June 21, 2009

Has A Movie Spoiled A Book For You?

This occurred to me as I've had a chance to read a few books recently that have been adapted into movies. Dracula, Out of Sight, and No Country for Old Men being the three I refer to.

In each case, I've seen the movie before reading the book it was based on. In each case, I really liked the movie. Heck, let's say I loved the movies. It's possible I could have gotten around to reading these titles eventually—Dracula especially, since it's practically required reading for aspiring horror writers—but the movies really helped me look forward to opening the books.

But, what about those movies, adapted from books, which are just absolutely terrible. Movies so bad, you simply cannot imagine you could ever read the novel without envisioning the retched movie it inspired. The film has soured you utterly and entirely on the author's work. That ever happen to you?

I has for me. The Big Bounce is a film that springs to mind immediately. I'm a mark for Elmore Leonard movies and books. Sadly, however, I don't think I'll ever read the book that inspired what is possibly the worst movie to ever star Morgan Freeman. Speaking of which, I was tepid towards the movie, Dreamcatcher, so will likely never bother reading the Stephen King novel.

I suppose it doesn't even have to be limited to movies. Television is another great way to kill readership. I was never the target demographic for Gossip Girl, and it's just as well because the show is an abortion in expensive shoes. I'm told it's based on a series of books. Well, I can honestly say I will be sure to avoid those books from this day forward.

It's not a good stance to take, I'll admit. It's dismissive and just a tad ignorant on my part. I can live with that, though. And, it's not like it's a rule of law with me either, as I've seen some terrible trailers and movies, and am still open to the idea of reading the book that it's based on. I mean, the trailers I've seen for the first Twilight movie look horrendous—Holy Crap! That movie looks awful!—but I still want to read the novel and make up my mind on what it has to offer.

So, what about you? Ever seen a movie that's been such a disappointment that you've given up any inclination to read the book?


  1. Don't feel too bad about Dreamcatcher, I never saw the movie, but was pretty tepid about the book, it was okay, but not King at his best. If I really love a book, I won't always see the movie, because generally the movie just ticks me off. Crichton's Rising Sun--good book, completely changed and messed up in the movie. Ditto, Jurassic Park. I really loved My Sister's Keeper, but I'm hearing that they changed the ending, so I'm preparing myself to be annoyed if I see it.

    As for Twilight..you're right... dumb movie, of course the 14 year old daughter just loves it and even has a poster in her room. She loves the book too, and I thought it was moronic...waaay too much teenaged angst for this old lady!!

  2. Oh, Twilight. It seems like the kind of movie and book that has no middle ground in terms of response. I hope I don't hate it when the time comes for me to read it.