The Discussion Post – Book Adaptations

 

I joined the book discussion challenge to encourage myself to post some more discussion type posts – That and I’m nosy…

Books are adapted into movies and TV shows all the time what are your thoughts on it? I’ve posted some ideas below but any thoughts are welcome. I will warn that the rest of this post and the comments may contain spoilers from books/movies.

  • Does seeing your favourite characters on the big/small screen excite you, or does it disappoint you that the person on-screen isn’t the same as you pictured in your head?
  • We all know that it’s not possible to include every scene from a novel in a movie and have a regular running time, everyone probably has a list of scenes they wished had stayed in the movie but what is the one missing scene that bothers you the most? – Or is there a key scene that was changed in the movie
  • Some adaptations are more inspired by a novel or book series rather than direct adaptations – How do you feel about this and is there anything in particular that surprised you about any changes they made?
  • Are there any adaptations due this year that you’re looking forward to? Any that particularly impressed you, or is there a book/series that you would love to see adapted?

Generally I enjoy seeing my favourite characters on screen, and I don’t mind too much if the character looks different to how I pictured them. Everyone’s perspective of the characters will differ so producers don’t really stand a chance in managing to meet everyone’s expectation.

I grew up with Harry Potter, literally, I was 10 when the first book was released and 20 when Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was released. Whenever a book was released I would sit reading constantly until I’d finished making sure no one could spoil it for me. I was 14 when the first film was released so I already knew, and accepted that not everything from the books would make it to the big screen, I would have loved to see the deathday party featured in The Chamber of Secrets but I understand that it wasn’t critical to the plot. I was disappointed that they moved Snape’s death from the Shrieking Shack to the boat house, I understand that moving the scene probably made it easier to be visually striking, but that was one of the scenes I connected with most in the whole series so I was upset that it was changed.

I really enjoy the TV show Bones, I watched the show before I’d read any of the books by Kathy Reichs. The Tempe Brennan of the books is a divorced, recovering alcoholic with a college age daughter who splits her time between North Carolina and Quebec, and there is no Agent Booth, instead Brennan is often partnered with Detective Ryan. I do still enjoy both, but I don’t really see the TV show as an adaptation of the books, in my mind they’re two separate things.

I’m really looking forward to the Hulu adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale. I read the book as part of my English AS Level so I’m looking forward to see how it translates to the screen.

Let me know your thoughts below!

Sarah

12 Comments

  1. Talking if scenes omitted from the Harry Potter movies, I think for me, the one I wanted to see the most was the argument between Harry and Lupin in deathly hallows.

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    1. It’s been too long since I read or watched the films, but now that you’ve reminded me that was a pretty important part in the book I remember being surprised it was missing from the film.

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  2. Definitely most books are better as they can give more detail, but occasionally I prefer the film.
    Bridget Jones is one of those times. I hated the books (only read them because I friend gave them to me) but loved the films.
    There are a couple where I’ve loved both.. Hunger Games, I had a big enough gap between reading and watching that I couldn’t remember all the details. And the Martian is a fantastic book but works sooo well on screen. Matt Damon is perfect for the part. Even though I knew if he lived or died I still got so tense and emotional watching the film.
    One I’m really looking forward to is Big Little Lies. I read the book a while ago and LOVED it, now it’s been made into a TV serious with Nicole Kidman, Reese Whitherspoon and loads more. I think it will work really well as TV rather than try to get it down to 100 minutes or whatever.

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    1. Oh I happened to watch The Martian at my aunt’s last year, never saw much of the publicity around it so I never realised it was based on a book. I’ll have to see if I can find it

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  3. I enjoy watching adaptations for the fun of making the comparison, so even if all kinds of things have changed that still works for me. Nine times out of ten I end up preferring the book though. Sometimes missing scenes can be good – I always hated the Tom Bombadil section of Lord of the Rings, so was delighted when it was totally cut from the movie – a huge improvement! Though don’t tell Tom Bombadil fans I said so… 😉

    Do read The Martian! Great book and I loved it much more than the film! 🙂

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    1. LOTR is something I’ve just never managed to get behind. My dad loves it, read me The Hobbit when I was about 6 but I never had the urge to read LOTR, I guess I’m not the biggest fantasy fan in general, Harry Potter being the exception, but I think 99.5% of my generation are HP fans. Maybe one day I’ll try LOTR

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  4. I have a mixed relationship about movie adaptation! Like on one side I love it because it helps me visualize the characters’ faces and settings but on the other side, I hate that directors sometime mess with the plot. Like the other week I just watched a movie adaptation of a local book and the difference was SIGNIFICANT. Such a huuuuge disappointment because the casts were actually amazing 😦 with HP, I watched the movie first because I was only 3 when the 1st book came out hehe so when I started reading the books when I was 13, I already had all the images on my head. Great post! ❤

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  5. I generally enjoy movie adaptations and I love that often it brings a book to more people’s attention and gives the book a wider audience. There are several books that I might not have even read if it weren’t for the movie or TV adaptation. So that’s a win for me!

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    1. Completely agree that the adaptations widen access which is great. If not for this post I wouldn’t have realised that The Martian was a book to begin with.

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  6. I go back and forth on this one. For the most part, I’m pretty lenient. But …

    Have you read/seen Eragon? The book was phenomenal (at least in the mind of 14 year old me). And the movie practically changed the plot. And the antagonist was portrayed weirdly. And everything was wrong. And they took out ALL of what I loved about the book and made up a bunch of stuff. And I left the theater ranting like no other.

    For the most part I thought they did an amazing job with the Harry Potter movies, but the third one did piss me off. I felt like they left out important bits of information, like actually explaining who Mooney, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs were. I know a TON of people who didn’t read the books and were incredibly confused. I mean, yeah, you pretty much figure it out eventually, but it’s a LOT more plainly stated in the books.

    The Game of Thrones TV show I think is an excellent example of this going right. I’ve only read the first book, but pretty much everything that matters made it to film. That probably largely due to the fact that George R. R. Martin was so involved in the film series as well. Hunger Games was like that, since the movie’s screenplay was actually written by Suzanne Collins.

    Oh, and I personally don’t care AT ALL if an actor looks exactly how the characters are described. Half the time I don’t even READ the descriptions and I just make up my own “blob” of a person in my head anyway!

    ~ Michelle A FaerieFits

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    1. I’ve not seen or read Eragon though I remember hearing about it when the film came out.

      I know what you mean about Harry Potter in general, I was the source of all information for my parents when we went to watch. I remember feeling slightly guilty when we watched Chamber of Secrets that I hadn’t warned my mum about the acromantualas despite her being terrified of spiders, and then dad had got stuck in traffic so by the time me and him walked into the cinema we couldn’t even sit with my mum and brother

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