Thursday, August 20, 2009

the blog was better

i’ve had a thought. actually, i had it a while ago but have recently been prompted to share it after reading a particularly cringe-worthy ‘discussion’ which lobbed in my facebook newsfeed.

said discussion comprised the words ‘the book’s better’. whoever typed those words (i don’t know him, he’s a friend of a friend) obviously didn’t get the memo. proclaiming the book is better than its film adaptation, true or not, makes you sound like a pretentious twat.


wow. you read? you must be, like, super smart.

the thing is, the book usually is better than the movie, isn’t it? i used to think (but chose not to express to avoid aforementioned twatiness – it’s a word) the same thing. that was until i read the boy in the stripped pyjamas last year.

in this case, i had already seen the movie and had been inordinately moved by it. the book, although touching in its own right, did not live up to my expectations.

was that because the movie was better than the book? perhaps. but maybe it was simply because i had seen the movie first. my ideas of how that scene should look or how that character should behave were all based on the movie because it got in first.

thinking back, i cannot find an example of when i have liked the second instalment – be it the book or the movie – better than the first. you?

and, of course, we almost always read the book before we see the movie so it is only natural the former would win the bulk of the accolades.

thoughts?

for the record, the most disappointing adaptation – for mine – would have to be the beach. i don’t even remember why but i hated the movie yet adored the book (which, of course, came first).

19 comments:

The Novelista Barista said...

in very rare occasions is the movie better than the book.
i cant even think of an example.

I can think of an example vice versa.
TWILIGHT.

Bea Arthur said...

Weekend at Bernie’s II was an amazing book until Hollywood tore it to shreds.

I hope they make 'Weekend at Bea's' next.

i.hate.my.name said...

I watched Looking For Alibrandi first and then read the book. And I liked the movie better, but I think that was more because of the ending.

If I had read the book first I would have been annoyed that they combined so many characters in the movie.

Dom said...

What about equally as good as each other? ie The Jungle Book movie and book - both brilliant.

jax said...

actually dom, i thought that exact thing after i posted. it was a while ago, but i remember liking 'a time to kill' equally in both forms.

jax said...

weekend at bea's? that'd be boring. she's never home these days.

Organic Meatbag said...

Whenever I watch old home movies, I tell my family "The book was better"...and then they call me a twat...not really...they call me a retarded blob of shit...

Fyrewitch said...

I think books are generally better because prose can really get you into the characters' heads. Plus there aren't time and budgetary constraints. An actor may have to sum up something that is worth 20 pages of prose with a tortured look. For me I'd rather read the 20 pages and follow his train of thought. And then there are books where the nature of the prose is the main focus anyway. Would there be any point in dramatising something like Woolf's The Waves? Probably not.

I confess I thought that the screen adaption of Lord of the Rings was better than the book, mainly because I can't stand Tolkien. Please, someone give that man an adjective. :)

kirsty said...

loved the movie power of one, read the book and subsequently found the movie too dull to sit through ever again (although i did try one particularly memorable friday night at 9 grevillea cres following the obligatory fish'n'chip supper with m&d)
why throw in the love interest?? the story is string enough without.. pfft, hollywood.

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