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Book to Film Adaptions – Most Loved and Hated Edition

We all have them! How many times have we read a book and proceeded to watch the movie which left us flabbergasted or utterly disappointed. If you’re like me, you tend to read the book before the film just because that’s the way you roll. With my two chosen films one I read before watching the film and the other I watched after guess what one I loved more? My choices are both Stephen King related. I’m  recent fan of the King, within the last few years with my first read being Misery which I devoured and loved BUT that’s not one of my choices. Here goes!

I started reading The Shining on my kindle while away on holiday, I loved it so much that I ordered the paperback to be delivered for when I got home. I bloody loved it. The book was originally published in 1977 and is genred as a horror novel, which didn’t disappoint. What I love about King’s writing is that sometimes he draws from his own personal experiences to write his novels. This book was created from the foundation of his visit to The Stanley Hotel, and his recovery from alcoholism.


The Shining revolves around the life of Jack Torrance; an aspiring writer and recovering alcoholic, and his family. He uproots his family after he is offered a job as a caretaker at a hotel. Danny is his five year old son who possess a psychic ability that is called ‘The Shining’. With these powers he is able to delve into the hotel’s haunting past whether he wants to or not. After a snowy storm they are all left stranded and alone as supernatural influences begin to slowly affect Jack’s insanity in the quest of REDRUM. Will Jack and his family leave intact?!

The book had me on tender hooks under a warm fuzzy blanket the whole time (not so much in Spain but you get the drift).  The visualisation created gave me so many chills, it was truly a literary masterpiece and after reading it you can completely understand why Mr King is the King of Horror! *Hats off* I really enjoyed the way that Jack became slowly less sane, it wasn’t immediately but rather slow and calculated which made it more spine tingling. Plus, horror books containing kids always give me the heebie jeebies. So for the book ‘The Shining’ is a five star read that I’ll enjoy again and again!

Now for the film that was directed and produced by Stanley Kubrick in 1980 with a budget of $19 million, still not quite sure what they used that for apart from the actors including Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall. The film was based (I use that term loosely) on SK’s ‘The Shining’, it kept the main skeleton of the book – family, hotel and snow storm with the father going slowly insane. I’m not saying that the film was terrible, I’m not a film critic and i’m aware that film production has come a hell of a long way in the last 39 years BUT I just wish they had stayed true to the film. People who plan to watch the film please turn away now because spoilers are included.

The beginning of the book we get an insight into Jack the family man with a doting son who has begun to gradually develop behaviours / abilities that you wouldn’t expect of a five year old, this already sets an eerie mood. The film? Pretty much straight into the main storyline which started me off this disappointed path. Even King himself felt that Kubrick had completely ignored the storyline and decided to do what he may with it, including making the hotel evil rather than Jack unravelling. King wrote this book after he recovered from alcohol addiction, so he injected that into Jack’s character but the producer just changed him and made him an arsehole with no reason I guess.

In the film we see that the whole storyline has been twisted to make the hotel the subject of evil with the haunting twins and the elevators full of blood, like what?! Have to admit that Kubrick had one hell of an imagination. The book is mainly focused on Danny, his friendship with the hotel chef and coming into himself with a likable father, whereas the film just felt all Jack with little focus on his actions on his family. Also the way the film goes is completely wrong, I’m not going to spoil it but I’m telling you that if you’re watching the film because you loved the book please don’t expect much of it in there, if I had watched the film before reading the book, I think it would have been fine and I would have still gone back to read the book….. I think. We’ll never know. This was definitely a book over film moment!

I didn’t even have to think about this book and film, it’s even won awards for it’s film adaption being so true to the book AND it’s another King novel. Have you guessed it yet? Of course it’s The Green Mile! This book was first published in August of 1996 and you can get it in six instalments, this is how it was originally published or nowadays as one read after being republished. I read it for the first time last year AFTER I had watched the film many times. Guess what? I loved it as much as the film, I even cried…. a lot! It was one of my top 15 reads last year in fact.

The Green Mile is genred under dark fantasy, southern gothic and magical realism. If you’ve watched the film or read the book you’d know why. The first person narrative is told by Paul Edgecombe. The storyline flips from old man Paul in a nursing home telling his story to fellow resident Elaine Connelly in 1996 and young Paul a supervisor of the death row block at the Cold Mountain Penitentiary aka The Green Mile, in 1932. I loved the way that this narrative was carried out because you got Paul’s thoughts in hindsight to events and while actually being there. In the film, the timing is from 1932 for a majority of it. The volumes of the series publication were as follows:

  1. The Two Dead Girls
  2. The Mouse on the Mile
  3. Coffey’s Hands
  4. The Bad Death of Eduard Delacroix
  5. Night Journey
  6. Coffey on the Mile

Even now I can see the scenes of both book and film which these books involve. One book was released each month between March and August of 1996 and I could imagine myself counting down the days until the next book, especially at 96 pages a pop, apart from the final book.

Both book and film for me was perfect and I’ll continue to watch and read it, The film was such a faithful adaption, directed and produced by Frank Darabont in 1999, with a cast including Tom Hanks (heart eyes – he played the part really well!) and David Morse (also heart eyes!). The budget of this film was at a jaw dropping $60 million with a box office income of $290.7 million that sky rockets The Shining by $136.7 (ish) million! I can’t really go into the book v film because they were so on point, it was detailed and just fucking fantastic, you should read and watch both! You can thank me later!

If you’ve read and watched these films please share your thoughts with me, these are my thoughts but I know not everyone may agree with me! I 100% recommend both of these books and will be doing a full month of Stephen King reads in November hopefully! If you’re interested let me know! Also please let me know your love / hates when it comes to book – film adaptions!




5 thoughts on “Book to Film Adaptions – Most Loved and Hated Edition

  1. The Green Mile, book and film, yes yes yes, so many heart eyes! I also saw the film before I read the book although I usually try to do it the other way around. Same with The Shining. I saw the film, I was still quite young and I really liked it. Years later I stumbled over the book, picked it up and loved it to bits. Couldn’t remember much about the film, certainly not enough to compare. These days I’m careful to read the book first. Didn’t know The Shining was based on King’s alcohol addiction, fun fact! Great post D!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I might crack out the film! Such a great one! Book included! The shining is one of my favourites, I own 3 copies haha! Me neither, I did a bit of research for this post but I think some of his stuff are based on his own experiences. For instance, pet Sematary was never meant to see the light of day. He wrote it after seeing his daughter grieve for their family cat, it’s about protecting the innocence from the experience of death. Interesting right? Thankyou!! What are your love / hates?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. One of my faves is Gone with the Wind. Must have read the book at least 10 times, though only in Dutch as a child and teenager and I’ve been meaning to reread it in English but haven’t had the time yet. And I loved the film too. Lots of details are left out, but I feel that was necessary. I adored the actors too, especially Scarlett.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I like both The Shining book and the film but The Green Mile is on a whole other level, both the book and the film are absolutely fantastic.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is an excellent post, thank you! I’m a big fan of reading the book first; I still enjoy the films, but usually not as much as the book, if I watch the film first I’m then usually disinclined to read the book because I already know what happens. I enjoyed both book and film of The Shining (didn’t know about the alcoholism inspiration – thank you for that!). I’ve not read the Green Mile but I did enjoy the film. I think it’s so cool you’re going to do a whole Stephen King month!!


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