Who Did It Better? Book Or Movie?

It’s no secret that on top of being an avid reader I am a big fan of movies. So it’s no surprise that I’ll make it my mission to watch the film adaptations of the books I read. And if I find out a movie I enjoyed was based on a book, you bet I’m adding that story to my TBR.

As you’ve probably already guessed, the theme of my April reading list was books with movie/tv adaptations!

If you’re going to read this book, I highly recommend listening to the audiobook. I was pleased to find that the story telling was very stream-of-consciousness, which is not something I see as often as I would like. That style works very well for the subject matter and makes the audiobook experience that much better. I felt like I was listening directly to the narrators thoughts… Which got so trippy and wonderful when the twist kicked in! That was the most mind-blowing audiobook experience I have had so far.

The movie is just as trippy and feels very much like an art film. Using the narrative style and twists and turns as inspiration, the movie adds in some visual elements that make the story that much more chaotic and confusing (in the best way).

Unfortunately, compared to the shock I felt at the ending of the audiobook, the ending of the movie fell flat in comparison. It was heart-breaking and moving, but just not as much of a wow for me.

Hmm… Something here does not belong.

Yes, I cheated this month. This book did not lead to a film adaptation (although there are plenty of cannibal movies out there).

I stared reading this book in March, picking away bit by bit, so that I could learn more about this taboo subject. I’m currently working on a novella about cannibalism and when this title crossed my social feed I knew it was what I needed for my research.

This book presents a fascinating look at cannibalism in nature and human history, as well as a bleak outlook of the future. Perfect for someone like me! I love reading science books like this from time to time, and this one made me want to add more non-fiction cannibal books to my TBR.

If you’re afraid of slugs, avoid the book – and especially the movie – at all costs! I first learned about this book in Grady Hendrix’s Paperbacks From Hell, and when I saw the title make its way onto my Goodreads recommendations I added it to the list. As a bonus, I spotted the movie on Tubi not long after.

The story all action, no plot. Well, there’s a little bit of plot. But it’s sandwiched between gore, violence, death by slugs… and plenty of gratuitous sex scenes. It reads like a cheesy 80s horror movie.

So yes, although there was less sex, the cheesy 80s horror movie that came from the novel was delightfully fun. Now, I had to tell my slug-squeamish husband not to look at the screen while I had it on, but do not take either the book or the movie seriously. This story is just pure, gruesome fun.

I was severely disappointed with the movie when I saw it on Netflix. I watched it within the week it was released and found it to be sad rip-off of the Bird Box film that had come to the same streaming service a year earlier. Honestly, I remember very little about the movie.

When I saw the audiobook was included in my Audible membership, I was surprised to learn that the story was based on a book. And of course I found myself wondering if the book was better. It is.

Now, it’s not the best piece of apocalyptic fiction I’ve ever read, but as a fan of the genre I still enjoyed it. And I was thrilled to find that the book is much darker than the movie (at least based on my limited memory of the film). After a certain death scene, I even needed a break from the book for about a day or so.

I regret having watched the movie, but I do not regret listening to the audiobook.

I first learned about the movie through the AutoCrit Nightmare Fuel course I took during the height of the pandemic. Specifically, the instructor was referencing a brilliant line in the film (which is sadly not in the book).

Not long after, I found the movie on… I forget which streaming service, and watched it immediately. I loved it! The premise and the “monster” are unique and engaging. I can’t believe it took me so long to read the book.

And yes, I did enjoy the book. I found that the movie does not stray too far away from the original plot, so obviously I loved reading it. I would love to re-watch the movie now that I’ve read the book, but I can’t seem to find it on streaming services anymore.

It’s rare that Mark gets hooked on a horror story, but this TV show hit all the right notes for him. And me too. This was a show we could watch together, and we were both devastated to learn that it was not renewed for a second season.

I added the audiobook to my library once I had the credits, which I only partially regret because the cover art of the physical book (not pictured) is so nice I would love to get a copy for my collection.

But aside from the cover art, this book is a winner! It still has the same great misadventures as the show, and the same episodic story structure. There are some scenes in the show that were not in the book, so now I’m in a hurry to read the sequel to see if I can find them there.

Some of the characters’ genders are different compared to the show, and I really appreciate it. Although there are strong female characters in the book, they are that much stronger in the show. And powerful men become powerful women in the TV adaptation. It’s because of these women that I am sad we didn’t get a season 2.

Once again, another story that was hornier than expected. Although given the circumstances, I can’t say I’m surprised. For me, the titular story of this collection was just okay until the very end. The shift of perspective makes you stop and think, and I appreciate that. The other stories in the collection were a mixed bag. I found that the ones that took place in funeral parlours were my favourite. The others… I barely remember them anymore.

There are many movie adaptations (three I think?) and I’ve seen two of them. The Last Man on Earth (1964) is obviously my favourite because it stars Vincent Price. Also, it’s the most faithful to the source material. I Am Legend (2007) on the other hand… I barely remember it. Unfortunately, that one came across as just another soulless Hollywood remake for me.

My first DNF of the year! I don’t usually give up on a book, but I was not going to give this one any more of my time. I watched the John Carpenter years ago because it had the name of one of my favourite directors attached, and it was just ok. When I saw the audiobook included in my Audible membership, I thought I’d give it a try.

After less than an hour of listening I couldn’t take it anymore. The writing style was just not for me. And neither was the misogyny. At the line “women don’t tinkle, they dew” (or something to that effect), I was DONE.

I adore the Netflix movie and couldn’t wait to read the book. So of course, true to form, I waited.

The first half of the story is pretty much the same for both versions, except for the fact that Luke’s backstory is different. It’s in part 2 where the book and the movie start to separate.

Although the movie presents this cult as a larger, well-organized group of people, the book shows just a bunch of misguided kids trespassing on an old woman’s ancestral home. Both groups are equally terrifying.

But my favourite thing in both the movie and the book is that you never really see the monster. It’s intentionally vague and always hidden. And that’s what makes it so terrifying.

I was a rabid Tim Burton fan back in the day, so of course I saw the movie the moment it hit theatres (even though I had already moved on to a new favourite director by then). And – of course – I bought the book right away and let it sit on my selves to marinate for a few years.

I don’t read as much YA nowadays, but I certainly wouldn’t mind picking up the sequels to this book. It’s a standard YA story structure, and you can tell this book is just building up the mythology of the series. There’s a lot more exposition than action. But I really love the photographs included in the book and how the narrative includes them all.

The movie made some changes, as is to be expected. I agree with some and disagree with others. After reading the book, I wish the movie had been done in an older Burton style (like something reminiscent of his biggest hits). Either that or they should have gotten a weirder, more experimental director to take charge of the project.

If you know anything about me, you know sharks are my autistic special interest and this book might as well be my bible. I’ve read the book, watched the movie, re-watched the movie, forced others to watch the movie. So how could I say no to an audiobook included in my membership. Obviously, I love the story. Why would you even ask that when you know the answer? Both movie and book are a solid 10 and I don’t care if you disagree with me. I’ll fight you.

Seriously, no one speaks ill of Jaws and lives to tell the tale.

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