I read T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats last year and found out it was the book on which the musical Cats was based. I didn’t think I would get to see the musical on its Manila run because the tickets are fabulously expensive, but a couple of orchestra tickets magically fell into my hands on Friday afternoon, courtesy of my boss (thank you! thank you!), so my sister and I got to watch the musical that same night.

Cats is one of the longest-running shows in the history of musical theater. Its composer, Andrew Lloyd Webber, counts Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats as one of his favorite childhood books, and most of the musical is based on the cats in Eliot’s verse, except mainly Grizabella the glamor cat  (who has grown old and gray) and a few other cats, who (presumably) were written in to tie the story together.

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Love, love, love


For some reason, a bunch of books I’ve read recently has been about love. So in an attempt to hack off a chunk of the reading backlog, this post will tackle four books that revolve around this theme, namely: Aspects of Love by David Garnett; Oliver’s Story by Erich Segal; Forever by Judy Blume; and Shakespeare in Love: The Love Poetry of William Shakespeare (books # 91-94 of 2009).

aspectsAspects of Love is the novella on which the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical of the same title is based. I’ve never seen the musical, but I remember reading about it when it was staged by a local production here in the Philippines, so I was curious about the book.

Aspects of Love deals with different forms of love, involving the web of relationships that involve the sultry actress Rose Vibert; her young admirer Alexis Dillingham; his uncle, the wealthy gentleman George Dillingham; George’s mistress, the fiery artist Giuletta Trappani; and Rose and George’s daughter, Jenny.

It was a quick read for me, but I wasn’t fully invested in it because I felt that it was merely narrating a story and didn’t really break the surface of what the characters were supposedly feeling. It was hard to empathize with the characters because the brevity of the novella (which spans 17 years) didn’t really give you much to work with, and it really reads as if it were meant for another medium, such as the stage, or even film.

I imagine it works better as a musical, as the characters can break out into song and act out their feelings. My officemates seem to love it though, as the book is currently making the rounds at work.

The next two books are two I’ve wanted to read for some time now, both mooched from Tina.

Continue reading “Love, love, love”