Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Book's Often BETTER Than The Movie

I watched the Golden Globes this weekend.  Perfect timing, since I'd just finished reading The Descendants for my book club.  George Clooney won for best actor in it, and the movie won for best drama.  I was...surprised.  Not that the yummy Mr. Clooney excelled, but that they'd even decided to turn this particular book into a movie.  Which led me to ponder how many books end up as movies.  So many people out there only know the big screen version of good fiction.  In some cases, there's no down side.  I've read Ian Fleming's James Bond books, and although I urge everyone to read them, there is something about watching all that action in exotic locales that just can't be beat.

However, in this season of award shows, I want to focus for a few weeks on books that MUST be read, even if you have already seen the movie.  We're kicking off with a classic.
I read Gone With the Wind probably a dozen times before I ever saw the movie.  Let me be clear - Clark Gable is amazing, and I dare any woman to feel a swoon coming on as they watch him.  In fact, you should see the movie just to admire the beautiful costumes.  But the book has a grandeur and depth of detail that simply can't be condensed into a movie. 

There are also several key plot differences.  I don't want to throw out too many spoilers and well...spoil it for you, but Scarlett has two more children in the book.  (I won't tell you by who.)  Suffice it to say that Margaret Mitchell knew her way around a plot and around descriptions, and you will be transported to the Civl War South from page one.  Yes, it is long, but it is worth it.  Next time you truly want to immerse yourself in a sweeping historical, move past the new release shelf and pick up a copy.

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