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Has anyone read Precious...or seen the movie?

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Italiahaircolor

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The movie isn''t here yet, it''s released--but limited and not in my Chicago burb town--so I haven''t been able to see it.

I broke down and bought the paperback book today after waiting for it to arrive on Kindle to no avail, I simply couldn''t wait for it any longer. I have found that while the language of the story is sometimes hard to read and I have process and then reprocess the words, it''s heartbreaking and graphic and chilling. It makes you step outside of your comfort zone as far as reading but I''ve found that I cannot put it down, and being as short as it is, I anticipate finishing it in a minute.

I don''t know anyone who has read this story...but would love to talk about it because it makes you think, feel and reach deep and want to do better in this world...I was hoping someone else here might have enjoyed it...and if not (and you don''t mind graphic stories) pick this book up!
 

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y2kitty

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I will be seeing the movie, but have not read the book yet.
 

luckystar112

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I will definitely be seeing the movie. I saw a preview for it months ago (can't remember where...a theater? Perez Hilton?) and it looked so interesting.
Plus, Mariah without make-up! Just kidding, but I heard that once this movie comes out her Glitter days are well over. I can't wait.


ETA: I didn't even know that it was a book. Not that I have time to read anything that isn't a text. I'll put it on my list of books to enjoy after May 2010.


ETA2: And by text I mean textbook, not phone text. I'm not that lazy.
 

lilyfoot

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The book was popular among my friend in high school .. I could never bring myself to read it.

Part of me would love to read the book/see the movie, but honestly, I will probably never be able to do either. I was very glad to see that they made a movie out of the book, because I know it''ll touch a lot more lives (since a lot of people don''t read books).
 

radiantquest

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I do plan on seeing the movie. I know that I will cry and cry. I get teary eyed just watching the preview.
 

Bia

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I''m seeing it this week - it opened in NY this past Friday. Yesterday I bought the book and finished it in a few hours. It was a very hard book to read in terms of the emotional impact. It''s heartbreaking to think that children are subjected to this...and for so long


The way it''s written takes a bit getting used to but after a while it''s fine. Gives the story more of a punch I think - I really felt like Precious was telling that story.

I heard the author, Sapphire, on NPR the other day. She said she wrote the book 13 years ago and did NOT want it to be turned into a movie. She got offers from a few very well known directors and turned them all down. She even turned down the director that eventually directed the movie - Lee Daniels - years ago, citing that she didn''t think anyone would be able to capture the story in a way that she''d want to tell it. After she saw Monster''s Ball and Shadowboxer she changed her mind.

I''m looking forward to the movie but...I''m sort of sad because I know what happens too. Happy endings only happen in Hollywood.
 

Bia

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eta: The book is called ''PUSH'' for a very significant reason - I''m curious to know why they instead named the movie PRECIOUS. Also, do you think Mariah Carey is playing Ms. Weiss? I was wondering about that since Precious didn''t trust her and in the movie MC seems to play a pretty crucial role. Or maybe that''s just star power...
 

packrat

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The preview I''ve seen have me intrigued..I think I''ll have to look for the book first (much as I hate doing that)..What is it about exactly?
 

Bia

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Date: 11/9/2009 12:38:14 PM
Author: packrat
The preview I've seen have me intrigued..I think I'll have to look for the book first (much as I hate doing that)..What is it about exactly?
It is about a young, overweight, black teen living in the inner city in the 80's (Harlem). She cannot read or write despite going to school everyday. She lives with an abusive mother (very abusive) and an abusive father who comes in and out of the story. She gets pregnant twice - once at the age of 12
and again at 16. She's a dreamer but feels hopeless and invisible. As the story progresses she finds people who want to see her succeed - they show her how to be a fighter, against all odds.

I can't really go into more detail because I will give the movie/book away. It is very sad story but also uplifting (kind of...it's not the happily ever after kind of story we can't help but want).
 

FrekeChild

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Bia--from wiki

"The film''s title was changed at this time to Precious: Based on the Novel ''Push'' by Sapphire [6] to avoid confusion with the 2009 action film Push."
 

Bia

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Date: 11/9/2009 1:16:55 PM
Author: FrekeChild
Bia--from wiki

''The film''s title was changed at this time to Precious: Based on the Novel ''Push'' by Sapphire [6] to avoid confusion with the 2009 action film Push.''
lol thanks Freke! Leave it to Freke to be ''in the know.''
 

swingirl

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Looks like a great movie. I read that the movie is better than the book because of the visuals.
 

MonkeyPie

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Date: 11/9/2009 1:38:44 PM
Author: swingirl
Looks like a great movie. I read that the movie is better than the book because of the visuals.
I did, too, and also because of the way Precious narrates the book. Her illiteracy shows and while you can understand it, it makes it harder to read.
 

packrat

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It does sound like something I''d be interested in-thanks for the explanation Bia!

I feel myself getting tensed up about the abuse part..it makes me think of A Child Called It. There were times I could only read a few pages and had to put it down. And the illiteracy making it hard to read in the book..that makes me think of the book Charlie. (Flowers For Algernon I think was the original title maybe?)

I need to finish my Irene books and see if the library has this one!
 

Bia

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Date: 11/9/2009 2:23:07 PM
Author: packrat
It does sound like something I''d be interested in-thanks for the explanation Bia!

I feel myself getting tensed up about the abuse part..it makes me think of A Child Called It. There were times I could only read a few pages and had to put it down. And the illiteracy making it hard to read in the book..that makes me think of the book Charlie. (Flowers For Algernon I think was the original title maybe?)

I need to finish my Irene books and see if the library has this one!
In terms of abuse, it is at least on par with A Child Called It, if not worse - although in this case it is fiction (even though as a reader you know it can be, and is, real life). Definitely makes you tense. In fact, it tears at your gut to think about this poor child who no one cared enough about to help UNTIL that one teacher/neighbor/stranger/etc.
 

Italiahaircolor

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What a great book! I just finished it! Although the language makes it hard to read--or rather harder than a "normal" but, it''s a quick read nonetheless.

I think Ms. Weiss will be Mariah Carey. Has to be. However, I could see them expanding the role beyond the few moments we spend with Precious while she is under Ms. Weiss''s care. I could see them blowing that relationship and making it a corner stone of the movie.

Okay, so...did you like Precious? I definitely rooted for her...but, and I''m just being honest...there were times when I wanted her to "get out there and do something" once she reached 18 and was able to work--although it may not have been what she wanted to do, it was a natural progression for her--she needed to work....speaking of Ms. Weiss, I felt that her observations were spot on. That yes, Precious had the motivation to set the world on fire...but that she also was content being a case of the state. My feelings were mixed.

I was also really upset that she named her daughter Little Mongo.

I also found myself a little "over" all the vulgarities. I understand this was the story as Precious saw it...but sometimes I was like enough with all the p***** and s**** talk already!
 

Bia

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Date: 11/9/2009 3:10:56 PM
Author: Italiahaircolor
What a great book! I just finished it! Although the language makes it hard to read--or rather harder than a ''normal'' but, it''s a quick read nonetheless.

I think Ms. Weiss will be Mariah Carey. Has to be. However, I could see them expanding the role beyond the few moments we spend with Precious while she is under Ms. Weiss''s care. I could see them blowing that relationship and making it a corner stone of the movie.

Okay, so...did you like Precious? I definitely rooted for her...but, and I''m just being honest...there were times when I wanted her to ''get out there and do something'' once she reached 18 and was able to work--although it may not have been what she wanted to do, it was a natural progression for her--she needed to work....speaking of Ms. Weiss, I felt that her observations were spot on. That yes, Precious had the motivation to set the world on fire...but that she also was content being a case of the state. My feelings were mixed.

I was also really upset that she named her daughter Little Mongo.

I also found myself a little ''over'' all the vulgarities. I understand this was the story as Precious saw it...but sometimes I was like enough with all the p***** and s**** talk already!
I read that this book was supposed to be a two-part series, so I am assuming we were supposed to know more about Precious, the young woman. I get why you were a little disappointed with her. I was too, at first. But I think it is important to consider that this story wasn''t going to have that Hollywood happy ending for a reason - that''s just not the way it would work in this case. Precious, in my opinion, is locked in her world in some ways (she might always be). Think about some of the barriers she has to overcome: She''s a poor, very dark-skinned (in her own culture this is not ideal), very overweight (meaning she doesn''t fit society''s view of what is beautiful) illiterate female with virtually NO role models other than ones she sees on TV. She also lives in NYC in the 80''s which was one of the hardest hit areas in the country in terms of poverty, drugs and AIDS. Thanks to the abuse and being told she isn''t worth anything her WHOLE life, I think she is fighting the impossible battle. Not all people are strong enough, or smart enough, to come out of these situations clean on the other side. You know? A part of her is her mother because that is all she has known - it is twisted but I believe that to be true. Except, she knows that as a mother now herself, hurting her child is wrong, wrong, wrong. Mothers are supposed to protect. Who knows if she will be able to do that in the end.

I think the author wanted to show that Precious wasn''t miraculously a different person after meeting Ms. Rain. Rain helped her see her potential, and inspired her to keep pushing through, but she still has a lonnnnng way to go (I loved how the author used the journals and that we were able to see Precious learn to read and write). I also agree that Ms. Weiss was spot on with her observations, but she wrote much of that before she knew exactly what had happened in the girl''s home.

As for the graphic content - I think it was necessary to show how damaged this girl was mentally, physically, emotionally and intellectually. She is naive and ignorant to society''s norms and that was important to portray. But yea, it bothered me too at times.
 

Italiahaircolor

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Bia...

That''s so interesting...I had no idea this was supposed to be 2 part series...is the second novel out? I did a quick search and nothing showed up.

I knew going into it that this book was never intended to be a Hollywood ending kind of novel. I knew that there was going to be some darkness to it and that all might not turn out well. However, the more I got to "know" Precious, and understand the way her mind worked, I really felt like she would look forward to providing for her children...not flip out over the fact that she might be "suggested" to work. She seemed very aware of the shortcomings of others...her mother, father, crack addicts and such...I just assumed she''d rally. I understood that, for the first time, she felt empowered by learning and wanted to keep that path alive, but her stubbornness, well, it surprised me.

I can see what you''re saying about the content level being a reflection of Precious''s mind. I get that. But lets keep in mind that Precious is a fictional character...and this is a work of fiction. While some of the verbiage was clearly needed to express, like you said, who Precious was and how she saw the world....I also believe that the author could have used some censorship. I''m not easily offended or a prude by any stretch of the imagination...but sometimes I was literally gagging.

All in all, depending on the person I would widely recommend this novel. It has a point, and it''s an important read.
 

Bia

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Date: 11/9/2009 5:41:28 PM
Author: Italiahaircolor
Bia...


That''s so interesting...I had no idea this was supposed to be 2 part series...is the second novel out? I did a quick search and nothing showed up.


I knew going into it that this book was never intended to be a Hollywood ending kind of novel. I knew that there was going to be some darkness to it and that all might not turn out well. However, the more I got to ''know'' Precious, and understand the way her mind worked, I really felt like she would look forward to providing for her children...not flip out over the fact that she might be ''suggested'' to work. She seemed very aware of the shortcomings of others...her mother, father, crack addicts and such...I just assumed she''d rally. I understood that, for the first time, she felt empowered by learning and wanted to keep that path alive, but her stubbornness, well, it surprised me.


I can see what you''re saying about the content level being a reflection of Precious''s mind. I get that. But lets keep in mind that Precious is a fictional character...and this is a work of fiction. While some of the verbiage was clearly needed to express, like you said, who Precious was and how she saw the world....I also believe that the author could have used some censorship. I''m not easily offended or a prude by any stretch of the imagination...but sometimes I was literally gagging.


All in all, depending on the person I would widely recommend this novel. It has a point, and it''s an important read.
I agree...some moments were hard to take - you know which ones I''m talking about. I guess I don''t see it as not using censorship so much as trying to prove a major point. That she wrote in such a way for no other reason than to make the reader uncomfortable because most of us wouldn''t have thought like Precious at her age. In other words, depicting a girl who didn''t think like you or I - a severely abused girl who was constantly being bombarded with sex (she hated it, loved it, was frightened by it, etc.). Sex wasn''t pure or special. The body wasn''t good for anything else - just parts, nothing special. Not until later can she make that distinction. Whatever her reasoning, she definitely drove that point home. I also think it''s the reason many people were turned off by the book (based on the reviews).

Also, yes, the story was initially supposed to be a two book series, but the second one was never published, or it was never written - not sure. I''d be interested to know whether she was planning to write a sequel. But maybe the movie will answer some of our questions.

Like you, I am glad I read it before I saw the movie - I feel like I''ll understand the character a bit more this way.
 

Kaleigh

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I want to see it, and now am thinking I should read the book first.
 

pennquaker09

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I won''t spoil it for anyone, but it''s really good. My mom was here last week and we went into NYC to see it.

Mariah Carey portrays Mrs. Weiss. She looks a hot mess, but she''s quite fabulous in the role. However, the scene stealer (well, the entire movie really) is Monique. I''ve only ever seen her be funny, but oh my word she''s just amazing. As is Gabby Sidibe, the young lady that portrays Precious.
 

oddoneout

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I''m glad you all posted about this. I''m going to find the book and read it. It sounds really good.
 

panda08

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Saw the movie over the weekend with a girlfriend. I walked away with so many emotions, I cannot even begin to describe them. I was horrified, moved, sad, distrubed, angry, hopeful... It''s been a very long time any movie has evoked such strong feelings.

I didn''t leave the theatre thinking it was a great movie but as the feelings set in and I had a chance to think about it more, I discovered that I loved it. Every character''s performance was pitch perfect. The movie wasn''t preachy. And despite the level of abuse, violence and poverty depicted, I thought the movie was amazingly realistic. Really outstanding. Definitely deserves all the acclaim it''s been receiving.
 

vespergirl

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The book is great - I read it a couple of weeks ago in one sitting, because I couldn''t put it down. I really want to see the movie, but I''ll probably just wait until it comes out on DVD.
 

meresal

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Date: 12/7/2009 7:13:09 PM
Author: panda08
Saw the movie over the weekend with a girlfriend. I walked away with so many emotions, I cannot even begin to describe them. I was horrified, moved, sad, distrubed, angry, hopeful... It''s been a very long time any movie has evoked such strong feelings.
My sister saw it in So Cal the weekend before Thanksgiving, and she had VERY mixed emotions. She cried the whole time and even after leaving.

Also, I should add that she was by herself, and at the time was waiting to hear from the doctor about whether or not her baby is going to have Downs (Which as I hear from her, one of the main characters has). She wanted to leave the entire time. It wasn''t the best situation for an "open" mind as she would have hoped.

She did not read the book before seeing the movie. I''m still not sure if I will see it. I''ll wait for some of your responses before heading to the theatre
 

Bleed Burnt Orange

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I saw it without really knowing much about it. I was shocked. It''s a harsh reality, but was portrayed really well. I find it hard to call it a great movie, because it was just so real, but...it is a great movie.

I would like to read the book, which I''ve heard is more intense.
 
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