In ye olden days, the LGMS was my radio anchor, beginning at home through my morning drive time. After the show’s demise, I did Trial Balloon at home and in the morning hours of work. But since then, I haven’t really found a radio show that strikes my fancy and have drifted away from radio to… I know this will be shocking for some of you… books. The first hour or so in the morning, I listen to an audiobook and then in the car, books on CDs. I sometimes run out of books on CDs and so spend some time browsing the audio shelves at the library. This leads to some interesting results, sometimes fabulous, sometimes not so much.
I’ve admitted here before that I like the Hallmark Mystery Movies, so last week, while browsing, my eye was caught by the first Aurora Teagarden mystery sitting on the audio shelf. I had been a little curious about the books, especially since my favorite character left the series; I was curious if the movies were true to the books. So I was a little surprised right off the bat that while most of the characters bear the same names, most of them did not bear the description or personalities. The most disappointing was the main character, Ro. In the book she doesn’t have any drive to solve the mysteries and in the final chapters is rescued by the men in the story. This is completely different from the movies, in which Ro is rabid about solving the mystery and it is her ingenuity that not only solves the crimes but saves her life (and often the man’s) in the end.
This made me think about the few instances in which the movie better than the book. So rare. Princess Bride, Romancing the Stone, Julie & Julia, Clue, Bladerunner.
There might be more but for my determination not to see movies when I have adored the book. I don’t want Hollywood messing with the pictures in my mind’s eye (Wrinkle in Time, The Martian, Uprooted, ANY of the Louise Penny books). And, of course, the number of movies much worse than their books is legend. Including Legend!
When were you last surprised about how a book turned out when adapted to the big screen?