Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Idle ramblings - or don't touch my favorite novel

It's a cheerful rainy day here and the cat and I are behind on everything again. Yes, I notice you are not surprised. I should be filling out an author interview, but I am stuck on a question. Which one you may ask? I was asked to describe which actor I'd like to play my characters. Easy enough you say except it made me think about last night when I was waiting in the car and to pass the time I poked around the car to find something to read. The novel that was hanging out in the back seat was part of a series that had been adapted into a television show - parts of which I had just caught the week before.

Let's just say I was less then impressed with the adaptation. Why? Well, one of the joys I take in reading is visualizing the world created by the author in my head. Trust me, most film and television adaptations don't even come close to my fevered imagination. In this case a secondary character I was quite taken with in novel form, was played by an actor who while I'm sure did a fine job, didn't match my mental image. I was un-amused.

Has this ever happened to you?

I should acknowledge I've seen some fine actors and adaptations of novels. Jean Reno in Jean- Christophe Grangé's L'empire des loups, John Malkovich in Ripley's Game. James Garner in Joseph Waumbaugh's The Glitter Dome, Willem Dafoe as John Clark in Clancy's Clear and Present Danger (yeah, yeah, secondary character again) to name just a very few. There have also, in my totally biased and personal opinion, been many bad ones.

I know there are people and websites that spend years casting their favorite characters in various books and comics and whatever else could be converted to make a buck if adapted to large or small screen. I'm not one of them.

I shudder to think about what central casting would do if W.E.B. Griffin's Brotherhood of War series of novels was ever adapted. Who would they pick to play McCoy if The Corps series was brought to the screen? Okay, don't bother emailing me that I won't have to worry. I understand.

I just wonder if there is anyone else out there less likely to see a movie if it's been adapted from a favorite novel rather than more?

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