The Book or The Movie?

Hidey-Ho Scribblers!  J Monkeys here with the time-honored question: Which do you like better, the book or the movie?  How’s this for a diplomatic answer?  I like both…  Of course, I’m inspired about today’s topic because of the opening of a movie I’m SO excited to see: The Hunger Games, based on Suzanne Collin’s best-selling book series.

I devoured this book last summer.  I loved it!  I loved it so much that I abandoned my other responsibilities to finish it.  I loved it so much that I used it as a cattle prod to finish writing the first draft of my own second novel.  I wouldn’t allow myself to buy the second and third books in the Hunger Games series until I finished my work.  I had to wait a whole month.

And, like is often the case with action oriented stories, I’m thrilled to see this one brought to life.  Hubby and I have a date for next week to go to the theater.  We have a babysitter and everything. Exciting times!

But what about other book/movies?  I lived the grittiness of Timeline by Michael Crichton…both the movie and the book.  I loved the sweeping views of Jurassic Park (the movie) and the terror of those scenes with the T-Rex…I had nightmares for months. 

Incredible cast of A Time to Kill

I remember being curled up in as small a ball as possible in my movie theater chair and freaking myself out with the noise of ice in my empty soda cup during a scary scene.

I thought the movie version of The Firm and A Time to Kill were better than the books by John Grisham, but I thought the book Skipping Christmas was much better than the movie, Christmas with the Kranks. 

I liked the Twilight movies just as much as I liked the books, which was very much, indeed. 

I thought the first two Harry Potter Movies were great, but I thought movies five and six had to cut so much of the story to fit it into a 2-hour movie that it barely hung together if you didn’t already know the plot.  There were aspects of the movies that I loved, though.  I loved seeing the Dementors brought to life…and the Thestrals.

Today’s Secret: I’m almost as much of a movie junky as I am a book junky!  Either medium is fine with me as long as it tells a good story.

Today’s Question: What about you?  What books turned movies did you love and which did you think didn’t work?



12 thoughts on “The Book or The Movie?”

  1. I’m weird I either watch the movie or read the book. I refuse to watch the HP movies because I don’t want to mess with the way I imagined things in the book. With The Help. I was perfectly satisfied with the movie. The only movies i have seen after reading was One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest and to Kill a Mockingbird which were equally as good as the books.

    1. okay…UConn might want to take back my Literature degree after I write this, but I’ve never read (or seen) To Kill a Mockingbird. I think I started the book once and just couldn’t get into it. I really liked seeing the movie version of The Help, but I liked the book better. The characters were so well drawn in the book that I didn’t feel like I needed to see them on the screen.

      1. Gasp! You’ve never read to Kill a Mockingbird. The book drew me in as a cynical 11th grader. You have to give it another shot.

  2. It all depends to which book or movie. I loved Stardust the movie better than the book (the book’s ending is flat compared to the movie, not sure what Neil Gaiman was thinking there!). I also loved the movie adaptation of Lord of the Rings. Peter Jackson removed the boring bits (Tom Bomdabil’s forest) and re-arragned the pacing that the books are missing (Tolkein was not a writer but a language professor!).

    I passed on seeing Water for Elephants because the book is so wonderful and I don’t want to have the movie ruin it for me! One book movie combo that was great was Whip It. Shauna Cross (the author) was also the screenwriter and she did a great adapation of her own book. So I’d read the book and see the movie!

    1. In the end, I liked the movie version of Water for Elephants just fine, but until I had read the book, I had no interest in seeing the movie. I guess the trailer for the movie just didn’t attract me. I did like the book better. Lord of the Rings just isn’t my cup of tea, no matter how it’s presented. Even Viggo Mortensen couldn’t hold my attention in the movie and I LOVE him, especially in GI Jane…

  3. Once I’ve read the book, I must see the movie. I liked THE HELP in both mediums. I totally agree about the HP series. After the first couple of movies, the plots became very disjointed. LOVED the Twilight series and actually enjoyed the movies even more than the books. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD is classic in both, as were all of Hitchcock’s film. Stephen King’s books translate well to movies…he’s super creepy in any medium, and epic homespun books like Steinbeck’s EAST OF EDEN and Pat Conroy’s PRINCE OF TIDES translated well to film. I guess I love both, and like you, J, I’m an entertainment junkie:-)

    1. Wow, yeah, I didn’t read East of Eden or Prince of Tides,,,although I did read Anne Rice’s Exit to Eden…very nice bit of adult entertainment. It was made into a movie, but VERY loose adaptation…when I think erotica, Rosie O’Donnell and Dan Aykroyd aren’t the first actors to come to mind…

  4. I have not read The Hunger Game series, but I would like to and I would also like to see the movie. I loved the Twilight books and enjoyed the movies. Harry Potter books are wonderful too. For me, I always love the book more than the movie because you simply cannot translate every little detail from the book to film. I find I enjoy a film more if I have read the book first. I am a movie and book fan, but generally love the book more. These days with all the film technology, however, the special effects really can bring a book to life.

  5. I’ve not read The Hunger Games either, but my daughter has and she said she thinks the movie will not do it justice.
    I have read almost every book Stephen King ever wrote. The movies are good, but the books are always better. I think because we can imagine things in a book instead of a movie..

    Great post.

  6. I read Gone with the Wind, 50 years ago. Now, as a writer, I had to read the book again. Of course I have seen the movie, what two or three times? I usually can’t stand seeing a movie more than once. But my whole view point has changed. Now, as a writer, I am devouring the book. Did you read it J? Do you like how Margaret Mitchell depicts her characters? She belabors them, and I love every minute of the laboring. When I think about how many times I have been told my descriptions are great, but have been encouraged not be so descriptive, and get on with my love story, I am taking another look, and working on character development. The secondary and even tertiary characters are supportive to the main ones. I have to learn how to incorporate appropriately. I can do more than I need, and then edit. So I am beefing up my characters, all of them. Especially my main. We’ll see how it works out, but I am finding that going through this process is creating a better sense of the scenes. What do you think?

    1. Hi Gail! Well, when you talk about GWTW…you are talking about my all time favorite movie. I’m a buff. I’ve read the book, the screen play, the How Vivien Leigh got the gig blurb, the whole nine. I never understood why they took Scarlett’s other two kids out of the movie…I guess the audiences of the time couldn’t condone 1 woman with 3 kids by 3 different men…And Scarlett is my very favorite fictional character. She’s so well drawn, as you say. She’s broken and you can just see how it happened. I’m less of a fan of the other GWTW books. I loathed Scarlett (book and movie) and I wasn’t terribly impressed with Rhett Butler’s People. I haven’t read The Wind Done Gone (which I believe is Mammy’s story) and I’d like too…okay – I’m off to Amazon to see if it’s available for kindle.

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