My boyfriend and I love the movie.
So then I read the book. The book is pretty different from the movie which is like any other movie that is based off the book. Whenever I read the book after I watched the movie or vice versa, I don’t expect both of them being exactly the same so I treat them as two different stories.
If you were expecting everything in the book to be exactly like the movie, you’ll be disappointed. Some people might see it as more “gloomy” than the movie. Pat Peoples goes through a lot of downs throughout the book and takes you along along with his nagging desire to be back with his ex-wife which makes you want to say “please don’t act so stupid.” In the book, the relationship with his brother is very deep which is something I don’t remember seeing in the movie. And his relationship with his father and mother is a lot more tumultuous than the movie. Of course you can’t fit all that in the movie.
One of my favorite parts of the novel is when he reads the assigned literature from his ex-wife’s school syllabus because there books I read back in high school too. He does wonder would a teacher assign depressing books to children — what were they going to learn from it? It’s been so long since I’ve read those books, I forgot why I read them. I just remembered someone or everyone dies in the end. And then there’s this part where Cliff says:
“Life is hard, and children have to be told how hard life can be…So they will be sympathetic to others. So they will understand that some people have it harder than they do and that a trip through this world can be a wildly different experience, depending on what chemicals are raging through one’s mind.”
I tend to forget this is why we read literature in the first place. I guess when I hear people’s “problems” (silly ones like “my lavish dream wedding is so expensive”) and people get pre-occupied with this problem. Maybe this is why I sometimes like to share stories I read around the internet or quote books I’ve recently read. For second they’ll tell me “after you told me this story, I feel so stupid” — they get back to their senses for a second or a day and then go back to their first world problems. For years after high school, whenever I meet a not-so-sympathetic person and/or a self-absorbed, I always told myself “clearly this person doesn’t read much literature or watch a lot of news.” I’ll talk more about this another time. I’ll admit sometimes my allusion-filled and current-events-filled interventions go a little too far.
I feel the movie left a few things to our imagination. The book was more explicit towards the end. I can’t really really say anything without spoiling it.
It was great book for my rides on the train to work. I knew if I didn’t put it down, I’d miss my stops (haha).