It’s not usually a chicken/egg conundrum. Novelisations of movies are, invariably, awful. Movies based on a book can be (very) good, but can also turn out badly (thought it’s often a matter of opinion – see They Changed It Now It Sucks).
Regardless of whether a story was book-then-movie or movie-then-book the two versions are certainly going to be different. Some things work brilliantly in a book, but just don’t translate to the screen, and vice-versa. One is visual, one is lingual.
Okay, so why am I mentioning this? And what’s it got to do with The Time Traveler’s Wife? Well, I had seen the film version (fairly recently) before reading the book. It’s been interesting doing it that way around compared to something that I’d read first and then seen a film of.
- With the film, you’re not concerned about what has been changed/cut out
- When you later read the book, you’ve still got new details of the story to discover
- You get biased by the look/portrayal of the actors
- With the book, you know what’s going to happen
Come to think of it, maybe that’s why I’ve found novelisations of films (written after-the-fact) to be uninteresting – you already know how the story plays out, and nothing new has been added.
How do you feel? Book first, or movie first? By all means add more pros/cons in the comments.