I Liked the Book Better

I was happy to hear the staff meeting was in the library.  Not that I was happy about the staff meeting itself, mind you, but just very happy it wasn’t in the multi-purpose room, which tends to be hot and stuffy, cramped full of way more people than it is meant to hold and completely lacking in windows.  I much prefer to spend my time in the open, naturally lit library.  And I generally prefer an atmosphere filled with books.

As I sat through the meeting I saw cutout letters taped on the one window.  They read: “Don’t judge a book by its movie.”  I almost stood up and cheered in the middle of the meeting, but thought it might not be understood.

With a very few exceptions, my comment after watching a movie based on a book is, “I liked the book better.”  For some movies, it’s just that: the movie was decent, but the book was better.   Sometimes, much better.  Sometimes, far better.  And then there are the movies that so poorly follow the book, it makes you want to spit.  There were two posters next to the words on the window, movie posters.  My fried brain, unfortunately, can only recall one of them:  “Eragon.”  Now, I have never seen the movie, primarily because I heard so many people say how awful it was.   I have read the book.

I started thinking about the movies that have made me the most angry, or irritated.  I am sure there are many, but the two that jumped immediately to mind were “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” and “The Lightning Thief.”  One of the rare exceptions in which the movie and book were radically different, and I preferred the movie, was “Jurassic Park.”  I do not mean to offend Michael Crichton; I think perhaps it was because I had seen the movie many times before reading the book.

How about you?  Do you tend to prefer the book or the movie?  And what has been the worst conversion you have ever seen?  What has made you the most angry, irritated or frustrated because it was just butchered?  If you are a bibliophile like myself, I am sure there are a lot of examples.  I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

– S.D. Bullard

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~ by sdbullard on September 24, 2012.

2 Responses to “I Liked the Book Better”

  1. I don’t know about better, but I very much enjoyed Blade Runner vs. its (loosely) based-on “Do Androids Dream . . .” short story. Also Primal Fear (not usually my type of book – so take that into account) – pretty sure I preferred the film. I think that sums up the grand total of movies I prefer over their books.

    • They do exist; they are just few and far between. I actually prefer “The Princess Bride” better as a movie. Although, that is perhaps because I was raised on the movie and could pretty much quote it forward and backward before ever reading the book.

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