Book Tags are great ways to get you thinking about questions you have never considered before. I came across a question asking if every book should be turned into a television series or film. My answer was quick off the mark; no. But afterwards, I got thinking about why some people might say yes and why I felt this way.
As an avid reader, I am happiest lost in a good book. I think some text lend themselves well to being adapted for the screen. Strong characters, steady themes and a good plot can translate well onto the screen, even if it means accepting someone else’s view of anything that isn’t entirely based in this world. Since doing an adaptation module at university, I now understand there is more than just transcribing the novel into a screen play and going from there. It’s all about themes and genres and interlinking stories.
When you cannot recognise the plot, is it an adaptation or is it something new? The 100 is my example of this; the books are written for young teenagers, the show for young adults. Only a couple of the characters are called the same names and the rest of the show deviates from the book so much that if I didn’t know by the name, I wouldn’t have guessed it was supposed to be the same. This is one of the rare occasions where I prefer the television show, but should it count when there aren’t familiar points.
It’s all about the money. Especially with a young adult/teen fantasy series such as The Hunger Games or Divergent. One scored big, so suddenly the other is being turned into a film as well. And more films than there are books, going back to my first point of being unrecognisable and spinning it out just because. I’ll be the first to admit some are fantastic adaptations, but when more effort is put on the effects than the plot, you know it’s all about money.
Is it even needed? Again, this is definitely a personal opinion (all of these points are). But have you ever watched something and just wish they had left it alone? That the book is perfect as it is and doesn’t need to be translated onto the screen because someone else agreed that it was perfect? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it; why change perfection?
Whichever medium you love – the screen or the page – the chances are that the other is only going to disappoint. The Eragon film was awful compared to the book. I now have The Last Kingdom to read and I am almost certain that if I had read the book first, I wouldn’t have stuck with watching the show because I didn’t care about the character’s portrayal on screen. I enjoyed The 100 on screen, and then was bitterly disappointed by the books. While adaptations have the chance to bring in a wider audience, one or the other will only let you down.
These are, of course, just my thoughts. How about you? Do you think everything should be adapted?