Reading Chat Monday: Before, After, or Never–Movies from Books and Books from Movies
Sunday afternoon, I went with a friend to see the movie Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Now, let me explain—I was annoyed when I saw the title of this book when it came out a couple of years ago. It seemed like vampires were to general-market fiction what the Amish were to Christian fiction—put a vampire in it, and it’s sure to sell, right? (In CF, it’s “put a bonnet on it . . .”) So when I saw that they’d corrupted one of the heroes of American history—not to mention the historical president with whom I’m most familiar, given that I minored in Civil War history many moons ago—I was quite put out.
When I heard they were making it into a movie, I paid little attention. It wasn’t on my radar at all . . . until we saw a preview for it when we went to see The Avengers (which still stands as the best movie I’ve seen in the theater in a long time). Liz and I looked at each other with an “uh-oh” and realized that we’d been sucked in by a great preview. So we decided to catch a matinee yesterday afternoon.
And I’m so glad we did. It was a fun, entertaining movie. (As far as being scary—I didn’t find it so at all. Not a single “jump” moment for me, though there were a few times I was holding my breath and feeling a little tense waiting to see exactly where the vampire was going to jump out from.) The costumes were superb (well . . . with the exception of the 1980s-style white tuxedo they had Abraham wear at his wedding). The actors were fantastic. (Benjamin Walker—hubba-hubba! I’m ready to see him in more stuff!) The cinematography, lighting, and sets were all great (though they did get a little carried away with the slooooooooooow-moooooooootion in the action scenes).
And now I’ve downloaded the sample of the book to my Kindle, because I enjoyed the story of the movie so much, I think I might want to read the book. Which brings me to the Reader Chat question for this week.
When a movie comes out that is based on a book, do you read the book before or after seeing the movie or never? Also, do you ever read the novelizations that are written from movies that don’t originate from a book?