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Yes, Please: Discovering Good Screen Adaptations of Books

I wasn’t sure how exactly to phrase the title of this specific subject, so hopefully the final one I went with makes some sense. 🙂

A quick perusal of upcoming movie releases for 2013 has me both a little excited and nervous, because usually when books become movies or tv shows, something essential to the original work tends to be lost in the translation to the screen.

A few of the ones I’m excited about coming out sometime this year are Gatsby, Catching Fire (I vow to not see this installment of the Hunger Games series more than once in theaters), Oz, and Ender’s Game.  In anticipation of each of these releases I’ll probably give myself a refresher on each and plan to read the books first, in hopes that the movies won’t be too far off the original works.

Over the weekend, I saw Warm Bodies (I highly recommend seeing this), and didn’t realize until afterwards that this movie was actually based on a book by the same title, which means I’ll probably also add that to my reading list.

Reading the book after seeing the movie is a little backward, since I already know most of what is going to happen, but sometimes it’s worthwhile to do this.

I learned this lesson recently, when I decided to read through the Game of Thrones books after watching the 2 seasons that have been released of the show. After working my way through the first book, I was not only more excited about the series in general, but also proud of the way the show mostly has stayed true to the original writing.

With story-lines that are so well written and interesting, this double exposure to similar material is something I actually enjoy. I found that I hated or loved the same characters just as much imaging them in my head as I did when able to see the actors playing roles and telling the story.

I have high expectations for the coming season of Game of Thrones (it’ll be interesting to see what I think about the show after reading the book the season is based on first), as well as the upcoming movie releases I mentioned before.

Hopefully, the screen versions will be done well, and do justice to the original story, and not be a colossal failure or completely different from the stories I know and love.

Have you experienced this similar joy, when realizing that a movie is almost as good as the original book? I’d love to hear what titles met or surpassed your expectations when you were able to watch it play out on the big screen.

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