Changing the Book

Well,  my big accomplishment of the day was I finally got my most recent book, “Rheets 2014” submitted to create space, and I recommend it to anybody who would normally buy a book of poetry, or in fact, anybody who wouldn’t normally buy a book of poetry, too.  They are short poems (Rheets are rhyming tweets), couplets mostly, one for every day of the year more or less.

It ain't Harry Potter, that's for damned sure

It ain’t Harry Potter, that’s for damned sure

In the news,  the BBC is airing a mini-series based on “The  Casual Vacancy,” J.K.  Rowling’s first post Potter book, but apparently they’ve changed the ending because it was ‘too grim.’ (spoiler alert- if you haven’t read the book, I’m going to mess it up for you.  If you were  just planning on watching the TV presentation, carry on reading)

I’m not happy about that.  Sure, it was grim, but British TV is no stranger to grim.  Look at Midsomer Murders.  They are never satisfied with just one murder.  By the time  inspector Barnaby solves the case, there are inevitably three corpses, and sometimes they get killed in a pretty ‘grim’ fashion.

The ending of Casual Vacancy was pretty grim.  A baby dies and a teenage girl commits suicide, by heroin overdose.  But I can’t imagine how they are going to conclude it without that.  It is a book with a lot of intricately interwoven stories,  and  without that ending, it just won’t be the same book at all.

The screenwriter, who writes for the East Enders (well, there’s your problem, right there) said “You’ve got to think that it was worth it and that the characters aren’t just a pack of shits; they’ve got to be a little bit funny, a little bit understandable.”

Actually, I thought that was where Rowling did an excellent job in the book.  Even  though a lot of the characters in the book were kind of horrible, you felt for them.  Even the heroin addict mom.  Even the arrogant rich couple.  Even the kind of creepy guy who thought he had a shot with Barry’s wife, on account of Barry being dead and all.  You understood their motivation, why they saw things the way they did.

But, the Beeb apparently didn’t think TV audiences would get that.  Maybe they are right.  After all, we are talking about people who don’t read books.

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