Books or Movies?

My husband and I recently went to see “Heaven Is for Real” and were extremely pleased with it. We recommended it to our son and his wife, and they too went to see it, calling us afterward to thank us for the recommendation because they enjoyed it thoroughly.
As a writer, I generally tend to be disappointed with movies if I’ve already read the book, and to be honest I don’t go to see many movies at all (unless they are highly recommended by people I know). I didn’t read this particular book about heaven, though I had a general idea what it was about. I can’t help but wonder if I would have had a different reaction to the movie if I’d read the book first.
Over the years, several of my own novels have been optioned for movies. The first time that happened, I got so excited and couldn’t wait to tell everyone. More experienced authors who’d “been there-done that” said things like “That’s nice” or “I hope it works out for you.” Now I understand. To date, none of those optioned books have made it to the big screen, though one continues to move through the process and I’m cautiously hopeful.
So where do you, as a reader, stand on this issue? If a book you’ve read and loved is turned into a movie, does that make you want to run out and see it at the theater? If so, what has been your general reaction? Were you disappointed or satisfied? Have you ever come away thinking the movie was better than the book? I’d love to get your feedback, as I imagine many other authors would as well.

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About alandkathi66
I'm a wife, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother, married to my junior/senior high school sweetheart, Al. I am the author of 40 books, with several more in process. I enjoy speaking and teaching at writers' conferences and women's events, and I am passionate about supporting the persecuted Church and fighting human trafficking. I also serve as Senior Vice President of Acquisitions for Elk Lake Publishing. My most recent releases are The Singing Quilt (March 2014); The 40-Day Devotional Challenge (January 2014); The Doctor's Christmas Quilt (October 2013).

3 Responses to Books or Movies?

  1. imabrassy1 says:

    I usually see a movie first before I read the book if I want to enjoy the movie. If I have read the book I am disappointed in the movie. Only once or twice has the movie been better. Most though my imagination was better than the movie and the book always has more stuff in it that gets left out.

  2. Maureen Lang says:

    I belong to a book club and several of the books we’ve read have been made into movies. Here are a few that I recall and my opinion of the movie version:

    The Help – We all thought the movie version was true to the book and liked both book and movie.

    The Hunger Games & Catching Fire – Although true to the book, the writing was so tight and strong in both books it was hard to like the movies as much, particularly since the violence wasn’t as deeply justified in the movie as it was in the book (at least the first one). Generally, we liked the second movie better than the first.

    The Book Thief – We all loved the book, and the movie was great although it didn’t stick absolutely to the book. So in this case the book was better, and the movie was good for different reasons.

    Wuthering Heights – A few of us really didn’t like the book much at all, including me. We simply did not like the characters. However the movie, at least the version I saw, was a little more enjoyable but mostly because of the visuals, era and aura.

    Life of Pi – enjoyed both! But again, the writing was so stellar it was hard not to enjoy the book a tad more.

    The last two that I can think of now are especially interesting to me as an author because I really liked the movies but didn’t like the book – such a surprise, since it’s more often the other way around!

    The Elegance of the Hedgehog – The book was very hard to get into and the movie condensed the theme and offered far better focus than the book version.

    Chocolat – This story as a movie is actually one of my favorites, but the book version was so bad, the characters so unsympathetic, I was shocked at the difference (I saw the movie long before reading the book). Especially surprising was the fact that when this author wrote a sequel, she did it as if the movie version (not her own book) was how the story began, which was significantly different from the book. Even she recognized the revisions for the movie were superior!

  3. juliearduini says:

    I read that book, but haven’t seen the movie. I’ve heard mixed from those that read it first. I just finished reading Tricia Goyer’s novelization of the movie, Moms’ Night Out. If the movie is half as funny as the book, everyone is in for a treat.

    Overall, I tend to just read. I don’t go to movies a lot, and I like my imagination more than most of what Hollywood comes up with. :)

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