Saturday, 4 December 2010

Stuck in my craw (aka Prof Bhaer WTF?)

There are just some things in books that you can't get over.  The author invested you so deeply that one issue continues to stick in your craw days, months, sometimes decades later.

For me, and I know I discuss this over and over again, it is Jo choosing Professor freaking Bhaer over Laurie.  Not only did she choose the old German dude over the guy next door but she subjected Laurie to a life with Amy.  Amy!  I swear I won't ever let that go.  The past twenty years indicate that I am right.  I will continue to maintain that LM Alcott was having a crazy episode when she concocted that storyline.  The 1990s film adaptation didn't help matters - Christian Bale versus Gabriel Byrne....no contest.

Weirdly I can deal with Beth's death but the old German dude is something that makes me irate.

And yet, Little Women is a book that I love.  Just not that part.

How about you?  What story do you continue to read hoping that an element might change?

17 comments:

Suey said...

YES! Exactly! What WAS she thinking? (Both LMA and Jo!)

taragel said...

The end of Mockingjay. That's always gonna be a WTF kind of thing for me. (So many lost opportunities...)

Adele said...

Suey - according to Wiki (a quote from a collection of LHA's letters) she was thinking this - "Jo should have remained a literary spinster, but so many enthusiastic young ladies wrote to me clamorously demanding that she should marry Laurie, or somebody, that I didn't dare refuse and out of perversity went and made a funny match for her."

Basically we have the 1800s fangirls to hate for that lovely little plot development. Fangirls...even in the 19th century they sucked.

Chapter Chicks said...

Romeo and Juliet. Especially when I watch the movie (The Leo DiCaprio one). I just always hope and hope and hope that Juliet wakes up in time or that Romeo notices her color returning or the fact that she's twitching.

Ughhhh... Its making me feel anxious just thinking about it!

Audrey (holes In My brain) said...

i actually went out and read this book after reading one of your posts about jo and the professor and i still can't believe it. i mean, Amy! and how could Jo break Laurie's heart like that!! I actually teared up during that part, omg, i can't get over it either :(

for the longest time I wanted Alanna with jon, but i got over it, i love George now :) stil hate 'the old German dude' though. great post.

danya said...

Lord of the Rings, the climax scene with Frodo and Gollum at Mount Doom. JRR Tolkien made me so upset the first time I read that & Frodo went all corrupt...I felt totally betrayed. I know, everyone says that Gollum had a part to play, but I never totally became reconciled to it.

Elouise82 said...

I am one of the very few people who actually thought Laurie and Jo would have been TERRIBLE together. However, Jo remaining a literary spinster would have been preferable to the idiotic Bhaer. And as I always hated Amy, from the moment she destroyed Jo's book (Jo may have forgiven her for that, but I never have), I really hated her with Laurie. If only Beth had lived! SHE would have been perfect for dear Teddy.

Every time I read Rilla of Ingleside I hope Walter will have a different fate this time. And as a kid I used to refuse to read The Last Battle in the Narnia series, because I hated the thought that Narnia was no more. If I didn't read the final book, then SURELY Narnia was still out there somewhere!

Steph Su said...

Yeah, I had read LMA's reasoning for the odd pairing at the end of Little Women. I kind of admire both her and Jo for trying really hard to stick to their guns about A) not giving readers what they expect and practically feel like they have a right to, and B) not having the normal "marriage = the best thing in my life" mentality that so many love stories have.

Splendibird said...

Yep, while I understand that the author was making a point I still can't quite forgive her for lumbering Jo with anyone other than Laurie. And don't even get me started on Amy...

Kitten said...

Ugh, as an above poster said, from the moment Amy wrecked Jo's book I hated her. I never forgave her that or the fact that she married Laurie.

To this day, I tend to stop with the first half of Little Women because I know the second half will bring me disappointment.

Chachic said...

You're awesome for doing this post! I felt exactly the same way when I read Little Women. Loved the book but couldn't get over Jo not choosing Laurie. I even stopped reading when I got to that part because I felt so bad. Somehow, the whole thing didn't feel right to me.

Felt the same way about Alanna choosing George instead of Jon, not that I don't love George (because thieves are awesome), I just felt like there wasn't enough closure between Alanna and Jon. This is probably one of the reasons why I love the Daughter of the Lioness books more than the Song of the Lioness ones.

Vee said...

I'm with you on Jo and Prof Bhaer (although I did get a little more in Little Men, that in Little Women), and I think I've mentioned that before, as well. I actually CRIED when Laurie married Amy, because it meant him and Jo didn't have a shot anymore (that's a kinda embarrassing thing to confess, haha).

That's so interesting about the fangirls changing things up, as well!

Unlike everyone else, though, I actually adore Alanna and George in The Song of the Lioness Quartet (although Jon is definitely more swoonworthy, I didn't like him as much with Alanna)...Maybe I'm just weird that way?

April said...

Oh my gosh, I couldn't agree more! Well, I am not sure Jo would've been happy with Laurie for long, but why is God's name did he marry Amy? I hate her!

Chutzpah said...

I need to read this book now, just so that I can understand your frustration.

Adventures in Small Business said...

I remember reading an interview with Tamora Pierce and she said she originally wrote the book so that Alanna and Jon were together, but she could never reconcile herself to Alanna as Queen and not a warrior so she re-wrote them.

Perhaps that's why we never felt the closure? Even in the Wild Magic series I felt there was still something simmering with Alanna and Jon...despite George and Thayet being right there!

Mine is The Thorn Birds. Damn Ralph should have left the damn church for Meggie!

kate.o.d said...

i think i'm going to have to read little women and good wives again because i really like professor bhaer and think he makes a much better match for jo - he's intellectual and interesting. i love laurie too, but i don't hate amy tho she's a little vapid...and if laurie's desperate enough to marry her just to be part of the family then he can just suffer in his jocks.

as for books i wish had ended differently...i wish the luxe series had finished with a bang rather than a whimper and that frigging diana and henry had got together. honestly! what was the point of the series if they didn't?!! and don't get me started on the end of the second book...in the train station...you know what i'm talking about!

Ladybug said...

I understand that I need to dust of my copy of Little Women, I have never read it.

When I read the Twilight saga I wished Bella could have chosen Jacob. That will always annoy me, but it's just not a series that qualifies for re-reading in my opinion. Entertaining at the time but..