Hurray hurrah, it's time for 6 degrees again. The book linking meme hosted by Books Are My Favourite and Best. I love writing these, although I do usually end up disappearing down a rabbit hole of interesting facts which somehow surface as I'm writing...
This month we start with Our Wives Under The Sea, a book I know nothing about whatsoever. Isn't it a strange phrase - under the sea? It's one of those things we just say without thinking about it, but sharks don't live under the sea, do they? They live in it.
So my first link is Jaws by Peter Benchley. Now, anyone will tell you, Jaws is one of my favourite movies of all time, so obviously I've never been able to bring myself to read the book. Jaws was originally published in 1974 and was a massive success even before the film was released in 1975. The hardback first edition featured artwork by Paul Bacon, but they had it souped up by Roger Kastel for the paperback - it's the same image that was used for the film poster. Kastel's original painting actually went missing at some point after the film's release and has never been seen since.
The original cover artist Paul Bacon designed many book covers, including Catch 22 by Joseph Heller. I haven't read this one either, and I'm always in two minds about attempting it, as I hear mixed reviews.
Catch 22 has obviously since become a common phrase in English, so I then started wondering if there were any other book titles which were or became phrases...
Though I found plenty of idioms that have come from literature (I used one in the first paragraph of this post), I did struggle to think of any that were book titles. The best I could come up was All's Well That Ends Well. Believe it or not, this is one phrase that Shakespeare didn't actually invent. It has apparently been in use since 1250, 350 years or so before the play was written. But no doubt Shakespeare has a lot to do with it still being in use.
The play features a character called Bertram - and another very famous Bertram is of course Bertram "Bertie" Wilberforce Wooster. I've only ever read one Jeeves and Wooster book - The Inimitable Jeeves. It's not that I didn't enjoy it, I did. But I did get a tiny bit bored of Bertie's antics after one or two exploits. It was a bit like having too much cake all at once - it seems like a good idea, but leaves you feeling like all you want is a stick of celery.
Jeeves was of course played by Stephen Fry in the TV series, and I can never think of Fry without thinking about him as Mr Mybug from the adaptation of Stella Gibbons' brilliant Cold Comfort Farm. Flora is interfering and a little condescending, but you really can't help but love the way she rolls her sleeves up and sorts everyone out. It is high time I read this one again come to think of it...
Cold Comfort Farm was allegedly a bit of a piss take of melodramatic farm/country dramas which were popular in the 1930s, particularly the work of Mary Webb. Her second book Gone to Earth, was one of the very first batch of the new Penguin books published in July 1935. Number 9, I believe.
So there you go, from the sea to the earth, in six books. If you enjoyed this month's 6 Degrees, do have a gander at last month's. Or why not write your own?