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books turning into movies- popularity





imera
I'm not sure if it's only me but does the books become more popular when they are turned into movies? Many times I have either never heard of the book or thought that it might be a good book. It could be because our library is small and don't have all the different books, or it could be that I don't bother reading all books I might find interesting.

What do you all think?
jessicawalker
Of course books becoming movies makes them more popular. It's turning the book into mainstream entertainment that you don't have to be a reader to enjoy, as opposed to something that's not instantly gratifying. A lot of my favorite books have become movies and usually, they're not nearly as good in movie-form.
Parkour_Jarrod
jessicawalker wrote:
Of course books becoming movies makes them more popular. It's turning the book into mainstream entertainment that you don't have to be a reader to enjoy, as opposed to something that's not instantly gratifying. A lot of my favorite books have become movies and usually, they're not nearly as good in movie-form.


I hate it when one of my favorite books becomes a movies and mainstream because, then people think of me as a mainstream wanna be cool dude, even though ive had the book years before it came out as a movie...
Radar
I dislike that more books aren't mainstream until they become movies. Movies are sadly so much easier for people to get through, and became a part of popular culture so much quicker, than most book series.

Which then fuels the cycle even further, since people go see the movie so that they can understand what everyone is talking about, and so on. Hardly ever do you see a cycle like that happening with a book.
crimson_aria
i'll be honest and say that I didn't know Lord of the Rings before Peter Jackson turned it into a movie. thanks to him, I discovered one of the best things in life. that's why I'm totally grateful. i wasn't really into fantasy books before. thanks to the movie, I discovered how wonderful they are. sure I get annoyed at times at how the movie isn't as great as the book. but I don't really mind. those movies make me want to read the book. in most cases, they trigger my curiosity.
Dean_The_Great
I don't mind that movies turn great books into the common mainstream goodness for which so many people are looking. It's entertainment, they're generally half decent movies (if the source material is any good) and maybe it will take the viewers of one medium into the readers of another. But in my opinion, if you see a movie based on a book, and you love it, you should DEFINITELY read the book! Because the book is ALWAYS better than the movie. Only on two occasions have I seen movies that are exceptional adaptations the book, but even still, the book is always a little better.

Like the movie? You'll love the book!
Nutteloos
Even if the adaptation from book to movie isn't that successful, it makes re-reading the book much more enjoyable. The movie always offers a context to place the story in, a way to visualize the places in the books that you didn't imagine before. Part of the joys in watching a movie adaptation is noticing the difference between the story as you imagined it, and how it's visualized in the movie.
guissmo
I luckily read some books a few months before it's announced to be turned into a movie. Also, I need to find a good site that lists good books to read. Reviews of them my help so I know which books to buy.
blk3
It works both ways, if a book gets turned into a movie, some people who watched the movie and liked it tend to seek the books it was based on. And sometime movies got turned into books, like the Star Wars series for example there are only 6 main Star Wars movies but it has spawned countless of books.
ddukki
blk3 wrote:
It works both ways, if a book gets turned into a movie, some people who watched the movie and liked it tend to seek the books it was based on. And sometime movies got turned into books, like the Star Wars series for example there are only 6 main Star Wars movies but it has spawned countless of books.
I wholeheartedly agree with blk3 here. Just because the movie's horrible in comparison to the book doesn't mean that it was a disaster for the author or the fanbase. Usually, it tends to be the opposite. The quote, "any publicity is good publicity" seems to be appropriate here. Good books that are already popular will have okay movies that don't live up to the books, but still make a crap-ton of money [Harry Potter, Chronicles of Narnia, Spiderman, etc.]. Lesser known books can have movies that bomb at the box office, but still bring considerable attention to the book itself [Beowulf (a couple new versions and translations have come out since the movie), Eragon, and so on]. On rare occasions, either good / bad books [I use the terms loosely] will make blockbusters and sell really well.

Sure it has to do with popularity, but there's nothing inherently wrong with that. Popular books turn out popular movies; movies in general bring attention to the books that they are based off of.
kutekitten
Movies take away quite a lot from the book, they take away the imagination aspect of reading a book. I try my best to read the book before I see the movie, just so that I can enjoy the book and the movie in their own way.
[FuN]goku
Eugh, I hate when books turn into movies, but at the same time I like them.. Most of the reason that I hate it, is because alot of original content (usually the best parts) get cut in the movie. A perfect example of this are the Harry Potter movies. There are TONS of good parts they cut out from the book. I was actually very disappointed with the Half Blood Prince movie because of the amount they cut from it. Fight scene wasn't even any good, the book had more characters fighting. I mean, I understand that they have to cut SOME stuff, but why is it always the good parts?
kutekitten
I totally agree with [FuN]goku about the harry potter series. Like the fifth book, which when it turned into a movie missed the whole quidditch thing. (Using one of the many things they missed out of that book as an example...) They were incredibly crazy about making that one of the most well known words when harry potter came to mind when they first started the movies, then they didn't even mention it in the fifth, and that was a really big part of the book, it showed Umbridge taking away something truly important to harry.
Nameless
Some do, but I presume that there are plenty of books that don't become popular after being made into movies ... given how MANY movies are based on other media. Speaking as somebody who reads often and watches movies very rarely, I don't consider it a bad thing when the books get a boost. Although declaring one or the other ALWAYS better is misleading (different formats, target audiences, audience preferences and so forth).

Technically, it should work the other way around too, if to a lesser extent. If a work is produced across multiple mediums it's logically more likely for any given consumer to have an interest in one of them.
TurtleShell
Yeah I kind of like it and kind of hate it. On the one hand, half the time it's a book I really like and I look forward to the film as a chance to replay the book one more time. It's a different way of experiencing something I already enjoyed. Sure, they cut out the best parts and they cast the wrong actors for the parts, but that's expected. I never go to a movie these days expecting it to be GOOD. I think the reasons for this are two-fold: one, I'm older and more jaded. Two, most movies just aren't that good anymore. Period. It's the same old BS over and over again.

On the other hand, I feel like this happens more than it used to, books becoming movies. I get a little annoyed that they can't come up with original content for movies anymore--it's got to have a gimmick or its got to be chained to a book.

How many of you saw the movie Up? That was a GOOD MOVIE! I laughed hysterically, I cried (almost), I was, like, glued to my seat throughout. My family and I still quote it and laugh. It wasn't based off a book. It was original and weird and sweet and hilariously funny. Why don't they make more movies like that?
Radar
It's a different perspective coming back to this thread a few months later and realising that I'm contemplating reading 'The Time Traveller's Wife' because the film is coming. My only defense is that I had heard about the book beforehand from a friend, and this is simply another case of me hearing about it.

Having said that, the fact that there's a movie is a motivation to read the book.

But I'm really hoping that I manage to read the book before I get conned into seeing the movie!
TurtleShell
Re: the Time Traveller's Wife, do not see the movie without reading the book first. It's one of those cases where the movie could never live up to the experience of reading the book. I haven't seen the movie yet, but I read the book several years ago and it was deeply engaging. Seeing the movie first would be a mistake, because the book is so fabulously wonderful.
Crazy_Canuck
I agree with Turtle on the Time Traveller's Wife. I read the book and was quite moved by it, but the movie is sure to disappoint, especially with the insipid Rachel McAdams in the lead role.

One movie that was as rich an experience as the book was for me was Michael Cunningham's The Hours. The movie was with Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore and Meryl Streep - a finer acting trio you cannot find - and it was truly powerful. It kept all the strengths of the unique story line (really, three stories in one) and also offered a twist from the novel.

I read the book, then saw the movie, then read the book and saw the movie again. Each time, I saw something new in each work.
TurtleShell
You totally just reminded me I always meant to read that book and watch that movie. my partner won't let me see hte movie until the book has been read...it's a rule in our house, I guess... by the way, good to see you again, CC. Been a while!
Crazy_Canuck
TurtleShell wrote:
You totally just reminded me I always meant to read that book and watch that movie. my partner won't let me see hte movie until the book has been read...it's a rule in our house, I guess... by the way, good to see you again, CC. Been a while!


You too Turtle!!! I miss you over at goodreads too ... my review of The Hours is over there (I think?). I'm still there but not as active a poster as I once was.

The Hours is a truly fine book. One of my top 10 I think. I'd love to hear what you think of it and the movie when you end up seeing it.

I think I might agree with your partner's rule. When I read a book, I am making up the movie in my head anyway. Not that it's always better than the film that gets done, but at least it's mine!

On that note (and related to the topic of this thread): is there anyone other than me that gets so pissed off when I read a book that I KNOW has simply been written to sell as a screenplay and make a caboodle of money off the movie? I just hate that, it's so mercenary and exploitative of the reader's experience.
TurtleShell
I don't post as much I used to be either... I used to have a steady 40 points most of the time. I've just been so busy. Anyway, what's a good example of the books that were written to sell into screenplays? I don't read a lot of fiction these days and I can't think of one I felt exploited in that way by../
Crazy_Canuck
TurtleShell wrote:
I don't post as much I used to be either... I used to have a steady 40 points most of the time. I've just been so busy. Anyway, what's a good example of the books that were written to sell into screenplays? I don't read a lot of fiction these days and I can't think of one I felt exploited in that way by../


Well, let me see now...this is just my gut feeling when I come across a wildly popular author who seems to capture the attention of the masses, but is more interested in turning out a best seller than actually creating a work of literary quality. So in this vein, I would put:

The Secret Life Of Bees
Anything by Nicholas Sparks
The Kite Runner
The Memory Keeper's Daughter
that one about the circus and the elephants - Water For Elephants, something like that?

I call these (with the exception of the Nicholas Sparks novels, which are basically just trash--I put him in the same category as Jodi Picault) -- pseudo-literary exploitaprose. They always have beautifully designed covers, and are high quality trade pubs.

I'm not sure where Dan Brown fits ... somewhere in this or an overlapping category too.

Am I being too harsh?
TurtleShell
Crazy_Canuck wrote:
TurtleShell wrote:
I don't post as much I used to be either... I used to have a steady 40 points most of the time. I've just been so busy. Anyway, what's a good example of the books that were written to sell into screenplays? I don't read a lot of fiction these days and I can't think of one I felt exploited in that way by../


Well, let me see now...this is just my gut feeling when I come across a wildly popular author who seems to capture the attention of the masses, but is more interested in turning out a best seller than actually creating a work of literary quality. So in this vein, I would put:

The Secret Life Of Bees
Anything by Nicholas Sparks
The Kite Runner
The Memory Keeper's Daughter
that one about the circus and the elephants - Water For Elephants, something like that?

I call these (with the exception of the Nicholas Sparks novels, which are basically just trash--I put him in the same category as Jodi Picault) -- pseudo-literary exploitaprose. They always have beautifully designed covers, and are high quality trade pubs.

I'm not sure where Dan Brown fits ... somewhere in this or an overlapping category too.

Am I being too harsh?


You wrote this about six months ago and I never saw it! Sorry this reply was so delayed, but better late than never.

First of all, you're absolutely right about Nicholas Sparks--I laughed when I read his name in your list. His books are to the publishing industry what Thomas Kinkade is to painting. He's got a book writing factory/movie producing scheme all to himself.

He IS in the same category as Picoult, but I think her work probably spans a wider range on the cosmic scale of "unimaginative easily digestible crap->imaginative works of fiction". I say "probably" because I've only read one or possibly two of her books (out of the five billion she's written). But my partner has actually read possibly as many as five or six of her books and she's told me about some of them, and I have deduced from her descriptions that JP put more than a little effort into making them weird/different/interesting. One in particular springs to mind--something about a little girl who starts hearing the voice of God? Can't remember the title. Amazing Grace, maybe.

I hated, hated Kite Runner. God, that book made me angry. I still get frazzled thinking about it. I think you're right--it had that weird, "I'm better than the other books on the shelf" sheen to it that was clearly intentional and meant to grab the reader's attention. Then the dramatic plot lines and themes--they knew they had a best seller and all they needed was some good marketing and cover design...Secret Life of Bees I never did read, but I guess I've been unknowingly avoiding the books that are marketed to me as being, like, really good new literature. I kind of want to pick it myself, I don't want the publishing companies to pick it for me. THe good new literature. So when I see those gleaming paperbacks that look all dramatic and like they're meant to look like "quality" books, I choose something else. DOes this make sense? I think I am agreeing with you on your assessment.

As for Dan Brown, I have developed a weird affection for his books. They're just trashy, fun books, but the quality isn't that bad. Yeah, the Da Vinci Code was blown WAY out of proportion, but I don't blame Dan Brown. He's a crime/mystery writer. He just writes good beach reading paperbacks. I don't think the Da Vinci Code was written for the big screen--I think, in fact, it was definitely NOT written for the big screen. It's too focused on words and puzzles. I applaud Dan Brown for writing a book that most people could jump on board with and was best presented as a book and not a movie. Very cool. But then, I never saw the movie. Was it any good?

sometimes I think you and I are the only ones who regularly post in the literature section. I feel like we need to recruit more conversation partners or something.
inuyasha
It seems to me that the purpose isn't to popularify the books but the movies, thus earning more money. Besides, readers may want to have a look at the scenery or other elements described in the books, especially magic stories like Harry Potter and Twilight Saga.
lovescience
Some books are turned into movies because they are loved by many people.

When a book is made to a movie.
I think it's a different experience to watch the movie than to read the book.

Many people get to know the book because of the movie. And some people watch the movie because they know the book.

I think you can look for book stores, while a movie made from a book is in theater or before it is in theater, usually the book is also in bookstores.

Sometimes, I would read the book before I decided to go to the movie.
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