Barnett's Lament: Books Ruined By Hollywood

Posted on August 18, 2008

David Barnett of The Guardian has a very entertaining essay about how Hollywood has ruined all his favorite books.
You can tell people until you're blue in the face how good a book is, and the chances are most of your friends won't even bother to pick it up. But then the film comes out and suddenly everyone's an expert. The story has been plucked from its secret place where only those willing to go the distance of several hundred pages can find it and thrust into the attention-deficit glare of mainstream culture for quite literally anyone to come along and "love" just as much as you do... for a week, anyway.


Some of us who love particular writers have more of this pain than other many times can you try to tell your movie-going friends that, actually, We Can Remember it For You Wholesale is a classic discussion of reality, identity and memory, and not just a Steven Seagal-level action flick called Total Recall starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.

If anything, the graphic novel reader can enjoy an even higher level of elitism than the ordinary bibliophile - you generally have to go to even greater lengths to find your reading matter. So anyone who has bought - on import, in monthly instalments - the output of British comic writer Alan Moore over the years will no doubt have been dismayed by great works such as V for Vendetta, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and From Hell reduced to CGI-laden momentary distractions for a Thursday evening when there's nothing on the telly.
It's true: The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen was so terrible that we nearly ran out of the theater. We were kept in our seats by a vain hope that things would improve in Act 3. (Never happened.) David is in for a terrible year ahead: he notes that Alan Moore's Watchmen and Jack Kerouac's On the Road are both being made into films. Actually there has been at least one, if not two Kerouac films already made. We feel his pain.
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