Books to TV/Movie

I feel it has been a while since we have had a substance-y sort of post. Part of this is due to Real Life sneaking up on me and Alz with a vengeance, but we will persevere! Maybe!

In the mean time, please bear with us and our short and/or random posts, which brings me to today's topic.


I bring this topic up because I'm trying out HBO's TV series adaptation of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Fire and Ice series, Game of Thrones. There's enough intrigue to keep me interested, and it's prompted me to want to check out the books (I've heard of the series before but never really knew what it was about).

This is a bit of a reverse in that usually, people talk about how they've read a book/book series and how they're excited to see the adaptation. In my case, there's been quite a few adaptations recently that have piqued my interest in the book(s).

I don't actually have anything insightful to say here, except that I think I generally enjoy TV/movie adaptations. It's fun to see worlds and characters really come alive, so to speak, and I think with the crazy advances we've had in movie-magic technology, it can be a real treat to see works of fantasy and sci-fi especially translated to the screen.

Of course, the ones I can immediately think of are the good ones, and we all know there are bad book adaptations. Oh goodness, how we know.

It's tough, after all, to satisfy everyone when book worlds and characters are so near and dear to their fans. And as anyone who has had to summarize a story knows, it's REALLY HARD to condense plots and characters and events and still get the same sort of punch originally delivered in the book.

It also matters how the people translating the book to other media view/treat the original work. I think when the people doing the adaptation have respect and love for the source text and aren't thinking about it in terms of the money-making (franchising) side, it shows through in the translation.

There's also that in-between place where the show/movie is really different from the book, but is somehow still good - just in a different way. Usually, it's because it still captures the spirit of the novel. I have a few of those on my list.

These are my somewhat random thoughts on the subject.

Here's what I'd like to ask you:

What do you think about book-to-whatever adaptations?

What are your favorite / least favorite show or film adaptations of books? Have any recommendations for me?

Anyone else watching Game of Thrones? If you've read the books, how does it compare so far?

See you all Friday either for Randomosity or Drooling over Book Covers. I've yet to decide. :)


vic caswell said...

we had free hbo for the pilot of game of thrones. it made me go pick up the book, which is really interesting so far.
i did that reverse movie to book thing for cornelia funke's inkheart and for duprau's city of ember seires. i think it's much easier to go backwards that way than watch a movie after reading the book. because there is just so much to a book, and so much less to a movie.

Tere Kirkland said...

I'm also really excited about Game of Thrones, to the point where I downloaded a sample of the book. Then I realized that with as involved as GRRM is in the show, it probably follows the books pretty well.

I'd read the first few Sookie Stackhouse and Dexter books before their respective shows came on, and I liked how much the stories--and characters--veered from the books, but I'm not sure if that sort of thing would go over well with Martin's fans.

I'm much less hard on movies if I haven't read the book, but I usually don't get as much enjoyment out of a book if I've seen a film version of it first. It's a lose-lose situation, so I'll probably wait until the GoT HBO series is over (or Martin finishes writing the series) to read them.

Ani said...

*waves* I came by way of clicking on your name thingee on my blog! LOL Great post! I agree with the whole notion of adapting a great book onto live-action something-or-other. The most notable ones that come to mind are Harry Potter, most of Nicholas Sparks' novels, and The Vampire Diaries.

I generally like the books so much more than the live-action adaptations because there's so much detail that can change or be lost when doing an adaptation. The only exception I've ever made was The Notebook. I'd pick the movie over the book hands down. Don't get me wrong, the book was great...but the movie was *dies*. Uh yeah. LOL

Lydia Kang said...

Hmm. I think the book to movie jump is pretty all over the place. Harry Potter is pretty well done but even so it sometimes feels different than the book. One that I didn't like was (forgive me--I know it's not a novel) but anything Winnie the Pooh related. On the screen has none of the magic of the books.

Angela said...

I like it when directors don't stick too hard to the story in the book because, like you said, the pacing in books is different than in movies.

And since both are an art form in and of themselves, I think directors and screen writers should be given some leeway. Look at Fried Green Tomatoes, for instance.

The movie is great but so is the book, and they aren't exactly the same.