Movie vs. Book?
Sorry it's been so long since I have written a new blog, but here you go. The whole "movie vs. book" thing is not a new question, so I don't mean to insult anyone's intelligence out there by addressing it once again. But this summer I had a new experience. I just finished reading The Shining. I have always been a huge Stephen King fan. All of his stories are masterfully crafted and really creepy, which I love. But for some reason, this one rubbed me the wrong way. About half way through the book, I realized why I wasn't totally on board. It was because I had seen the movie first, which by the way, I also love. Nine times out of ten, if someone is asked which is better, the book or the movie, the book gets the nod. In this case though, it isn't that simple.
Let's say I had read the book twenty years ago, before seeing the movie. In that case I may have considered the movie disappointing because it didn't live up to the original story. But since I saw the movie first, to me, that was "The Shining." I went years before reading the book, so the Jack Nicholson version was fully ingrained in my mind. Ironically enough, King's original story became the impostor to me. Sounds ridiculous, right? But there is something about the simplicity of that movie that creeps me out. The book was again, well-crafted and King once again, proved that he is a master storyteller, but in this case, the character development and back stories caused a hiccup in the rhythm of the story for me. In the movie, I wasn't as concerned as to why Torrance goes nuts- he just did! And that was freaky enough.
So, the bottom line is maybe the movie vs. book question isn't that simple. Maybe it has to do with which story grabs you first. Don't get me wrong, I believe firmly in the power of books and their imaginative possibilities, and more times than not, movies don't do them justice. King was furious with the first movie version of The Shining because it didn't hold true to his work. That may be so, but it holds true to its own eccentric, ghastly view of the Overlook Hotel, and to me that's equally as convincing.