Sunday, November 6, 2011

Share your latest book recommendation. Is the book always better than the movie? Any exceptions?

My latest book recommendation. Hmmm. Nothing immediately springs to mind. I have read my fair share of books recently, just none that I would passionately recommend. In fact I have been sorely disappointed by a great many books in the past few months. So, I am going to give you a few to avoid.
First of all, stay far, far away from the Maze Runner series. That is unless you happen to really like one dimensional characters. Of course a character doesn't need a personality if he is just going to be gruesomely murdered by the next page. Anyone who wants to read about molten balls of metal that drip from the ceiling and sever the heads of teenage boys should pick this book up. All others, steer clear.
I also recommend you stay away from The Night Circus. I had such high hopes for this book but I couldn't even finish it. Which is saying a lot. I usually will finish any book, no matter how bad, simply because I have to see what happens. (Case in point; I actually read all of House Rules by Jodi Piccoult.) The Night Circus suffered from serious lack of character development. Authors take note: If I don't care about the players in the story then I won't care about the story, no matter how finely crafted.
Do not bother with The Elegance of the Hedgehog. Maybe if I was French I would have understood the narrator's sense of humor. Since I am not, this book went over my head. Only one of the nine women in my book club finished this book, the rest of us gave up around page 40.
I was on pins and needles for The Hangman's Daughter. I thought, even as I read the first several chapters, that surely this was a book that would deliver. I had been promised intrigue and mystery, maybe even a little magic. All I was given was people dying left and right and an implausible treasure hunt subplot. Blah.
Stay away from Ted Dekker's newest collaboration, Forbidden. In fact stay away from anything he puts out from now on. Ted, Ted, Ted, I am shaking my head. You have sacrificed quality for quantity my friend and it is glaringly obvious. More is not always better!
I could recommend Undaunted Courage to you, if you need a paper weight. I only picked it up out of obligation as it was another book club pick. I didn't even fight my way out of the first chapter. I do love history but I need a compelling story to accompany it. If you like plain, dry facts this is the book for you.
The Raven's Gift was a very good book, until I got to the end and realized that not a single one of my 2300 questions had been answered. Enough said.
I think the last really good book I read was Harry Potter. Either I have read a lot of junk since then or HP's brilliance has ruined me for any other story. Quite possible.
And speaking of Harry Potter, yes, a book is ALWAYS better than the movie. There is simply no comparison. A book will take you places a movie cannot. A book takes its time, slowly unravels, gives you one morsel at a time and lets you savor it. A book introduces you to characters you will come to care about and think of as friends. A book reveals your new friends' innermost thoughts and feelings, it explains their actions and puts you behind the scenes with them. A book will immerse you in the story, allow you experience it from every angle.
Of course the movie can be good, it can even be great, but it is still another person's version of the story I had come to think of as belonging solely to me.
I am sure there are exceptions out there, but I have yet to come across a movie I truly like better than the book. According to my sister, The Lord of the Rings is better in film than paperback. I am going to take her word for it. I am somewhat ashamed to admit that I haven't taken the time to read Tolkein, but I sure did love those movies.

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