“One glance at a book, and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for 1,000 years.”J.K. Rowling
“I still have pretty much the same fears I had as a kid. I’m still not sure I’d want to give them up; a lot of these insecurities fuel the movies I make.”Steven Spielberg
The pig’s eyes glowing malevolently in the window. Amy Lutz’s imaginary friend Jody. The hoard of buzzing flies. Who could forget those eerily memorable moments in 1979’s film “The Amityville Horror”. Looking back a number of decades, I recall being a teen and babysitting my sister’s kids, while also reading the novel – alone. Needless to say, I was happy once my sister returned that night and I was safely back home – with lots of lights on.
In hindsight, I’ve also read other books that later became blockbusters. “Jaws”, “Harry Potter and…”, “Great Expectations”, and “The Shawshank Redemption” being examples off the top of my head.
In the 90’s, I did something I’d never done before. “Jurassic Park” hit theaters and I had just recently discovered Michael Crichton, who wrote the novel. I saw the movie BEFORE I’d read the book. Normally, if I know the storyline in detail as it’s presented in a film, it’s really hard to enjoy reading a retread of the same story via its source material. With “Jurassic Park”, I found Crichton’s writing (super scientific yet engaging) to enhance the experience of the movie, filling in gaps and adding pieces that I had either not understood or were never covered on the big screen.
Which of course got me thinking about the comparison of book vs. movie for this month’s “This or That” column.
First, here are some fascinating facts about books and movies:
- Stephen Spielberg has been thanked more often at the Oscars than God.
- In 2007, Stephen King was mistaken for a vandal when he started signing books during an unannounced visit to a bookshop in Australia.
- Sean Connery wore a toupee when he played James Bond.
- James Patterson, the author of Alex Cross and Women’s Murder Club series, was the first-ever writer to exceed one million sales in eBooks.
- The sound they used for the velociraptors in Jurassic Park is actually a recording of two tortoises having sex.
- Fifty Shades of Grey started out as Twilight fanfiction.
- The Tina Fey comedy “Mean Girls” was actually based on a non-fiction self-help book entitled Queen Bees & Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends & Other Realities of Adolescence by Rosalind Wiseman.
- John Steinbeck’s dog ate the original manuscript for Of Mice and Men.
- The Wizard of Oz’s Full Name is Oscar Zoroaster Phadrig Isaac Norman Henkel Emmannuel Ambroise Diggs. In the book, he explains that he called “myself O.Z., because the other initials were P-I-N-H-E-A-D.”
- As a struggling young writer, Harper Lee once got a year’s wages as a gift from her friends so that she could quit her job and devote more time to writing. She wrote To Kill a Mockingbird.
With those thoughts in mind, “This…or That?” this week will unscientifically determine whether we opt for using our imagination vs. experiencing a director’s creative vision when it comes to a great story.
You simply choose your favorite and review the results. The best thanks you can give is to share our site with family and friends, bookmark our site (Ctrl+D) or subscribe below.
While you consider your decision, watch a few videos that explore the differences between famous books vs. their motion picture counterparts.
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