Friday, June 10, 2011

I've come to the end of am amazing journey. And now I'm depressed.

Pardon me if I seem a little distant.....

It appears I've left my heart over in the land of Prydain.

If you've read Lloyd Alexander's The Chronicles of Prydain, you know what I'm talking about.

Oh dear.

I just finished reading all five books, for the first time ever.

Boy, am I glad I did.

But there was a time, though, when I was loathe to even touch the books.



Here's my history of Prydain:

Perhaps a year, year and a half ago, I got an itch to watch a movie. I just wanted to watch something I hadn't seen before.

I happened to stumble upon the old Disney animated film, The Black Cauldron, which is based mainly on the first two books of the Prydain series.

I spent a few weeks watching the trailer over and over again, poking around the movie and getting excited.

Finally, I got the DVD from the library and my dear sis and I sat down to have a little sister bonding/movie time.


The books are basically the Welsh version of Lord of the Rings. Alexander based the tales off of Welsh mythology, and as we all know, anything to do with Wales is very near and dear to my heart.

I knew nothing about the books coming into the movie, however. And that might have been part of the problem.

You see, there were parts, mere parts of the film that I liked.

But when the credits rolled, sis's first words were, "That was a waste of two hours."

To which I replied, deep and intellectual person that I am.....


After that, whenever I went to the library and happened to pass by those books upon which that less-than-satisfactory movie was based on, I would shudder with cruel memories.

Then came a post by the dear Gillian, which planted a thought in my head. That being, "If Gil and Jake and these people all like these books, and I do trust their opinions..... perhaps there is some good in the story after all?"

And finally, about a month ago, I checked out The Book of Three  from the library, the first book in the series.

It sat in a whole pile of library books on my bedroom floor for about three weeks. I still couldn't get over the movie, and I needed time to , well, get over myself before I cold bring myself to touch the book.

Finally, hitting one of those, "I need something to read, fast!" spots, I grabbed The Book of Three, and opened it.

And from there, with utter delight and wonder, I finished the book, and eagerly sought out The Black Cauldron, book two, from the library as well. And with increasing joy and thrill, just last week snatched the last three books from the shelf and brought them triumphantly home.

I finished The High King, the fifth and final installment, just this Wednesday.

And my feelings were these:

Number One: I have never read such perfect, astounding, thrilling, uplifting, deep, absolutely wonderful books for a very, very long time, (save possibly The Lost Journals of Ven Polypheme, but that's another post...), and I was grateful to have read them. I was undoubtedly better for reading them. No mistake.

Number Two:

.......... why was it over?!?!?!?!??!?!?!?!?



And that, my friends, is why I'm depressed and unable to do a thing. I read a magnificent series and it has ended. And I don't know what to do with myself.

I'm sure I'll get over it in about a week. I have a few other books that I know I most likely won't get emotionally attached to, so I can read those while I'm recovering.

I'll do a formal review of the series soon, but for now, know this: if you haven't read The Chronicles of Prydain, please, please go read them. I promise they won't disappoint.

Oddly enough, though, now that I've read the books I almost want to watch the movie again, because I know I'll see it with waaay different eyes... heh, no matter what though, Gurgi is forever blazed into my mind looking like this:

And there's nothing I can do about it. He's actually pretty darn cute, though, with his moanings about his poor tender head, and harmful hurtings and munchings and crunchings :)

Ah, the one fatal flaw of movie adaptions.... they replace some of your imagination. :|

While we're on the movie again.... it some respects, it wasn't bad at all. However, they butchered the story line and that never makes anyone happy. But as far as the characters themselves went, I saw Disney's Taran and Eilonwy and Fleddur Fflam in a faded corner of my brain while I was reading, and they were rather nice to have around.... I have nothing against them. Nor Gurgi, either, really. ;)

It is official, though.





But I don't think there's a single girl in the world who couldn't relate to her in one way or another. 

Oh, and since it's not fair to have pictures of Gurgi and Eilonwy and leave Flewddur and Taran out:

^^ I like that picture. It tickles me. You know, "munchings and crunchings."


PS: I love Taran.
Not in a weird way. Oh, no.
He's just awesome and, like with everyone else in the books, I got emotionally attached.

Okay, well, now that I've gotten all that off my chest.....

Have you read The Chronicles of Prydain? Did you like it? What about the movie??

Hope you don't mind the rambling.

Alright, well, see you later, folks. I go now to try and find my heart-- I think it's still at Caer Dallben, or else wandering among the Free Commots. 

Ffarwel am y tro, 
Farewell for now.


Lauren said...

Wow! Those sound like fascinating books! I've actually never seen that movie...ha, the one Disney movie I haven't seen! ;) You make the books sound wonderful though, and I may just have to check them out ;D

FinvarraPenn said...

I watched the movie a few years ago and I. hated. it. I agree with your sister - complete waste of two hours.

i did not know there were books though, I had no idea that the movie was based off books. I'm insanely curious now and I might have to check the first one out...

Hannah Joy said...

I. Loved. These. Books!

I listened to them on tape by an amazing reader (James Langton) and fell in love with them. When I saw that there was a movie, I didn't like what I saw. I had already gotten my imaginations how I liked them. To me, Ffleuder Fflam is not old. And Taran isn't redhead. I even know what Gurgi looks like. I'm not much of a fan of Disney, so I decided not to see it. And I must admit I hold to that decision.

But I am so glad you read the books! Like I said, I completely fell in love with them. I loved the characters, loved the plot, and everything.

They are definitely on the top side of my favorite books. And if you do decide one day to listen to them on CD, James Langton is very talented.

Thanks for listening to me rant. :-)

Jake said...

The books are phenomenal, but I've never watched the movie. I doubt I ever will.

Books based off of legends and mythology are always good. :) LOTR has it's own legends to base itself off of (although some of the stuff was taken from real life). And this series has all sorts of fun stuff.

Actually, if you like Welsh stuff, Lawhead does a LOT of that in his books. He practically drowns his book in Welsh lore and legend. It's amazing. :) I'd recommend starting with the King Raven Trilogy, if you haven't read his books.

Eyebright said...

Oh, I'm reading the books right now for the second time! I think they are great fun, but I've never been able to get through the movie. Not sure why...

Anyhoo, I'm so glad you posted about this!

Georgianna Penn said...

I actually haven't read the books yet. My sister has and I've been meaning to, but when there are so many books in the world to be read, it's hard to get around to the ones you really should read. No really though, I've wanted to for awhile. You may just have encouraged me to do it sooner rather than later. ;)

Josiphine said...

Have you read the Chronicles of Narnia? It might help with the withdrawals.

(Or Gypsy Rizka? That is also by Alexander.)

These just went to the top of my to-read list, :D

Anonymous said...

Hello Abby...
i've read all the books and listened to them on cd and i really think that the author wrote very much like one of your favorite authors... Tolkien???
i will see you at hoedown :)

Varon said...

Ah, yes, Prydain. I'd definitely say it is one of the greatest series ever written (It beats LotR by a spot or two because LotR is a narrative).

I love the books as well, and found the movie a waste of time as well.

Are you familiar with "The Foundling and other Tales of Prydain?" It's a collection of short stories from Prydain that adds some history and explains some things.

The Director said...

Oh my GOSH! Yes!!! Go read the books! :D Heeheeee

@Hannah Joy
...oops. (OO) Hope I didn't spoil your pictures of the characters....
Yeah, Flewddur's age wobbles around in my head, but I'm not too particular. Taran has darker hair in my head :D
Oh and please, rant all you wish, darling ;)

Ah, right, you mentioned Lawhead to me before..... I'll have to go poke around his stuff..... *hunts down Lawhead*

Hee hee ;)

Been reading them since second grade ;) I haven't read them in a bit, so Narnia might be a good idea! Thanks! :D
And no, I haven't read that other series but I may have to now....

He didn't actually remind me of Tolkien much in style, but in story, absolutely :D
See you in Vienna ;)

Are ye not so fond of narratives, then?
And yes, I know OF The Foundling, but I haven't read it. However, that just might change in the very near future... :]

Varon said...

Yeah, I don't care that much for narratives, especially long ones.

The Foundling is a pretty good book, and there's one about Dallben in there.

Josiphine said...

Gypsy Rizka isn't a series, just one book. I wish it was a series. Very, very good.

Kim said...

I have not read this series, but now think I might. I wonder what Paige would think of it? Hm...

I can totally relate to that feeling when you finish a wonderful series and it's all over. It's a little like saying goodbye to a dear friend.

That's the gift of really good books!

It's always a pleasure to read your blog Abby:-)

whisper said...

The Chronicles of Prydain are fantastic -

all save the last two. :| I read Books 1-3 and loved them. Book 4 was, I thought, surprisingly boring. Book 5.... I bawled. It was so terribly tragic. I'm becoming miserable just thinking about it now.

But aside from all that.... I loved them. Read them aloud to my siblings, in fact. ^_^ Good times.


The Director said...

Ooh great! Dallben is awesome :]

Oh! I'll have to go find it, then. Thanks!

Paige would probably like it. :] Thanks for the sweet comment Mrs. Spalding <3

Book Four is-- is-- boring???? NOOOOOOOO!!!!
I LOVE book four, actually :] Book Five was really satisfying to me.
But yeah, 1-3 rock as well :)

Josiphine said...

I just checked out the first one...if only I wasn't reading Agatha Christi and could dive right in!

whisper said...

@The Director - *sigh* To each his (or her) own. ;)


Hannah Joy said...

Ho Hum I don't suppose anyone watched the BRUINS win the Stanley Cup last night, eh? :-)

LOVE the Bruins. :-)

Josiphine said...


The Director said...



Told you XD

Jake said...

I found book four to be a romp through character development. :) And done in a sorta interesting fashion. Book five was...just amazing. My favorite of the five.

whisper said...

Sir Jake - FAVORITE?? *sputters* How could book 5 be your favorite???!? Half of the bestest people DIED!! It was so.... terrible! So Tragic! Yes, it did rivaled all the other books in all-out epicness, but at what price?? The death of... *sniffs* *won't give out spoilers* *sighs*


Jake said...

Exactly why it was my favorite, Whisper. Tragic epicness. It's a heartbreaking combination that leads to utter success; for the goal of a writer is to create emotion. And that book created a whole lotta emotion.

whisper said...

True... *sniff* True.

Jake said...

My youngest sister (Ryebrynn) watched the Black Cauldron today. She said it was the worst movie she'd ever seen. xD Both of us are now reading the series, I for the second time. They're even better than I remembered. :)

The Director said...

Uh-huh. -_-
I must read books again in a couple months....