Hmm, tough thread…most interesting. Typically I’ll watch a film version of something first, cuz it’s less time dedicated if I don’t enjoy it. Not as adventurous in book reading as I used to be. If it’s a book I’ve read and they do a movie, then I’ll judge it with how it handles the novel. I don’t seek out books that are becoming movies, but if I liked the movie then I’m usually less adverse to differences when reading the book…it becomes a bonus level of insight I guess. I liked Jurassic Park the novel much better than the film, but I don’t hate the movie for not following the book exactly. Movies have to stand on their own outside of being 100% novel faithful, so I know concessions always have to be made.
Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining >Stephen King’s The Shining>Stephen King’s The Shining minseries
The film is tour-de-force of style and sound for Kubrick, and it drops the majority of Jack Torrance’s mental decline/battles with alcoholism from the novel in favor of “how long until Jack Nicholson just completely fucking cracks”, but I’ve never particularly enjoyed the Shining novel that much. Very slow paced until the last 130 pages or so, part of King’s nasty drunk period. The miniseries was far more faithful to the novel, but being a TV miniseries, it never built up any tension and constantly reminded you it was ghost story by having a shot of some object moving before every commercial break. I absolutely despised the kid playing Danny in the miniseries.
Star Wars Episode III Revenge of the Sith novel by Matthew Stover > Star Wars Episode III Revenge of the Sith movie.
The novel of Episode III was so fucking good compared to the movie. The level of the Emperor’s deception of the Republic and the Jedi order is more thoroughly explained, Anakin’s fall is handled much more intricately so it’s actually believable compared to film. One the first Star Wars novels that goes in depth describing the seven styles of lightsaber combat, going into the thought process of the fighters and describing how they’re employed when they’re fighting. The novel also had chapters written in 2nd person perspective, which I haven’t seen much, but they were great:
“This is how it feels to be Anakin Skywalker. The first light in your universe brings you pain. The light burns you. It will always burn you. Part of you will always lie upon black glass sand beside a lake of fire while flames chew on your flesh.
You open your scorched-pale eyes; optical sensors integrate light and shadow into a hideous simulacrum of the world around you. Or perhaps the simulacrum is perfect, and it is the world that is hideous. It is in this blazing moment that you finally understand the trap of the Dark Side, the final cruelty of the Sith–that now your self is all you will ever have”
Blade Runner = Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep
Pretty much on equal footing for me, like two sides of the same coin. Saw BR way before I ever read the book and liked the film better, but didn’t understand either until I was older. Now they’re equals for me, even though Deckard’s character ends up in different places between the two. The Deckard-a-replicant theme is something that is toyed with in the book but never finalized. The later film versions somewhat removed any doubt with the Unicorn scene, which I’ve never cared for.