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Books you've read based on the movies?

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  • Books you've read based on the movies?

    The other day I started reading, for the first time ever, The Lord of the Rings. Many times I have been curious about it but never pulled the trigger. I've read several other epic fantasies, but never the "big one". Then I started wondering how many people, young and old alike, may have been encouraged to read the story either directly because they loved the movies or indirectly through the publicity and attention the movies brought to the books.

    While it's generally accepted that "the book is always better than the movie", I can't knock those films based on books precisely for this reason: they may inspire some kid (or anyone for that matter) to want to read the book.

    Reading The Lord of the Rings in my case has nothing to do with the films. But I thought it an interesting notion nonetheless. In fact, it was after thoroughly enjoying other films that I did in fact go and read the books.

    What books have you read AFTER seeing the movie? Was it worth your time?

    By the way, Battlefield Earth is a fun read. Don't let the movie dissuade you from the book if you like Sci-Fi. (That was quite random)

  • #2
    Frankenstein. Great book! I even re-read it after seeing a short Frankenstein show at a science center.

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    • #3
      "Summer of '42"-lived on an island once.
      "Friends of Eddie Coyle"- a scene was in a former work locale.

      Not exactly Tolkien, you can go through either novel in -90mins.

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      • #4
        Didn't answer my own question. "The Count of Monte Cristo" and "Interview With the Vampire", the latter leading me to read all of Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles.

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        • #5
          Saw One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and then read the book. Awesome movie. Awesomer book! Same for Deliverance!

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          • #6
            Based Backwards

            "The Godfather" by Mario Puzo. Better than the film, if one can imagine that. Amazing character development.

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            • #7
              Green Eggs and Ham

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              • #8
                A few thoughts on the book vs movie aspect:

                1. There are very many movies based on books (including most Hitchcook
                works) were we are not always aware of the fact. I suspect that many of
                these movies are, in fact, better than the book.

                2. In those cases where we are aware of the book, it is usually because the
                book is an outlier. Statistically speaking, it can be hard for the film to
                reach the same quality. (By analogy, whose son is more likely to outperform
                the father in the 100m? Bolt's or mine?)

                3. The characters of the respective medium is so different that what makes
                a certain book great is not always translateable. Further, movies
                have to make a lot of compromises due to time constraints.

                4. Expectations based on reading the book that are not met can lead to a
                negative image of the movie, even if there is no quality difference.
                Consider the movie makers removing your favorite scene from the book,
                merging two characters, using an actor that does not match your inner image
                of a character, and similar. (Similarly, I strongly believe that the
                relative lack of popularity of the second Star-Wars trilogy is not based on
                its quality, but on it simply being ``different'' from the first, which
                lead to fans being disappointed.)

                5. Many movies are simple crappy...

                Of course, these points apply m.m. in the other direction too.

                As for my own experiences:
                I do not recall it ever happening by design (although I may co-incidentally
                have seen movies of the Monte Christo or Three Musketeers type before I
                read the corresponding book.)

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                • #9
                  conan the barbarian

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                  • #10
                    I recently read No Country For Old Men after seeing the movie, it was excellent. Perhaps the most surprising was reading Silence of the Lambs after seeing the movie multiple times. It is a brilliant novel.

                    In both cases the books were engrossing and knowing what was going to happen didn't impact my enjoyment of them in the slightest.

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                    • #11
                      Frankenstein. Great book! I even re-read it after seeing a short Frankenstein show at a science center.
                      Absolutely! The Monster is actually completely different....you end up on his side in the book.

                      Dracula - after watching the Keanu/Oldham one.

                      A couple of the Stephen King ones........Salem's Lot = much better book.

                      War Of The Worlds - great Wells' story.

                      The Invisible Man

                      Others I'm sure....but these come to mind.
                      You there, on the motorbike! Sell me one of your melons!

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                      • #12
                        The Cider House Rules

                        Planning to buy the book for V for Vendetta

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                        • #13
                          That’s funny – I read Lord of the Rings as a kid (some phase we were all going through) and as an adult I had less than zero interest in seeing the movies – that phase had long since passed.

                          As for the question, sometimes I read the book first, sometimes I watch the movie first. Almost always I like the book more, because of the detail you can get in the long format that movies just do not allow, but that does not mean I don’t like the movies – I almost always do.

                          Some I cannot remember which I read/saw first (Godfather, All The President’s Men – both great in both formats).

                          Off the top, movies I watched before reading the books include:
                          • Dracula[/*:m:1xymv3km]
                          • Frankenstein[/*:m:1xymv3km]
                          • Silence of the Lambs[/*:m:1xymv3km]
                          • The Three Musketeers [/*:m:1xymv3km]
                          • Planet of the Apes[/*:m:1xymv3km]
                          • The Bridge on the River Kwai[/*:m:1xymv3km]
                          • I, Claudius (ok, small screen)[/*:m:1xymv3km]
                          • Schindler’s List[/*:m:1xymv3km]
                          • Cuckoo’s Nest[/*:m:1xymv3km]
                          • To Kill a Mockingbird[/*:m:1xymv3km]
                          • A Clockwork Orange[/*:m:1xymv3km]
                          • Patton[/*:m:1xymv3km]
                          • Nicholas & Alexandria[/*:m:1xymv3km]
                          • 2001: A Space Odyssey (somewhat obviously)[/*:m:1xymv3km]
                          • The Maltese Falcon (the movie was better)[/*:m:1xymv3km]
                          • The Manchurian Candidate (the movie was definitely better)[/*:m:1xymv3km]
                          • Ben Hur (this is kind of cheating – I attempted to read the book but did not even get close to finishing it. It was horrible, totally unreadable, whereas the movie is one of my all-time favorites.)[/*:m:1xymv3km]
                          • All the King’s Men (I had to force myself to get through that book, thanks to Robert Penn Warren’s take-forever-to-get-to-the-point writing style – he must have been an inspiration to Neal Stephenson. )[/*:m:1xymv3km]

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by marknhj
                            I recently read No Country For Old Men after seeing the movie.
                            I am currently reading The Road by the same author. It's brilliant but very depressing. It is slated to be made into a movie next year. It'll be up there with Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan as being the must-see that you cannot-bear-to-watch!

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                            • #15
                              The Unbearable Lightness of Being

                              I actually liked the movie better, but there was much time between movie and book. Maybe the visual of Lena Olin in the bowler (I think it was a bowler) hat was better than the description in the book. The time line in the book was different too, which is what I think changed some of the emotions for me.

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