Welcome! It’s the first-Friday-of-the-month and time for A Drift of Quills! Patricia and I are talking about movies made from books we love—which did we like better and why?

A Drift of Quills: Writerly thoughts by writerly folks

Yanno… I don’t often watch movies made from books I’ve read. In my opinion, something seems to get lost in the translation. I was just talking about this in the first installment of A Drift of Quills discusses movies made from books we love—which did we like better and why?Geeking Out on Steampunk, Fantasy, and Sci-Fi with Epic Authors with fellow authors Leeland Artra, Wendy Van Camp, and H.M. Clarke. Movies can’t get into the characters’ heads, and books can’t perfectly show the action. Movies take away from my imagination: they put fully formed characters and settings in the place of my own visualization. However … Wendy pointed out that books, movies, and radio plays each have a certain feel. “You get a strength from each medium.” Each version is a little different and adds layers of interest.

I agree.

And so, from my limited exposure to “movies made from books,” I’ve selected The Princess Bride, by William Goldman. I’ve chosen this one because my experience with it was so funny to me. My brother-in-law loaned the book to me, telling me I simply had to read, I’d love it, yada yada yada. It was a good recommendation. I read it. I disliked it. A lot.

Then I was forced to watch the movie at a family gathering.

And you know what? It was great. It made me laugh.


The way it looked when I read it…

So I went back and read the book again, and I loved it. Go figger. The movie was wonderfully true to the characters. The same clever sense humor prevailed. True, the movie could not possibly hold all of the brilliant storytelling of the book. It can capture only a hint of the superb prose, but it was a movie. (See comments above!) It is my favorite book-to-movie adaptation.

The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, the Narnia books, the Harry Potter books, Hunger Games, The Bourne Identity (See? I DO read some non-spec-fic books!), Timeline — were all better in book form, but I will say that I enjoyed the movies, too. I have to compartmentalize, though. In my brain it’s like they’re completely different tales.

On the positive side, consuming them in multiple formats inspires me to really think about the stories. And that’s a good thing!

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Author of Oathtaker
Patricia’s website

In my experience, people seem to have strong feelings about whether books should be turned into movies.  Some can’t wait for the film while others claim the movie version of a story ruins the written one. For my part, as much as I love a good read, I also rather enjoy stories that take form in pictures and sound.  So, while I agree that often when a truly good written story is turned into a motion picture, things are lost, there are exceptions.

… (Read more!)

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What’s your favorite book-to-movie adaptation?
Which one do you loathe the most? Share below!