When an Adaptation Is — Gasp! — Better Than the Book


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I saw this article on Book Riot recently, and it made me think of instances where I really feel the movie is better than the book. I know . . . blasphemy, right?  But, the article makes some good points, like how sometimes, the best medium to tell a story isn’t necessarily a book.

Annika Barranti Klein gives some examples in her article, like the recent movie Carol, which is the movie adaptation of The Price of Salt. She writes, “Carol in the book is an object. She is only described as Therese sees her. Carol in the movie must, by necessity, be a full person –- indeed, be the main character. Somehow, the movie achieves this while staying true to the book –- and the sum of its parts makes it, in my view, superior to the book.”

I’ve also had experiences where I have read a book, then see a movie, and feel like I enjoyed the movie more.  One of these books is Chocolat by Joanne Harris. I enjoyed the book, but I prefer the movie adaptation because I feel it’s a bit smoother (and I like some of the changes that the movie made to how some of the characters relate to each other). I also prefer the movie adaptation of Practical Magic over the book. While I enjoy many of Alice Hoffman’s books, I felt that the movie adaptation was better (perhaps because every time I see that movie, I wish I could just live in that world. Maybe as one of the sisters).

As always, I leave it up to the reader — but do you have any adaptations that you prefer over the book? We welcome comments!


About centerforthereader

St. Louis Central Library, Center for the Reader, is where you can find fiction, reading suggestions, author information, and much more!
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One Response to When an Adaptation Is — Gasp! — Better Than the Book

  1. lgould171784 says:

    The one that always comes to my mind is “Sophie’s Choice.” The movie distilled the essential, highly compelling story from the bloated, overwritten novel.


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