For today’s NaBloPoMo, I’m not going with one of the set prompts out there, but instead a thought that I just could not shake from my brain. There’s really no relevance to anything in particular happening in my life…it’s just really more of a thought that popped up and decided to take hold. That thought is my belief, as a self-proclaimed bibliophile (see “I’m Addicted” and “My Life in Books tag” posts), that the book is better than the movie.
I mean, I’m sure there are exceptions to this idea, right? I’m sure there’s at least one? (If you have an example, please let me know!) Maybe this idea popped up with the new Hunger Games movies, Star Wars (I haven’t read the books), and many others based on books that are out there, and it got me thinking.
Many times I have read a book just before the movie comes out because I want to know the whole story before I see it on the big screen. Other times, I’ve been wanting to read a book and don’t want to see the movie before I read it because I don’t want the movie to ruin anything of the storyline. (This is the case with The Maze Runner. I still haven’t read the books, but I refuse to see the movie until I do. (: )
So as this thought stuck with me throughout the day, I came up with a list of books whose movies just did not live up the their literary counterparts. Please feel free to disagree or add your own titles to the list.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn: While I thought the movie was alright, I don’t think it lived up to the craziness of the characters in the book. I think the book allows the audience to really understand the psyche of each one of the characters. They are not nice, but yet you find yourself relating to them and understanding what the decisions that they’re making. (In some strange way)
The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling: I absolutely loved every single one of the Harry Potter books, and I really enjoyed the movies, However, I think because I had read each one of the books so many times (I would reread the whole series before each movie would come out), that I noticed when even small things were changed in the movies. This probably drove my family crazy though, because in the theaters I would lean over to whichever family member was luckiest to be next to me, and whisper, “that’s not what it was like in the book.”
The Shining by Stephen King: I love a crazy Jack Nicholson as much as the next person, but through the movie, I felt like something was missing. Don’t get me wrong, the movie is plenty creepy and gross and just plain weird, but Stephen King has a way of taking your mind on a crazy trip. In this case, I think the book is definitely way better than the movie.
Marley and Me by John Grogan: Marley and Me is an absolutely adorable movie and book. While the movie version made me laugh out loud and all of the antics by Marley, I felt that the book really had the ability to pull on the heartstrings of the readers. Any animal lover will absolutely love this book. I think that it is a must read, and one that I would read again.
The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown: This was a movie that I felt was done really well overall, but once again, I don’t think that it really lived up to the book. I know realistically that it would be difficult to do, but there were many details that were missing. With a story that is as complicated and intricate as the one that Dan Brown created, those details were important in explaining a lot of the story. There was a lot of information from history that was left out because I know that it would have made for a much longer movie. So, if you enjoyed the movie but have not read the book, then I highly suggest doing so!
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen: As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I have some really good memories associated with this book. I will admit that I adore this movie, and I would watch it many, many times. However, I would read this book at least a hundred more times. I feel like Lizzy is a friend that I keep coming back to every time I read it. Plus I love seeing the relationship between Lizzy and Darcy develop time and time again in a way that only Jane Austen’s words can do.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and The Divergent Series by Veronica Roth: I grouped these two series together because I feel like they were very similar in the way the movies were done. Both of them were very focused on the action part of the story, but I don’t feel like they really developed the main characters as fully as the books did. While there could be specific things that I could point out in each, I’d say that it’s more of a feeling that’s missing in the connection between the audience and the protagonists. I did really enjoy both of these trilogies, and if you had not read the books beforehand, then I think they would be better if you don’t know what’s missing.
I know that there are many more book to movie adaptations, but these were the ones that came to mind as I worked on this post today. As I mentioned before I started my list, please feel free to add any titles where you felt the book was much better than the movie version.
(Also, does it bother anyone else when your book cover has a picture from the film or of the actors from the movie on it instead of the original cover design? I know it bothers me, and if I can avoid it, won’t buy that edition.)