Literary Quote of the Month

"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies," said Jojen. "The man who never reads lives only one." - George R.R. Martin, A Dance With Dragons

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Sunday Salon... Books to Movies

Welcome to The Sunday Salon! Relax, pull up a chair and grab a cup of joe! It's the day of the week over 500 book bloggers and readers sit down to enjoy each other's company and chat about books!

Last week, while I was vacationing, I got a chance to see The Girl Who Played With Fire, which is the movie based on the book by the same name by Stieg Larsson. I usually like to read the book before I see a movie based on a book, but in this case I hadn't quite finished reading it,
and being an "art house" movie I knew it wasn't going to wait for me! The movie was great! (So was The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo!) And this time seeing the movie first has not diminished my enjoyment of the book at all. The book has plenty of material not included in the movie. (wish I could tell you, but then I would be spoiling it on both accounts!) I do recall reading The Firm by John Grisham after the fact and not enjoying reading it because it seemed as though I was reading word for word what was on the big screen. That convinced me that if I wanted to read a book that was coming out in the movies that I should read the book first. Sometimes knowing what happens in the book will leave you a bit surprised in the movie theater because things are changed, such as when I went to see Jurassic Park (Michael Crichton) and they had changed the ending. Reading the book and getting to know the characters and THEN seeing the movie adapted from the book should be a treat. The big screen is suppose to touch you differently than the written word, what do you think?

All this got me to thinking about upcoming Books to Movies! What should we be reading now so that we'll be ready for the buttered popcorn and Junior mints? (BTW, a friend gave me a copy of Life's Little Instruction Book by H. Jackson Brown, Jr. and one of the instructions was to add Junior Mints to your popcorn and I have done it ever since) Here are some books coming to a theater near you...

Little Bee by Chris Cleave... I loved this book when I read it last year! And I'm really looking forward to seeing the movie. The book should lend itself well to an adaptation. Here's what Publisher Weekly wrote... "A violent incident on a Nigerian beach has tragic echoes in posh London in Cleave's beautifully staged if haphazardly plotted second novel. British couple Andrew O'Rourke and his wife, Sarah, are on vacation when they come across two sisters, Little Bee and Nkiruka, on the run from the killers who have massacred everyone else in their village—and what happens there with this unlikely encounter, is the mystery that propels the novel. Two years later, Little Bee, in possession of Andrew's license, shows up at Sarah's house..."Filming should begin in early 2011, in the meantime, you should have time to read this ahead of time! Here's my Review! *P.S. This Book is Kindle Ready!

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro... Kazuo Ishiguro is a very popular Japanese author who has won quite a few awards for his writing, including the Booker Prize. Here's what Never Let Me Go is about... A thirty-one-year-old woman named Kathy narrates this haunting tale, drawing the reader gradually into her recollections of her life at Hailsham, the idyllic boarding school where she grew up. She and her best friends, Ruth and Tommy, were encouraged by their teachers to create works of art from an early age, to collect cherished objects, and to take good care of their health. There are no parents in their world, only a handful of teachers, some of whom seem to be deeply troubled by their position at the school. Kathy’s friend Ruth is bossy and manipulative, while Kathy herself is gentle and self-contained. Both are drawn to Tommy, a boy given to explosive fits of temper. What is revealed, as Kathy’s reminiscences accumulate, is a life of preparation for a special role in a world that has begun to exploit the medical possibilities of genetic technology. This Sci-Fi offering is slated to be released Sept. of this year. *P.S. This Book is Kindle Ready! (at the bargain price of $8.69!)

Guardians of Ga'Hoole: The Capture by Kathryn Lasky... This is something for the kids (of course us adults should enjoy it too!) It will be animated and 3D! Kathryn Lasky is well known for her childrens fantasy books. Her Guardians of Ga'Hoole series is 15 books so far, geared towards readers between the ages of 9 - 12, with Warner Bros. adapting the first book in the series, The Capture, for this movie. Here's what Booklist writes about The Capture, "Soren, a barn owl still weeks away from fledging, is knocked from his otherwise loving family's nest by his nasty older brother. He is swooped up from the forest floor by a pair of nefarious owls who hold him--along with many other owlets of diverse species--captive in a kind of owl social reformatory. Lasky portrays an owl world that has more in common with George Orwell than with Brian Jacques, offering readers big questions about human social psychology and politics along with real owl science. Broad themes related to the nature of personal choice, the need for fellowship based on love and trust, and sharing knowledge with one's peers are presented compellingly and with swift grafting to the animal adventure story. Developmentally linked celebrations (such as "First Fur" and "First Meat"), methods devised for brain-washing (including the regimental marching of sleepy owls by moonlight), and the diverse landscapes in which owls makes their homes come to life here as Soren rebels against his captors, makes a friend, and executes the first stage of his planned liberation and family reconciliation." This movie is scheduled for a September release. *P.S. This Book is Kindle Ready! (at the bargain price of $4.79!)

And speaking of books to movies, there's a great book called Adaptations by Stephanie Harrison that has 35 of the short stories that some older big screen movies were adapted from. You can read the short story that inspired Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window, or the stories that inspired Memento, 2001: A Space Odessey, Minority Report and All About Eve.

So, what movies have you seen that you enjoyed both as a book and a movie? Which do you prefer movie first or book first? OR does seeing a movie that was based on a book, make you want to read the book if it was really good? Share what you think right here!

And wrapping up the week in the Books to Movies department, are you watching STARZ this week? The movie adaptation of Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett started this week, and will be running the next 6 weeks on Friday nights on STARZ premium cable channel! If you're a fan of Pillars of the Earth, you will want to watch it. If you've missed the first episode, I'm sure they will be replaying it, because this is a big event, with lush sets and headline actors. First episode gets a thumbs up from me. Did you see it? What did you think?

Would you rather listen to instead of watch your favorite book? If you missed it, I have a giveaway still going on until August 14th for Private by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro! Click on the link to read the details! And next week, I'll have a review and giveaway for the audiobook of Backseat Saints by Joshlyn Jackson, and if you enjoy southern fiction, this girl from Alabama will charm you! And speaking of giveaways, there's still time to enter the giveaway for a bit of reading romance during the time of Waterloo with Eileen Dreyer's Barely A Lady. Giveaway ends July 27th, follow this link for the details.

Hope you found something that piqued your love of reading this week! Happy reading... Suzanne


(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

Glad to get your rave recommendations on the books by Steig Larsen..... movies. I have not read the books yet but am more likely to see the movies anyways based of all the good things I've been hearing. Thanks Suzanne.

PaulGuy said...

With the Larsen books I've experienced it both ways. I saw "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" movie before reading the book and really enjoyed the movie. Later when I read the book having seen the movie in no way detracted from my enjoyment of the book. When "The Girl Who Played With Fire" came to the movies I had already read the book. In that case I didn't enjoy the movie as much. I was constantly distracted by all the omissions and changes (which are of course necessary) from the book. It was a good movie but I probably would have enjoyed it more before reading. Though the central mystery of the story would have been spoiled.

One of my favorite transformations from page to screen is Stephen King's "The Dead Zone". I had really enjoyed that book and was really amazed at what a great job they did making it come to life on the big screen. Starring a very young Christopher Walken it's a great movie. If you have never seen it get it! An oldie but goodie.

And to your last question yes! I resisted reading the Harry Potter books (kids books) but did go to see each movie as they came out. When we got to "The Goblet of Fire" and the scene where Voldemort is re-born ("kill the spare!") I decided this series was turning into something much more than I originally thought. I started reading the books one after the other. They were amazing. All due to me seeing the movies.

Helen Ginger said...

Interesting list of books to movies. I haven't read any of the books. Never Let Me Go drew me in, though. I'll either look for the book or watch the movie, I suspect.

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

Don't forget Eat, Pray, Love...coming to a theater near you very soon.

carla said...

I saw The Horse Whisperer after I had read the book. I kept thinking "is that all? where's the rest of the story?" And they changed the ending of it also.

Suzanne Yester said...

HI Paulguy,
Wow, lots of books to movies in your life! I'm glad that you were encouraged to read the Harry Potter books after seeing the movies, because they were awesome!

Hi Helen,
Never Let Me Go got a lot of great buzz. I also was told that it was similar to THE UNIT, but that The Unit was better. You may want to also put that one down for your TBR list is dystopian fiction interests you. The Unit should be made into a movie! One of my favorite books!

Hi Readerbuzz!
Thanks for reminding me about Eat, Pray, Love! I read that book when it first came out and enjoyed it too!

Suzanne Yester said...

Hi Carla!
I hate when they change the ending! They toyed around with The Reader that way too, and I was glad that I read the book first. You can almost accept that they change things a bit in a movie, because they have to adapt it for a different media, but sometimes changing the ending alters the whole story.

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