Books and Movies

I recently joined a new book group in my area, and the next book up for discussion is The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. However, before we discuss the book we are also going to see the movie and then discuss how it compares. I read this book when it first came out several years ago, but I’m going to read it again to refresh my memory.
As I was sitting at my desk at the office totally unmotivated to work I started thinking about other books I’ve read that have been made into movies. I prefer to read a book before I see the movie adaptation because I like to have my own idea of the setting and of the characters; however there have been some instances where I have seen a movie first and then was inspired to read the book upon which it was based.
Most movie adaptations I’ve seen haven’t been too bad, but in almost every case I have preferred the book. A few of my favorite movies based on books:
Schindler’s List
The Pianist
– I saw both of these movies first then read the books. The movies themselves were excellent, and reading the books added to the power of these stories.
The Green Mile
– I’m not much of a Stephen King fan but I loved this book and the movie was just as good
Atonement
– It took me a couple of attempts to finish this book but I was rewarded. The film was beautifully done and captured the mood of the book.
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
– Have a tissue handy with both versions. Even though I knew how the story would end when I saw the movie, I still shed some tears.
The Reader
– The movie was very good, however it omitted at least two scenes from the book that I felt were important to the storyline.
Julie and Julia
– Also based on Julia Child’s My Life in France, I wish they would have included more from this memoir, but the movie was still a lot of fun.
The Pursuit of Happyness
– This is one instance where I preferred the movie to the book. I read the book after seeing the movie, and while the story was just as inspirational, I found Chris Gardiner to be less likeable in the book.

Incidentally, at my book group’s discussion of The Lace Reader this week, several of us agreed that it would make an interesting film.

What are your favorite film adaptations of books?
Do you ever think about what a movie of the book would look like as you are reading?

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