Menu
Jump to content

What's with the ads?

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

ereks mom

Read the novel or see the movie? Please help me choose!

Recommended Posts

I know that to many here, just to entertain the thought of substituting a movie for a book is a sacrilege. But the fact is, we're running out of time for ER to read all the books I had wanted him to read in his senior year. So, I'm thinking that viewing the movie version of a book is better than not getting to it at all! :) But I don't know which ones simply must be READ.

 

Obviously, any movie adaptation we watch MUST be faithful to the book. Please give your opinion about these:

 

To Kill a Mockingbird -- the 1962 Gregory Peck movie?

The Great Gatsby -- the 1974 Robert Redford movie? the 2000 A&E version?

Animal Farm -- the 1999 live-action movie?

The Old Man and the Sea -- the 1958 Spencer Tracy movie?

The Grapes of Wrath -- the 1940 Henry Fonda movie?

Fahrenheit 451 -- the 1966 Julie Christie movie?

The Kite Runner -- the 2007 movie?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why not watch all of them. The Great Gatsby is a bit fluffy and I have not seen the live action Animal Farm, but the others are all great movies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

select any as film - only, it would be Old Man and the Sea and Grapes of Wrath.

Yes, Mockingbird is a WONDERFUL film - but the book is SO good that it would be criminal to skip it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They can often be listened to where it wouldn't be practical to read.

We've stretched our book exposure alot using unabridged audio!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Animal Farm, Old Man & the Sea, and Mockingbird are very short. You can read and digest them in about 3 hours.

But I'd definitely read MB AND see the movie!

Grapes of Wrath is a must read, imo, and the film is actually very good (a must see? lol)

The others, not so sure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would rather trim down the reading list than substitute films. Supplement with films, yes; but not substitute. You can get the storyline from a film, but you can't do literary analysis without actually having read the author's words.

 

Is there some pressing reason that he can't continue reading the books into the summer if necessary? And must he cover all of these titles for school in the first place? Not to say they aren't good and worthy books, but could he not just read some of them on his own without formally studying them?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you can skip the book Kite Runner. It's just not in the same league as the others. More of a modern subject interest book than great literature. The movie will suffice, imo.

 

I can't imagine foregoing reading To Kill a Mockingbird. And I don't think I'd skip Old Man and the Sea, either. It's really short and has a lot of great potential discussion starters there. It was my favorite book in high school, so I'm a little biased :). Full of moving symbolism (at least it was to me).

 

HTH

Roboin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would definitely read Old Man and the Sea and Farenheit 451. My ds LOVED these books a while ago and still uses examples from the books to illustrate points when writing practice SAT essays. I have not seen either film, so I cannot comment. I recommend reading Mockingbird, but the film version is a classic, so you could do either. DS and I both agreed that both the novel and the classic film version of Grapes of Wrath was draggy, so you could even skip that one. We saw the play. The novel, The Great Gatsby, has important symbolism that you would miss if you just watched the movie, but the movie does a great job of setting the mood of the era (I watched them make this film a block from my house when I was 17 and no, it wasn't made in the 1920's, lol). Animal Farm is a super quick read with a strong message, not to be missed. I am undecided as you are on whether to have my ds read The Kite Runner next month and/or rent the video. There are only 2 1/2 months left, at which time my ds will have to start the assigned summer reading of our public high school which he'll attend in September. It's convenient to have the film version available, and I am curious to see what others have to say about this book and its counterpart film.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you decide to read Kite Runner, it can probably be done in just a few sittings. I think I read it over the course of two or three nights. Easy read, somewhat predictible (to the point of being "hokey" like a Hallmark movie)... in a way it "felt" like a Sidney Sheldon or Danielle Steele read. HTH, and that you get other opinions.

 

Robin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yea, Kite Runner would be trash for me. No flames please--I just don't think it's in the same class. I would skip the movie, too, because it's got to be graphic to convey the story (well, it will be graphic, doesn't have to be), and I just don't want those images lingering in the memory, when it doesn't "count" for something great--what I mean is, I'm ok with violent or (rarely) sexual images if it's crucial to an important story (like Schindler's List, for ex.). Even tho the people and story of Kite Runner is worth while, I don't think it is as universal to the human experience--or that it Matters.

I'm sorry, I can't quite say what I mean. Perhaps you understand.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All of the books on your list are amazing! Some of the movies follow the books closely. Those would be great to watch. The others I would check out unabridged copies on tape from your local library.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[

To Kill a Mockingbird -- the 1962 Gregory Peck movie?--Fairly quick read.

 

The Great Gatsby -- the 1974 Robert Redford movie? the 2000 A&E version?--Very quick read. You could almost sit down and read it all in a day.

 

Animal Farm -- the 1999 live-action movie?--This is also a quick read.

 

The Old Man and the Sea -- the 1958 Spencer Tracy movie?--Slow read. Get the movie and avoid all the torture. Or just skip it all together.

 

The Grapes of Wrath -- the 1940 Henry Fonda movie?--Super slow read with lots of boring parts.

 

Fahrenheit 451 -- the 1966 Julie Christie movie?--Great book. Quick read. Do both!

 

The Kite Runner -- the 2007 movie?

--I have no experience with this one.

 

Just thought I would add my two cents in. A lot of these are fairly quick reads which won't take too much time.:001_smile:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I would rather trim down the reading list than substitute films. Supplement with films, yes; but not substitute. You can get the storyline from a film, but you can't do literary analysis without actually having read the author's words.

 

I agree with this. If you need to trim down the reading list, that's cool. However, I would watch the films that are adaptations of the books you read. Movies are never a substitute for reading the book. eta: I'm a serious book-snob but *please* feel free to completely disregard my opinion if you wish. It's only the internet, you don't even have to see me at church and have me ask how it's going! ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I would rather trim down the reading list than substitute films. Supplement with films, yes; but not substitute. You can get the storyline from a film, but you can't do literary analysis without actually having read the author's words.

 

Is there some pressing reason that he can't continue reading the books into the summer if necessary? And must he cover all of these titles for school in the first place? Not to say they aren't good and worthy books, but could he not just read some of them on his own without formally studying them?

 

:iagree:

 

As others have said, Kite Runner isn't in the same league as the others at all. I read it, but wish I hadn't spent the time on it... I certainly wouldn't want to study it. If you want a non-Western work of literature, I would suggest Palace Walk by Mahfouz. If you want something about Afghanistan in particular, An Unexpected Light might be a nice choice. (Non-fiction, and not Literature, but infinitely more worth reading than Kite Runner.)

 

If I were to choose three of your list to really study and focus on, I would choose

 

Grapes of Wrath

The Great Gatsby

The Old Man and the Sea

 

with Animal Farm as the next priority.

 

Under no circumstances would I watch a movie of Animal Farm. I think that would undercut the point of the book itself.

 

I have not heard of or seen a decent film version of the Great Gatsby... but for an interesting spin-off Bohjalean's Double Bind is fascinating (though not real Literature). [Note: I would not give this to one of my kids, but if Kite Runner is okay, this would be too.]

 

The Fonda Grapes of Wrath is good, but can not substitute for the book.

 

F 451 and Mockingbird could be assigned to just read, rather than study - they are both good books, but I don't think there is as much depth to them as to the others.

 

 

I remember the F 451 movie as okay, and I have heard good things about the Peck Mockingbird, but, I do not think a movie can substitute for a book, and I don't think watching the movie is better than not having anything at all. (but then, I generally won't let my kids watch film versions of books they haven't read... so I am a bit extreme about this! :))

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agreeing with the others here. I would trim the list, instead of watching the movie versions. One other alternative is to get the book on CD and alternate between listening to portions during car trips, etc., and then reading it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I know that to many here, just to entertain the thought of substituting a movie for a book is a sacrilege. But the fact is, we're running out of time for ER to read all the books I had wanted him to read in his senior year. So, I'm thinking that viewing the movie version of a book is better than not getting to it at all! :) But I don't know which ones simply must be READ.

 

Obviously, any movie adaptation we watch MUST be faithful to the book. Please give your opinion about these:

 

To Kill a Mockingbird -- the 1962 Gregory Peck movie?

The Great Gatsby -- the 1974 Robert Redford movie? the 2000 A&E version?

Animal Farm -- the 1999 live-action movie?

The Old Man and the Sea -- the 1958 Spencer Tracy movie?

The Grapes of Wrath -- the 1940 Henry Fonda movie?

Fahrenheit 451 -- the 1966 Julie Christie movie?

The Kite Runner -- the 2007 movie?

 

Can't comment on all of these, but The Old Man and the Sea is relatively short, I don't think I'd skip the book on that one. The Grapes of Wrath would be an excellent one to see the movie for. They change some of the plot points and you get nothing of Ray Bradbury's style in the Farenheit 451 movie, but if you just don't have time for it, you could read a couple of his short stories instead.

 

In general, I think movies do have a place, they became a powerful contribution to the Great Conversation in the 20th century. Just as one doesn't want to discount theater and drama when talking about literature, film has its place. Given DH's love of movies, it's likely that DD will have the option of film studies in high school.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In general, I think movies do have a place, they became a powerful contribution to the Great Conversation in the 20th century. Just as one doesn't want to discount theater and drama when talking about literature, film has its place. Given DH's love of movies, it's likely that DD will have the option of film studies in high school.

 

I agree with you, absolutely, and I think the comparison to theater/drama is a perfect one - that is exactly where I think film study belongs, as part of the dramatic arts.

 

But, valuable though film is as an art form, I think what many of us were saying is that a film interpretation of a novel cannot reasonably be used to substitute for reading the book itself any more than reading one of Tolkein's amazing essays on Beowulf could take the place of reading it. It's a completely different way of relating to a text - and I believe that part of studying a work of literature is that direct interaction with the text itself, without putting someone else's interpretation between me and the text.

 

Again, I agree with you that film does have an important place in an education, and thank you for making sure that was brought up in this conversation!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I generally won't let my kids watch film versions of books they haven't read... so I am a bit extreme about this! :))

 

I have never let my kids see the movie adaptation of a book unless they read the book first! But here we are with only 6 weeks left in ER's senior year, and there are SO many good books that we simply will not get to!

 

I've already pared down ER's reading list. You should have seen it before! :w00t:

 

We actually watched the movie version of Fahrenheit 451 last night because I happened to notice that it came on the Sundance Channel. It was completely underwhelming. :thumbdown:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We've tried it, and found that ER is not at all an auditory learner. He says it is s-l-o-w and boring to listen to someone else read.

His mind wanders & he finds himself thinking about all sorts of things instead of paying attention to the story.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have never let my kids see the movie adaptation of a book unless they read the book first! But here we are with only 6 weeks left in ER's senior year, and there are SO many good books that we simply will not get to!

 

I've already pared down ER's reading list. You should have seen it before! :w00t:

 

We actually watched the movie version of Fahrenheit 451 last night because I happened to notice that it came on the Sundance Channel. It was completely underwhelming. :thumbdown:

 

If you give 3 weeks to GoW

2 weeks to TGG

and have ToMatS and AF share a week, I think you'd be fine... it's impossible to read every book worth reading in a lifetime, let alone before graduating from high school!

 

Your school year ends the beginning of May? :eek: Eeek! No wonder you are feeling a time crunch! :grouphug:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmmm, skip Kite Runner (unless you feel you must read it, and I would really suggest pre-reading it in that case).

 

Read To Kill a Mockingbird then watch the movie

Read Animal Farm

 

Just my opinion...:001_smile:

 

Michele

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We actually watched the movie version of Fahrenheit 451 last night because I happened to notice that it came on the Sundance Channel. It was completely underwhelming. :thumbdown:

 

 

 

Fahrenheit 451 the movie was HORRIBLE, freaking CRIMINAL. :cursing:

 

BUT, if you take a step back and accept that perhaps it was merely inspired by the book, rather than an adaptation of the book, it becomes just plain dull and pointless.

 

Except for Mockingbird, which I thought was not a bad adaptation, the other movies, I have not seen, sorry!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think it is bad to leave some things for adulthood, especially the moderns that are easier to read on his own. I'd rather let mine wait and risk having them not read it as an adult than spoil the ending of the book by watching the movie.

 

Have you read Kite Runner? If not, I'd STRONGLY STRONGLY recommend prereading it first.

 

-Nan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In a college English class once, the professor was making a point about how there's no longer really a body of knowledge that we as a culture share. To demonstrate, he spent some time trying to come up with a single novel that everyone in the class (of 30 or so students) had read. The only one we could find was The Great Gatsby. In his fabulous Mississippi accent, he shot back, "That's because it's SHORT!" But anyway, make sure he reads The Great Gatsby since it's the only novel everyone at college will have read! :tongue_smilie: Aside from that, I think there's probably more value in, say, an in depth reading of The Grapes of Wrath than in rushing through several of them just so he can say he's read them.

 

If he hasn't read any Hemingway (Old Man and the Sea isn't the best, IMHO), he could read a couple of short stories so he's familiar with his style. Animal Farm's a very quick read and doesn't really require very close reading, I'd argue (it's value is more historical than literary). I would actually say that the movie To Kill a Mockingbird is better than the book, although I know that suggesting TKAM is not great art is sacrilege to most.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ITA, even the best movie adaptations take liberties with the original. I wouldn't use a movie to learn the book, but only to enhance it, unless the book in question isn't really necessary to your studies, and is superfluous.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can understand that. I had a period of my life when I couldn't read (totally traumatic for an escape reader like me) and it took me quite awhile to get to where I could listen to a book and really hear it. I still prefer to read.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To Kill a Mockingbird -- Read it! It should be quick

 

The Great Gatsby -- I'd probably let this one go for time's sake

 

Animal Farm -- quick read so I'd keep it

 

The Old Man and the Sea -- If you really feel that he needs Hemingway, keep it, but I'd skip and let him return to Hemingway when he wants (and I do like reading EM...)

 

The Grapes of Wrath -- If time is an issue, how about a shorter Steinbeck? The Red Pony in super short ;)

 

Fahrenheit 451 -- I'd read it, fast read

 

The Kite Runner -- skip it-not at all in the same literary class IMHO...and I have really mixed feelings about the movie as they filmed it with apparently little regard for the impact it would have on the young male characters.

 

Do you expect him to do anything else with this reading-papers or the such? Because if time is an issue, I think that a student could read the above books in 6 wks, with time for conversation about them. You could do one book per week. If you want more than that I would have him write one essay, and I would choose TKMB since I love it so much. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×
×
  • Create New...