Question Tuesday: Books are Better than the Movies; Any Exceptions?

Posted June 26, 2012 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Question Tuesday / 0 Comments

“Never judge a book by its movie” – J.W. Eagan

I’m not sure if I’ve seen a movie that I liked more than the book. I know if I read American Psycho before seeing the movie I might have enjoyed it more. I think there are plenty of examples of books I didn’t enjoy because I saw the movie first. Others include Psycho by Robert Bloch and Limitless by Alan Glynn. There are a few movies that I enjoyed more than the books, like The Bone Collector by Jeffery Deaver, The Rum Diary by Hunter S. Thompson and The Hunter by Richard Stark (Payback, 1999) There are books I thought were average and I would rather invest 2 hours watching the movie than 8 or more hours reading the books. Even if the movies turned out bad, it was still less of an investment than reading the book.

Graphic novels seem to be the best at being adapted to movies. Ghost World by Daniel Clowes, Sin City by Frank Miller, Kick Ass by Mark Millar and V for Vendetta, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and Watchman by Alan Moore all seem to be good examples of that. While all these graphic novels are decent, I prefer the movies over the books. I’m sure many people will disagree with this but that’s my opinion. What movies do people prefer over the books?

While we are on the topic of Movie Adaptions; one of the things I hate most about them, is when the cover of the books change to match the movie posters or even the name of the book changing to match. I really hate owning a book with the movie name or cover on it but sometimes there is just no getting away from it.

0 responses to “Question Tuesday: Books are Better than the Movies; Any Exceptions?

  1. Bunny Blumschaefter

    I’m w/you – I’ll go out of my way to dig up an old edition of the book that doesn’t look like a movie poster. The only films I know of that are better than the books involve Clint Eastwood, as either a performer or director – “The Bridges of Madison County” was at least watchable, thanx to Clint and Meryl Streep, whereas the book was dreadful; “Mystic River” was a good book but an even better film; and I think he film version of “Million Dollar Baby” was more memorable – the novella was quite good, just a little more skimpy.

  2. Few movies are better than the book but here are a few:

    The Princess Bride (It’s been a while since I read it, but I remember liking
    the movie better; I did see the movie first.)

    Where the Heart Is (Read the book because I liked the
    movie and definitely prefer the movie.)

    Jurassic Park (The movie is way better!
    Of course I only read the book this year so maybe it was better when it
    first came out.)

    Fight Club (Again, saw the movie first, but still prefer film to book.)

    The Time Traveler’s Wife (I didn’t like the book at all; also saw the film

    The Notebook (Again, saw the film first.
    But I think this is one instance where the movie improved upon the

    Dexter TV Series (The first book is good, but then the series goes off on its
    own. Still prefer the show over the

    Casino (It’s based on a true story so the book is a bit dry. Love the movie though.)

    The Object of My Affection (Saw the film first and didn’t enjoy the book much
    at all.)

    Sex and the City TV Series (It’s completely different from the book and I think
    HBO improved upon the novel.)

    And I think the reason graphic novels are made into such great films is that
    they are usually quite linear in their storytelling which makes them easy to
    adapt. It’s almost impossible to adapt
    some books that are told in the first person or written in a way that is

  3. I think that Bridget Jones Diary is way better as a movie than a book, but it could be because i saw the movie first. I found the book very underwhelming. If i’d read the book first, i don’t know if i would have bothered with the movies.

  4. Mish

    I haven’t seen any latest movies recently but there’re a few older movies that are slightly a bit better then the book (in my opinion). I believe it could be because of the cast and some visual effects.

    Silence of the lamb – I really liked the book but Anthony Hopkins was eerie and brilliant in the movie. His voice sends a shiver up my spine

    Gone with the Wind – Again the cast was brilliant and visually it was stunning.

    Exorcist – Seeing Linda Blair’s body twisting and head spin was awesome.

    Also, am I allowed to mention Twilight 😉

  5. It doesn’t happen often, but every now and again there is a movie that is better than the book. Jane Austen Book Club is one (really disliked the book, didn’t mind the movie), Stardust is another (the addition of Robert de Niro as Captain Shakespeare is an inspired decision). I am sure there are others that will come to me later.

  6. Belle @ Belle's Bookshelf

    The Notebook is one of the few books where the movie is better, for me. I also preferred the I Am Number Four movie to the book… but neither were great.

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