Are Book Adaptions Worth It?

There’s no denying that as a community that loves imagining new worlds through books, we’re glutton’s for seeing the real thing in films and TV shows.

The unfortunate side to this is that much of the time we’re left underwhelmed or completely distraught that the stories we love so much is depicted inaccurately.

Recently I’ve been thinking about the number of shows and movies that I’ve seen that the book is better than the adaptation. This was brought to my mind after hearing that the Throne of Glass series was going to be sold and potentially syndicated through Hulu. While I know that Throne of Glass has received some significant backlash over the last two-ish years or so for it’s lack of diversity, I can’t help but hope that Hulu can help the magic of the story shine through the way a major network might not be able to.

Some of the book to move adaptions that I think about when referencing underwhelming adaptations include Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, and dare I say, Twilight.

Now, I know the Harry Potter films are good, but are they as good as the novels? And I’m not really sure how the Percy Jackson adaptation was ever going to work, but they tried it. And while, Twilight wasn’t quite the Pride and Prejudice of our time, it was still an entertaining read.

While each of these films had aspects that most of us appreciated or respected, there were still issues that fell flat.

But even as there are bad adaptations, there are the good ones. For example, The Princess Bride has been lauded for being a step above it’s original version. To add, Catching Fire is one that many believed translated much better to screen than it did in the novel.

So, when it comes to these adaptation, is it worth it?

It’d be easy to say, no. However, do we want these adaptations around to remind us what made us love books to begin with? Or maybe, like The Princess Bride and The Handmaid’s Tale (which is also through Hulu), we’ll receive a more interesting and thoughtful take on the original work.

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5 thoughts on “Are Book Adaptions Worth It?

  1. I think the reason the Princess Bride works so well is because the William Goldberg wrote the screenplay. I really believe that there are times when a book captures our imagination and no visual manifestation will equate to that feeling (Percy). There are other times when I couldn’t picture something and the film helped me flush it out (Truthfully, Quiddich was only real to me after the movie). And there are fantastic ideas that are written so boringly that the movie is far superior (The Last of the Mohicans). I am more intrigued by movies that are so completely different than the books that they don’t even seem related (like How to Train Your Dragon). Either way, adaptations do spark conversation. Great question!

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  2. I think adaptations work best when the author is involved, especially when they write the script or work closely with the writers. I really hate it when they just take the basic idea of the story and characters and change it so much it doesn’t resemble the original story at all. This seems to happen more with middle grade books than adult and YA, maybe because the fan base isn’t quite there or as vocal when they mess it up. Nicely thought out post.

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  3. If executed properly, I enjoy most book-to-movie adaptations. Personally, I loved Harry Potter and hated Twilight, so, there’s that. I definitely agree with The Princess Bride. And, for the most part, I’ve enjoyed the Nicholas Sparks adaptations.

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  4. Most book adapts leave me underwhelmed, but the movie of Holes is exceptional, almost better than the original. Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe was also excellent, although for some reason they can’t pull off the sequels. Mary Poppins is also better than the book, but I thought the book was weird and Poppins was crabby and mean in the book.

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  5. For me, the book will always be better but it’s also interesting to see how it would be portrayed in movies. The few movies that I liked are the Fault in Our Stars and Maze Runner. For Maze Runner, I actually think the movie is better because the book bored me. 😂

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