Friday, January 18, 2013

Books and the Movies

Books and movies…
Seems like a natural fit really, someone writes a book, the options to the movie are sold and then BAM, author enjoys instant success and millions are exposed to their writing. Yeah, sure, if you’re J.K. Rowling or Stephanie Myer, or Nicholas Sparks. In truth it’s seldom authors enjoy the actual bragging rights to say their book or series of books are going to be turned into some cinematic must see.

There are those that refuse to see a movie if they’ve read the book. I mean what’s the point really, they know the story, they know how it’s going to play out…why spend the money. Then there is the flip side of the coin those that don’t tend to do a lot of reading can get caught up on the latest “trending” must read.

Last year I paid attention, there were a great many wonderful stories turned into film. Les Miserables, Anna Karenina, Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, The Lorax, Alex Cross, Cloud Atlas, and let’s not forget The Hunger Games and the Hobbit.

One of my favorite classics is Les Miserables. Jean Valjean is one of the most unique hero’s I’ve ever read, his journey is beyond comprehension and proves that yes, if given half a chance a person can change, be a good human being, no matter how low their circumstances. Les Miserables was published back in the 1860’s and still holds a place in people’s hearts in 2013! Granted it’s more in theater and now in a movie, and I must agree the songs are incredibly important in telling the heartbreaking story of Fantine and Valjean.  However, if you haven’t read the book, please do so, there is so much not included in the movie/musical that is in the book which only makes this read so much richer.

Anna Karenina returned to the silver screen last year as well. I admit that I have picked up and put down this title a couple of times, never making it through to the end…why, it’s depressing. More depressing then Les Miserables you ask? Maybe…I do know the ending so that might be what’s keeping me from finishing it. However, this year I vow to read it from cover to cover so I can be one of those that can say “why yes, I’ve read that title!” I love Russia, I find her history dynamic and extremely moving and inspiring.

One movie I thoroughly enjoyed but had read the book is Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter. That was a fast paced, incredibly entertaining movie and I’ve actually added this read to my “must read” list for the year!
I love Nicholas Sparks’s movies, and I confess I haven’t read his books. My favorite of the movies has so far been The Notebook. I’ve added and bought, Safe Haven to my must be read pile for the year. We’ll see, it’s rare that the movie is better than the book but it has happened.

So do you read the book before you go to the movies, or do you let the movies be your book reading?

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