“The book is WAY better than the movie!”
How many times have we found ourselves saying this? Why is it true? How on Earth could static, black and white, typed text, compare to full animation, HD, 3-D, computer enhanced, live action, flesh and blood CINEMA? The answer is simple. Our BRAIN!!
The reason most of us claim to have enjoyed a book version of a tale when compared to the movie counterpart is simply a healthy dose of selfish preference and vivid imagination. What actress can be more beautiful than your own personal perfect 10? What evil being can be scarier than the monster that lived in your closet as a kid? Our imagination can replicate any sound, sight, even touch and smell! Watch this.
What do chocolate chip cookies smell like right out of the oven?
How in the heck did you just do that! To accurately be able to recreate the glorious aroma of fresh baked butter, sugar and chocolate, in your brain, just from thinking about it. It’s amazing! You can close your eyes, and if not for just a moment, see any image you conjure, hear a familiar song playing note for note, feel the fuzzy skin of a peach on your lips just before you take a big juicy bite! It’s no wonder visual/audio media never had a chance. The moment they put it on screen, it immediately fails in the one on one match against a well stimulated imagination.
So if we are being honest here, the credit doesn’t go to the King that put together a complex character you both loved and feared with all of your heart, or the McMurtry who described a Texas landscape so beautiful you had to take a deep breath just to soak it all in. The credit truly goes to none other than…YOU! Your thousand-synapse-popping-per-second organ floating in your skull gets the Oscar for putting together the virtual reality story of a lifetime, complete with all five senses, starring characters, not actors, all playing…THEMSELVES. The written word leaves casting, cinematography, set design, sound editing, and special effects, all to our favorite omnipotent movie producer, OURSELVES!
We project our own fears, desires, aspirations, and shortcomings on everyone in our lives, why would we stop when it comes to story interpretation. We see it the way WE want to see it when we experience a story page by page, and let’s face it, we wouldn’t have it any other way.
So the next time you hear about the latest movie coming out, see if it was a book first, and do yourself a favor. Pocket the $20 it would’ve cost you to experience the story through someone else’s eyes, hit up your local library, and light up the most powerful tool on the planet. See if YOUR version suits YOU better than the overpaid storytellers of Hollywood. I’ll bet you that $20 in your pocket you’ll find yourself quoting the masses, “ No, don’t get me wrong, I liked the movie, but the book was SO much better!”