Friday, May 27, 2011

Book Blogger Hop!

Book Blogger Hop

It's Book Blogger Hop time again, brought to you by Jennifer at Crazy for Books! As I have a headache and a huge desire to sleep, I won't go into an explanation of what the Hop is, but if you visit Jennifer's blog, you'll have all the information you need.

This week's question: What book-to-movie adaptation have you liked most? Which have you disliked?

My answer:

LIKED: I'm not going to use either Trainspotting or Stardust for this answer because I honestly didn't know they were books when I watched the films; I didn't read them until after I had fallen in love with the movies. Instead, I'm going to choose a book where I watched the film AFTER I had read the book:

I won't say too much about this because I'm reading the book/watching the film next month as part of the Books to Movies Challenge hosted by Two Bibliomaniacs. What I will say is that this film is incredible; not as incredible as the book, and I had an issue with the under-usage of Nadsat in the script, but incredible nonetheless. Malcolm McDowell makes such a terrifying yet sympathetic Alex and Kubrick's trippy way of making films definitely served this book well.

HATED: I don't even have to think for this one. Being that I'm not a Michael Crichton fan, I was surprised how much I really liked the book Timeline. The only reason I read it was because I saw the trailer for the film and decided to read it before going to see the movie. The book was a fun, easy read considering that it had to do with time travel, quantum physics, and the Middle Ages. I really liked the characters and found the plot to be engaging and exciting. Not high-end literature of course, but still a pretty decent read. The film was so bad, however, that I was tempted to demand my money and my time back. They actually added a character at the beginning of the film just so that they could kill him. I hate that, that whole idea of "well, we need a sacrificial lamb, someone to show how dangerous the situation is." Um, these people just went back in time to an era of bad hygiene, non-existent sanitation practices, constant warfare, plagues without medical treatment, and any number of other undesirable things without any knowledge of how to get back to the modern era. Do you really think the audience is that stupid that they'd be like, "Oh, they'll be fine! It'll be a walk in the park." I'm pretty sure we've all seen at least one King Arthur movie, for crying out loud. In addition, the dialogue was laughable, the acting was mostly bad (with few exceptions), and the whole thing just screamed "awful" at the top of its lungs.



  1. In 'A Clockwork Orange' what did you think about Kubrick eliminating the last chapter of the book because he considered it to positive?

  2. I'll be talking about that in my review next month, but it actually makes sense to me that he did it...because that's how the book was published in the States. At the time, publishers kept telling Burgess that the American public wouldn't "go for" the last chapter because they would consider it unrealistic. It's only been relatively recently that the American editions have kept the last chapter in. In fact, some of the covers even elude to it as the "controversial" last chapter. When I first read the book (with the last chapter intact), I was expecting it to contain, like, Satan worship or baby-eating or something that would merit it's being left out in previous editions. When I read it I was like, "Really? *This* is controversial?" I actually did research into why this chapter was considered as such and was shocked that it was because of some stupid generalization about 1960s America.

    Personally, I love the last chapter and don't see it as being unrealistic at all. In fact, I find it to be perfectly realistic. People grow up and they grow out of phases. Things that once seemed fun or acceptable start to look different with age. Alex's shift into adulthood reflects the maturation of many males, regardless of whether they lived a life of debauchery or not. Myself, I never beat people up or did horrible things to women, but at 25 I've reached an age where partying seems less like a fun time and where furniture shopping has become more interesting to me. I want a career, a home, maybe a family someday. Most men come to that point, although seem reach it later than others.

    So, boo to the publishers in the US. I don't blame Kubrick as much as I blame them. Even Burgess admitted that it was the publisher and not Kubrick who was at fault.

    Wow, long answer to a short question. LOL

  3. It's kind of funny that U.S. publishers didn't include a chapter that would have been seen as more positive when Americans are often taken to task for not being able to handle an unhappy ending. I saw the movie so long ago I don't remember it all that well but it was horrific to watch in parts and I felt much more sympathetic to Alex and the droogs in the book version. I loved the Nadsat slang and it really helped to create a sense of place in the book.

  4. Anja: I feel the same way. I'm not sure if maybe there was some sort of cultural thing going on at that time (I don't think my parents had even met by that time so I wasn't anywhere near being born yet) that made the publisher say that, but I love the last chapter and I think it's really horrible to ask an author to lop off an entire section of a book. Especially a book that's as amazing as A Clockwork Orange.

    I agree about the Nadsat. I also think that it's ingenious the way that he basically brainwashes the reader into understanding the slang. I dislike copies that have a glossary because the real beauty in the book is that at some point you read a sentence out loud because you think it's genius and people look at you like you've grown a second head. You understand it but they don't and you get a sense of pride knowing that you figured it all out without the benefit of a Nadsat-English dictionary.

  5. Let’s kick off Memorial Day Weekend with some scandal and controversy.

    I absolutely loved every minute of the Lord of the Rings films and felt they hit the mark when they brought Tolkien’s masterpiece to the big screen.
    (ducking as rotten tomatoes are thrown at me as the torches are lit and the pitchforks raised)

    Wait, wait. I can explain! Hop on over to my blog and hear me out –

    Howard A. Sherman, Implementor

  6. First of all, thank you for commenting on my blog! I agree with you about Mr. Reeves, he really does need to stay away from trying to be British and from trying to do Shakespeare!

    Second of all, you completely have me stumped! I liked what you said about trying to pick a movie that you liked and yet had read the book first, and I really can't think of one! I'm completely drawing a blank!

    I know I read It's Kind Of A Funny Story before I watched the movie, but I just thought the movie was okay. Man, this is really going to bug me...

  7. Bittner: I didn't realize he'd tried to do Shakespeare. *shudder* I didn't mind him in Constantine, although maybe it was just that I liked the movie enough to ignore him, I dunno.

    I've read a lot of books after the movie, so don't feel too bad. I tend to shy away from movie adaptations, although sometimes I feel compelled to watch them. Usually, if I watch a film for I book I haven't read I'll read the book. If I read a book first, I don't often feel the need to see the movie. Just a weird quirk, I guess.

  8. Thanks for stopping by and following - following back!

  9. Not a problem. Thanks for following! I just wish that my Google Friend Connect was working so that I could see the other people who started following me today.

  10. Hi! Thanks for commenting.
    I'd highly recommend 'Requiem for a Dream'. Its about drug addiction and is written in the Brooklyn, New York dialect. It doesn't have the sense of humour that Trainspotting does so it's just rather dark and tragic - you've been warned haha :-)

    I saw A Clockwork Orange years ago & wanted to read the book but I've never gotten around to it yet. It's on my ever-growing tbr list.

  11. Jennifer: Not a problem. I'm definitely interested in reading Requiem for a Dream, it's all a matter of fitting it into my schedule. I'll probably be adding the book to my TBR.

  12. Oh, and A Clockwork Orange is amazing. Just thought I'd add that. :)

  13. I never realized Timeline was based on a novel. It was definitely horrendous, although watching Gerard Butler kind of made up for it in my mind.

    I also haven't read A Clockwork Orange, though I did love the movie. Anytime I see eggs I always think "eggyweggs"!

  14. Ah, see I'm not a huge fan of Gerard Butler, although I didn't mind him in The 300. Timeline was so bad that I'm shocked Crichton even let it be made. It ripped a perfectly good novel to shreds.

    Every so often I get really tempted to speak in Nadsat, although I'm pretty sure people would think I was certifiable. The movie was great but the book shoots it right out of the water.