Seen the film? You should read the book…
I am a big film fan, but if I had to choose, I would say I prefer reading. I like creating my own images to accompany the story in my head (that sounds a little bit odd now I write it down). For this reason, I prefer to read a book before watching its on-screen interpretation, otherwise I find it hard to picture anything other than the characters and settings I’ve seen. But I’m always intrigued to see how books translate to a different medium – sometimes it’s great, other times I find it a bit disappointing.
I thought I would share with you a selection of the films where I would encourage you to read the book, whether you enjoyed the film or not.
I really enjoyed the film and have seen it several times, and it does stay quite true to the book in terms of the characters and plot. The book explores the characters a lot more (as you would expect) so you can gain a better understanding of Richard and in particularly Daffy, who does not have that much influence in the film. The novel also spends more time focusing on the demise of the community, and has a slightly darker ending. It’s definitely worth a read.
Ready Player One
I read this book as it combines two of my favourite hobbies, reading and gaming. I thought the book was superb; really engaging, entertaining and fast-paced. Sadly the film wasn’t for me. It missed out a lot of the novel’s key storylines which led to some big holes in the plot, and was also a bit too saccharine for my liking. In my mind it’s a perfect example of where the film fell drastically short and wasn’t a patch on the novel.
A great read, based on the real-life experiences of undercover cop Robert Mazur who infiltrated (clue is in the title) the money-laundering arm of the Columbian drug cartels. The book went into a great level of detail which really helped the reader to understand the tangled web of deceit involved in the cartel’s ‘business’. The film was fine, and followed the book quite well, but it was almost a bit too light in the detail which meant it wasn’t always easy to keep up with what was going on. Kudos to Bryan Cranston though, who in my opinion is an excellent actor.
Ah, One Day. It’s such a beautifully written book, telling the story of two intertwined people in a clever and original way. For me this was such a magical story, I couldn’t even get past the trailer of the film. Anne Hathaway’s terrible attempt at a Yorkshire accent was evident even from the two minute clip I saw, so I didn’t even bother watching the film. Why the directors didn’t just hire an actor with a Yorkshire accent, or at least a British person, is beyond me. If you didn’t like the film, please, please, please read the book – it will restore your faith in this wonderful tale.
The Time Traveler’s Wife (not a typo, this is the spelling of the published title!)
Another example of storytelling at its best, this book explores Henry’s life as a time traveller, and the impact this has on him and his wife. I thought the film was a great retelling of the story, and Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams were strong choices for the two main characters. The novel is engaging, heart-warming and tear-jerking, as any great love story should be.
The Lovely Bones
This book rapidly became a best-seller and it is easy to see why. It’s an interesting concept and a well-written story, with relatable characters and charming narration from 14-year-old Susie Salmon. The film was a bit ‘meh’, watchable enough, but not something I would hail as a great success. I’ve watched it once and that’s enough, there wasn’t anything special about it for me to warrant a second viewing.
Life of Pi
A thought-provoking read, following the Life of Pi (clue is in the title) who is shipwrecked and stranded at sea. The twist at the end leaves you wondering about the story for days afterwards. The film was thoroughly enjoyable, with beautiful camerawork and impressive performances from the cast. Read the book and watch the film; they’re both superb.
So that’s just my list, I’m sure there are tonnes more. Happy reading!
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The beach cover
The beach film
Ready Player One cover
Ready Player One film
The Infiltrator cover
The Infiltrator film
One Day cover
One Day film
The Time Traveler’s Wife cover
The Time Traveler’s Wife film
The Lovely Bones Cover
The Lovely Bones Film
Life of Pi cover
Life of Pi film
Note from Ash:
I just want to say a big thank you to Sarah for stepping out of her blogging comfort zone to write a guest post about books on my blog. It’s been brilliant having you and I thoroughly enjoyed hearing your thoughts on some book to film adaptations. I watched Ready Player One at the start of the year without having read the book and enjoyed it. I wonder if I would have as much if I’d read the book first!
Let’s keep the conversation going in the comments below. Have you read and seen any of these? What were you thoughts? Did the films do the books justice? Let me know! 😊
If you’re interested in purchasing any of the books or films mentioned above, then you can do so here:
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