Friday, 2 July 2010

So good it should be a movie!

This is the sort of thing fans often write to me about Stravaganza, specifically City of Masks, thinking I'll be pleased.

The trouble is that there's a sneaking feeling that a book hasn't really made it till it has been made into a film! Of course it's good news for writers to sell film rights, which increase book sales. And good news for fans, who get to see their favourite stories translated into a new medium.

But how many films of books do you know that are as good as the books they are based on - let alone better? Women in Love? I'd argue for that. And I think I Capture the Castle was pretty close. With LOTR, there's a lot of controversy. I loved Peter Jackson's films but regard them as a separate thing from the books.

The first Harry Potter film was good but The Golden Compass lacked charm, in spite of a good performance by Dakota Blue and some great CGI.

Would I want to see the Stravaganza books of movies? You bet I would. But it might be a disappointment and what matters is the books and always will be.


  1. Well said. I think people say that they think it is so good it should be a movie, picturing it as the movie they see in their head. I was over the top when I heard that the Golden Compass was to be a movie, but to tell the truth I didn´t really like the film. Same goes for another favorite of mine, Ink heart, by the German writer Cornelia Funke. The movie was a great disappointment. I think the movieas that really have beacome great "hits" and really good movies, are the ones that capture the spirit of the books rather than just do a "remake". I actually like all the Potter-movies, but as you say, I regard them as something separate from the books in a way.

  2. I don't generally like films of books I like, as they always manage to displace my mental images. So I'll tell you now I probably won't go and see the film of City of Masks even if it IS ever made. You can have the £8 box office money and I'll stay at home.

  3. I did like LOTR - wasn't at all keen on the Golden Compass. And I take your point and I agree with it - a book is a book, and a film can never be a book. I Capture the Castle was a sweet film, but the book gives so much more. The danger is when people stop reading the book, as if the film has sort of eaten it.

  4. I think that books can be made into films successfully, but that they should be treated as seperate things in their own right, and some are adapted apallingly, to the horror of many fans. I think that the City of Masks would be do-able, but you stand to lose the gradual progression of Lucien from ordinary person to Stravagante, the wonderful journey he makes in adapting to Talia.
    P.S Thanks for stopping by my blog! If you'd be interested in doing a feature, like a guest post or interview as part of TAAB, then please do contact me. Otherwise, thanks again for stopping by and best wishes with future books!

  5. I agree with Hitchcock on this point. 'Bad books made good movies. Good books make for bad movies.