Twilight Craze

Brennan #2, my seventh grade daughter, is a prolific reader. She's always been a good reader, but when she was eight-and-a-half, I gave her the first three SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS books for Christmas. She loved them. Why? Because "bad things happened." After pushing her, I finally understood what she meant. There wasn't a happy ending, per se–she couldn't predict how the story was going to go.

When you're young, every ending is a happy ending. Fairy tales end with the prince and princess riding off in the sunset, and your parents assure you that even though Nemo was flushed down the sink in the dentists office, he's going to be okay.

So for her ninth birthday I gave her the rest of the series, except the last two that hadn't come out at the time. She read them that summer. And thus began Brennan #2's lust for reading.

I buy a lot of books I intend to read, but never do. Two of them were A GREAT AND TERRIBLE BEAUTY by Libba Bray and TWILIGHT by Stephanie Meyer.

I gave both books to Brennan #1. Okay, this was a mistake. I know that my oldest daughter, the serious athlete and social butterfly, doesn't care much for reading. Oh, when she finds something that grabs her, she'll sit down and read it straight through–she loved Gena Showalter's Teenage Alien Huntress series (Gena's coming out with another YA series from HQN in 09/10) and she devoured R.L. Stine's "Fear Street" series.

(Aside: I met R.L. Stine at Thrillerfest this past July and, being pushy, I introduced myself and told him my daughter–who is not a big reader–loved his Fear Street series. He blinked, astonished. Told me he wrote those so long ago he was surprised they were still for sale. Thought about it and nodded. "Right. I had teenagers then. That's why I killed a lot of them in those books.")

But Brennan #1 wants action–on the first page. If you don't grab her immediately, she's gone, grabbing her constantly vibrating cell phone to make sure she doesn't miss anything. This is very much like her personality–as an athlete, she thrives in action–she wants to be on the court, anticipating, jumping, working for the point. She plays volleyball and basketball and even though she's not the tallest on either team, she is one of the strongest players because she's dedicated and involved.

Brennan #2 has that same dedication and involvement with her books. Having read all the books on her shelves, she  came across A GREAT AND TERRIBLE BEAUTY last summer and read it. In three days. It's a meaty book, over 400 pages. So I bought her the next one, REBEL ANGELS, which was 600 pages. She finished it in less than a week. She was practically dying for the third book . . . which came out a few months later and she said that A SWEET FAR THING is her favorite book of all time.

Now, I've never given up on #1. I mean, I'm a reader AND a writer, dammit, I expect all my kids to read. I kept pushing TWILIGHT on her. "All my friends say it's great," I would say. She'd look. "It about vampires. Yuck." This, from the teenager who, along with Brennan #2 and myself, loves the television series SUPERNATURAL. But I couldn't argue with her. To me, vampires are evil. Like . . . SALEM'S LOT by Stephen King. They're the bad guys. It's why I don't read vampire romances or any book where there's a good demon. Remember ANIMAL FARM? I just can't get it out of my head: two legs good, four legs bad. Demons and vampires–bad.

I digress.

So TWILIGHT makes the move, unread, from our old house to our new house. The movie is announced. #2 picks up the book. I ask her if she's going to read it. "No, everyone's already read it, I don't want to be the last person to read it. It's popular. I probably won't like it. I don't want to read it because everyone else is reading it."

But the movie is imminent. She really wants to see the movie. But she wants to read the book first. She goes back and forth. Then two weeks ago, she picks up the book and starts to read it.

She can not put it down. 

She's halfway finished and says, "Mom, please, please, please order me the next book because I'm almost done and I have to read it."

So being a good mom, I order her all three. #2 (NEW MOON) and #4 (BREAKING DAWN) come two days later from AMAZON, but #3 (ECLIPSE) is not in the box. It's being shipped separately.

Again, these are meaty books, but Brennan #2 is undaunted. She dives into NEW MOON and read it over the weekend. Then she panics. ECLIPSE has not arrived. She's going through withdrawl. She begs me to take her to Borders so she can buy it. But, I tell her, it's coming from Amazon. She makes me check the status. It's at the routing center. What if they lose it? What if it doesn't come tomorrow? What will she do because she has nothing to read tonight???

When the book came–on Tuesday before Thanksgiving–she sat down and started reading. Finished it on Thanksgiving. She was thrilled, because on Friday we planned to see the movie.

So, I haven't read the books and I was going to the movie because she's my daughter and she was excited. We brought one of her friends–who, like me, hadn't read the book. The friend and I both enjoyed the movie. It's a romance with a twist.

Bella Swan is a 17 year old girl who's never quite felt like she's fit in. She's quiet, down-to-earth, and hates the cold, dark and wet. When her mother remarries, she moves from Phoenix to Washington State to live with her dad, the Chief of Police–another quiet, down-to-earth person. She falls for Edward Cullen, a vampire 100+ years old. In this vampire legend, the vampires are essentially superheroes–they can run faster than a speeding bullet, leap tall trees with a single bound, and some of them can see the future or read people's thoughts. The Cullen's are vegetarians–they only drink animal blood. Not all vampires are so . . . healthy.

* * * MINOR SPOILERS BELOW * * *

But from a story point of view, I enjoyed the conflict. Edward will never grow old. Bella will. It's a soulmate type story–Bella's scent attracts Edward, and she's the only person he can't read their thoughts. He's loyal, protective, and dedicated. He'll defend her to the death, always a nobel trait in a hero. Even better, he's tortured. Women love tortured heroes. Give me Joe Pike any day.

Bella's the consummate heroine, feeling safe and trusting him even when he tells her he doesn't know if he can stop himself from sucking her blood.

Okay, okay, I really have a problem with vampire stories, but seriously, the movie wasn't bad. I could buy into the myth because it was compelling and it was true to itself. Stephanie Meyer created a world with certain rules and those rules were met and in that meeting, there was great conflict. But all I could think about when Edward was staring at Bella was "STALKER! STALKER! RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY!" While Bella didn't commit any blatantly TSTL moves (until the end when she did the classic TSTL heroine move and agree to meet the bad guy without telling the hero . . . I really hate that) I still felt kind of creeped out by the whole falling in love with a vampire thing.

* * * END MINOR SPOILERS * * * 

So the movie is over, and #2's friend and I are thinking it was pretty good (she loved it–it was a teenage romance!; I was thinking, okay, it wasn't a waste of $10.25.) I asked my daughter who had just read and loved
the books.

She was disappointed. So I pushed. Why? Though I knew–and I had warned her–that movies from well-loved books never (or rarely) met expectations.

So much was left out. She was expecting that, but . . . it left a hole for her. "They talked a lot more," she said. I pointed out that people didn't like to go to the movies just to hear two people talk. (I sure don't.) She understood that, but . . . while they didn't really change the story overall, they moved things around, the secondary characters played less of a role in the movie, and the villains (such as they were–the bad vampires) didn't really show up until near the end of the book. And apparently, someone dies in the movie who doesn't die until book #2, and he didn't die the same way.

She doesn't know if she was glad she saw it. But already, she started reading the last book and wants to finish it tomorrow before she has to go back to school.

It's hard for me to complain. She's read over 2,500 pages in the last two weeks and still managed to get a B on her math test. Even if she has been so quiet we forget she's around.

After she told me her disappointment and the differences (which I had to pull out of her because she was afraid she'd ruin the book for me, so I assured her I had no time to add the books to my towering TBR piles . . . ) I started thinking about books I'd read and whether I had seen the movies . . . or not. 

I realized that I shy away from movies if I've loved the book, unless it's something I read ages ago (such as reading I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER as a young teen and watching it as an adult.) It came down to THE SHINING with Jack Nicholson. I was pissed off at the ending of that movie. As a die hard Stephen King fan, I'd read the book and expected the story to go the same way. I understand that books are more detailed, you get more backstory, more STORY itself, but I expect the major points of the story to be the same.

And I HATE it when someone dies in the movie who didn't die in the book . . . and vice versa. And they did that in THE SHINING. Up until Act Three (see Alex? I can talk story structure too! Ha!) I could accept the minor story changes. But they tossed the book in Act Three leaving me angry and frustrated.

I've seen several movies where I haven't read the book–HOW TO LOSE A GUY IN 10 DAYS–or watched the movie THEN read the book–BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES–and enjoyed both. Because the movie is the shell, and the book is the meat. So to see the movie first, you can enrich the story with the book . . . but to read the book, you already have it all, and the movie is a pale imitation, hollow, and generally unsatisfying.

There are some exceptions. MISERY, for example. That was one book . . . and movie . . . where I enjoyed both. And THE PRINCESS BRIDE (though I did NOT like how the movie handle the Zoo of Death.) Another thing I've noticed, since I've read most of Stephen King's short stories, is that the shorter the book or story, the better the movie. Perhaps because there's less story and more room for the screenwriter and director to develop the characters while keeping the story true to the author's vision (THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION and 1408 come to mind as being equal to or superior on film than in written form.)

But in general, I just avoid all movies if I've read–and liked–the book. It's safer that way.

Brennan #2 learned that lesson. Books are books. Movies and movies. And it's a rare movie made from a novel that is as satisfying as the original story. 

Of course, if anyone in Hollywood wants to option any of my books . . . I'm listening. ๐Ÿ˜‰

So what do you think? Any books-to-movies you loved? Hated? Refuse to see? What about TWILIGHT? Love it or hate it? And in case you didn't notice, books make GREAT gifts. You might turn a child into a life-time reader . . . with just the right book.

26 thoughts on “Twilight Craze

  1. Alexandra Sokoloff

    Has anyone besides me noticed that TWILIGHT is about abstinence? The whole book is about a teenage boy (really 100 year old man) heroically holding himself back from wicked, wicked sex.

    That’s I think what your daughter missed in the movie – all those “talking” scenes were very drawn-out foreplay with no sex ever having to happen. Titillating but nice and safe for teenage girls – a little too frustrating for me.

    I thought the movie was a good filmic translation -it moved. I like the second book a lot better than the first and think there will be more to work with on screen.

    Best book-to movie translations: SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, ROSEMARY’S BABY.

    Totally different from their books but still great movies in their own right: COLD MOUNTAIN, THE WIZARD OF OZ.

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  2. billie

    My daughter had a similar response – we got the first one, then had to go back and get the second one. She had to wait for the third one, and her dad took her out at midnight to get the final one.

    She was glued to all those pages – but her take has been somewhat different than a lot of girls I’ve heard talking about it. She thinks Bella is stupid and she detests Edward! Her favorite character is Jacob.

    I’ve read them all (reading the final one now) and the thing that appeals to me is that Edward, who I do like, is both bad AND good. It’s the combination of danger and that intense passion/protection he has for Bella that I find fascinating.

    The Twilight series is the first set of contemporary books my daughter read, then I read, then my mom read b/c she couldn’t stand not knowing what we were discussing! Even my husband read the first one. My son, though – zero interest.

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  3. Fiona

    I bought the first book for my oldest son because a lot of his friends, boys and girls, had read them all.

    It wasn’t right for him. He’s currently rereading the Heinlein juvvies. He read Scalzi’s ZOE’S TALE and Doctorow’s LITTLE BROTHER this fall and now loves SF.

    I haven’t read the TWILIGHT books, but I may see the movie when it’s out on DVD. My TBR pile is immense and I’m careful what I add to it. If my son was reading the books, I would read them, too. I try to keep up with what my kids are reading, if it’s something I haven’t read yet.

    BTW, don’t the TWILIGHT books have THE BEST cover art?

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  4. R.J. Mangahas

    Allison — It’s great your kids are reading. That gives me hope that there still will be people to read my books (once their written)

    I agree overall that if I really liked a book, I tend to not watch the movie.

    I have made some exceptions though. As Alex mentioned, SILENCE OF THE LAMBS was a great translation.

    But I had my doubts when it came to the adaptation of one of my absolute favorite books: MYSTIC RIVER.

    I think the only reason I went to see it was that Clint Eastwood was directing and it was being shot in Boston when I was still living there.

    I went in not expecting much. I have to tell you, I was absolutely impressed by it. There were even some characters removed that were in the book, but the story lost nothing.

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  5. La Shawn

    I feel the same way about the Harry Potter books. I saw Movies 1-3 before I read the books. Charming and enjoyable. Then I read Books 1-3, which deepened the story and filled in the holes. Great stuff.

    By the time Movie 4 had come out, I’d read the rest of the series (Books 4-6) Then I saw Movie 4, and it was terrible. Hated it. They changed so much of the story; all I could do while watching was make mental notes of what was different from the books.

    Movie 5 I tried to watch on DVD and couldn’t get past the first 20 minutes. I give up. I have no plans to see Movies 6 or 7. I never knew it before, but I’m a book purist.

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  6. joylene

    I felt the same way when I read The Godfather and then watched the movie. Bad idea.

    Not too many movies can measure up. Gone With The Wind, yes. Dexter, yes. But The Bourne Identity. I liked the movies but they aren’t near as fulfilling as the books.

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  7. pari

    Again, of all the books to screen I’ve seen — HOLES works the best.

    I generally don’t see movies of books I’ve read; I’m always disappointed (with the exception of the one above and the more recent THE LITTLE PRINCESS just because it was so visually gorgeous).

    My post tomorrow is a good follow up to this one, Allison. We’re on the same wavelength.

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  8. pari

    BTW: R.J.,My kids are avid readers! Even #1 who has a vision/cortical processing impairment. She just reads about 25% slower, but is rarely w/o a book in her hands.

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  9. J.D. Rhoades

    I am apparently the only person on the planet who finds it way creepy (and not in a fun way) that this very, very old man lusts mightily for a teenage girl. But my daughter, while admitting that the books are “really dumb,” has read them all. The Boy, however, is quite vocal in his disapproval. As he puts it (and as I wrote about here back in May), they “nerfed the curse.”

    Joylene, THE GODFATHER is one of the few movies I’ve seen that I thought was better than the book. David Lynch’s adaptation of DUNE, on the other hand, reeked to high heaven. I get furious just thinking about it.

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  10. JT Ellison

    Dexter wins my vote for best on screen translation. Even though in the book his sister knows he is a serial killer and in the tv show she doesn’t it totally works.

    I saw Twilight on Friday. I completely agree with your daughter. Visually it was beautiful. Edward and Bella were well cast. But the Bella’s internal monologue, which makes the books so charming, was sorely lacking in the movie. It was like they took one line from each scene in the book, built a little scene around it, then scooted off to the next. They hit a few of the highlights but never got to the meat. And… And… And… I’m a huge fan of the books – the Byronic hero and the Gothic romance of it is ultra appealing. But the movie, aside from it’s lush landscapes, didn’t work.

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  11. Allison Brennan

    Alex, ironically–since my publisher billed me as “Thomas Harris meets Julie Garwood” I had never read either author before. So I bought all Harris’s books and all Garwoods romantic suspense books and read them back-to-back in 2005. Of course, I’d seen SILENCE OF THE LAMBS and while it’s brilliant on many levels, there’s one thing that annoys me every single time I watch the movie: that when Hannibal escapes Clarice isn’t fearful at all and tells her friend that he won’t go after her. She might intellectually think that, but emotionally . . . I wasn’t with her. So I read THE RED DRAGON and loved the book more than SILENCE . . . maybe because I HADN’T seen the movie, or maybe because Will Graham was a brilliant and compelling character, one of the single best character studies I’ve read. Then I bought the DVDs MANHUNTER and THE RED DRAGON. I hated MANHUNTER. Not just because they changed the ending, but because it was slow and laborious and William Petersen just didn’t work for me as Will Graham. The actual STORY was parallel to the book right up until the end of the movie, which was really only a false climax in the book. The remake with Ralph Fiennes as Dolarhyde and Edward Norton as Will Graham MADE the movie. And no, I don’t think it was because Anthony Hopkins was Hannibal (though he as brilliant in the movie.) The complexity of Graham’s relationship with Hannibal was much more satisfying and believeable than the sadistic flirtation between Hannibal and Clarice Starling.

    But I’d really better not talk movies with Alex because she’ll run circles around me!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    (And yeah, I did like THE SHINING as a movie in it’s own right, but I have a think for Jack Nicholson. Disgusting I know because he is a letch, but I’ve always thought that he was a brilliant actor when in the right role.)

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  12. Louise Ure

    Allison, I’m with you. If I adored a book then I shouldn’t go see the movie.

    And Alex? COLD MOUNTAIN? It thought it was “meh” as a film, but a fabulous book.

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  13. Allison Brennan

    Billie, I probably would have enjoyed the books if I could get around the vampire thing. It’s great conflict and I do like the conflicting internal struggles of being a monster who craves human blood while trying to stay “human” and refrain from murder. But what I love about these books is that first, they introduce teenage girls to romance (and heck, that’s my bread and butter, so yeah!) and they are encouraging teen agers to read because they are giving them what they want in stories (ala Harry Potter.) I try to read at least one of every series my kids are reading (and I really enjoyed the tongue-in-cheek wit of the UNFORTUNATE EVENTS series, even though I only read the first couple.) Fostering a love for books is so important, and while I’ve read since I learned, some kids don’t.

    Fiona, I’ve always tried to find the books that appeal to my different kids. My oldest will probably end up reading romantic suspense and thrillers, when she reads. I’m constantly buying her books hoping to find something that sticks, but it ends up that a few months later she gives them all to Brennan #2. And ironically, Brennan #2 loves historical fiction and will probably devour historical romance, which is the one genre I don’t read. Brennan #3, a boy in second grade, is hard to buy for (though he’ll read anything Star Wars–yeah!) because he’s at that in-between reading level. The books he CAN read comfortably are boring, the books he wants to read are too difficult so he struggles and gets frustrated. I decided not to push it for a couple years–he’s way advanced in all subjects, but doesn’t like that reading (though he’s in the advanced group) doesn’t come as easy to him as math. He’ll sit down and read joke books. Does anyone know any smart but age appropriate (8-9 year reading level) science fiction or smart boy humor? I’ve tried the Captain Underpants and tried to get him into Diary of a Wimpy Kid, but he’s not having it. He prefers reading about bugs and spiders and how things work.

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  14. Allison Brennan

    RJ, I didn’t see the movie for those reasons. Also, I don’t get out to the movies as much as I’d like anymore . . .

    As for my kids reading, they know I’d shoot them if they didn’t. Ha. Ha.

    LaShawn, great analysis. And I think you’re right on.

    Joylene, I bought DEXTER on my iPod and realized that I just can’t listen to audio books unless I’m on a long drive, and even then . . . my mind wanders. So I didn’t finish it, and saw the first season of DEXTER and was very enthralled with the show. So I can’t really compare. I like the twists of the show and the actor who plays Dexter and his internal conflicts. And, frankly, I sometimes like vigilante justice. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Pari, have you noticed that in cyberspace, there’ll suddenly be a plethora of one topic and you never quite know where it started? I never read HOLES, but I did enjoy the movie. My daughter read the book, but didn’t see the movie.

    Dusty, I’m with you–hence my RUN AWAY!!! comment in my post. But I hadn’t thought of the dirty old man scenario, probably because Edward is eternally 17 years old and looks it. I missed the post about your son’s comments, but I think I’d be with him. While I do enjoy new takes on classic myths, I have my own set view of the world and square pegs will never fit in round holes.

    The television series SUPERNATURAL is hugely compelling . . . hmm, I may have to do a blog about it . . . because they take known myths and legends and use them, but provide enough originality to keep the story fresh. There is a “good” demon, but instead of being a spirit (i.e. fallen angel) she was a human who sold her soul to a demon and therefore remembers what it’s like to be human. Right now they’re using the Book of Revelations and the myths about angels in a completely new way (at least new for me.) It’s “the ends justify the means”– stopping Lucifer from being released from Hell is their single goal. If people get hurt in the process, it’s an unfortunate casualty. Fascinating and thought-provoking.

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  15. Allison Brennan

    JT, the movie was nice and very well done and filmed. I enjoyed it, and was glad I hadn’t read the books. I do think it was a great lesson for my daughter, though. As parents we can tell them things, but sometimes they have to see it or live it for themselves.

    Hi Louise . . . I didn’t read or see COLD MOUNTAIN. I know, I’m very bad. I need more time. Anyone want to petition for more hours in the day?

    Okay, now for me it’s back to my book. I really want to get it done in a week, and I’m a bit behind . . . between Thanksgiving and the kids being sick before that, and this coming week two recitals and a mandatory parent/student basketball meeting and my FIL visiting next weekend for my eldest daughter’s choir performance, I don’t think I’ll be sleeping much.

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  16. Terri Molina

    My daughter became an avid reader three years ago when I bought her an autographed copy of Lynn Sinclair’s Key to Aten. Now, at 15, she loves to read and especially Vampire books. She devoured Twilight when her friend recommended it shortly after it came out but she’s been disappointed with the rest of the books…in her mind, they just aren’t as well written (meaning the storylines). She’s planning on seeing the movie but isn’t expecting much from it. Also…they actors playing the main characters, in our eyes, just don’t fit.

    Anyway…most of the movies made from books are books I haven’t read so I can’t say if I’d be disappointed or not. Although….I did read Timeline before the movie came out and was extremely disappointed.

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  17. Fran

    Haven’t read or seen “Twilight” and I probably won’t, so I can’t comment there.

    But I tend to think of movies as being the trailers for books. They’re a nice teaser, but the books are almost always better.

    Of course, that depends on how invested you are in the book. When the original “Dune” movie came out, I went to see it with my best buddy, Lou, who had never read the book, and our pal, Bobby, who was a Dune fanatic. I’d read the book for a class ages ago and basically remembered it, but wasn’t invested in it.

    And our reactions fell along expected lines. Lou loved it, I had issues with it but could accept it for the most part, Bobby loathed it. If your heart’s with the book, the movie just can’t make it.

    That being said, I think “Shawshank Redemption” was brilliant, but then it was a novella, not a full book. Had it been expanded, I suspect I’d love the book more.

    I’m interested to see how/if Frank Beddoe’s “The Looking Glass Wars” is going to translate to film. But then I like the Alice in Wonderland story there. I love the first one, the second one “Queen Redd” has political commentary that won’t translate to screen but is great for keeping adults thinking while younger folks enjoy the fighting, but I bet only fighting makes it into the movie. And that’s how it should be.

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  18. Bill Crider

    Haven’t seen the movie. Never will. Read the book. Thought the writing was bad, really bad. I guess I can see why teenage girls like the story, but the writing . . . .

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  19. Fiona

    Allison, how about the “Geronimo Stilton” books, or the “Percy and the Olympians” books?

    The first are cute, and very inviting–if you can stand the puns. The second is a cooler, smarter set that similar to “Magic Treehouse” but deals with mythology and is for 9-12.

    When he gets a little older, there is the “Warriors” series, which features cats. It’s kind of like “Redwall” but with cats, and a little easier to read than the “Redwall” books.

    Your local library should have all of these books, so you can take him there and see which he likes.

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  20. Jake Nantz

    My wife loved Eragon, read the fan reviews of the movie, and refused to see it based on that. Saw it later and thought…well, it’s not as bad as they said, but it wasn’t good.

    I’ve always thought the Harry Potter books were done reasonably well, considering their length.

    Tom stoppard wrote the stage play ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD, and then he wrote the screenplay. Both were good, though quite a bit was different. And it was the creator doing both, so go figure.

    The worst (Ms. Brennan, I’m with you on Stephen King movies, ESPECIALLY The Shining…. Just another version of “Jack Nicholson plays the same guy, this time named __________.”) The one that started my disappointment all those years ago was Christine. The book scared the shit out of me. The movie just made me laugh.

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  21. Becky Hutchison

    I usually prefer books to movies, but in a some cases I like the movie better. Since the SILENCE OF THE LAMBS book was so sickingly descriptive, I frequently put it down for a day or two before reading more. In the movie, I had to sit and watch the whole gory story at once and couldn’t just close a book to come out of the really strange scenes. This made the movie more intense, and thus more enjoyable, for me.

    As for TWILIGHT, I haven’t read the book because I want to watch the movie first. I think my experience will be more satisfying watching the story unfold in a dark movie theater rather than reading in a quiet room. Besides I have so many TBRs that the third movie would be out before I could read the first book!

    My experience with the first Harry Potter book was a little different because of my pitiful inability to read fantasy or sci-fi books. I’m constantly getting the characters and their names confused, so I usually have trouble getting out of the first two chapters. This occurred when I first read THE SORCERER’S STONE. I don’t think I even completed Chapter 1. I took my son to see the film (which I loved) and once I had names with faces, I went back to the first book and read straight through the next available books in the series. As each successive book was released, I quickly finished those too. Time helped me forget some details of those books, so when I saw the movies 2-5, I enjoyed them too.

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  22. Gayle Carline

    I have a 16-year old son who’d rather shove hot pokers in his eyes than read any of the Twilight books, or see the movie. He’s currently sucking up all of the Redwall books, and is into poetry (he’s a budding songwriter).

    As for my book-to-movie likes and dislikes, I thought Carrie the movie was equal to if not better than Carrie the book. And I am still in awe of Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. I knew he’d have to sacrifice a lot, but he captured the essence of the books so well. Although it’s not book-to-movie, Les Miserables is one of my favorite books and I think the musical is beautiful – really captures the theme.

    I’d love to see a GOOD film of the Count of Monte Cristo. Also one of my favorite books, the movies tend to focus on Dantes’ revenge, instead of on his ultimate mercy.

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  23. Pam Claughton

    I enjoyed Twilight, though the Edward in my mind was blonde.

    They’ve done a great job with Dennis Lehane’s movies so far. I saw Mystic River before reading the book, and loved both…great actors in the movie, Sean Penn was amazing.

    With Gone, Baby, Gone, I read the book first, then saw the movie, and this is one of the rare instances where I preferred the movie…again largely because of the actors and way it was shot. Both of those films were done in the Boston area though, so it was especially fun to recognize different landmarks.

    In general though, I prefer to see a movie first if possible, because the book is almost always better.

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  24. Christine

    I really enjoyed Twilight, both the books and the movie. Sure, the movie was different, but I enjoyed Bella more in the movie than in the book. Not being constantly in her head was freeing.And the men in that movie were pure eye-candy. =)

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  25. Barbara Martin

    Although I haven’t seen the movie Twilight, I’ve heard about it and the series of books.

    This is typically the case for all movies made out of books. Better for the viewer to go see the movie first, then read the book to avoid major disappointment.

    Years ago I went to see the movie, The Appaloosa, because I had read the book. The only thing remotely resembling the book was the title and the fact that the protagonist rode an Appaloosa marked horse.

    With the Lord of the Rings several years back, it was the same thing. The screenwriters have to find the parts that make a cohesive story for the screen, and this means leaving out some of those good bits.

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