The Evil Seed & Gentlemen and Players – Joanne harris

It all started with the rerun of ‘Chocolat’ on tv. I love that movie and have been worried about reading the book in case it turns out to be not as good as the movie. Sounds silly even as I write it down. But what if the characters come alive only because of the great actors who play them with such conviction. How difficult it must be for a director to find and cast the perfect actor to the character. This has never happened to me before because I am the kind of person who firmly believes in the maxim “the movie can never be as good as the book”.

 Anyway, the movie prompted me to look up Joanne Harris on my lifeline to the unknown i.e. Google. I looked up all her books too and prompted by the a favourable reviews sailed to the bookstore with a reluctant husband in tow and ended up buying the only two books of her’s which were available ref. – the title of the blog.

The Evil Seed had been nowhere on her reviews so I thought maybe it was latest one. Turns out it was the other way around-being her first one ever and it was a huge disappointment. It’s about vampires! Imagine – Chocolat versus Vampires!! I was expecting some beautiful characters in a unconvential setting, with their very believable everyday problems and instead encountered a group of extremely horrible  immortals. Daniel Holmes was finely etched and I did start to think of him as someone I might know but the other characters were very forgettable. Maybe I was not in the mood for gory novels it being a nice rainy weekend and the afterglow of the romance of the movie ‘Chocolat’. Anyway my recommendation is to steer clear.

I then quickly moved on to the next one Gentlemen and Players – with an idea akin to ripping off the band-aid in one swipe. And surprise – surprise! It was an extremely fun read and unlike the earlier one did not make me wish I hadn’t been eating while reading. She actually kept me guessing right up to the very end. I did not feel the urge to skip over long, uninteresting passages as in the ‘vamp novel’ and I was quite unable to keep the book down before I had finished the whole thing.

In defence of the vampire novel the author herself warns the reader about it being her first and not a very fulfilling piece of work. I can almost see the sheepish look on her face as she reads it today. But then I also understand the fondness she may have for a first novel, the first effort. I am glad I read the second one or else I would never have bought another Joanne Harris book. Now I have to start looking for her other works. I hope to read them in their correct sequence to see the very satisfying progression of the author taking baby steps towards a much more stronger and interesting way of writing.


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