On Books & Movies

I’m probably not alone in my preference to read the book before I see its film adaptation.


This sentence is how bluepagespecial begins the blog post detailing a short review of The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

I find this sentence interesting mainly because I so strongly disagree with it.

I find that if I read the book/short story/etc. before reading the movie, the movie is almost always a disappointment. In order for a movie to make coherent sense and not be 12 hours long, it cannot contain everything that was loveable or, often, even important that was in a novel.

Furthermore, since a movie is a different form of media, it has different strengths & weaknesses than a book. Since it must rely so heavily on the visual, and simply feels cheesy if it does the voice-over-to-get-in-the-head-of-the-character bit, it is not going to go into the head of the character quite so much. Yet it still needs to convey why a character is so loveable.

I feel that a movie adaptation should be considered a separate entity from the novel.

I love the movie “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” I love Truman Capote’s short story Breakfast at Tiffany’s. But are they the same story? Not even close.

Due to this theory, as well as the fact that it is impossible to view a movie without bias if you have already read the book on which it is based, I actually prefer to watch the movie first.

What about you? Book first? Movie first? Movie at all?


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