Saturday, December 09, 2006

Pass the Popcorn and Leave the book at home

By Keith Fisher

I didn’t want to. I wouldn’t have, if I hadn’t seen the others. When they billed it as the final chapter I was incensed. The author used nine volumes to develop those characters. How could they do it justice in three?

If you haven’t guessed, We saw The Work and the Glory on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. It was well done, a good work, and entertaining, but you are better off never reading the book. I realize that a movie is never as good as the book and the author is at the mercy of the producer when it comes to certain details, but as a writer, I was disappointed.

When I write a story, I develop my characters as I go. The reader generally doesn’t get the complete picture until the end of the book. If I have written the story correctly, the reader will keep reading to get the complete picture.

The aforementioned book was that kind of book in nine volumes. Some may say that each volume should be written in stand-alone form. (Not a continuation but the same characters, different plot). That may be true, but the book in question was written in a way that the characters weren’t fully developed until the ninth book. Some say it’s still not finished. Such is the risk when you write historical fiction I guess.

You know what I mean. Whether you liked the book or not, whether the story was written correctly or not, whether it had errors or not, isn’t the point. The point is that the author wrote it in nine parts and the Joshua that we had at the end of the third movie isn’t the Joshua we had at the end of the ninth book. He had no right to be. He hadn’t passed through the trials that he did in nine volumes. And where was Olivia? I missed her.

I knew something was up when the second movie not only departed from the book, it departed from Church history. It seemed to me that it was made that way in an attempt of getting a broader audience and when it didn’t work, the screenwriters did a masterful job of pulling it together. The movie is worth seeing but I would suggest you throw what you know about the book away because the movie departs from the book. It also helps to look past a few facts, particularly who did and who didn’t go on the Zion’s camp expedition.

If I can’t see the whole series, I want to see a movie from the Children of Promise series, The faith of our Fathers series, or even the whole Chronicles of Narnia (not just the Lion Witch and the Wardrobe). Of course what I really want to see is the movie version of the Eternal Tapestries series. What is that you ask? Wait until I get it published.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There's no doubt it's difficult to condense a well written story into a two (or three) hour movie. That's why I usually prefer to read the book first. Then I know the 'real' story.

Thanks for the blog. You presented your opinion with passion.