From Book to Screen.

These school holidays I became one of many to see the screen version of The Hunger Games.  Although a bit lengthy, I did enjoy it, and having read the book made me understand it better.  Someone did mention that it didn’t go into much detail about the situation with the Capital, but due to time constraints, not everything can be covered within a film adaptation.  This led me to ponder the success and failure of some film adaptations.

Personally, I prefer to have read the book before watching the film version.  For example, the day before I was due to watch Gone with the Wind for the first time, I was up until 3am that morning to finish the book.  Having done so helped me appreciate Scarlett better and therefore reducing me to tears at the end.

Some years ago I read The Power of One and having enjoyed the book, I then decided to get it out on video.  I’m so glad that I never paid the money to see it at the pictures, as I may well have demanded my money back.  The film seemed to have followed the book for about half of it and was then turned into something that was nothing like the book I had just finished reading.  I was bitterly disappointed and have been wary of film adaptations ever since.  According to Wikipedia, this particular film adaptation was based ‘though loosely’ upon the book, further going on to list the numerous differences from the novel.

The film adaptations of The Harry Potter series have worked quite well, although perhaps if they didn’t come up to scratch, there well may have been a major outcry!  It seems remarkable how Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, being the longest book in the series, managed to become the shortest of the film adaptations.

From what I understand Suzanne Collins wrote the script for The Hunger Games and although J. K. Rowling did not write the script for all the Harry Potter films, she did have a large input and specified that the scriptwriter be faithful to the books.  Perhaps that’s a lesson for all scriptwriters.

Do you prefer to read a book before it is adapted to the big screen or after?  Has there ever been a movie adaptation that you didn’t like?

2012 – Australia’s National Year of Reading.

In Australia, 2012 is the National Year of Reading.  It’s a joint initiative of government, local libraries, writers, booksellers, schools and many other interested parties to get the nation reading.  It is estimated that a staggering 46% of Australians can’t read.  As a writer, reader, and concerned parent, this leaves me wondering what has happened.  It would seem that the days when we used to call ourselves the ‘clever country’ are long gone!

Personally, I think every year should be a year of reading.  In a household surrounded by computer games, game consoles and i-pads, it would seem I am a bit of a lone voice in preferring to have my nose more securely in a book, traditional or otherwise.  I spent the entire year of 2011 reading to my daughter the entire Harry Potter series – probably the last time I would actually get to sit reading to one of my children.  Just by taking that tiny initiative, she is more interested in reading books than her reluctant thirteen year old brother (and she’s probably read more than him, too).  All I can say is bless you J.K. Rowling!

I’m looking forward to reading books by authors I have never read before.  I’m also looking forward to watching my ever-increasing ‘to read’ pile get lower (yeah I know – that will probably never happen)! 🙂

Will you be reading more this year?  Read any good books lately?

Free image by David Castillo Dominici courtesy of