Book Vs. Movie

I’m feeling sort of grumpy today.  Maybe it’s the heat.  I also keep thinking about the email message that my mother sent from Michigan, where my dad was attending his class reunion.  My dad went to high school in Reed City, which is kind of a podunk town (sorry if you’re from there).  One of his classmates had a son who grew up to write a book.  This son, Doug Stanton, was a special speaker at the class reunion.  His book is about the U.S.S. Indianapolis, which sank during WWII.  It was published by a major publisher and it’s going to be made into a movie.  I’m happy for him.  Really.  It’s not the kind of book I’d normally read, but I understand that books like that are popular.  Fine.  So what bothered me about my mother’s email was her writing, “Maybe your book will be made into a movie, too.  You never know, honey.”  It’s as if having your book made into a movie somehow validates it.  I’m sorry if people are too lazy to read, but how many times do you see a movie and think, “The book was so much better!”  And I understand how movies reach more people, but why can’t the book be enough in itself?  I would be happy about the money that I might get, but I don’t see how my novel could be turned into a movie.  Some Hollywood screenwriter would make lots of changes, turn it into a thriller, and then it wouldn’t be my work at all.  *Sigh*  I suppose I should get used to this kind of thing. Next, Mom will say, “Maybe you’ll get a story published in Good Housekeeping, you never know.”  Or “Maybe Oprah will have you as a guest.  You never know.”  But even if none of these things happen, I am still happy that I am about to publish my first book.

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5 thoughts on “Book Vs. Movie

  1. Books are always better than their film versions because if good, then there is simply much more of it… generally. Harry Potter is a good example.. Some subjects lead themselves to a mass audience and others do not… just like some books/films are not intended to make money so much as simply tell their story. Most don’t make money.. same with most art… be it theatre, paintings, books, films etc. But those that push into the stratosphere make us judge all others by comparison… as if like children, they are all the same and subject to the same criteria… but like people, big or small, each is unique as a snowflake though from a distance they all look the same. All created but for different audiences… and all apart of the circle of life.

    Or you could simply look at it this way.. better small than large and a complete flop!

  2. Well, I wouldn’t worry about it too much. Somebody’s reading!! The article ends in saying, “The publishing business totaled $35.7 billion in global sales last year, 3 percent more than the previous year, according to the Book Industry Study Group, a trade association. About 3.1 billion books were sold, an increase of less than 1 percent.”
    Was there a disconnect between that statement and the bulk of the article? (Maybe I’m not reading as well as I used to…)

    I’ve heard people say that they read a book after they’ve seen the movie. It could be a good thing, Suzanne. Just make sure your contract allows you to have final say to things!!! Hope you have this “problem”.

  3. Oh, Suzanne, did this bring back memories! MY mom used to say, “Some day it will happen,” meaning some day I’d be successful, or published, or have a story in Good Housekeeping, etcetera. What I’d already done–published in small presses, magazines, etcetera, counted for almost nothing to her. What can you do? People who aren’t writers or artists just don’t have the faintest idea; their notions of success come entirely from our celebrity culture.I’ll tell you something, though: My mother died two years ago, and I’d give anything right now to hear her say, “Someday…”

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