Like the sun rising, and the summer turning into fall, some things are inevitable. They have happened for eons, and they will surely continue. Another inevitable part of life is that when a book is fairly popular, there will be an adaptation. There are various ways to adapt a book to a different medium, and some are done better than others. Every time you watch a movie, play, or TV show based on a book, one of the first things you will hear from many people is how the book is “SO much better than that silly adaptation.” But is that always true? Well, you won’t know until you actually try the books! Here are three books in Rice Library that have been adapted into film, TV, or theater. Check them out and see how they match up!
You might remember this movie from around 2002, it’s one of the first Nick Sparks movies I remember people being into. It’s a typical Sparks love story. Boy meets girl. They don’t much care for each other, but eventually fall in love, despite their differences in class and personality. Then tragic death. The movie follows the book loosely, with the major plot being the same, while the plot details and the time period are different. But the shameless tear jerking is the same. If you liked the movie, pure sweet Mandy Moore and all, you will probably like the book as well. It’s sweet and nostalgic and tragically romantic, thus everything you would expect from Nicholas Sparks.
2. Bag of Bones– Stephen King [PS3561.I483 B34 1998]
One of the less famous of Stephen King’s books, Bag of Bones is a novel about two of King’s favorite things: writers and ghosts. It is also filled with betrayal, towns in Maine with dark secrets, family relationships, and lost love. More of Stephen King’s favorite things! But it really is a good read, especially if you’re interested in history, the writing process, or just like a good ghost story. It’s not always the happiest story, and takes some pretty disturbing turns, but it is Stephen King after all. It’s sort of expected. There was, of course, a mini-series based on it made just last year in 2011. I remember being excited, as a fan of the book, to check it out. As far as adaptations go, it’s not bad, but if you have only seen the TV movie, definitely check out the book. It’s similar, but goes far deeper into the history of the characters, and gives the story a lot more atmosphere than the movie does. If you’re still missing Halloween and looking for something creepy, check it out.
3. Wicked– Gregory Maguire [PS3563.A3535 W5 1996]
Now here’s one you have probably heard of. The play, with its epic musical numbers and lavish production and endless run on Broadway, has become a major theatrical piece, and probably one of the more famous modern musicals. It tells the story of the Wicked Witch of the West, back when she was just Elphaba, a socially awkward green skinned girl, meeting and eventually befriending Glinda the good witch, back in their college days. But, did you know it was a book first? It’s not only a book, its actually part of a big series, expanding the story of The Wizard of Oz, told from multiple points of view. So how does the play stand up next to the books? Well, the book is darker. A lot darker. While the play is hardly all rainbows and butterflies, it is much more family friendly then the book, which deals more with politics and the nature of good and evil, and is just generally a darker story. But does that make it better? Or worse? You should check out the book (and the play) to find out!