Book Versus Movie

So, it’s not uncommon for a book to be adapted to film. Some translations are better than others. Lately, quite a few movie versions of YA books are flooding the big screen.

Red Riding Hood


Beastly (2010)

Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn

I’ve got lots o’ questions for all y’all:

  • What do you think about this “trend” toward filmifying novels?
  • Is it good or bad?
  • Do you prefer to watch the film first or read the book first?
  • Do you expect a film to follow the book closely or do you go in with an open mind, expecting changes to be present?
  • Ever feel “disappointed” after seeing a film version of a favorite book?

Personally, I prefer to read the book first (when I can). I’d also like the film to follow pretty close to the book, but I try not to get frustrated if there’s variation (some things just don’t translate to film, I think). That being said, I *have* been disappointed in a film version of a book I loved…

The Queen of the Damned

(Need I say more?)

Be sure to check out Deb’s post for the Sisterhood of the Traveling Blog!


20 comments on “Book Versus Movie

  1. Sarah says:

    I always read a book before seeing the movie, and I’m usually disappointed in some way. I’ve gotten used to it, though, and go in with suitably low expecations. Sometimes, I’m pleasantly surprised.

  2. Doris says:

    Same as you, I prefer to read the book first. I often feel disappointed at the film as I expect it to follow close to the novel. I know that’s almost unrealistic.


  3. Mary W. says:

    I almost always prefer the book to the moive, and try to read the book first. The movie adaptation usually disappoints me as they change so much (sometimes even the main conflict and issues).

  4. Vicki Tremper says:

    I definitely prefer to read the book first (and sometimes only – for instance, I enjoyed reading The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo, but considering some of the scenes, I really don’t want to see them on a large screen), but there are times I’m not interested in the book but the movie looks good. It’s less of a time (and brain) commitment (again, only if I didn’t want to read the book – like if it isn’t really my genre).

    It’s fun to see how the filmmaker’s version jibes with what I imagined in my head.

  5. Charli Mac says:

    Most movie versions do not live up to the book. There are some however, that are far better.

    For instance, Dear John. They book had me crying my heart out, great read. The movie gave me a happier ending.

    These adaptations of fairytales I like. I like the new spins but on tried and true fairytales. I met Carolyn Turgeon at a book reading and she wrote Godmother and Mermaids, twists that focus on the secondary characters of the tales.

    It’s new, fresh, and why not?

  6. 🙂 I had to smile at your reaction to the film version of QUEEN OF THE DAMNED.

    As for my opinion on the spate of book-to-film activity, I have mixed feelings. On one hand, it’s great for the author in terms of money and publicity and general industry kudos. However, I generally prefer the books, and I know so many people who have told me that they didn’t bother reading the book because they watched the movie instead. And while there have been some truly excellent adaptations (ATONEMENT, anyone?), a number of them are just plain awful (*cough*CITY OF EMBER*cough*). Additionally, I think it’s important to note that a story that is appropriate for a 14-year-old in book form might not be so appropriate in its on-screen incarnation. (Hello, THE HUNGER GAMES. Any movie that graphic should be R-rated.) Literary description leaves a lot to the imagination, which is (thankfully) limited by the reader’s experience. Not so with film and TV, which show the gore in as realistic detail as possible.

    In terms of telling the story to a larger audience, it’s great. In terms of encouraging literacy in our youth, it sucks. How’s that for an opinion?

  7. Lynn Rush says:

    I heard once that, like, 80% of movies come from books. Both published and non-published. Not sure where I heard that, but I can believe it.
    I don’t mind when they make it a movie. I like to see their interpretation of it. Some are winners, some….well totally flop!!!

    I want to see Red Riding Hood…that looks wicked!!!

  8. Carol Riggs says:

    I much prefer reading a book before the movie. If I watch a movie first, I have nearly zero motivation to read the book (I mean…why? I already know what’s going to happen, and that’s one thing I like about reading–not knowing the end and how things develop).

    I did, however, watch Twilight before I FINALLY read the book. ;o)

  9. Oh I agree. I know it’s very different writing for screen and writing a novel, but do they have to change sooo much so often? The Lightening Thief for example. I thought the movie was enjoyable, but I’m wondering when they’ll make a movie based on Rick Riordan’s books. He he he.

  10. I don’t mind a book being adapted into a movie. I am sometimes disappointed, or at least I feel the author’s pain, when a movie strays far from it’s source. I recently started watching “Runaway Jury.” The author of the novel was John Grisham. The book was about a class action lawsuit concerning the liability issue of cigarette advertising promotion, specifically its link to specific illnesses of people influenced to smoke. The movie version changed the lawsuit to a class action concerning liability of gun sales and the right to bear arms. I also watched “The Firm,” another of his novels made into a movie. It stuck closer to the book, and I liked it. I didn’t finish watching the other one.

  11. Stephanie McGee says:

    I read the book first. I’m always disappointed (well almost always, LOTR being the exception) by the film versions of books. Sometimes I won’t even go to the movie because of the trailer. (Hello Beastly.) Or the casting. Or because I really didn’t like the book so why would I spend my money on the film version.

  12. Book over movie. And I soooo agree with you on Anne Rice’s book/movie.

  13. vixter2010 says:

    I usually read first and it varies how well the film does. Harry P and Twilight are solid. One exception was Legally Blonde, I watched it first and the film is far better than the book!

  14. Catherine Johnson says:

    Good questions! I prefer to read the book first definitely. I loved the film version of The Time traveller’s wife and I only read the book a few weeks previous to that. Some don’t like the film though. I once started watching Chocolat but never got to watch it all and it spoilt it for reading the book, I still haven’t read it even though I’ve read the sequel.

    By the way I have changed my blog’s name to fyi

  15. Akoss says:

    I say BOOK, because for me the book is always better. I saw the movie for the Golden Compass. loved it, until I read the trilogy and I realized my mistake. But I’m sure there were occasions where a movie enhanced the book it was inspired from.

  16. roguemutt says:

    Hollywood’s always used books as fodder for scripts. Nothing has changed since the 30s.

  17. Kari Marie says:

    You know, after years of being disappointed, I’m seeing the movie first if I haven’t read it already.

  18. I’ve haven’t been to too many movies lately. I was diappointed with Twilight, but that had more to do with the bad lighting (what was with that blue tinge?) and make up than anything else.

    I want to see the other two, but haven’t decided yet if I’m going to read the books. Definitely not first for Little Red Riding Hood.

  19. I think it is really important to read the book first before you watch the movie. That way you can create the characters in your own mind first without having actor’s faces follow you throughout the entire reading process.

    But I don’t always do it that way.

    I want to try and read Little Red Riding Hood first, but I am not sure if I will make it with all the library books I have out right now.

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