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11 Jul 2012

RTW: Book Versus Film

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.

This Week's Topic:
What movie have you seen that actually (gasp!) improved on the book?


I loved the film Stardust.  It was comical and whimsical with a fantastic choice of actors.  I adored Robert De Niro's drag queen/butch pirate and Michelle Pfeiffer's haggard then glamorous witch.  It was a brilliant story with character and relationship development, the right amount of drama, comedy, and tension.

I wanted to read the book because I wanted to discover more of Neil Gaiman's writing and I'm always interested when I find out a film is an adaptation of a book.  I like to read the book as well.  But when I read Stardust I was thoroughly disappointed in it.  Definitely not what I was expecting.  The full review of the book is here but these are a couple of things that I didn't like in the book and that the film did well in.

1) The thing I really didn't like in the book was how anti-climatic it was.  I didn't feel there was a satisfied ending or resolution with the main antagonist.  In the film, there's a resolution.  Tristran and Yvaine face the main antagonist instead of just wandering off on their journey.

2) The film knows its focus.  It has a journey for Tristan and he follows it.  The book did add more adventures for them but they were either very brief or just mentioned in the narration without being able to read about.  I thought Gaiman should have either cut it out and stuck to Tristran's (name is slightly different in the book) journey or built on it more. 

Overall the film was best at telling a comic yet fantastical fairy tale, better than the book did.  So I'd honestly recommend the film more if you're interested in Stardust.  It differs greatly from the book which may or may not be why I wasn't so keen reading it but I think this is how the tale should have been told.




14 comments:

  1. THIS.

    I saw the film and loved it and figured "hey, the book can only get better!" but the ending was so disappointing.

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  2. I remembered your review of this book. Perhaps I'll check out the movie instead of getting the novel to see what the book might have been, or perhaps should have been. :)

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  3. I know, Cole. :( It was a big disappointment because I loved Gaiman's The Graveyard Book. But apparently it's not his usual writing style so I will check out his other novels. I just won't go into with high expectations like I did with Stardust.

    Colin, I wouldn't want to put people off the book because I don't know if my disappoinment with it was due to watching the films 100 times before reading. But the ending is disappointing so I don't think that's anything to do with watching the film first. It's a wonderful film if you do check it out. Fantastic choice in actors. :)

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  4. Robin, interesting you picked Stardust. I LOVED how dark the book was, and while I liked the film I though the book was a lot better. I felt the movie made the book into something light and fluffy which I didn't agree with.... Don't get me wrong--I liked the movie too :)

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  5. I agree that the book felt a lot more adult than family friendly. Like, there's sex while it's a fade to black kinda scene in the film. But it's the writing really that put me off the book. We have a more fantastical land in the book but it didn't feel built up enough. I was greedy and wanted to see more world building! :D I think Gaiman could have done more. But I still want to read his other novels. I'm not giving up! :)

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  6. I keep meaning to read this one since I thought the movie was great... I'm glad to know they're not the same. Now I have to read it to see how different it is, haha :)

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  7. Yup, Stardust is on my blog today too! :) Great movie!

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  8. You're not the first person to pick this. I haven't read the book so I can't form an opinion but I did love the book!

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  9. Oops, I meant I loved the movie. Haha

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  10. I haven't read Stardust but LOVED the film, interesting pick!

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  11. I haven't read or seen this but i remember wanting to see the film. With a towering TBR pile i think you've sold me on just the film.

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  12. I haven´t read the book but now I actually want to watch the movie :D

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  13. I love the movie! I think I'll avoid Stardust when I finally get around to reading my first Neil Gaiman novel.

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  14. Rachael, I don't think it's the Gaiman novel I was hoping to read so definitely go for something else. The Graveyard Book is the only other book of his that I've read which I quite liked. I need to read some more of his to find out what his writing style is really like.

    Elodie and Beck, it's a must-see! Fantasic film. :)

    VikLit and Crystal, it's very different to the book which may have had a lot to do with my disappointment in it. But I think it's still worth a try.

    Melanie and Xan, such an awesome film! :) Think I might watch it tonight after raving about it so much. :)

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