Books versus movies, round 2

I am excited by both of the next books and subsequent movies that I’d like to share with you about, but I don’t know which to start with.

Hum, de, dum…okay I’ll go with Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd.

I love it when one book bridges the quite different composition of two book-groups!

This wonderful book did. From two completely different spheres in my world, this book came with exciting recommendations.

If you haven’t read it, race out to your favourite book shop and buy it now!

It is exquisite: it brings you joy, it brings you sadness, it brings your LOL moments, it brings you hope!

Wiki reveals:

The Secret Life of Bees is a 2002 historical novel by American author Sue Monk Kidd. Set in the American South in 1964, the year of the Civil Rights Act and intensifying racial unrest, Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Life of Bees is a story of coming-of-age, of the ability of love to transform our lives, and the often unacknowledged longing for the universal feminine divine. Addressing the wounds of loss, betrayal, and the scarcity of love, Kidd demonstrates the power of women coming together to heal those wounds, to mother each other and themselves, and to create a sanctuary of true family and home. 

The book’s premise is about Lily’s search for a connection to her mother who died in a tragic accident when she was a toddler. Set in South Carolina in the 1960s, this book explores race, love and the idea of home in difficult times. It is a beautifully written drama that keeps the pages turning–yes you have to work through all the trauma and disappointment, but in the end you close the cover with a satisfied sigh, ‘all is well in this world’.

And the movie, it’s a little like the book reader’s request for Clark Gable to star in the movie of Gone with the Wind. The actors were almost better than a perfect match for their characters. I would say the movie was a little softer than the book, but with Queen Latifah, Alicia Keys, Jennifer Hudson (don’t you love her music!), Sophie Okonedo (did you recognize her from The Slap) and Dakota Fanning, it was brilliant!

Read the book first and then savour the movie.

And my final book (maybe) in the book versus movie debate, will be tomorrow.
I’m excited, are you?
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Do good books make good movies?

Do you ever stop to really question whether you should see the screen adaptation of a book you’ve read and loved?

I think it would be fair to say that you would rarely ever read the book after you’ve seen the movie. But we often head off to the cinema after we’ve read a book only to come away disappointed.

Why do we do this?

I know I’m a very visual kind of person and always create images in my mind while reading a book. I recall through the early 90s seeing a minimalist stage production of Pride & Prejudice. Boxes stacked in strategic spots across the stage were all the props in the set. Even with the then emerging William McInnes playing Mr Darcy it was just wrong, ALL wrong.

A book is a shared conversation between a writer and a reader, and every conversation is different. It is up to the reader to re-create the writer’s story, furnishing the visual characteristics of people and places, giving the emotional engagement between the characters importance or not. The reader’s mind is the theatre in which a novelist’s dialogue is mounted, creating a very individual performance according to the information that a reader brings to the experience.

The nuances of a book can rarely be recreated in a movie adaptation.

A movie is literal. The creative work that your mind employs with a book is all done for you in a movie. The scene is depicted, the characters are defined in the way they look, they way they react and the way they speak. There are limited options for you to interpret the outcome of scenarios in movies.

So, what do we think? Do our favourite books make good movies?

Vote in the poll below to indicate your opinion and tomorrow we’ll look at several books that I’ve enjoyed and weigh them against the movie adaptation.

Vote NOW.