Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
The story is, supposedly, based on a “real” event – the author neither denies nor confirms this.
A group of girls, along with 2 chaperons, go on a Valentine’s day picnic near a geological formation called Hanging Rock. There is eating, reading of poetry & conversation. A few girls and one chaperon decide to explore the rocky form. Mystery and tragedy ensue, There is mysticism, hints of lesbianism, disappearances and possible criminal activity. It should keep us on the edge of our seats – but it doesn’t. The events move like molasses and culminates in an unsatisfying ending.
This is one of the few books which I found less interesting than the movie. It’s short but I had a hard time reading it – a bit too melodramatic, characters were irritating and it moves at a snail’s pace. It seemed like a short story which was drawn out to be published as a book. My advice? Read the Wikipedia narrative & watch the movie – both are much more interesting.
September 23, 2013 at 10:33 pm
I really enjoyed the film, never read the book, though. I remember experiencing this feeling of unease throughout the viewing. I know I enjoyed it, but somehow it’s all blurry now. Then again, I would define the film as being blurry in itself.
September 23, 2013 at 10:51 pm
Yes, the film had a disquieting atmosphere – somewhere between creepy and eerie. The foggy/blurry look of the film also gave it a dream-like look that made on one unsure what was real or imagined. It also had a sort of “elegance” which made it seem more serious than soap-opera-like. The book, on the other hand , did not covet any of this and seemed contrived and cheap. First time I liked a film better than the book.