Monday, December 2, 2013

When Books Make it to the Big Screen

Movies come and go, some we watch for something to do, and others because we like a particular actor or genre. But when a book I have read and enjoyed makes it to the screen, I am always interested to see what Hollywood and others have done. Sometimes it takes a movie to make sense of a book, Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, for instance. I confess I never made it through the entire series. I kept thinking, 'come on, how much walking can a character do?' But on the big screen . . . wow, Tolkien's story came alive in such a grand way. I have been a fan ever since and cannot wait to see The Hobbit.

Recently, I saw Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game on the screen, and Suzanne Collin's Hunger Games sequel, Catching Fire. Ender's Game is really a complex story, and I was more than curious to see if Hollywood could do this book justice. Card wrote several books about Ender. They spin off in many different directions . . . I don't remember how many books exactly, but you can really get lost in Ender's story and the subplots for months, years even. I love that I read this series on the advice of my teenage grandson. I came away with a deep respect for Card's intelligence as a writer, and proud of my grandson's reading level. Hunger Games, on the other hand, was recommended to me by a lady in her late 60s. Go figure. She said she loved reading young adult novels. Well, I do, too, I had to admit, but I am not sure I would have gravitated toward YA had it not been for the fact I am writing one. For some though YA can be rife with violence, which Hunger Games certainly has. Although good vs. evil is clearly presented, there are gray areas. Katniss must kill to survive, for instance, and one has to wonder how this impacts younger minds, since YA is geared to ages 12 up. I know it is wildly popular, and I loved the movie and love the series, but do wonder what this says about violence in our society. Have we gone too far? Just wondering . . . and I realize I digress here. I'll let you comment further. What do you think?

Copyright 2013 © Sharon Himsl


  1. Yes, I think the trend with violent YA material is troubling. But is it a reflection of our society or influencing it? It's a deep question.

  2. I realize too that video games are also questionable, perhaps the worst of all, because players actually participate in the violence committed. I know it is one thing to participate in the comfort our homes, but when a mentally unstable person accepts it as their personal reality, society has a problem. I think writers (and the movie industry and makers of video games) bare some kind of responsiblity. I just don't know where to draw the line, except to always consider the consequences. Years ago, censorship was a huge thing and the industry fought against it and flipped to the other extreme. So, I ask again....have we gone too far?


"Stay" is a charming word in a friend's vocabulary
(A.B. Alcott). Stay and visit awhile. Your comments mean a lot to me.