Thoughts and other Miscellany

Musing Mondays – Book to movie

This week’s Musing Mondays asks

Have you ever read a book after watching the movie/television version only to find that you don’t like the book as much as the adaptation?

I generally insist (sometimes to my own inconvenience!) on reading the book before seeing the movie, so this doesn’t often happen to me. I actually didn’t go to see Anna Karenina because I hadn’t got around to reading the book before the movie left the cheap theatres (and I wasn’t going to pay £16 to see it in the West End). Ditto Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

In my defence, I don’t often get to the movies. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen passed me by because I was in a Portacabin in Bedfordshire, The Physicist hauled me to see Skyfall (which I loved) and Brave (which I did not), but prior to those, I think The Help was the last movie I had seen in the cinemas, nearly a year prior?

The German and I went to see The Help even though I hadn’t read it because she’d been waiting for me to read it and give it back for about 8 months when the film came out. I loved the film so much that I read the book within 3 days and I enjoyed it just as much – the film had been very faithful to the book, but the book had more space to examine certain themes (e.g. Elizabeth’s awful mothering skills).

I actually cannot think of another book I’ve read after seeing the film. I’m loving a certain BBC drama at present (cannot be named until after Christmas presents have been distributed!) and fully intend to read the book on which it is very loosely based.

In terms of book first, then movie, the Harry Potter franchise was quite different from how I had imagined things when I read the books, and I ended up being a bit disappointed with the movies, to the point that I didn’t bother to watch the last couple. I haven’t read or watched Twilight or Lord of the Rings.


3 thoughts on “Musing Mondays – Book to movie”

  1. I saw the Unbearable Lightness of Being and then read the book, and loved both. I read Perfume and then saw the film, loved both but the book has so much more in it.

    1. I read ULB at school and LOATHED it and then we were shown part of the 18-rated movie (I was 15?16?) and I disliked it all even more! I enjoyed the book of Perfume but I think the violence would be too much for me on film. Interesting that you chose two books whose films I would find overwhelming!

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