Read the Film! by Laura Raphael

Read the Film logoRecently, the Tulsa City-County Library has been purchasing extra copies of books that have been, or soon will be, in the Cineplex near you. The program is called “Read the Film!”, and as a devoted reader AND moviegoer, I appreciate this book-to-film support.

You may want to sit and put your glass of milk down before you read this, but there are even times when I think the movie is far superior to the book.

Take Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller and the accompanying 1995 movie starring Meryl Streep, directed by Clint Eastwood (also the co-star), with a screenplay written by the well-respected Richard LaGravenese (screenwriter of “The Fisher King” and “Water for Elephants”, among others). There’s just no comparison (in my opinion, of course): the movie is the clear winner, outpacing the schmaltzy novel in every manner by a mile.

One of the library’s “Read the Film!” books is Life of Pi by Yann Martel, and in this happy case, both versions (again, in my opinion) are equally good, though with different strengths. The novel does a better job – as it should – of capturing the inner workings of the main character’s mind as he travels the ocean on a shipwrecked boat with only a starving tiger as companion. The movie does a better job – as it should – of showing, through its stunning images, the beauty of an interconnected world, the stars and sky and ocean and animals and people.

What are some other “Read the Film!” novels that you can expect to find extra copies of in your library branch?

The Host by Stephenie Meyer
Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
World War Z by Max Brooks

All started as books; all are either in movie theatres now or will be this spring and summer.

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