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I know we all love going into a movie and giving it the "Psh! Wasn't as good as the book!" critique. But what about those movies you enjoyed so much you were later inspired to pick up the book?

I quite liked Master and Commander. So much so that I read the first book in the series. Which I really did not enjoy. It was incredibly dry.

More recently, I just watched the BBC mini-series North and South which I enjoyed so much I had to check out the book by Elizabeth Gaskell. I'm having a much more positive experience this time around. I'm quite enjoying the book so far.
 

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I had exactly the same problem with Master and Commander.  Far too dry for my taste.  I think I read Fight Club after the movie and thought the movie was better.  Oh, and the Red Dwarf novels, they're really different from the TV show, more thoughtful and serious and sad, which works well to show another side of things.  And the Upstairs, Downstairs novels, which I really enjoyed.  The book Die Hard was based on, though, was a real disappointment.  I forget the name now but I spent years trying to find it, and when I finally did, bleh.  Great movie, terrible book.
 

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Nothing Lasts Forever, by Roderick Thorpe was apparently the basis for Die Hard. In looking that up, I found this link to an article about movies you didn't know were based on books.

There was a movie, can't remember which one, which was based on an Elmore Leonard book, so I read the book...might have been Get Shorty, but I think there was one before that...more research....It did introduce me to Elmore Leonard...

Betsy
 

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I saw the movie The Time Traveler's Wife because I have a huge crush on Rachel McAdams, and the movie was very good and interesting, and I was curious how it was in the book, so I picked up the book by Audrey Neffenegger and it's really good so far.
 

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I read the book Silence of the Lambs was based on (can't remember the title now) and actually thought the movie was way better. Same with Da Vinci Code. Alain and Ben, I'm so sad you didn't like Master and Commander. The series is at the top of my desert island list. I have the lexicon, the cookbook with every recipe in the books (including "millers" - rats!), and the CD with all the music from the books. (Have I freaked everyone out sufficiently now?)
 

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Eve Yohalem said:
I read the book Silence of the Lambs was based on (can't remember the title now) and actually thought the movie was way better.
Silence Of The Lambs was the name of the novel too... I thought the movie followed the book pretty acurately... I read that after seeing the movie too, the same with IT by Stephen King, saw the miniseries several years before reading the book, The Dead Zone and The Stand were also books I read after seeing the film version. I liked The Stand miniseries better than the book.
 

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I loved Fried Green Tomatoes movie, so got the book and read it.  The book was good but different at the ending than that of the movie.  I liked the movie ending so much better.  I read War and Remembrance and The Winds of War, so had to watch the mini-series that was out years ago (I rented it off netflix).  The mini-series was very true to the book and I enjoyed it.  Also, I read Shogun, loved it, rented the mini-series and was very pleased with it also.  Also, Memoirs of a Geisha, watched the movie, loved it, the book was also great. Also, just this week I read The Haunting of Hill house and have now ordered the old movie to watch.  I do this a lot.  If I watch a movie and know there is a book, I absolutely have to read it.  Also, if I read the book and know there is a movie, I will watch it.  I really love doing this to compare and to be able to grasp anything else I can from the story.
 

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I'm reading The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler. 8 chapters in and I'm amazed at how precisely the Bogart  movie followed this. It's nearly word for word so far.  I'm hoping the ending takes it's time a little more.  The film gets pretty convoluted, and You have to watch it more than once to figure out what happened.

And I'm getting pretty close to picking
up Game of Thrones too.  That mini series is pretty damn good.
 

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A few come to mind:

Forrest Gump - oy vey.

Get Shorty - good read.

and the one I'm a little embarrassed to admit, because I shouldn't have been so old when I first read it:

To Kill A Mockingbird - excellent as a movie, ten thousand times better as a book
 

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Fredster said:
To Kill A Mockingbird - excellent as a movie, ten thousand times better as a book
To Kill a Mockingbird is both my favorite all time movie and my favorite all time book. But I don't compare them to each other (I don't usually do that with any movie/book pair) as they are two different media. I like lemon flavored hard candy and lemon meringue pie, both made with lemon flavor, but I wouldn't compare them to each other. But I've found I'm apparently weird that way, most people seem to judge the book vs the movie.

The flip side of the OP's question--I've also read books that I later found out had been made into movies at some point, and I seek those out. I like to see what choices the writers and director made in bringing a book (where anything is possible) to a medium where there are limits on what can be shown. (Today, those limits are mostly time constraints, it seems, ;) but still limits.)

Betsy
 

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I am reading Game of Thrones because of the series, and am enthralled by both.  While I usually prefer my own visuals to those of any movie, the series is so impeccably and richly rendered that I can switch between film and book seamlessly.  This leads to a dilemma:  I've caught up to the series in my reading and can't decide whether to read ahead or not.  Luckily, it's Game of Thrones night!
 

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jmiked said:
I bought the book Shutter Island after seeing the movie. I'm glad I did: the movie is very entertaining and the book introduced me to Dennis Lehane's writing, which I also enjoyed very much.

Mike
Thanks for the tip....
 

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Several posters have been disappointed in reading 'MASTER & COMMANDER" after seeing the movie and understandable. Understandable, as the orginal book was really only an introduction. Patrick O'Brian wrote a 21 book series around the two primary characters:



The movie was a compilation of two of these novels ("Master & Commander" and "The Far Side of the World"). There was supposed to have two sequels expanding from other books in the series. (dropped after the first did not fair too well in the box office).

This set has a cult following amoung Tall-ship affectionatus, navel history buffs, etc.....O'Brian's detailed descriptions of the Era's social and physical environment is wonderful...albeit dry.

Note: The tall ship "SURPRISE" (originally "THE ROSE") is on display at the San Diego Maritime Museum and offers day-sails occasionally.
 

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I forgot to mention that I bought the book (DTB, unfortunately) that the movie Three Days of the Condor was based on, as well as the sequel volume. They are on my TBR stack of printed books at the moment. The book is called Six Days of the Condor.

I really, really like the movie.

Mike
 

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Only one I can think of is 2001: A Space Odyssey. (You almost have to read the book if you want to fully understand the movie.) I think I might have seen Damnation Alley before I read Zelazny's novel, but I was already a big Zelazny fan by then and would have read it anyway; it was just the way the timing worked out for me in that case.
 
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