Okay, usually the book is better… this isn’t a secret. This list would go on forever if I were to list all of them. However, there are a few movies I’ve seen that I LOVED, yet the book was just that much better. Here’s my Top 5. If you’ve seen the movie and liked it, you should try giving these books a shot.
1. Gone With the Wind – Margret Mitchell
This is my favorite movie. I love everything about it. The story is heart wrenching, the cinematography is beautiful, and the acting is spot on. The book, however, is head-and-shoulders above the movie (which is saying something). Margret Mitchell doesn’t just introduce you to characters, places and history, she draws you in, and makes you feel like YOU are experiencing the Civil War, the Reconstruction and the destruction of the South.
SPOILERS – If you only watch the movie you miss: the fact that Scarlett has a child with each of her husbands; a great deal of the history (the book goes in depth to many historical topics that the book only brushes on); the actual strength of Melanie (who is portrayed in the movie to be a rather weak, but loveable, character).
2. Harry Potter – J.K. Rowling
Don’t get me wrong – I have greatly enjoyed the Harry Potter movies, but the books are SO MUCH BETTER. These books were my “gateway books” – that is, they showed me how to love to read! While they may seem juvenile, they can be enjoyed by all audiences, and contain a hefty amount of mythological references. If you’ve only seen the movies (and never read the books) you’re missing out on a whole magical world, and characters you will love. Adults: get over your “grown up” attitude, and FINALLY read these books!
SPOILERS – If you only watch the movie you miss: the story of Neville Longbottom; Nearly Headless Nick’s Deathday Party; a lot of Dursley plot line; Dumbledore’s past; and so much more.
3. The Hobbit – JRR Tolkein
I hate to hate on Peter Jackson (cause his Lord of the Rings adaptation was A+), but I was kind of disappointed in The Hobbit. I really enjoyed the thrill ride (of the first) and am looking forward to the next installment, but the book didn’t need all the changes the film gave it. Again, this might be considered a “children’s book,” but it has a lot to offer adults as well. Anyone who loves the world of Tolkein (LOTR, or the Hobbit or otherwise), should pick up The Hobbit. It’s only just over 300 pages long and can be a quick read!
SPOILERS – If you only watch the movie you miss: … the fact that Jackson created some characters and plot to turn a 300 page book into three movies.
4. The Road – Cormac McCarthy
This movie is great – and it sticks to the plot line of McCarthy’s book perfectly. But still, the book was better (sorry, Viggo. I still love you!). McCarthy’s words are… breathtaking. It’s like reading poetry. Post-apocalyptic poetry, but poetry all the same. The story is, in general, actually very slow – it’s about a man and his son struggling to survive in a post-apocalyptic world, making their way along the road, trying to get to the coast (essentially because they have nothing better to do). McCarthy’s storytelling, however, tugs on your heartstrings and makes you fall in love with this book.
SPOILERS – If you only watch the movie you miss: not much in plot line, but the stunning storytelling should not be missed.
5. The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins
Listen … the movie is crap (at least the first installment is, the second looks much more promising). I enjoyed it simply because I read the book, so I had more insight into the plot. The problem is, the book takes place mainly in Katniss (the main character)’s head. When she’s thrust into the arena to kill her fellow teenagers (you’re probably extremely confused if you haven’t seen the movie), there’s very little dialogue, and most of the story telling is told through her musings. This is hard to translate into a movie. With the book, however, you get much more insight into the characters and the history of Panem (the post-apocalyptic take on America). Yea, yea, yea – they’re mainstream and ::shudder:: young adult novels (technically), but personally I think they’re more appropriate for an adult audience (if I can get a unit of grown US Marines to read and enjoy them, trust me, they’re good!). I’m looking forward to the second movie, which includes MUCH MORE dialogue, action and drama.
SPOILERS – If you only watched the movie you miss: Madge; a background of Panem and the Games that makes you understand what the hell is actually going on; about 2/3 of the character development for our heroine; most likely the second movie (since the first movie gave you NO encouragement to see the second)
What about you? What movies did you enjoy, but found yourself thinking it paled in comparison to the book?