During Aline’s recent visit we got onto the topic of books and she recommended Stephen King Desperation to me which led us into the discussion of which is better reading the book or watching the movie adaptation of the book first. I’m a firm believer in reading the book and then watching the movie. The books are always a lot more detailed and I find that knowing the background of what’s been left out of the movie will either make it a better movie for me or I just won’t like it at all, a lot of that depends on the take of the movie and how close it comes to how I pictured the scenarios in my head as I was reading the book. The main reason I stick by my book first rule is that I tend to think that if I know the ending by way of the movie I won’t have as much of an interest in reading/finishing the book. I know the same can be said for seeing the movie first and then reading the book and getting those extra glimpses into the stuff that was left out of the movie. I know Aline’s thinking on this subject is completely opposite from mine and we tossed it back and forth a bit while she was here but for now I’m sticking with book first.
I was going to talk about a few book/movie comparisons but the only ones I can think of that I’ve seen recently are Stephen King ones, maybe we’ll just go with that anyways. The big movies that came out from Stephen King recently (well not that recent I suppose) were The Green Mile and Dreamcatcher. Both were done really well but I still think that it helped to have read to book before hand. I felt it give a better understanding of the little things that are going on and a bit more of an insight into what the characters are thinking/feeling which is something that has a tendency to be lacking in book to movie adaptations. When I was reading Dreamcatcher I had no idea that there would be a movie coming out so it was actually quite a while before I got to see the movie and I had actually forgotten a lot of the little things so that may have actually added to my enjoyment of the movie as I wasn’t constantly comparing it to the book.
I just thought of two others that aren’t Stephen King, woohoo. The first one is the movie Christmas with the Cranks which was an adaptation of the John Grisham story Skipping Christmas. I though both the book and the movie were good. It was a cute little Christmas story and I enjoyed both versions. The last one I thought of was James Patterson’s Along Came A Spider. It’s been a while since I had either watched the movie or read the book and even though the James Patterson Alex Cross series is one of my favorite series out there I don’t really remember how the movie compared to the book. What I do know is that Simon hated the movie, he though it was horrible compared to the book and left out a lot of the story that was key to the development of the antagonist, and of course he mentions that any chance he can.
Last night I finished reading Desperation and today I just started watching the movie. So far I’m impressed but I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that it’s a Stephen King story and they’re usually pretty well done from what I’ve seen. Of course I’m only about 20 minutes into it when I had the inspiration for this post so I’ll let you know what I think after I’m done.
There’s been a number of movies over that year that I’ve watched after reading the book and in general they’re not bad, some really suck, but I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a movie that was better than the book. For now I’m sticking with book first until I’m convinced otherwise. On a side-note I’m really looking forward to The DaVinci code as that was an awesome book (all of Dan Brown’s books were awesome).
I also want to start something with my blog that I’m going to start adding to the end of posts. It may last, it may not we’ll see how it goes. Alright considering I’m always reading something I’m going to be quickly mentioning at the end of my posts which book I’m reading.
My Current Book: Marley & Me by John Grogan – Awesome story so far. I’m just over half way through and there’s already been a few teary moments, something that I don’t do a lot of with books, but it is the story of a Yellow Lab so that alway gets me going. Of course I did cry at the end of the Desperation book, I won’t tell you why just in case you plan on reading it.
One more thing to add – I just started back into the movie and realized that one things that books don’t have is the well timed and appropriately placed soundtrack.