Book Review: Carmen by Walter Dean Myers

You know how you read a really excellent adaptation of a story and that becomes the standard by which you set all of the other adaptations? Then you may get really disappointed when other versions don’t quite live up to your expectations.

Unfortunately, Carmen by Walter Dean Myers did not live up to my expectations. Myers’ version of Carmen is a play, with two acts and as I recall four scenes. We meet Carmen and her friends who are getting raided by the police in Harlem. We see that Carmen is mad hot, I guess, because guys are falling all over themselves for her. However, Carmen has a thing for police officer Jose. Then we end up in some bar, where former projects resident-turned-famous producer Escamillo shows up. Oh yeah, and he has a thing for Carmen as well. Tragedy ensues in the very next scene.

I guess I felt this version by Walter Dean Myers was under developed. There weren’t enough scenes to get to know the characters. I had no idea what was so magnetic about Carmen. I had no idea why Jose was so attracted to her except for her looks. I didn’t feel the same passion as my favorite version of Carmen. I mean, my ARC copy was literally 110 pages and did not have the author’s note. Perhaps the author’s note would have upped my opinion of this version, but I doubt it.

I suppose the very best thing about Carmen by Walter Dean Myers is that it is a fast read. I read it during the 24 hour readathon and it legit took me half an hour to read, as it’s in play form, and only 110 pages, and well, those aren’t prose type pages with sentences and paragraphs taking up the full page. No it was like one sentence of 8 words. Line. Next character. Sentence. Line. Next character. So yes, literally a read that takes no time.

I think Carmen may appeal to people who don’t like reading, because it’s short. It’s a play. There’s a lot of blank space. Plus there’s some violence.

However, if you want an excellent adaptation of this story, I suggest you skip Carmen by Walter Dean Myers and run out and buy When The Stars Go Blue by Caridad Ferrer instead.

Disclosure: Received for review.

Other Reviews:

The Book Splot
The Electrical Book Cafe
Killin Time Reading
Sarah’s Random Musings

Purchase a copy of Carmen here.

 

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.

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