Movie Adaptations…Some Thoughts

I have been sitting on the movie version of Ender’s Game for over a month. I want to watch it, but there’s that fear. It’s a fear I never knew when I was less bookly. I don’t even think that’s a word, but for lack of a better, we’ll go with it. Let me get some things off my chest.

The problem with loving books is the fact (and it’s an actual fact in my world) that the theatrical versions of books just don’t cut it for those of us who loved the book. Some are more disappointing than others and some are even enjoyable if you can set aside the fact that “in the book it happened like this”. Then there are the others that make you want to scream and if you really loved the book you may start crying at the blatant bastardization of something you loved so dearly.

I think we can mostly agree that the Harry Potter movies fall under the enjoyable if not 100% to the book to watch even if some of that most exciting parts of the  wonderful wizarding world is left out or altered. I also enjoyed the Lord Of The Rings trilogy on the big screen, though don’t even get me started on what they should have done differently to make it even more exciting. The Hobbit…just…no. Even Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch couldn’t save that one. Sherlock and Watson for god’s sake!

Then there are the movies that ruin it all for every book that announces it’s coming to theaters. I have a couple, but the one that really sticks out in my mind is a Nicholas Sparks adaptation that had Julianne Hough in the lead actress role. I think it was called Safe Haven. I really liked the book. It shouldn’t be too hard to fuck up a Nicholas Sparks adaptation as they have a pretty cut and dry formula…

  • Pretty girl or attractive guy wronged, more than likely by death or domestic.
  • Pretty girl or attractive guy meet.
  • Girl in skimpy bikini, guy shirtless (insert ripped abs)
  • Epic misunderstanding.
  • Happily ever after sleeping together.

Still, even with so little chance to go wrong this movie left me and a fellow reader physically upset…for hours. It wasn’t even a book we were horribly invested in!! (You know who you are, Heather.)

The reason was that the director or Satan or whoever holds the power in the movie industry reached out and ripped the very heart out of this story. What made it come alive for me was no longer there.

I guess the reason that I’ve been so stuck on this topic or at least the reason it’s been nagging at me is I have been reading some books that have recently gone to the big screen and I’m torn. I have watched the trailers out of that undying hope that some director out there will capture on screen what I saw in my head as I flipped the pages (Ron Howard has come closest in his Dan Brown adaptations for me, but that seems more like one of Bob Ross’s happy accidents than Ron Howard reading my mind). I have come away from YouTube and these trailers a bit horrified and deflated. Hope lost.

Perhaps I’m being too hard on the subject, my expectations are unbelievably high. Maybe the best way for me to enjoy the movie versions is to skip them altogether. Maybe I will eventually break down and watch them anyway just to bitch.

So here’s looking at you (maybe) The Girl On The Train, Miss Peregrines Home For Peculiar Children and Ender’s Game.

What are your thoughts on the whole book to movie topic? I would love to hear your thoughts.

 

Giving Up On Books? Bookish Musings

 

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Photo via the internet

 

This is a topic I don’t encounter often, but when I do…

Seems like the decision to continue or simply give up on a book, for me, is like choosing to live or die. Dramatic? Yes, but never the less, I hate coming across those to read or not to read situations.

First of all, I feel I owe it to every author to give their book a fair chance to the end and if I genuinely hated it, at least it was an informed decision. After all, I hope others give me a fair shake when reading my writing. Not that I have written anything of substance since Mrs. March’s Writing For College class back in ’98, but even this here blog.

But what to do when the book is so…not working for me that I keep finding excuses to do and read anything except said book?

That’s where I am currently. I started a Peter Straub book called Floating Dragon and if you follow my blog on Facebook or Instagram, you know my love/hate relationship with Straub. I find it difficult that someone who my beloved Stephen King chooses to write with wouldn’t appeal to me. He doesn’t always disappoint,  just sometimes there is so much backstory and…I digress.

Since starting this book a week or two ago I have read Animal Farm by George Orwell, reread Blockade Billy by Stephen King, found a new sci-fi love in Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game and also started to reread Stephen King’s Dolores Claiborne. Do you see my desperate attempt to not pick up Floating Dragon? Thing is, the book isn’t even horrible. Just so…very…slow……………soooo…………sloooooooooow.

So the question still stands. Do I give up or stick it out? Maybe put the book away for a later date when perhaps I can give it a better chance?

To date, I have only ever stopped a book in the first two chapters and actually threw it in the trash one time (normally out of character for me). I don’t remember the name of that book, but it sucked the big one so badly I just couldn’t…

What do you do in this situation? Let me know.  I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic.

The Last Few Pages

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As I finally make my way to the end of my current read, which has taken me an embarrassingly long time to get through. Been about a month, though it’s only 562 pages and it only took me three days to read the 900 or so pages of  Stephen King’s Under The Dome . Yet, I have arrived, if fashionably late, to the last 18 pages…

Of course, this is where my mind started to wander. I started to think about my approach to books that have kept me drawn in for any  period of time. Then, my thoughts go a bit crazy.

I start by mentally preparing and wondering, “Do I really want this to end so fast?” and “HOW COULD THIS POSSIBLY ANSWER ALL MY QUESTIONS IN 18 PAGES???!!!”. So, I put the book down an find a distraction. There is the fear, naturally, of disappointment and the inner irritation at myself for not being able to read the words fast enough regardless of the outcome.

I can speak only for myself, but I’ve noticed my book ending reading habit goes a bit like this…

Sit up if I’m laying down…move the book as close to my face as humanly possible in case my peripheral vision might find a distraction…yell at everyone around me to shut the hell up…then take in every word as though this were the last book ever written and it holds the answer to all of life’s great questions (even if the book sucked).

This usually follows me finding excuses to put the book down to sate a few of the nagging distractions, like wondering if it will all make sense, peeing, did I miss something huge in the story one night while half dozing and dropping the book on my face over and over. DID I GIVE THE BOOK THE ATTENTION IT DESERVED!?

Reading is more than a hobby to me. It’s separate lives I live, good or bad and I like to take the process seriously. That kind of makes me sound mentally ill…but it’s the truth.

Now, with only minor distractions left, those last 18 pages await…

Does anyone else get end of book anxiety or is it just me?