All posts in the Books category

The Novel “FAITH” by Song Ji Na

Published December 19, 2013 by pink sapphire

Recently, I fell in love with the novel  that was acted out in the South Korean drama “Faith” (or The Great Doctor). I first watched the drama when it was first broadcasted in South Korea from August to October in 2012.

The story is about a plastic surgeon (acted by Kim Hee Sun) who was abducted by a time-travelling warrior (acted by Lee Min Ho) to the Goryeo period 600 years ago in Korea. There they fell in love with each other and then was separated again when she was dragged into the time-wrapped hole by their enemy and went back to 2013 Seoul with him severely wounded and left dying on a field. And by the faith that they had on each other, he survived and she managed to come back him after another year of time-travelling.

Though I like the drama, but I found it somewhat lacking. Some of the scenes and moments in the script were not enacted. It was more satisfying when I read of of the missing portions in the fansites. I found out then that the scriptwriter and author Song Ji Na would be writing a novel for the drama story. I waited for it for a while and then I forgot about it.

Finally, recently, after I stumble upon the drama and re-watched it again. And I searched for the novel again. I found bits and pieces of translations of the novel, which is written in Korean, in English and Chinese. Only Japanese translations of the novel is available. So far, the volume one and two of the novel is out. Apparently, there will be four volumes in total.

The wait for the translations is really arduous. And I stumbled upon online fan-made sequels to the story in the drama. So far, I had read about three of them, all without ending.

Let’s hope that volume three and four will come out soon.

19 Dec 2013

The Lives of Sungkyunkwan Scholars – Volume 1

Published October 12, 2013 by pink sapphire

Recently, I read “The Lives of Sungkyunkwan SAcholars” yet again.

“The Lives of Sungkyunkwan Scholars” is a Korean novel from which the Korean drama” Sungkyunkwan Scandal” was based on. I had read both the Chinese and English translations of the novel available on the internet. They are not complete translations though, with many parts left out. But they are still interesting and addictive to read. As I’m more comfortable with the English translation, I read this version many times.

What I like about reading the text as compared to watching the video is that I can read the thoughts of the protagonists which I can’t by watching the drama. This really helped me to understand the characters better and made me really feel more in tune to their emotions and be brought along as they swing up and down. Moreover, conjuring up the scenes in my mind brings me into another dimension altogether.

Lee Son Joon in the novel is more polite and rational, always the well-mannered scholar, not showing much of his feelings and emotions in front of others. But he is also more passionate and hot-blooded towards his love when the truth was out. In the translated version, he had never been harsh to Yoon Hee or turned her away even when he wanted to stop himself from loving her. He just bore with it all quietly, longing for her at the same time. It’s interesting to read how he had reacted to and was increasingly attracted to the various expressions of feminine vibes given off by Yoon Hee unconsciously. I can really empathise with him as he finds himself tortured by the thoughts of loving another man as a woman.

Kim Yoon Hee in the novel is more humble with less pride. She decided on her own to sit for the tests to get a qualification so that she can earn a more money in doing written work for others. She met Lee Son Joon for the first time when both of them went to the same centre to sit for their first test. As in the drama, she kissed Lee Son Joon first though in a different situation. She kissed him in his sleep when her identity was still not known to him. She was also the one that encouraged Son Joon to ignore the rules of man and follow his desires with her.

There are a few scenes in the novel where the content may not be suitable for younger and innocent readers. There is a  scene where Son Joon was naked when he changes his clothes, another scene where the boys talk about sexual positions, as well as the scene where Son Joon realizes that Yoon Hee is a woman and they gave their bodies to each other.  However, the descriptions are not graphic.

Moon Jaeshin and Gu Yongha are like how they were depicted in the drama. Just that Yongha is a bit more irritating in the novel where he had intentionally/unintentionally ruined many loving and potentially loving moments between the protagonists.

What I am not satisfied with the novel is that it did no’t end with an officially recognized marriage between the two of them. I could not find any translations of the second volume of the novel where they worked for the King. I hope that they will live happily ever after as man and wife accepted by his father and perhaps the King.

Enid Blyton

Published May 1, 2013 by pink sapphire

My first book by Enid Blyton was a present from my primary six form teacher for doing well in my exam. It’s a book in the Secret series. But I wasn’t into reading then and it was kept aside for the next few years until when I was fourteen. Then I had a classmate who had a cabinet full of Enid Blyton books and I happened to visit her one day. That’s when I really started reading her books. I enjoyed the Famous Five series, the Adventure series,  the Secret series, the Mystery series and the Naughtiest Girl series.

I love all the characters in these books. The one that I remember most is from the Famous Five series, George (Georgina) and her dog Timothy and her cousins Julian, Dick and Anne. Together they had lots of adventure  during their holidays.

Brighton Rock by Graham Greene

Published April 30, 2013 by pink sapphire

Brighton Rock is my literature text for ‘O’ Levels. It’s really not an easy book for a 16 year-old. Always wonder why this book was chosen. I wished that I had all the guides then that now I can find on the internet.

The book is about a teenager Pinkie, the new leader of a gang, who tired to cover up his crime by getting married (to Rose) but ultimately died in the end. And the person that kind of pushed Pinkie into his loveless marriage and his untimely death is Ida, who wanted to expose his crime of murder.

The book was first published in 1938. (Wow! That’s a long time ago!) and I found out recently too that there were two movies, a play, a musical and a radio dramatisation based on the book.

The 1947 version movie clips

The 2010 updated version movie trailer in a more modern setting.

The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford

Published April 25, 2013 by pink sapphire

This is a book I studied in school for literature when I was fourteen.

It is a story about three pets, a Labrador, a bull terrier and a Siamese cat, and how they find their way home across the Canadian wilderness.

From then on, I have a special fondness for golden retrievers because of the Luath, the labrador, who is kind, loyal and helpful.

They are beautiful to behold, cuddly to hug and safe to be around them.

Found out that they had a movie on the book.