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Novel adaptations for Movies

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1. Posted by Pardus (Respected Member 2356 posts) 11y

I had a discussion with a friend a while ago about adapting Novels into movies. He was arguing that it's a waste because it never comes close to the book at all and it's just spoiling the efforts of the author.
My opinion on this is that if you see a movie and through that movie you discover that there is actually a novel which the movie is based on, and you then go out and read the book, that would be a good thing.
Your opinions on this please.

2. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 11y

When you read the book first, the movie is almost inevitably disappointing. By creating a kind of "movie" in your mind when you read, you are sure to be feel cheatd, in some way, that the director's version doesn't live up to your expectations. There are a few expectations to the rule, like Lord of the Rings - but even that's all a matter of personal opinion.

Seeing a movie and then reading the book, though... I agree. Only good can come from inspiring someone to read.

3. Posted by Cupcake (Travel Guru 8468 posts) 11y

The Shawshank Redemption is one of the very few that was better than the book. (Stephen King no less-most of his books make lousy movies)

4. Posted by Brendan (Respected Member 1824 posts) 11y

I wish I never saw Lord of The Rings, it ruined the books for me.

As for book movies in general they should not be done! Is there so little imagination in this world that screen writers can not think of something origianl to go from?

5. Posted by Rraven (Travel Guru 5924 posts) 11y

Quoting Cupcake

The Shawshank Redemption is one of the very few that was better than the book. (Stephen King no less-most of his books make lousy movies)

can't say i agree , i read the book and enjoyed it but when i finally saw the movie (about 7 or so years later ) i was gutted and thought nah thats not the way i saw it......i agree though that if i had seen the film before i wouldn't have thought that but i'd already come up with my version so to speak.....

a lot of the time if i see a good film that is adapted i nearly always read the book..... i see it as a very good thing, my sister is very different to myself and hates to read with a passion, she'd stare at a blank wall faster yet in the past movies have encouraged her to read.....

6. Posted by daveh (Travel Guru 1027 posts) 11y

I find it difficult to watch a movie based on a book that i have read and enjoyed. I've been disappointed more often than not. The exception (though not a movie) was Band of Brothers. That is the only book and screen adaptation i thought were both really good.

7. Posted by daveh (Travel Guru 1027 posts) 11y

Just to add to my last, exciting post. I actually tried to read Master and Commander. It is written in a ye olde english language style with every other word ?18th? century sailor slang. It sounded like a good story on the back, but i didn't have a clue what was going on after a few chapters so i had to watch the film

8. Posted by areinstein (Travel Guru 2788 posts) 11y

I read Cry, My Beloved Country which had a setting in South Africa in the 1940s...I actually created a mental image of how the towns looked like, the valleys and the mountains described by the author, down to the local church.

I loved what I was able to create in my mind and that was the way I picture it all. I saw a made for TV movie which though was close to the book, the scenary of it was not even close to what I had envisioned thru my reading. Needless to say, I was very dissapointed. :(

9. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 11y

It is impossible to cover the events of a book in a 2-3 hour period, as movies need to do. I also find I am disappointed more often than not when I have read a book first. But, consider that more people visit the movie theater than read a book (excluding present company), the film industry has found a great niche. Those who read regularly, will keep reading - but those who don't, aren't going to start because there was no film adaptation of a novel.

Knowing that the film can't hold to the book, I try to not to do a comparison of the two and enjoy the movie for what it is - just a film. Like you Dave, I had the same problem with the Lord of the Rings trilogy (SORRY PHIL!). Tolkein, being a linguist, took great pride in describing his world down to the smallest detail. I just felt bogged down by it all and my imagination was feeling a bit left out. The stories are wonderful but very wordy.

10. Posted by daveh (Travel Guru 1027 posts) 11y


I think you're getting me mixed up with Brendan. I enjoyed the Lord of Ring books. I have only seen the first one of the three movies and enjoyed that too, i will get round to watching the other two at some stage. With that paricular trilogy though i read the books a long, long time ago as a young kid so i don't think i can relate the books to the film as i don't remember how good the books were. I just see the movie as a good movie.