Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Read the Book First

Yesterday on one of my groups, there was a discussion about how one should read the book before watching the movie. We were talking about how people don't read anymore, and the reason is that they make a lot of books into movies. I thought about this and realized, that although I watch a lot of movies, sometimes the movie prompts me to read the book. For me it goes both ways, if the story is interesting when I read it, I usually want to see the visual, so I will seek out the movie version no matter how old it is. If the movie interests me, I'll seek out the book to see if they left anything out (which they usually do).

I went through my list to see the ratio of book-movie / movie-book I had. For the list of Read Book 1st, I've put movies I also have that I haven't watched but plan to shortly.

Read Book 1st
Showboat - Edna Farber (Movie 1951)
Silas Marner - George Eliot (Movie 1985)
Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert (Movie 1949)
Something Wicked This Way Comes - Ray Bradbury (Movie 1983)
The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupery (Movie 1974)
Harry Potter (4-6) - JK Rowling (Movie 2005/2007/2009)
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers - JRR Tolken (Movie 2002)
Lord of the Rings: Return of the King - JRR Tolken (Movie 2003)
Dreamcatcher - Stephen King (Movie 2003)
The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini (Movie 2007)
The Good Earth - Pearl S. Buck (Movie 1937)
The Memory Keeper's Daughter - Kim Edwards (Movie 2008)
The Way of the Peaceful Warrior - Dan Millman (Movie 2006)
The World According to Garp - John Irving (Movie 1982)
The Fountainhead - Ayn Rand (Movie 1949)
The Devil Wears Prada - Lauren Weisberger (Movie 2006)
The Secret Life of Bees - Sue Monk Kid (Movie 2008)
Permanent Midnight - Jerry Stahl (Movie 1998)
Ethan Frome - Edith Wharton (Movie 1993)
Running With Scissors - Augusten Burroughs (Movie 2006)
The Green Mile - Stephen King (Movie 1999)
Angela's Ashes - Frank McCourt (Movie 1999)
Conversations With God - Donald Walsch (Movie 2006)
Mozart & The Whale - Jerry & mary Newport (Movie 2005)
The Davinci Code - Dan Brown (Movie 2006)

Watched Movie 1st
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee (Movie 1962)
Lolita -Vladimir Nabokov (Movie 1962/1997)
Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell (Movie 1939)
Harry Potter (1-3) - JK Rowling (Movie 2001/2002/2004)
Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring - JRR Tolken (Movie 2001)
Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion Witch and the Wardrobe - CS Lewis (Movie 2005)
Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian - CS Lewis (Movie 2008)
Carrie - Stephen King (Movie 1976)
Frankenstein - Mary Shelley (Movie 1994)
A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens (Movie - various yrs)
The Freedom Writers - S. Levitt, S. Dubner (Movie 2007)
The Christmas Box - Richard Paul Evans (Movie 1995)
The Five People You Meet in Heaven - Mitch Albom (Movie 2004)
Breakfast at Tiffany's - Truman Capote (Movie 1961)
The Hotel New Hampshire - John Irving (Movie 1984)
A Series of Unfortunate Events - Lemony Snicket (Movie 2004)

The ratio is 27:18. Which I don't think is bad at all.

Some may be shocked to see the absence of Jane Austen books on my list. I have never read a Jane Austen novel. I've seen all of her movies and most of the adaptations. Though I love Period Pieces and Jane Austen movies, I can honestly say I do not think I'd enjoy the book. However, I do have P&P and S&S at home, so I am not opposed to giving it a go.

There are also plenty of movies I have seen that I have not read the book yet. Movies such as Bram Stokers Dracula, Wuthering Heights & Jane Eyre. However, they are shortlisted.

There are also books I've read, and enjoyed, but when I tried to watch the movie, I just couldn't. Two that come to mind are A Tale of Two Cities & The House of Mirth.

And then there are the books that I've tried to read because the movie was good, and I wanted more, One of these books were A Prayer For Owen Meany by John Irving. I saw the movie Simon Birch AND I heard Irving read from this story live at Radio City Music Hall (NYC). I just had to read the book. I read maybe three chapters and gave up, it was not my cup of tea...I don't understand that one.

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