Talking Story

books vs. movies


I’m a book and movie junkie. I gobble them up like potato chips. Triple movie marathons on a Friday night? Check. Stay up all night reading a book? Double-check.

And that’s just in the last week.

People who love stories often debate which medium told a particular story best—the film or the book. Most of the time if a story starts out as a book and transitions into a movie, the book’s better. However, I can think of a few movies, Forrest Gump, Gone with the Wind, The Silence of the Lambs, and Jaws, where I thought the film was better than the book, the exceptions, perhaps, that prove the rule.

You can’t really talk about books that started out as movies, then came out as books. They are a travesty of nature. Name one that worked better than the movie.

Told ya.

Whenever I go to a film based on a book I’ve loved, there’s always that moment of dread, the same moment that occurs when I’m about to meet an old friend I haven’t seen for years. How much have they changed? How much have I changed? Will we still connect?

It’s the kind of tension that you can cut with a butter knife—easiest to do when you have it in your hand ready to carve out a chunk of butter in preparation of sticking it in a cup and nuking it so you can pour the melted goodness over your freshly popped bowl of corn.

Yeah, even when we’re talking about stories, it’s still about the food.

Some of this year’s film offerings are based on well-known novels: Ender’s Game, The Great Gatsby, The Wizard of Oz, The Host, Catching Fire, and The Hobbit to name a few. Which are you looking forward to? Any you dread seeing on the silver screen?

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