Friday, August 7, 2015

Why I Think Winston Graham's Novel is So Much Better than the PBS Masterpiece Production

First let me say that I loved the PBS production of Poldark, that's why I bought and read the book. I love Aidan Turner. I love the Cornwall scenery. I think it's beautiful, raw, and until I read the book, I would have used the word honest...but oh, the novel is soooo much better.

The PBS drama is just that--a drama, and the characters are a little too good, a little too bad, a little too flat. Not so in the book. Warleggin isn't evil. Francis is actually likable and sympathetic. It's easier to relate to Elizabeth. Jud and Prudie are actually funny. I love Dememlza and Ross in both the book and the show, but I love them in the book more because I'm privy to their thoughts.

The show is a drama, bordering on melodrama and leaning toward a soap opera. The book is essentially the story of an unhappy kind man, who finds kindness, love and happiness. This is not a running and jumping story. The plot, if there is one, would be difficult to diagram, which, for me, added to the sweetness.

I loved how Charles always said Arf! and was often "empurpled." I loved how Demelza was usually the wittiest and brightest on the page.

And oh, the language.

Ross returned to the church to bury the hopes he had carried with him for more than two years.

They spoke little, all preferring to keep their own thoughts tight and tidy and untouched. 

To hold and possess the whole fullness of life in one moment, there and then, past and present and to come.

He thought, if we could only stop life for a while I would stop here...dusk wiping out the edges of the land and Demelza walking and humming at my side.



  1. This is always the case if we are honest with ourselves! I have always been of the opinion that you should read the book rather than, or at least before you watch the movie/TV series. I prefer to create my own vision of the characters, surroundings and plot rather than adopt those from the imagination of the producers! Add to that the need to elaborate and/or edit the original to get ratings and fit a time frame, and the authors original vision can be lost in the the point that you will be hard pressed to recognize that one originates from the other!!!