Read the Book or See the Movie

by Rachel Baker on August 1, 2014

I have recently changed the way I think about books being made into movies. The last few years, I read a lot of books that seemed like they were written exactly for the sole purpose of being sold as a movie – and frankly, the experience of reading these books sucked.

Because of this, I have quit reading some of the more popular books – because eventually, they will have the rights sold for a movie. This is particularly true of YA books. Most of the books on my pseudo-daughter’s reading list the last three years are all now out on DVD or coming in the next year or so. I will happily watch the movies with her; and if I am further interested, I will then read the book.

She and I recently had this discussion – and my reaction stunned her, I think. She expected me to say, read the book first and then watch the movie. I explained to her that if it is a school assignment, then she should read the book…and if the movie is out, watch that too (it may help clear up some questions from the book). If its not a reading assignment then by all means watch the movie first. Its perfectly okay to not want to read a book that is a movie; and its completely okay to say a movie was better than the book.

Most specifically, though, I’ve decided its better to waste two hours of your time on a not-so-great, already-been-done-10-times-in-the-last-two-years movie than to waste six hours on a not-so-great, already-been-done-10-times-in-the-last-two-years. And let’s be honest, everyone is trying to write a better YA book than the last author’s; and they are all being written for the big screen, rather than the quiet confines of one’s imagination.

While “The Goldfinch” by Donna Tart may not be considered a YA book (and who knows, maybe it is), I won’t be reading it until after I see the movie. Frankly, I don’t want to spend time reading a 784 page novel that might not be as good as the hype. I truly believe this may actually be a case of the movie will be better than the book, and I don’t want it jaded by having read the book.

Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Goldfinch is set to become a feature film, as Warner Brothers has acquired the movie rights to the book. The movie will be co-produced by Rush Hour director Brett Ratner, as well as Brad Simpson and Hunger Games producer Nina Jacobson.

The Goldfinch, Tartt’s third novel, has sold at least 1.5 million copies, despite clocking in at an intimidating 784 pages — a length that may pose a challenge for the film adaptation. The novel, a coming-of-age story about a boy whose grief over his mother’s senseless death is assuaged by his dangerous and illegal love for a priceless painting, drew comparisons to Charles Dickens upon its publication and has continued to command critical attention and popular sales.

Warner Brothers Acquires Movie Rights To Donna Tartt’s ‘The Goldfinch’

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