed! Hank, with catching Heisenberg (Walter’s alter-ego. Named after Werner Karl Heisenberg, a German theoretical physicist credited with creating quantum mechanics); Marie, with theft for theft’s sake; Jesse, with drugs; Skinny Pete and Badger, with video games and “Star Trek” (1966-1969) and Walter, with fame, or infamy. When head honcho drug dealer/Los Pollos Hermanos proprietor Gus invites Walt to dinner, the two men discuss providing for their families. Gus says that even if your family hates you, you must provide for them. Viewers never see Gus surrounded by a loving family, and Walt alienates his family with his lies. So, what’s the point of cooking and distributing meth to other people’s families if it means that Gus and Walt end up alone? Answer: Both men love the thrill of the drug-making and dealing game. They love the rush. They love that people fear them. And Nancy is right! The characters are like chocolate chip cookies: you can't get enough of 'em!

Gilligan plagues Walter with lung cancer to allow and encourage the audience’s sympathy for Walt. What the heck is that? Walt isn’t Jean Valjean in Les Misérables stealing a loaf of bread for his starving family. Walter’s ego drives his desire to cook 99% pure meth and earn the respect of his drug-dealing colleagues. Along the way, he kills innocents, poisons a child, and lies like a rug to Jesse, his wife, Skyler, his son, Walt Jr., Hank. Okay, I’ll stop. He lies to every character, including himself. So why can't I stop watching?

Is it too much to hope that the series stands as a kind of Scared Straight warning? White’s goal of family happiness and security is a pipe dream, which not ironically that term’s origin comes from the late 19th century: “referring to a dream experienced when smoking an opium pipe.” And perhaps the lesson comes in the final season in the episode entitled “Ozymandias,” which is a nod to Percy Bysshe Shelly’s poem of the same name that warns even the mightiest empires crumble. In this episode, Walter loses his money, his family, and his identity. Eventually, he admits to his wife, Skyler, that he cooked not for his family, but for the fame, so that he, like Walt Whitman, could go out with a “barbaric yawp,” instead of a whimper.

So, should you watch or skip the series? That, my friend, is up to you. Nancy told me Walt and Co. are unforgettable. Unfortunately, she was right. The five-season series is available on Netflix.

Check out the titles that I recommend below about “Breaking Bad” and Walt Whitman.

Cover ArtBreaking down Breaking Bad by Matt Wanat (Editor); Leonard Engel (Editor)

ISBN: 9780826356833
Publication Date: 2016-05-15
The story of Walter White's transformation from chemistry teacher to drug lord has captured the imagination of television viewers around the world. This collection of essays sets the series in the context of American culture, analyzing its reinvention of classic themes in literature. A protagonist who sets out on a quest and discovers things about himself and the world is a common enough convention in American storytelling. Typically the hero encounters evil along the way and acquires worldly wisdom. Vince Gilligan, the creator of Breaking Bad, offers a dynamic variant of this quest, posing the question of how far a desperate man facing death will go in order to achieve a sense of self and financial security for his family. Going beyond the obvious ethical issues that have preoccupied viewers and critics alike, the essays in this book cut across disciplines, delve deeply into contemporary issues, and explore the pure pleasure and entertainment value of the series.
Cover ArtBreaking Bad by David P. Pierson (Editor)
ISBN: 9780739179246
Publication Date: 2013-11-21
Breaking Bad: Critical Essays on the Contexts, Politics, Style, and Reception of the Television Series, edited by David P. Pierson, explores the contexts, politics, and style of AMC's original series Breaking Bad. The book's first section locates and addresses the series from several contemporary social contexts, including neo-liberalism, its discourses and policies, the cultural obsession with the economy of time and its manipulation, and the epistemological principles and assumptions of Walter White's criminal alias Heisenberg. Section two investigates how the series characterizes and intersects with current cultural politics, such as male angst and the re-emergence of hegemonic masculinity, the complex portrayal of Latinos, and the depiction of physical and mental impairment and disability. The final section takes a close look at the series' distinctive visual, aural, and narrative stylistics. Under examination are Breaking Bad's unique visual style whereby image dominates sound, the distinct role and use of beginning teaser segments to disorient and enlighten audiences, the representation of geographic space and place, the position of narrative songs to complicate viewer identification, and the integral part that emotions play as a form of dramatic action in the series.
Cover ArtBreaking Bad by Lara C. Stache
ISBN: 1442278277
Publication Date: 2017-10-01
As one of the most critically acclaimed shows of all time, Breaking Bad explored the life and crimes of a high school chemistry teacher turned meth kingpin of the American Southwest. As Walter White and his former student Jesse Pinkman become deeply entwined in the drug world, their narrative leaves a trail of bodies strewn across the show's five seasons--a story that resulted in more than 15 Emmy awards. In Breaking Bad A Cultural History, Lara C. Stache offers an engaging analysis of the program, focusing on the show's fascinating characters and complex story lines. Stache gives the show its due reverence, but also suggests new ways of understanding and critiquing the series as a part of the larger culture in which it exists. The author looks at how the program challenges viewers to think about the choices made in the narrative, analyzes what did and did not work, and determines the program's cultural significance, particularly its place in twenty-first century America. The author also explores how Breaking Bad grapples with themes of morality, legality, and anti-drug rhetoric and looks at how the marketing of the series influenced the ways in which television shows are now promoted. Breaking Bad A Cultural History captures the spirit of the series and examines how the show had an impact on viewers like no other program. This book will be of interest to fans of the show as well as to scholars and students of television, media, and American popular culture.
Cover ArtEl Evangelio Según Breaking Bad by Blake Atwood; Manuel Bento Falcón (Translator)
ISBN: 1507168209
Publication Date: 2017-02-01

El responsable de Breaking Bad, Vince Gilligan quiere creer que existe el cielo, pero "no puede no creer" que exista un infierno. A trav#65533;s de esta fascinante serie que muestra la impactante y tr#65533;gica vida y momentos de Walter White, Gilligan ofrece su singular visi#65533;n en un universo moralmente amoral, un lugar que no se diferencia mucho del mundo en que vivimos. Esta serie de televisi#65533;n aclamada por la cr#65533;tica busca responder a la pregunta: "En un mundo aparentemente en caos, #65533;Puede prevalecer finalmente la justicia?"El evangelio seg#65533;n Breaking Bad ofrece una completa perspectiva cristiana del #65533;xito de p#65533;blico y cr#65533;tica de la AMC. Cubriendo temas teol#65533;gicos profundos como la identidad, la muerte, la justicia, el poder, el destino, el libre albedr#65533;o y el mismo Evangelio, los lectores se ver#65533;n obligados a pensar con m#65533;s profundidad en las preguntas universales que Breaking Bad plantea. En las secciones que cubren los colores y met#65533;foras de Breaking Bad, los fans tambi#65533;n llegar#65533;n a una mayor apreciaci#65533;n de la serie de televisi#65533;n mejor realizada de la historia reciente.M#65533;s que simplemente ofrecer un entretenido viaje en furgoneta a trav#65533;s del desierto de Albuquerque, Breaking Bad presenta dos personajes #65533;nicos: Walter White y Jesse Pinkman. Cada uno de ellos tiene trayectorias notablemente distintas en sus vidas. #65533;Ser#65533; redimido alguno de ellos al final de la serie? #65533;Qu#65533; nos dicen de nosotros mismos nuestras reacciones a sus historias?A trav#65533;s de estas historias y m#65533;s, El evangelio seg#65533;n Breaking Bad busca contarnos la m#65533;s antigua de las historias a trav#65533;s de una de la historias m#65533;s viscerales y atrayentes del presente. Como la autora Madeline L'Engle escribi#65533;: "Quiz#65533;s has de conocer la oscuridad antes de poder apreciar la luz".

Cover ArtLeaves of Grass and Selected Poems and Prose by Walt Whitman; Jessica Hische (Illustrator); Peter M. Coviello (Editor)
ISBN: 0143107437
Publication Date: 2014-08-20
From A to Z, the Penguin Drop Caps series collects 26 unique hardcovers-featuring cover art by Jessica Hische It all begins with a letter. Fall in love with Penguin Drop Caps, a new series of twenty-six collectible and hardcover editions, each with a type cover showcasing a gorgeously illustrated letter of the alphabet. In a design collaboration between Jessica Hische and Penguin Art Director Paul Buckley, the series features unique cover art by Hische, a superstar in the world of type design and illustration, whose work has appeared everywhere from Tiffany & Co. to Wes Anderson's recent film Moonrise Kingdom to Penguin's own bestsellers Committed and Rules of Civility. With exclusive designs that have never before appeared on Hische's hugely popular Daily Drop Cap blog, the Penguin Drop Caps series debuted with an 'A' for Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, a 'B' for Charlotte Br nte's Jane Eyre, and a 'C' for Willa Cather's My ntonia. It continues with more perennial classics, perfect to give as elegant gifts or to showcase on your own shelves. W is for Whitman. When Walt Whitman self-published his Leaves of Grass in July 1855, he altered the course of literary history. One of the greatest masterpieces of American literature, it redefined the rules of poetry while describing the soul of the American character. Throughout his life, Whitman continuously revised, expanded, and republished Leaves of Grass, but the 1855 original marked Whitman's fresh and bold arrival, greeted by Ralph Waldo Emerson as "the beginning of a great career." This volume specially compiled for Penguin Drop Caps will also include a range of additional popular poems including selections from "Calamus," "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry," and "Drum-Taps," as well as Whitman's 1855, 1856 and 1976 prefaces and "Democratic Vistas."
ISBN: 9780679642084

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