Fantasy Is Not Just For Boys

I was put off by this New York Times Review of A Game of Thrones on HBO and penned a letter to its author. The letter is reproduced below:

Dear Ms Bellafante,

I was excited to see a review of A Game of Thrones in the New York Times, but I was put off by the sexist remarks particularly in this paragraph:

The true perversion, though, is the sense you get that all of this illicitness has been tossed in as a little something for the ladies, out of a justifiable fear, perhaps, that no woman alive would watch otherwise. While I do not doubt that there are women in the world who read books like Mr. Martin’s, I can honestly say that I have never met a single woman who has stood up in indignation at her book club and refused to read the latest from Lorrie Moore unless everyone agreed to “The Hobbit” first. “Game of Thrones” is boy fiction patronizingly turned out to reach the population’s other half.

It’s demeaning to imply that women would only watch A Game of Thrones for the sexy bits and not for anything else. Your statement that perhaps “no woman alive would watch otherwise” offended me.

As someone who has read the book (and the rest of the books in the series), I can confidently say that while there is sex in the story, that’s not what kept me reading. It was the winding plot, the unbelievable amount of morally ambiguous characters to follow, and the writing that made me turn each page.

On Goodreads.com, where I work, around 30,000 members have read A Game of Thrones and a little over 10,000 of them are women. Over 1/3 of the members who read A Game of Thrones are women.

The numbers don’t lie. Women read fantasy. Maybe not as many women read fantasy as men, but it’s not such an miniscule amount that it warrants continuing the outdated idea that fantasy is only read by men who play Dungeons and Dragons. Fantasy hasn’t been a boy’s club for a long time.

The Adjustment Bureau

I’m always up for a thriller starring Matt Damon, so when The Adjustment Bureau came out, I was excited to see it. In preparation of watching the movie, I read the incredibly short story it was based on by Philip K. Dick called The Adjustment Team. The bare-bones story set up the premise for the movie and without going into spoiler-land, I’ll just say that The Adjustment Bureau is more like a story about different characters in the same world than a straight adaptation.

With that in mind, I still had some complaints about the movie. The imagery of the short story (people dissolving like sand castles, for example) was more powerful than what happens in the movie. Although reading the short story made me think about fate and the absence of free will, I thought the movie treated those subjects with an extremely heavy hand and all the religious angles in it were unnecessary.

Despite these complaints, the movie was entertaining. John Slattery was awesome even though he was pretty much Roger Sterling in the whole movie. Emily Blunt was adorable as usual. And Matt Damon was very Matt Damon-like.

Review: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2009 movie)

After reading the book, I knew I had to watch the movie. Usually, I’m apprehensive about movies based on books, but for some reason,I felt a little better about this one because like the book, the movie is Swedish.  Apparently, there’s an American remake in the works. I wanted to catch the Swedish version before it left theaters.

The Swedish movie was one of the better book to movie adaptations I’ve ever seen.  From watching the trailers, I thought that the actress who portrays Lisbeth Salander looked too old, but in the movie, she was frighteningly perfect! And kinda hot in a “oh my god, she’s going to break my neck” hot.

Unfortunately, I thought the actor who played Mikael Blomkvist wasn’t cast as well. He was a good actor, but he wasn’t who I pictured. From the book, I got the impression that he was quite suave and handsome, but the actor didn’t give off that vibe in the movie.

The movie stays very true to the book in terms of plot even though there are a couple of understandable changes.  It was kind of a cliff-notes version of the book, but not in a bad way.

It’s hard to say if I would have liked the movie as a standalone movie since I read the book before watching it. Will, who watched the movie without reading the book enjoyed it too and didn’t feel like he was missing key points of the story.  It doesn’t have all the car chases and explosions of a Hollywood blockbuster, but it’s a decent mystery/thriller.  I can’t wait for the sequel.