So a debate which has been ongoing since forever, is what is better the book or the movie and now the TV shows? This is a topic I could discuss forever, but I have only listed a few examples didn’t want to bore everyone so quickly!
Now 9 times out of 10 I would be the first to say I prefer the book, with a book you get to experience the inner monologues, the descriptions of the scenery around them and the feelings that each character have, the scenes are set, the moods are set, and these do not always transpire on the big screen in the same way. I also try to make a point of reading the book first, I want to know about all the characters and picture everything in my head before seeing something on the big screen, and then analyse everything afterwards.
There is always an outcry when producers and writers of shows change what the characters look like and in some movies/tv, they cut beloved characters out completely! On the other hand, there are times, however, that in my opinion, the movies/tv shows have been perfect when being compared to the books, and in a very rare exceed the books in some aspects! (Don’t shoot me for saying that!)
I remember reading the Vampire Diaries many many…many years ago, and I began to fall in love with the characters, Elena, Meredith, Bonnie, Damon and Stefan, they became friends, caring about their lives and then wait…what happened…a TV show was announced and like most people I got excited but also a bit apprehensive, could they do this any justice? So I sat down and started the first episode and I remember got annoyed and moaning (much to my husband’s annoyance – I think shut up was used a few times!) and then here comes Elena Gilbert the central character, in the book she is described
Elena is cool, blonde and slender; the girl every boy wants and the girl every other girl wants to be.
and then on the screen, we see something different, someone different and I am thinking to myself what am I doing watching this.
On top of that, where was Meredith her best friend? Who is Jeremy? Where is Margaret? What is Caroline doing in her circle of friends? and so many other questions came into my head (and probably spoken a lot loudly!) but once the show found its swing I came to enjoy the show a lot more than I remember with the books. I recently tried the audiobook of the first book, and I couldn’t get pass the first 10 minutes, the person reading the book annoyed me and I actually felt that the book was wrong with the descriptions and the sister… What just happened to me!?
However, this can’t be said all the time where the show is better than the book.
I loved loved loved the Mortal Instrument books and the Infernal Devices. I loved the characters and Simon, I mean come on who wouldn’t want him in your life ( Yes yes I know Jace is the cool guy…that every girl want!) I watched the film, and I thought it tried to capture the essence of the books (Johnathan Rhys Meyers was a helpful addition to this) and it was a shame that it didn’t work out so well. I don’t know what didn’t work, maybe it was just too rushed like most films are but when you have so much content it’s tough to capture everything in 90 minutes. So I thought oh great, they are making a tv show and this will give them a chance to expand on the universe and do everything right…then I watched the show and I just thought is this a joke? They changed Clara age, Simon a vampire in the first or second episode and Jace to me his face just didn’t fit (Sorry for all the Shadowhunter fans) so I swiftly turned this off never to grace my screen again.
Saying all this you do get the examples where the books have been matched on par with the tv shows/movies and sometimes exceed!
Obvious to discuss is Game of Thrones, as soon as I saw the poster of Sean Bean advertising something called ” Game of Thrones” I was intrigued, what is this? And 5 books had already been written, well had to check this out! So before i watched the first series I had to make sure read the first book! Watching the TV show i felt like i was literally reading the pages i had just read, apart from a few tweaks, Jon and Theon tolerating each other, White walkers appearance not the same as the book, age of the children not the same just to name a few.
Bar these “tweaks” shall we say, I felt the show had been loyal to this point. It is difficult to comment on the current series as the books have not been written, it’s ok only been waiting 5 years if not more!! I do appreciate they have not been able to include all the multiple storylines and characters and have again tweaked for the viewer’s enjoyment but when watching the shows I try to keep the books and show separate and enjoy them both in their own right.
AND FINALLY the movies!
Whilst they do not always have the screen time to build on character development and things have to be cut, you do find a rare gem now and again which exceeds the book.
Now, remember this is only my humble opinion!! For a rarity I watched the film before reading the book (I had so many other books to read so I opted for the audiobook in this instance!) and I loved the ambiguous ending, i loved the cat and mouse of the story and just sitting there and trying to figure out what the hell was going on!
When I listened to the book, I was excited, I wanted to see how the author had explained the scenes, how would Nick and Amy been portrayed in the books. The book was so intense and addictive I couldn’t wait to get in my car and listen again, I was hooked and ready for the ride again through Nick and Amy’s life (long journeys to and from work were a godsend when listening to books!)
Then something happened that I was not expecting, the film had finished but in the book, we kept going. I went with it seeing where we were being led, where did Nick want to take us and when the book finished I just sat there (because I was driving!) and wonder what the hell had happened. The extra chapters seemed like a waste, they were rushed and to be honest I thought quite pointless and I just felt let down (Only Dracula since has done this to me!).
Maybe I should have read the book first………………well there is always next time………