Since finishing The Half-Blood Prince on Sunday, I decided to take yet another break from the series — of course, with yet another series. This time around, it was Death du Jour, the second of the Temperance Brennan/Bones series by Kathy Reichs. I began watching the TV show earlier this year, and thought it was pretty good, if not great. It was a nice diversion, even though it bores my wife to tears.
When I learned that the series was based on a book, I wanted to check it out, so I did — with the first one in the series: Deja Dead. I already was forewarned by some of the reviews on Goodreads that the books were nothing like the TV show, but that they were still good. In the TV show, Brennan is a young unmarried forsenic anthropologist with no children; in the book, she is a middle-aged divorcd forsenic anthropologist with a daughter.
I have to say I like the Brennan in the book better than in the TV show. The Brennan on the TV show is world-weary too, but doesn’t seem to have earned it as much as the one in the book — despite the one on the TV show having parents who were outlaws, one still alive and running from the law. The one in the book seems to have earned her stripes honestly, and there’s potential for growth in the character, in other words, in learning why she got to be so tough. In the book, I don’t see the same kind of potential with the character. She’s just the way she is…and, while I like the show, in terms of us learning anything new about her character, yawwwwn. Of course, I might be wrong, but I doubt it.
Lately, I’ve been noticing a lot of TV shows and movies that are based on books, but only after the fact of my seeing the show or movie. A few examples include 127 Hours, Dexter and Strangers on a Train. I used to feel guilty that I didn’t read the book first but anymore I’m learning to let that go because I can’t keep up with what’s an adaptation of a book and what’s not. I’ve written about something similar to this in the past several times, including in a post about what I thought was the worst movie adaptation ever.
So I’ll ask you what are some of your favorite adaptations of books into TV shows or movies? And, on the flip side, what are some of your least favorite ones? For the record, I still stand by what I wrote back in 2009 as being the worst one. Among the best ones, I think, are the Lord of the Rings series.