Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Book or Movie?

The internet has spoken: the book is almost always better than the 
'Vocativ analyzed Goodreads and IMDb ratings for 800 books and their 
movie adaptations ranging from "Harry Potter" to "Hannibal" and 
discovered that the book had a higher rating 74 percent of the time. In 
fact, books are considered "much better" on our scale than their movie 
adaptations in 51.8 percent of cases.'

I recently watched "The Martian", and I agree that the book is much 
better than the movie. While I enjoyed the movie, time constraints meant 
a lot of the story had to be left out. For me, the major attraction of 
the book was all the geeking out on chemistry, botany, physics and 
orbital mechanics. The rescue story was a given. The movie did geek out 
at times, but I accept that the general public would prefer more visual 
effects. Another issue with movies is the baggage associated with major 
stars. Personally, I don't have a problem with Matt Damon playing the 
lead character. But when reading the book, I would not have had him in 
mind. So, should you read the book or watch the movie? I'm going to make 
an exception in this case and only recommend the book to readers who 
like plenty of scientific details and the process of problem solving. 
For everyone else, the movie is good enough.

For another movie, "Star Wars: The Force Awakens", I saw the movie first 
and read the novelisation later. I would rate the movie much higher than 
the book. In such cases, where the movie is always intended to be the 
primary and canonical medium for a story, you would hope that the movie 
is better. If a novelisation turns out better, then the movie has 
clearly been botched. This is especially true if the director was also 
involved in writing the original screenplay. Knowing this, why would 
anyone bother reading the novelisation? In my case, as a long-time Star 
Wars tragic, I wanted to get additional background information, which 
the book successfully delivered.

Related Links:
* "6 Reasons The Book Is (Almost Always) Better Than The Movie"
* Love Reading: "Books Vs Films" infographic