I love character driven books. If the characters are not described well or jump off the page, I’ll place that book right back on the shelf or toss it in the trashcan. (Psych! I would never throw a book away, why waste good kindling? ) When seeing my favorite books switch to a new form of media I cringe at the thought of my fictional friends being poorly portrayed on the screen. Over the years I have become wiser and I now look forward to my favorite novels transitioning to film or television, hell some of the characters actually get better on the big screen.
I know I’m going to get shit for this, but Game of Thrones is a good example. I tried to read Game of Thrones before it was cool. (I think it was right when the third book came out) A friend recommended it to me because she knew how much I love character driven stories. After picking up a copy from Barnes and Noble I began my adventure through Westerous. However, that trip was cut drastically short. Kids? Really? All the Stark boys were under 16, which took me out of the book. I was glad Bran got thrown out of a window; I now had one less kid to read about or so I thought. Ned was cool, but it was hard to relate to an old man. Maybe it was me not being able to see a piece of myself in any of the characters because of age, but I just could not get into it. I dig the show and it makes me want to pick the books back up because I can now imagine Kit Harington as John Snow instead of some fourteen year old kid who hasn’t sprouted his first pube.
I enjoyed the Lord of the Rings movies a little more than the books because there weren’t pages among pages of dialogue about the outside of an inn. Peter Jackson just gave us a nice wide shot of a rundown inn. Thanks Pete! Now let’s walk to Mount Doom instead of flying on the backs of some giant eagles.
I love Ken Bruen, but the film adaptation of London Boulevard was way better than the book. Collin Ferral killed it as Mitchell and the ending was way more depressing and noire than the novel.
However there are so many examples were the opposite is true. These few examples are just some outliers that should be recognized. There is a Jack Taylor series that stars Iain Glenn from Game of Thrones, but it is shit compared to the books. My Jack Taylor looks way older and more beat up than the clean cut Jorah Mormont. Scott Pilgrim captured the energy of the comic and is still one of my favorite comic adaptations, but Michael Cera as Scott? No way, my Scott had way more energy and personality than George Michael working at the Banana Stand.
Does anyone else agree or do you have a movie that you enjoyed more than the book?