How smart do you feel when you're sitting around with friends, talking about a movie, and you say, "Man. That movie was so good. It would have made a great book." And then everyone stops talking and stares at you. And once you realize the movie was, in fact, already based on a book, you try to save face: "I mean, it would have made a great book series. So there could be another movie. Based on the book. Like this one was."
Confession: I didn't know that all those Peter Pan movies were based on a book, rather, the book, by J.M. Barrie. Since the Disney movie was my first introduction to the boy who never grew up, I just assumed it was the creator as well. Like Pirates of the Caribbean and the theme park ride. (No book there, right? Right?)
Recently, Brenda at work introduced me to the classic, saying she's read it at least twenty times, written extensive analytical papers on it, and memorized full sections. And I'm sitting there thinking, huh. It was a book first?
But what a book. I just finished reading her copy (she was scandalized to think I'd never read it--I didn't dare tell her the whole truth), and now I'm looking forward to buying my own. It's a wonderful book.* Funny. Exciting. Quirky as can be. That J.M. was quite a character. As I was reading, I kept thinking how fun it would be to read to my own children someday. The older ones, mind you. That Captain Hook is a real scoundrel, you know.
If you haven't read it, you really ought to. Do you have any books-turned-movies to recommend (or that you were surprised to discover)? Or have you ever heard of a really good book that was based on a movie? Is a TV series always the last stop on the totem pole?
*Its one downfall: There's no lost boy named Rufio. ("Rufio. Rufio.") TriStar Pictures totally made him up. So disappointing.