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  • Writer's pictureDaniel Fox

The Book is (almost) Always Better!

~ I recently watched 'The Shining' with my daughter (yes, we're that family). It was her first viewing of it, and although she liked it, I don't think she was nearly as blown away as I was when I first read it. This reminded me of the vast difference between watching a movie and reading the same story in a book. Typically, the books are significantly better, but sometimes, it's really a close call (and once in a great while, the movie might even be better). There are several movies coming in 2017 that were originally books, and that brings me to reflect on some of my favorite book-to-movie adaptations.

'Jurassic Park' was an example of a book that I simply could not put down. It was Michael Crichton's trademark trick of starting with real science then switching to fiction without letting the reader realize it. The movie turned out to be spectacular, and although largely because the special effects were groundbreaking, the story itself carried over perfectly.The story of 'The Lord of The Rings' was actually my introduction to reading novels, and the movies were also fantastic. These two examples exemplify how pleasant it can be to see the characters and events that have played out in your head actually come to life on the screen. It's thrilling, more for those that read the book ahead of time that those merely going to see the movie as a virgin to the story.

My favorite movie of all time (so far) is 'Fight Club', and although the book is nothing short of genius, the movie is actually ...dare I say ...better. Every scene is a sort of work-of-art, and things often overlooked in most movies are meticulously outlined in this one. For example, the opening credits have a significant clue about the story running behind them (the inside of the Jacks' head). On the home version, even the FBI warning is relevant to the plot. One of the biggest differences between the movie and the book is the ending. I won't ruin it for those of you that have not seen it yet, but the movie ending is more poetic and less open-ended than the book.

For every good movie that comes from a novel, there are piles of bad ones. 'I, Robot' was a phenomenal book, and the movie was ho-hum at best. The story was dramatically different, and maybe that's part of the problem. Other stinkers that come to mind are Anne Rice's 'Queen of the Damned' (another dramatically different story), and H.G. Wells, 'The Time Machine'.

I loved these books, and the movies ended up being quite the let down. I'd love to hear some of your favorite book-to-movie adaptations. Drop me a line or let me know in the comments section. Until then... I'm counting down to the remake of Stephen King's 'IT' in September! Happy Reading!

Quick update on Lies That Bind: I've been getting a lot of inquiries as to the status of my next novel 'Lies That Bind'. First off, let me say that I'm incredibly thankful that you all are so interested in reading it. It's obviously taking much longer than I originally anticipated to get right. However, I'm really proud of how it's turning out, and rest assured that I'll be sending it out for editing and ARC copies as soon as it's complete. The best I can commit to at this point is some time this year. Cheers!

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