Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Deathly Hallows and Twilight

Why do some books transition well to the screen and others do not? Is it the printed words or the screenwriter?

I enjoyed the books by JK Rowling but the detail and blather made me skip sentences, then paragraphs until the storyline returned to meaningful action. I liked them and they inhabit the shelf of honor on my antique bookcase.

But *shrug*. They were ‘okay’ and nothing more.

It’s just my opinion. Please don’t yell at me.

But how the movie series gripped me…that is a different story. The Deathly Hallows is Oscar material, fantastic special effects (always a winner with me), and stays mostly true to the books. I love all the movies without reservation.

The Deathly Hallows gave me everything it promised and more.

And then there is Twilight.

Again, this is just my opinion but I am passionate about this subject.

The Stephenie Meyer’s books dwell in my soul. There is no comparison and I will not argue with the critics. Ms. Meyer acknowledges her writing could stand some improvement. Twilight was her debut novel, after all.  

And after a multitude of YA agents and writers hollered about the article by  Meghan Cox Gurdon that appeared in the WSJ concerning the ‘dark side of YA’, Honey Buns I don’t even want to HEAR any fuss about family values or this-is-not-appropriate-for-kids.

To get to the point, and I do have one, the miraculous books did not transition well to the screens. In fact, I would go so far as to say they were Cee R Aaa Pee.

I have other examples of books that did or did not make the transition to the big screen but I want to hear from you.

What examples can you give of books or movies that didn’t trip your trigger?


  1. Won't argue HP and Twilight as I've not read Twilight.
    For me one of the worst transitions was the Shining by King. The screenwriter was way off base. Good movie but very little resemblance to the book other than the title.

  2. I don't think any of the adaptations of Clive Cussler's books have been any good.

  3. The movie version of Preston & Child's The Relic is awful! They left out the main character, Pendergast. How on earth can you leave out the main character???

  4. I certainly agree with you about both HP and Twilight. My husband read the HP series and enjoyed them all and the movies too but I could not get into the books at all. Maybe because I don't enjoy fantasy as much as he does and I don't like getting mired down in too much detail either. I did love the movies though and, like you, I'm an action/special affects type of girl. LOVED the Twilight books but the movies - not so much. Waiting to see what they do with the last book. So much potential but I'm almost afraid to see how far off they'll be from the mark on it. It's a real bummer to me that they didn't do a better job with the Twilight movies because I'd love to share that series with my husband through the movies since he has no interest in reading those "mushy/romantic girlie books." LOL! Often times if one of us isn't interested in a book series and the other is, we can at least enjoy the movies together when they come out. I really hope they do Breaking Dawn some justice because I'd like to make a date night out of seeing it. Hope it won't be too much of a disappointment. I can't think of any other books turned movies that have disappointed me right now, although I know there have been many and I'll think of them all right after I post this comment. I would like to see a movie adaptation of the book "House of Leaves" but no idea how they'd do that justice either.

  5. The Princess Bride works fabulously on film. It's hard to read the book because (at least the versions I've found) is full of parenthetical statements by the guy who condensed it from the unabridge version.

    Everything I've read by Nicholas Sparks is tremendously better in movie-version. For some reason, his stories work so much better on film. They're gorgeous stories as screenplays but I literally fell asleep or skimmed through the books.

  6. @ G&G
    I've read a lot of S. King but not The Shining. Or seen the movie. But the movies/books I have seen/read had nothing in common with the storyline of the original novel.

    Why do the movie big wigs change good novels into caricatures of the originals? *head shake*

    @ Kristin
    Raise the Titanic comes to mind!

    @Mountain Mama
    Oh, boy. Ditto

    You are reading my mind. The Princess Bride stands out. I thought of it when writing this post. The movie was so good, I bought the book. ACK. Brother, was I disappointed.
    I haven't read anything by N. Sparks, but I know the name and rep. I must do some investigation. Any suggestions?

  7. I know the feeling. I found a copy in a library sale and I was thrilled...until I started reading it. I was like, "Wait...what?" Oh well. The movie is still great :)

    I'd suggest A Walk to Remember, The Notebook, and Dear John for your investigation.

  8. loved HP but a bit disappointed by the movies even tho I know there's no way they could do justice to the books. LOTR was perhaps the best adaptation from book to screen, or The Princess Bride, perhaps. The First twilight movie was good but I wasn't as impressed by the second. That said, I think it's extraordinarily difficult to adequately translate a book into film and near impossible to satisfy everyone.

  9. The Series of Unfortunate Events book did not transition well. But that could be because they tried to cram two or three books into one movie. And example of a STERLING book and movie series that sparkled is The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. I don't think anything will ever top them in special effects quality and characterization.

  10. @ Caitlin
    Thanks for the suggestions. I will fire up the Kindle.
    @marcy & Anita
    I have a theory. I read LOTR forty years ago and had an image of what the screen version should look like. But nothing comes close to the majesty of the books.
    Maybe it depends on what we imagine first; the book or the movie.
    But...no. I read the HP books first, AND THEN saw the movies. *groan* another theory is shot to hell.


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