Hey, guys! Welcome to another entry for Thursday Movie Picks. It’s a series hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves, so if you want to join the party, head over to her blog! It’s pretty easy: check out each week’s topic and come up with 3 to 5 movies that fit the theme. For the final post of each month, we talk about TV shows instead of films. So, today we’re going to tackle some book to TV series adaptations!
I don’t know why it took me so long to finally read this book. I’ve known Joe Hill’s stuff for a while and liked everything else that I’ve picked up. Well, this year I finally read Nos4a2, so I also checked out the show after that. I loved the novel, but the show, well, not so much.
#2 Wheel of Time
I’m still in the process of reading all these books (there are sooooo many!) but I finished the first one and watched the adaptation earlier this year. I had so much to say about it, that I even did two posts just comparing the two. 🙈
Hello, my darling readers! I talked about the transition of book to screen for NOS4A2 a few days ago, taking a closer look at season 1. Of course, my opinion on the show wouldn’t be complete without also giving the second season a chance!
Based on Joe Hill’s New York Times best-selling novel of the same name, “NOS4A2” is a different kind of vampire story. It follows Vic McQueen, a gifted young woman who discovers she has a supernatural ability to find lost things. This ability puts her on a collision course with the evil and immortal Charlie Manx. Manx is a supernatural villain who feeds off the souls of children and then deposits what remains of them into Christmasland — a twisted place of Manx’s imagination where every day is Christmas Day and unhappiness is against the law. Vic strives to defeat Manx and rescue his victims — without losing her mind or falling victim to him.
Book vs. Movie:
Good news and bad news. I wasn’t too impressed by season two and still prefer the book over the show any day. However, there is one part about the series that makes for an interesting addition to the novel and it gets a big thumbs up from me. Then again, it was maybe a little half-baked in the show but we can’t always be gunning for perfection, can we?
But first things first. Just like in season one, they took the basic idea but altered just about all the details. If you do that, make sure you are improving the story. Otherwise, why on earth did you have to make alterations just to turn this into something worse than what we started with? This became glaringly obvious in the second half of this season. The book keeps up the pace, leaving you breathless and thrilled. The show on the other hand just leaves you checking your watch. Once we head for Christmasland, it becomes evident that the “heroes” we have here are just about the most incompetent people of all time. Their plan is so weak, barely thought through and the execution is even shittier. It’s not just that, on top of it not making much sense, it’s extremely boring which is arguable to worst thing they could have done. Even though the novel isn’t perfect, it was never boring. It felt like they tried to string as many characters along for the final episodes because fans may have liked them, while in the book they had no place being there (or weren’t even alive anymore). See, Joe Hill surely had a thought process when making those decisions! You can tell that the story doesn’t benefit in any way shape or form this alteration and even if I hadn’t read the book first, I would have been very disappointed.
Victoria McQueen has a secret gift for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. On her Raleigh Tuff Burner bike, she makes her way to a rickety covered bridge that, within moments, takes her wherever she needs to go, whether it’s across Massachusetts or across the country.
Charles Talent Manx has a way with children. He likes to take them for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the NOS4A2 vanity plate. With his old car, he can slip right out of the everyday world, and onto the hidden roads that transport them to an astonishing – and terrifying – playground of amusements he calls “Christmasland.”
Then, one day, Vic goes looking for trouble—and finds Manx. That was a lifetime ago. Now Vic, the only kid to ever escape Manx’s unmitigated evil, is all grown up and desperate to forget. But Charlie Manx never stopped thinking about Victoria McQueen. He’s on the road again and he’s picked up a new passenger: Vic’s own son.
Book vs. Movie:
I’ve had Joe Hill’s novel on my radar for the longest time, even since before the show was announced. However, somehow, I just never got around to reading it, even though I enjoyed everything I’ve ever picked up by him. Well, I finally found some time in my schedule, and all I can say is that I loved the book. It is dark, it is twisted, it is spooky, it is smart.
Joe Hill does an amazing job weaving this story that spans the course of so many years, feeding the reader bits of information, always leaving you wondering, wanting more. Writing horror stories really must be in his genes, but I have to say I think I prefer his writing style of his father’s (Stephen King). Even though the novel comes with quite a hefty page count, it never drags on or feels too long. Hill really enraptures the reader and leaves you unable to put the book down.
I swear, I was hooked from the first chapter on. That was enough to give anyone the chills! The story is super creative and I don’t think I’ve ever read or seen anything quite like it before. There’s also something in the construction of Hill’s characters, something in their development that I really enjoy. I can’t put my finger on it, but he sets himself apart from other writers in that regard as well. Furthermore, I think I need to give him a shoutout for actually writing women well. The protagonist is female and I didn’t have any cringe moments! (looking at you, menwritingwomen reddit)
Reading the book I immediately felt that it would make for a great TV show. There are many elements to the story that I expected to work great on screen, so I was very excited to watch the adaptation.