Monday, September 16, 2013

Which Rocks Harder - Book or Film?

A couple of friends were over the other night and as we chatted at the low table underneath the  bookshelf, the topic came up: which is better, book or film? We had such a good time, letting loose the inner critique, I thought it would be fun to do the same here. I’ll get us started!

I’ve watched/read both and have to say, the tv series rocks my world the most. LJ Smith's tone and engagement is different, and although a milestone in the genre, I didn’t fall in love with the characters in the same was as I did in Julie Pleck and Kevin Williamson’s dark, romantic supernatural show. For starters, LJ Smith’s Elena Gilbert is a bit of a bitch. Pleck and Williamson portray her differently, and that’s not just sans the blonde hair and blue eyes. She’s a whole lot kinder and more compassionate that her literary double ganger. I find myself caring whether she gets her throat ripped out or not. I think the CW has kept to the spirit of the novels while creating a more expansive, immersible story. 
Your vote? Post a comment and let us know!

The Southern Vampire Series by Charlaine Harris vs. True Blood on HBO

This is a tough one. Though they share many characters, themes and storylines, the delivery is, by necessity, quite different. The novels are written in the first person. This is Sookie’s story, and we are always in her head. To make an engaging tv series, the writers had to expand out from there and the tone of the show is next level to the books in terms of sex, violence, blood, lust and . . . well, sex. It goes places the Southern Vampire Series only hints at, yet there is something familiar and alluring in the heroine Sookie in the novels. Curling up with one of the books, especially numbers 1-8, is something of a comfort, like revisiting an old friend. I vote for both.
Agree? Disagree? Pop in a comment if you like!

Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin vs. Game of Thrones on HBO

Easy. I like them both equally for the emotional charge, scale, visual spender and raw, relentless reminder of the sometimes tarnished and sometimes glowing human spirit. Book or screen, they leave me breathless. The novels are, of course, deeper, denser and, if possible, more murderous. The show is a feast of optical wonder, from sets to costumes to characters. What's not to love?
What do you think?

Novel? Screen, big or small? We’d love to hear what you love and/or hate about stories delivered in multiple mediums! Comments welcome!

Kim Falconer is a Supernatural Underground author writing paranormal romance, urban fantasy, YA and epic science fantasy novels. She also co-directs Good Vibe Astrology.
You can find out more about Kim at or on the 11th House Blog. She posts here at the Supernatural Underground on the 16th of every month. Her latest release is Supernatural Underground: Vampires Gone Wild.   


Jo said...

Hmm, as far as vampire genre, Interview with a Vampire was fairly equal. Though Queen of the Damned was definitely a better book than film.

Kim Falconer said...

Jo, good ones to bring up. I agree with Interview with a Vampire book and film being equal enjoyment. Anne Rice has such a rich and sensual style. Queen of the Damned on the big screen did fall a little short, didn't it . . . not sure why, but it lacked a powerful impact for me.

Thanks for dropping in!

Helen Lowe said...

I haven't read Vampire Diaries, but although I started liking Tue Blood as much as the Sookie Stackhouse books, I quickly went back to the books. Especially in the early ones 9Ihaven't read the last 3-4)Sookie is a much stronger character and has a joie de vivre that is lacking in the show (imho.)

As for A Game Of Thrones--it's the books all the way for me!

Great post, Kim: thanks for the fun!

Kim Falconer said...

Thank you, Helen, for jumping in. I know what you mean about the character of Sookie in the HBO series, but the other characters are well developed, and some of them so vivid, with stronger back stories. They really come to life.

I haven't read the last 3 or 4 of the Southern Vamp series either. Seemed a good stopping place, judging by 'reviews' but that's for another post!


mod2011 said...

I much prefer The Vampire Diaries TV show. Sookie ? About the same; it's different but both are great. Books of course a bit better. I was surprised that the movie for Interview with a Vampire turned out so well, the book being so great.

mod2011 said...

I much prefer The Vampire Diaries TV show. Sookie ? About the same; it's different but both are great. Books of course a bit better. I was surprised that the movie for Interview with a Vampire turned out so well, the book being so great.

Kim Falconer said...

Hi Mod2011,

I'm team TVD (on the CW) as well. The show has more heart and feels contemporary. Plus fabulous cast . . . often a book is deeper and richer, but in this case, it's the show.

I was surprised with Interview with a Vampire too. The film captured the power and essence of the book. Anne Rice must have been thrilled.

Thanks for dropping in!

llamannerdymom said...

I prefer the written word to books on screen. A well written book or scene can move me in a deeper way. This not to say that I haven't enjoyed the books in movies or shows but on their own merit.

Kim Falconer said...

That's a good point, "on their own merit." And yes, the images and scenes unfolding in our heads, in our own 'secondary world' as Tolkien called it, it the sweet spot.

Thanks for chiming in, llamannerdymom!

Bonnie said...

Hi Kim,
I loved The Hunger games movie almost as much as the book. They stuck close to the story.
The Southern Vampire Series is way better than True Blood, but the last book in the series was not to my liking. In the show it seems the characters stray from their original characteristics.
I haven't read the Books for Vampire Diaries but I love the character of Damon. Though sometimes it's too much drama.

Anonymous said...

I never thought I'd say a film or TV show was better than the books but it certainly is the case with The Vampire Diaries. The show is 100 times better than the books.

As for True Blood versus Sookie Stackhouse I have mad love for the early books. Granted the series drug out far too long but I loved them. The show is so different than the books it is hard to compare the two. I like the show and I'll continue to watch it but all you can say at this point is that True Blood is loosely based on the Sookie Stackhouse series.

I haven't read the Game of Thrones series but love the show. I'm not big on reading epic fantasy so this will probably just remain a viewing pleasure.

I almost always prefer books over the movie/TV show. The Vampire Diaries and The Secret Circle have been rare exceptions.

Tracey Yates said...

I prefer book usually. The thing with a book is you're using your own imagination to create the world and what people will look like in your minds eye. With a movie or a TV show you do not get that option. You are forced into looking at what someone else's imagination has created them to look like.