Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Movies or Books?

I don't know about any of you, but when I hear about a book I really love being adapted into a movie...I can't help but grimace.   I don't like my favourite books being crammed into a two hour whirlwind where we can't understand the motives behind the characters action, or who they even are.  Books allow for beautiful descriptions and lets the reader get inside their minds.  You just don't get that with movies.  Saying that - there also things you can do with movies that you can't do with books.  So who wins?  What's better - the book or the movie?  Is there any clear winner?

If I have really enjoyed a book, chances are I'm not going to enjoy the movie as much.  As any avid reader or writer will tell you, the characters become real for you.  You hear their voice in your head, you see their smiles and secret looks - you know them.  The actor that plays said character is never what you expect.  For an example I will use The Time Travellers Wife.  Eric Bana,  whilst insanely gorgeous, just wasn't Henry for me.  He was too...I don't know, good-looking for me.  I always imagined Henry to be on the skinny side and rough round the edges.  But saying that, I liked the movie.  Why?  In my mind  I made them two completely different things.  If I can separate the two from each other, I can appreciate each on their own.  If I stop comparing every little thing, I enjoyed the experience much more.

Having said that, sometimes the movie really nails the tone of the book.  The characters are perfectly casted, the plot runs smoothly and no major developments are left out.  Yesterday I finished reading The Boy in the Stripped Pyjamas.  I saw the movie awhile ago, and perhaps because I saw it first, I really enjoyed it.  But more than that, I thought it was a great adaptation of the book.  Rupert Friend who played Lt. Kotler, in my opinion, did an excellent job with the part and was able to put across the desperation to please his superior and disgusting hatred in a way that really did the book justice.

So what do you guys prefer?  The movies or the books?  How about both?  Or is the general opinion a sharp hiss when the word 'adaptation' is mentioned?


Saturday, 26 December 2009

My Favourite Shelf

In my bookcase, I have a favourite shelf dedicated to books I have still to read.  I love it because it holds so many many possibilities.  I love books the way I love music and seriously don't understand people who only read within one genre.  The awesome thing about books is it takes you to another world.  You delve into someone else's mind and sympathise with someone else's problems and fall in love with the guy you would so never meet in the real world.

I read a little bit of everything.  Okay...probably not.  My husband is a computer nerd and has loads of books on Ruby Rails (whatever the hell that is) but I do like a varied selection of books.  I adore historical books, whether they are true accounts or novels, I just can't get enough - especially if they are about strong female icons.  Helen of Troy and The Memoirs of Cleopatra by Margaret George are probably my all time favourites.  But I also young adult, romance, literary fiction and best of all, real gory horror or crime books.  Jeffrey Deaver and Stephen King are like gods to me.  I prefer King's earlier work and haven't gotten round to reading a lot of his recent stuff.  Gerald's Game, Misery and Pet Sematary  - wow.  I once did a book report in high school on Pet Sematary.  I failed for spelling the title wrong.  I dumped the book on teacher's desk the next day.  Ass.

So, back to my favourite shelf.   Despite being a constant reader and always having a book on the go...the numbers never seem to dwindle.  Especially with Christmas, the numbers seem to have doubled.  I'll never stop buying books, it's my heroin after all and I can't live without them. And it isn't just recent books I still have to read.  I love vintage classics and have a stack of old school stuff I've been meaning to get around to - like Herman Wouk - I read Marjorie Moringstar and wanted to gobble up everything else he has written.

Will I ever get through them all?  Will I ever run out?  God, I hope  not.

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