On Book to Movie Adaptions

I’m not a particularly fast reader. Maybe that’s down to my dyslexia, maybe not, but whatever the reason, the fact stands. Books over 300 pages make me nervous because I know they’ll likely take me forever to get though.

Now, that said, I just finished The Girl on the Train. I finished it in like three days, and it’s 400 pages. So, it’s fair to say I loved it. Fantasic page-turner and highly accessible. It got five stars from me.

Originally, I started reading it in way back in October last year. I devoured the first section (thirty or so pages) and was instantly gripped. I loved the writing even more then than I did when I restarted it a couple of days ago.

But why did I stop and take several months to go back to it? You might be wondering. Well, put simply, I watched the movie adaption.

Don’t get me wrong – I enjoyed the movie adaption. It gripped me, too. And I thought it would, which is why I chose to go see it. Some people refuse to see adaptions before reading the book they’re based on, and I understand why, but not me.

Experience has taught me that if I see the movie after I read the book, I will hate the film. The casting will be completely unpalatable because of how I’ve imagined the characters in my head, and I won’t be able to get past it. I know a lot of people have the reverse reaction, but reading the book after seeing the movie has never proved to be a problem for me before.

In fact, when I read The Perks of Being a Wallflower after seeing the film I actually think knowing the story in advance improved my experience. If I hadn’t known where the story was headed, I may have felt bored and frustrated with the slow start.

Anyway, back to the Girl on the Train. As I’ve already said, I enjoyed the movie and loved the book. So what’s the problem? Well, it’s not really a problem, exactly, it’s just that, for the first time, I felt that knowing all the twists and turns in advance did dull the experience for me, if only a little. I still loved it, but I think I could have loved it more. And yes, I probably would have disliked the movie had I not watched it first, but perhaps my heightened enjoyment of the book would have been worth that sacrifice.