Movies don’t always (rarely, even?) get the book right. Here are what I feel are notable exceptions. Read the book and watch the movie and you’ll love them both!
The Girl on the Train is the most timely of this collection. Do you ever read a book and think, “oooh yeah, this will be a movie.”? That was this story for me. I could just tell it was going to work on screen. It was fast paced and gripping on paper but on the big screen the intrigue was that much better. The things that needed to be laid out in the book were able to be short quips and scenes in the movie. This is one I actually would consider watching the movie first – suspense is great that way.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is an oldie but a goodie. Seriously, Kesey’s story of the mental institution is incredible and then Nicholson’s portrayal in the movie? Gold. I’ll admit I like the nuances of the characters in the book better – they do change a few things in the movie that to me make certain scenes darker than necessary – but overall the movie performance is just incredible. It’s worth experiencing both.
Chocolat was one of the rare occasions for me where I watched the movie before the book. Usually, when that happens, I expect the book to fall short. There’s something about understanding a movie plot line, or envisioning actors for characters, that can turn a book sour. Not this one. Chocolat, both book and movie, is full of magic and wonder and things that make my tummy growl. Harris is one of my favorite authors and Chocolat is one of my favorite movies. A win/win.
Water for Elephants bore the scrutiny of the re-read. I adored the story. Maybe it’s because I grew up near Baraboo, WI where the Ringling Bros Circus has been for almost 150 years. Maybe it’s the exoticism of characters, the era, the mesmerizing colors and interactions. Maybe it’s because it’s a NaNoWriMo novel (something I always hold dear). Who knows exactly. All I can tell you is that the story is fantastic and, surprisingly, the Hollywood adaptation did an incredible job.
Outlander might not be a movie but it’s even better – it’s a STARZ original series that, I believe, is planning to go through all the books in this epic series. SQUEAL. I’ve re-read Outlander at least three or four times and it’s one of my absolute favorite stories. It just grips me. The STARZ series has done an incredible job with bringing it to life on screen. It is 100% accurate? No, but Diana Gabaldon is involved in the making and I think her adjustments have actually enhanced the story. Really, it’s lovely all the way around!