We recorded this episode as the TV-watching world was getting ready for the adaptation of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, from the novel by Susanna Clarke. Straight away, Peter and I were in dispute. Is it ‘NorRELL’ or ‘NORRell’? Nobody has to decide until it’s said out loud.
And that’s one of the key things about seeing a movie or TV show of a favourite book. It’s different from the version in your head.
We had a terrific time discussing dramatisations that weren’t like the original books, in good ways and bad. Some were simplistic. Some were surprisingly faithful to the spirit of the original or took it in a good new direction. We visited Frankenstein, the James Bond novels, Thomas Hardy’s Far From The Madding Crowd, Vertigo, The English Patient, Mash. Did you even know Mash was a novel?
We also deduce some lessons for writers. Storytelling doesn’t work the same across all these media. We unpick some interesting principles.
My co-host is Peter Snell, independent bookseller.
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3 thoughts on “The book or the film? How storytelling differs in prose and live action. Ep 32 FREE podcast for writers”
The characters in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings look very different in my head, compared to the movie versions. Well, except for Gandalf.
Fantasy is an excellent example! Every reader’s version will be different!