Friday, May 4, 2018

Is the Book Always Better?

The other day I pulled into the parking lot at Ulta. I was off to get a haircut. I waited for a few minutes until the store opened then gathered my crap to make my way to the front door. Not more than two parking spaces from my car, I stopped when I saw this on the ground:

My jaw dropped open just like Kristen Stewart’s natural expression in every scene of this movie.

Can we all just take a moment to be sad for the untimely, tragic death of this movie disc?

Okay, since I’m the only one shedding a tear (other than maybe my sister), I guess I should explain. Or, maybe I shouldn’t, but I’m going to anyway.

Hands up for all the Twilight fans out there!

If I wasn’t still typing this post right now, my hands wouldn’t only be up, they’d be flailing about like I was being chased by a bear. Or a werewolf. Preferably one who looks like Jacob when he’s not furry.

But I digress…

The series has certainly garnered a healthy level of fandom as well as vitriol over the years since Stephenie Meyer first published the four book series (starting in 2005) featuring sparkly vampires and the battle for love of a human.

But when I saw this broken disc part in the middle of a strip-mall parking lot, I started wondering, did the owner toss the books too? Just like that, out the side of their car window while driving down the road.

Or, did they even read the books before their brutal assault on the visual adaptation of the series?

I’ll admit, I’ve yet to read these books (but recently borrowed the series from my sister because it is high time). However, I love the movies.

Yeah, I said it. I love the Twilight series.

I mean, it’s a happily ever after love story centered on a tomboy lead character. Of course I love it. And, you know, vampires.

I own them all and have binged all five in a day more times than I care to admit.

Yes, I’m a writer and should be hip to all the wordy pursuits first but sometimes I’m just in the mood for a movie, made-for-TV movie, or television show (can we say Vampire Diaries anyone?) without feeling the pressure of getting to the book before it becomes a visual medium.

But I got to thinking about all the books I’ve read and loved that have been made into movies I didn’t like. As well as movies I loved based on books I’d never read because I didn’t even realize that the production was a book to begin with until I was sitting in a theater viewing the credits (Practical Magic, Confessions of a Shopaholic…).

That happens a lot to be honest.

Especially since the invention of eReading. Most of the books I read these days are indie productions. A good majority written by colleagues or writing friends from social media. None of which (to my knowledge) have been turned into movies.

There are a few books in particular that I didn’t like (that were revered) but I read before they were turned into movies. For example:

Gone Girl. Sorry to the Gillian Flynn fans out there but I figured out the entire book by the end of the first chapter so, continuing to read another few hundred pages was a challenge. (I released a book with a similar theme to Flynn’s so maybe that’s why my brain immediately went to that place?)

Eat, Pray, Love. So, what you’re really telling me is it’s actually all about a man in the end? Got it.

Sense and Sensibility. Let the flaming begin but I don’t like old books and never got into Jane Austen despite numerous tries. Love this movie and I tried to read the book but it just isn’t for me.

On the other hand, some movies I loved as well as the book(s) include:

The DaVinci Code. I finished the book in two days, less than a week after it came out. Tom Hanks is basically who I cast as Robert Langdon in my head. I love a simple conspiracy theory and twisty plots with plenty of adventure.

The Bourne Series (mostly through the first three, they did fall off after that). Tension and mystery unfold on every page. Loved the movie adaptation and casting was perfect.

Lord of the Rings. I mean, you knew it would be on this list.

Girl, Interrupted. Both excellent.

Then there’s always the last category, the book is always better. For me, that includes:

Every Stephen King book/novella ever written with the exception of Different Seasons (Shawshank, Stand by Me/The Body)

Flowers in the Attic. V.C. Andrews was robbed by every visual adaptation of this creepy, terror-filled book.

Interview with the Vampire. Anne Rice is a master, Kirsten Dunst was the only character worth seeing in the 1994 movie.

And now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to start reading the 2,444 pages across four books of Twilight sitting neatly stacked on my living room side table. Finally time to put those books into one of those categories above.

I wonder which one it will be?

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In addition to this drivel I also write books, both fiction and non-fiction.
Learn more on my author page.


Melissa Macdonald said...

LOTR = old book. Just sayin'. :))

Mich said...

TOTALLY AGREE with Flowers in the Attic. However, my opinion on Stephen King is the opposite--I cannot read his books (I've tried), but they make great movies.