Book or film – chalk or cheese?

I’ve just been galvanised into re-reading Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods by having seen the truly dreadful film that it was based on.

I’m surprised to find that quite a bit more of the film actually emanated from the book than I suspected, but somehow events that seem amusing and entertaining in print have turned into toe-curling idiocy on screen.

I had suspected when I read the first reviews that I was going to be disappointed but with the Bill Bryson connection I figured that really, it would be okay…. Really, it isn’t.

In my experience, few good books translate well onto the big screen which is hardly surprising as they represent two totally different emotional and sensory experiences. Of course, there are many great films which have been based on books, but it seems that in general the two need to be seen as unrelated if they are to be fully appreciated.

Apparently, as you might expect, they are going to be making Girl on a Train into a film. It’s hard to see how most, if any, of the emotional detail that is its strength can be retained.

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