Thursday, September 02, 2010

Booking Through Thursday: Film to Paper?

This week's Booking Through Thursday topic is about movies made from books: Even though it’s usually a mistake (grin) … do movies made out of books make you want to read the original?

To start with, I should say that, ideally, I prefer to read the book first, and then see the film. But since conditions are very rarely ideal, I do usually end up seeing the film adaptations before I read the book (or, even more frequently, instead of reading the book).

Sometimes seeing the movie first will do just the opposite – convince me that the book really isn't something I want to spend any time on. I suppose that's unfair – most film adaptations leave much or most of the original book far behind. But the movies do sometimes have that effect.

This is an interesting question for me because I've been thinking a lot about books-into-movies this week, since seeing the DVD of Roman Polanski's latest film, The Ghost Writer. It's really a great work that didn't get enough attention because of the unfortunate personal drama that was swirling around Polanski at the time he was making it. It's an adaptation of Robert Harris' political thriller, The Ghost, and Polanski worked closely with Harris on the screenplay. And after seeing the film and a short documentary about the making of the film, now I really want to read the novel. (Polanski's film The Ninth Gate, an adaptation of Arturo PĂ©rez-Reverte's novel The Club Dumas had that same effect – for which I'll be forever grateful.)

So I guess my answer to the question would be: sometimes but not always. Which seems to be my answer to most of these BTT questions. Well, decisiveness is so over-rated, don't you think?

And what about you? Do movies ever influence your reading? (Please feel free to leave me a link to your BTT post in a comment here.)


  1. I really like to read the book first, especially if I know it will be made into a movie.

  2. For period dramas, I do read the books afterwards.

    Here is my BTT: Film to Books post!

  3. I really want to read The Ghost, too - and see the movie.

  4. I usually try to read the book first, if I'm aware of it. But often it's not till after seeing the movie that I discover it was based on a book.

  5. Joy, I'm with you. Sometimes I read a book because I've seen the movie. Sometimes I want to read the book before I see the movie. And then there are the times that either the book or the movie has turned me off of viewing/reading any further....

    Also:Please stop by my blog and pick up your Elmer's Virtual Bag to help Adopt A Classroom. I checked out the link and it looks legit.

  6. I've found that if I'm going to see the movie and read the book close together, I do better if I see the movie first. If I've just read the book and then I see the movie, I nitpick the movie and don't enjoy it.

  7. Sometimes for me, too. Sometimes a movie will draw my attention to a book I didn't know about, or know much about, and intrigue me enough to want to read it.


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