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Should I read this book…? The Sound of Music by Maria Augusta Trapp

February 4, 2022

I had two questions when I discovered this beat up copy of The Sound of Music by Maria Augusta Trapp in my closet.

The Sound of Music was a book?”

And…

“Why the heck do I have a beat up copy of The Sound of Music in my closet?”

The Sound of Music isn’t exactly my genre. I’ve been surrounded by The Sound of Music for most of my life. My mom had the movie soundtrack on a record when I was a kid, so I was forced to listen to the songs several times a month. My wife and daughter watch the movie at least once a year, usually when it’s on television. I’ve seen it all the way through several times (one time is too many for most men). I’ve seen bits and pieces and scenes countless times. I’ve heard the songs countless times.

The book was published in 1949 and was originally titled The Story of the Trapp Family Singers. That bland title wouldn’t be acceptable today. The movie creators were wise to change the title to The Sound of Music. That makes sense because the movie focuses on the music. Yeah, a couple of the relationships in the story are important, but it’s the songs that people remember. It’s the songs that I can’t get out of my head. It’s the songs that drive me… you know.

The problem with musicals in general is that most of the songs suck. I can handle characters breaking out into song at random moments. I have no issue with that. But at least sing a good song. The Sound of Music has two good songs. I won’t say what they are because that’s not the point.

And I’m not blaming musicals. When it comes to music, most albums have two good songs along with a bunch of filler. It’s tough to write a good song. A good song takes time to create. Unfortunately, artists have to rush their work to make money, so most of what they make is schlock.

I’ve never enjoyed sitting through two hours of bad music and over-exuberant singing. Some musicals have more than two good songs, but all musicals have over-exuberant singing. I’m a quiet guy. I like the occasional over-exuberant singing, but not all the time.

Again, I don’t blame the artists. I don’t even blame consumers or the economic system. I blame the Ivy League. Whenever you need a scapegoat, blame the Ivy League. I used to blame the schools, but then I realized that the Ivy League is to blame for the schools, so I blame the Ivy League for everything now.

I probably should get back to the book.

This 1969 paperback copy of The Sound of Music was DISCARDED from my former school’s library. I don’t even remember bringing this home. I hope I had permission. My former school was opened in 1996, so I’m guessing that one of the district’s older schools gave this book to our library to get things started. Everybody wins in that situation. The older school gets rid of library books that no students want to read, and the newest library gets to fill its shelves with a bunch of books no students wants to read.

If I read this book, I don’t necessarily want to picture Julie Andrews in my mind. Julie Andrews once exposed herself in a movie when I was a teenager. I don’t know what debts Julie Andrews owed that forced her to do that (maybe it was her husband’s fault; he directed the movie), but it wasn’t cool. When I was a teenager, I usually didn’t mind female celebrities going topless in a movie, but it was traumatizing when Julie Andrews did it. Being flashed by Sister Maria and Mary Poppins is like being flashed by your mom. Thankfully, my mother never flashed me.

At any rate, I was done with the movie The Sound of Music… until I found this book.

I like the idea of The Sound of Music as a novel. I don’t have to hear the songs, even though not hearing the songs defeats the purpose of a book retroactively titled The Sound of Music. Without the songs in my head, I can concentrate on the story.

I’ll give the author credit. The first few pages of The Sound of Music are well written. I could read this book if I had to. I wouldn’t have to go to Wikipedia or the old fashioned Cliffs Notes for a summary. I don’t have to read books anymore, though, so I probably won’t read this one. I don’t think I was the intended audience anyway.

Maybe I should have written more about the book version of The Sound of Music. I kind of like the book, even though I’m not going to read it. The book probably has no bad songs and no over-exuberant singing. If the characters sing in the book (I’m pretty sure they do), I can imagine quiet singing. And I’m pretty sure nobody gets flashed.

7 Comments
  1. This is hilarious. I didn’t know The Sound of Music was a book either, the thought of it isn’t appealing at all. The first page you’ve photographed makes me want to read the rest, though. Your non-review was highly entertaining.

    • Thank you. I probably won’t read the book, but it seems very readable for a book published in 1949. And I’ll probably keep it. It’s too beat up to give away but too unique to throw away.

  2. Gosh, no, I don’t think I’ll be reading it. Every time I watch The Sound of Music I think Well, I suppose I might enjoy it this time, and then I don’t. But somehow I can’t turn it off…

  3. I like musicals, but I really enjoyed your review/take down. This was hilarious

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