Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Read it or watch it?

Song of the Day: Whatever (Butthole Surfers) you tube link

I know, I know. The book is always better than the movie. Got it.

But sometimes, it's way easier to spend 2-3 hours watching the movie instead of 3 months (sometimes more, sometimes less) to read the books.

clearly from Amazon
This is my latest conundrum with Game of Thrones. It's a great read, really. I'm enjoying the plot lines and the author does a great job of keeping the action going and forcing me to read another chapter. And another. And maybe just one more before I go to bed.

However, my poor attention span! I'm approx 130 pages into a 640 page book. And that's only the first book. There are four more after this (4? 5?) to read. Alas, I will finish. Just maybe not by the end of the summer.

As you all have likely heard, HBO just wrapped up the first season of their adaptation for Game of Thrones. I kinda want to watch it. I want to see each episode after I read the appropriate section so I can have a visual. I like to see what the creative teams see when they set the text to film. I enjoyed the hell out of the entire Lord of the Rings movies because it made something that lived only in my head come to life before me. And don't get me started on the Harry Potter books and movies and how much I loved everything about the world JK Rowling created--both in film and on paper.

If only I could find a GoT episode guide that lined up with the chapters in the book... now THAT would be handy. Because I don't want spoilers, but I really want to see Sean Bean. :)

But sometimes, the movie adaptation can be too much. As posted over on the First Novels Club blog yesterday (hey gals, nice background!), two short videos were released for the upcoming Hunger Games movie. I devoured the books earlier this year, yet as I watched the film clips, I found myself looking away, disturbed. Perhaps it was seeing the violence in all the gore it was intended versus the watered down version my brain created (I don't do gore very well). Or maybe it was because my mental image of the Hunger Games wasn't so real and dark. I'm not sure. But I like the Hunger Games: TL Conway Mental Version better right now.

How about you? Any film adaptations you prefer not to watch so as not to sully the book's setting in your mind? Or have you seen a book turned to film that helped you visualize the book better?


  1. Both the LOTR movies and Prince Caspian and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader were huge disappointments for me. I thought they did a great job with The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, but then completely dropped the ball with the next two. LOTR was an abomination. I'll be boycotting The Hobbit.

  2. @Sarah--REALLY? I love it! Tell me why you hated LOTR so much, if you don't mind. Yeah, I enjoyed the first Narnia movie, but the 2nd was annoying and I didn't bother with the 3rd. Sounds like a good decision!

  3. I have to qualify this statement by saying #1 that I don't really think the Twilight books are all that great to begin with. Okay with that out of the way, the first adaptation was horrible! The second was much better and then the third one was pretty spot on. So for the most part, they have gotten better at helping me visualize the story as they have gone on. I know it might put me in a bad light, but I'll also admit that I haven't ever read the LOTR...although I definitely PLAN on doing it soon! However, the movies were awesome, so if the books are as good as the movies, then I'll be a happy camper!

    I'm super excited about The Hunger Games movies...absolutely LOVED the books and I'm excited to see it visually. It will be interesting to see if it is similar to the other videos posted at your link...I tend to think that they will do a good job portraying the violence in a meaningful way, similar to LOTR. Lots of violence in there, but it never felt like it was over the top.

    Finally, I will say that I've been reading Game of Thrones (I'm on #4 in the series of 5 that are currently out) and I definitely plan on watching it when it is released on DVD...even if just for Sean Bean in the beginning! LOL

    Okay, I lied - here's my final comment. There is one other book to movie adaptation that I am SUPER excited about that is in production now: The Dark Tower Series by Stephen King that has Ron Howard directing and stars Javier Bardem. VERY excited!

    I guess what it comes down to is I always like to try both versions, but prefer book first and then movie.

  4. Watch them, watch them, watch them!

    I would absolutely make that guide for you, if need be, because I love most of the adaptation and don't really need an excuse to rewatch and reread A Game of Thrones. Especially since I *just* finished A Dance with Dragons.

  5. i disagree with Claudie. I think you need to read the book first with GOT. There are some terrible things that happen to some main characters, and though it's handled very well in the show, you miss some of the connection with these characters if you haven't read the books. At least, that's the conclusion my family came to. Three of us had read the book first and two hadn't.

  6. I agree with Sarah's comments. Definitely watch the show...but after you read the first book. :)


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