Tag: adaptation

High Fidelity by Nick Hornby

Posted November 11, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Contemporary / 4 Comments

High Fidelity by Nick HornbyTitle: High Fidelity (Goodreads)
Author: Nick Hornby
Published: Penguin, 1995
Pages: 245
Genres: Contemporary
My Copy: Paperback

Buy: AmazonBook DepositoryKindle (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

Rob Fleming is a thirty something London record store owner who has just lost his girlfriend Laura. Rob recalls his five most memorable break ups and then proceeds to get in touch with these girls in order to find out why they all ended up leaving him. Over at Championship Vinyl, Rob and his employees Dick and Barry spend their time demonstrating their vast music knowledge and constructing top five lists for every situation imaginable.

I really loved the movie High Fidelity, one of my favourites for a long time. So I’ve always meant to read the book and I finally got myself a copy. I devoured the book, faster than I expected. The book and the movie are very similar with not many noticeable differences, I was really happy about that. Problem with seeing the movie first is the fact that I keep picturing John Cusack, Iben Hjejle and every character. The only character I couldn’t remember was Ian and I imagined Peter Serafinowicz instead of Tim Robbins.

The only Nick Hornby movie I’ve read prior to High Fidelity was Juliet, Naked and I really didn’t get on to well with it. I was worried that I might have similar problems with this novel. Likely everything think I loved about the movie, comes from the book. The quirky nature, the themes and all those top five lists. Makes me want to watch the movie all over again. Weird but I prefer the movie, John Cusack is a great actor and I think it works better with the aid of audio and visual stimulation.

The thing I loved High Fidelity is the whole self-discovery plot. Rob Fleming begins the novel telling us about his top five breakups and how Laura didn’t hurt him as much as the others. This leads him to contact these five women and find out why everyone leaves him. What he discovered was the opposite and he learns more about himself than expected. The novel ends with not happiness but a deeper understanding of himself and what he must do to achieve a better life.

His love is so centred around his passion for music; he has to learn how to balance his life better. For music lovers, especially those who have an understanding in 80’s and 90’s music should appreciate this novel. For a romantic comedy, Hornby has this unique way of taking the genre that’s demographic is women and writing it with the male reader in mind.

If you liked the movie, then I’m not sure you really need to read the book. If you loved it, like I did then why not experience it in its original format (it’s like the Vinyl vs. CD debate). While it is very similar to the movie it was an enjoyable experience, one I would repeat sometime. It is a short novel so there is no real reason not to read it, except the movie is less time consuming.


Adaptation Smackdown: The Rum Diary

Posted July 11, 2012 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Adaptations / 0 Comments

I haven’t talked about an adaptation for a while, so I thought it was time to bring out another adaptation smackdown. The idea is to look at the book and then compare the movie and see which one was better or worth your time. I thought this time I will take a look at Hunter S. Thompson’s The Rum Diary which was made into a movie late last year. Set in the 1950’s this story involves a tangled love triangle of jealousy, treachery and alcoholism of the staff of a Puerto Rico newspaper.

The mediocre semi-biographical novel focuses on a very ill tempered, drunkard of a journalist. I was expecting something with a bit of excitement but the plot seemed to drag on and while hinting at a plot this book never really took off. So when it came to seeing the movie it was nice to see them really cut down the story to give a resemblance of a plot but like the book it still seemed to drag on way too much.

Advantages of the book

There are no advantages, this book drags on and there really isn’t any point in wasting too much time reading this book.

Advantages of the movie

Well for one, Johnny Depp plays the lead role and let’s face it, he is an expert in playing a drunk. Amber Heard is a beautiful and great actor but still she isn’t enough to pull this movie through. Other than that this movie feels a lot longer than 120 minutes.

Winner: No one’s a winner, unless you skipped them both.

Hunter S. Thompson adaptations seem to follow closely with the novels, which is good for books like Fear and Loathing in Los Vegas where you have a bizarre plot to read and watch but when you have a below average one, it really doesn’t translate well to any format. Now I’ve had a little vent about this book and movie, I might have to work on a new adaptation smackdown, so if anyone has some good suggestions, I’d love to hear them.