What If They Were Movies First?

Several years ago on the blog, we posted the question “What if books were movies first?”, talking about books that had been made into movies that went on to box office riches. But often, those movies aren’t as good as the book (as you’ll hear any reader tell you), many times leaving out what readers think are important parts of the story just to fit it into the required movie time frame.

But what if a book that you loved was a movie first? Think of the big winners like “Titanic”, or “Star Wars”.  Do you think you would have fallen in love with Jack and Rose on the pages in the same way that you did sitting in that darkened theatre? Or cheered for Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker, or felt the adventure in the same way? Probably not. In fact, you might not have even gone to see the movie afterward.

After all the talk about Best Picture winner “The Shape of Water”, I immediately put my name on the holds list at our library for the movie. But–as with most of the new releases–there’s been a bit of a wait. So I was super excited when a book showed up based on the movie. Written by director Guillermo del Toro and co-authored with Daniel Kraus, I couldn’t wait to dive right in!

And then….I started reading.

Honestly, after 50 pages, I gave up. The story is interesting, and I think on the big screen, this probably works really, really well. (Hey, all those Oscar voters and moviegoers can’t be wrong, right?). But I found the book confusing, and filled with strange details that didn’t seem to do anything for the story except try to make it tantalizing? Maybe I didn’t give it enough time. Or maybe I’m just not in the right headspace for this type of book, but I can’t wait to see the movie to find out if it’s just another one of those over-hyped pictures, or something that needs to be seen and experienced, rather than read.

Have you seen the movie? Read the book? What are your feelings on this idea? Lets us know in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!

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