Hello there. Hope you’re feeling well today.
I’ve mentioned prequels before in this blog. Apart from the TV series Young Sheldon (which I’ve chatted about previously) I hate prequels for the simple reason that even if you don’t know the route to get there you know what the destination is going to be. So giving the example I always use in this chat regarding the TV show Gotham where you see a young Bruce Wayne struggling to cope after the death of his parents you know he’s going to be Batman. Exactly how you don’t know but the fact you know the end result means that there will be no tension.
Indeed for me the only acceptable prequel (as I chatted about in a previous post) is where you’re not aware of subsequent events thus able to treat it as a first novel. So I’m one of the few people probably who read George RR Martin’s Game Of Thrones prequel on that basis.
But now I discover that Vasily Grossman. Author of apparently on of the greatest novels of the twentieth century Life and Fate wrote a prequel called Stalingrad and that it has been translated into English.
I’ve chatted about Mr Grossman before having read (and liked) the last book he wrote before his death. An Armenian Sketchbook about his travels there in the sixties. But the key here is that I have in my Kindle a copy of Life and Fate. Thanks to this knowledge I now know that once I eventually get round to reading Life and Fate I will have to read Stalingrad first. That is irritating.
I suppose though I’m lucky in that I haven’t got round to reading the mountainous Life and Fate yet. Presumably Stalingrad is almost as big.
Life and Fate is a relatively well known and read book. Many people will feel uneasy about reading Stalingrad knowing the destination of some if the characters. Will the fact that it’s a prequel spoil it for them? I know it would have done so for me.
I’ve dodged a literary bullet. Been hit by few before though.
Until the next time.