When a book becomes a movie



I couldn’t decide for the longest time was whether I loved the concept of turning books into movies and television series. My first ventures into watching movies based on much loved books had been disappointing at best. After I watched several book adaptions I began to notice a pattern of emotional highs and lows that seemed to accompany the experience.



51--swRSZgL__SX331_BO1,204,203,200_ Christmas_with_Holly_HHOF_470[1]



Stage 1: Excitement – When you first see that a much loved book is going to be made into a movie or television series you feel a sort of euphoria that the characters you know so well will become a more intimate part of your life. You imagine which actor will play which role, and in most cases, you discuss the topic with fellow readers. Your mood at this point can best be described as optimistic.



Stage 2: Anger and Disbelief  – when you first view a movie adapted from a much loved book you will inevitably find that the producers have decided in their infinite wisdom to change a few facts. At times they change so many facts that you can barely recognize the similarity to the book you have read and loved. You find yourself saying things such as, “That character isn’t even in the book” or “In the book that character looked and acted totally different.”  At this point your mood can best be described as irate.


51MjuX9h-EL._SX303_BO1,204,203,200_[1]     90I8F3P3TO

Stage 3: Mourning – If you are able to continue with the series or movie after the stage of anger and disbelief, you will experience a sort of mourning. During this stage you will no longer fight every decision the director has taken, but you will feel a sense of loss that the movie that you hoped for is nothing more than a pipe dream and the big orange cat you have come to know and love isn’t big or orange at all. (Really, with all the cats in the world they couldn’t find an orange one?)


Richard Chamberlain and Rachel Ward appear in a scene from The Thorn Birds.       81t_a3pgxrl_sl.425cb164454.original[1]


Stage 4: Acceptance – If you’ve made it this far you will find that you have accepted the choices that the directors have made, and while you still not be thrilled with them, you can begin to accept them. You no longer feel the need to curse at the television. You find that you are beginning to watch the program for what it is, a loose and watered down version of the book for sure, but a movie or series that you know you would have enjoyed had you not first read the book.


81D-FkzdCvL._SY679_[1]      1225%20Christmas%20Tree%20Lane[1]


Stage 5: Enjoyment – If you make it this far you will find that you can actually begin to enjoy the movie or series free of expectation. At this point it becomes its own entity. You no longer compare it to the book because you know it is not the book. It can not nor ever will be the same as the book but it is still pretty awesome on its own merit.


th0LCSTBXJ 41QYSQCRv0L._SX279_BO1,204,203,200_[1]


So there you have it, the 5 stages of media transition. Comment below about a book adaption that you either loved or hated and be entered to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card.


111 thoughts on “When a book becomes a movie

  1. Wanda downs says:

    I have seen a lot of movies that were made from books. I have yet to see any that is true to the book. I also dont like when the actors who plays a main part does not match the description or character of who they are portrayinfg

  2. Amy Freedman says:

    I was really disappointed in the recent movie adaption of the Joanne Fluke novel. For the most part, I really do prefer the book to the movie but that tv movie had so departures–even the physical aspects of the characters was so different. I have no “beef” with Ms. Fluke and will continue to enjoy her books! Thanks for the opportunity to win the Amazon gift card to BUY MORE BOOKS!!

  3. I can’t think of a specific book I’ve read that was turned into a movie, but I completely agree with all the stages. Hollywood always puts out their views and not what the authors portrayed. I find reading a book is like playing a movie in my head. Most authors out so much detail in each scene that you feel like you are there.

  4. When reading a book you add your imagination to the author’s and have certain ideas as to what you think people or places look like, it is very hard to watch Hollywoods’s idea. Stephen King, for example is a total mind game author. I love interpreting his ideas! I am usually disappointed by actor choice. Really that girl looked nothing like Stephanie Plum, didn’t even go see it. Angelina Jolie as my favorite Disney character (Malifacent) PLEASE. Leave the books to our imagination which needs to be used and the movies to Hollywood. Thank you for being a writer.

  5. sallycootie says:

    You captured it perfectly – I go through all those stages. Sometimes I see the movie first and find I like it better than the books. I couldn’t watch but a few minutes of the Joanne Fluke movie, even though I tried several times, but I loved Christmas with Holly. Didn’t realize at first it was from a book I had read, then went back and read it, still love both.

  6. Clare Kauter says:

    The best book-to-movie adaptation I’ve ever seen is “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” where I personally felt that the movie was actually better than the book – a big call, I know. I think that’s definitely due to the fact that the author of the book directed the film.

  7. Pingback: The Best Book-To-Movie Adaptations | Clare Kauter

  8. martie says:

    The Notebook based on the Nicholas Sparks book. At the end of the movie Noah dies, however in the book he lives and is in another Sparks book, The Wedding.

  9. Bianca Andriese says:

    Kathi – I know what you are saying….. but the one mini series I LOVE and have seen an uncountable amount of times is Pride & Prejudice w/Collin Firth. Of course I’ve read the book over and over and over…..

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s