The other day, I was rereading one of my favorite novels (Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones) in an attempt to get out of a reading slump. I still love the story, and while I was reading it, it got me thinking about the perks of watching the movie or tv show and reading the book. All versions have something to offer, because it could mean seeing the story from slightly or drastically different ways (and I admit that it’s always nice to see a group of favorite characters come to life). It’s the differences that make the effort of finding all the adaptations worth it.
We used to occasionally do something like that as a feature on the blog called Movie-Book-Or-Both; although, the focus was on whether or not we liked the book as much as the movie or vice-versa, and less to do with the details that got lost in the adaptation process. In April of 2015, I first talked about Howl’s Moving Castle for that feature. And upon my reread of the book 4 years later, I found that I appreciated the story a whole lot more than I originally did.
I don’t need to explain Ghibli films. They’re well-known for their storytelling, gorgeous animation (in particular the scenery, character design, and the food). The films are memorable, and the characters are endearing. Howl’s Moving Castle is one of the first Ghibli films I ever watched as a kid (the very first was Spirited Away), and the adaptation captures the feel of the story as well as much of the plot. But, there are some differences. For instance, in the movie version of Howl’s Moving Castle, some characters underwent changes. Such as Michael Fisher, Howl’s 15 year old apprentice in the book, being a child named Markl in the movie instead. Then there’s Sophie’s other younger sister, Martha, who wasn’t included at all. The sisters' story is one of my favorite aspects of the book, and if I hadn’t gone beyond the movie, I would have never known I was missing anything to begin with. The changes aren’t bad, because they worked for the movie.
Another instance I can think of, just off the top of my head, is Ready Player One. I enjoyed the book, but the changes made to the narrative made for a great movie. I talked about this when I reviewed the movie HERE. Some of the things I said on that post can also be applied to my thoughts about Howl’s Moving Castle. Actually, it could likely be applied to most instances concerning this subject. However, I also have to look at the other side of this too, because I do acknowledge that some adaptations just aren’t as good as they could have been. In those cases, the changes—if there were any—and other factors, unfortunately worked against the story in whatever way.
Of course, what makes a good adaptation and a bad one is all subjective. What I like, someone else might absolutely hate. And you know what? That’s perfectly fine.
So, I haven’t always been good about reading the book to go along with those adaptations. However, the ones I have gotten around to have mostly turned out to be great reads. Have you read Howl’s Moving Castle or seen the movie? If so, what did you like about it?
Wednesday, August 7, 2019
Friday, July 12, 2019
Freda's Voice where every Friday you pick a book and turn to page 56 or 56%, and select a sentence or a few, as long as it's not a spoiler. For the full rules, visit the the page HERE
Synopsis from Goodreads...
Book Beginnings is a weekly meme hosted by Rose City Reader that asks you to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you're reading.
Sophie has the great misfortune of being the eldest of three daughters, destined to fail miserably should she ever leave home to seek her fate. But when she unwittingly attracts the ire of the Witch of the Waste, Sophie finds herself under a horrid spell that transforms her into an old lady. Her only chance at breaking it lies in the ever-moving castle in the hills: the Wizard Howl's castle. To untangle the enchantment, Sophie must handle the heartless Howl, strike a bargain with a fire demon, and meet the Witch of the Waste head-on. Along the way, she discovers that there's far more to Howl—and herself—than first meets the eye.
Beginning: "In the land of Ingary, where such things as seven-league boots and cloaks of invisibility really exist, it is quite a misfortune to be born the eldest of three."
56: "It would be a thin blue face,: she murmured, "very long and thin, with a thin blue nose. But those curly green flames on top are most definitely your hair."
Comments: I've talked about Howl's Moving Castle for the Friday 56 before, but I'm sharing it again because I recently reread it. I also used this book as an example in an upcoming blog post. I love this book. It's been four years since I first read it, and it's such a great story. It was nice to reread it. Have you read Howl's Moving Castle or seen the movie adaptation?
Friday, April 3, 2015
The Friday 56 is a weekly meme hosted by Freda's Voice where every Friday you pick a book and turn to page 56 or 56%, and select a sentence or a few, as long as it's not a spoiler. For the full rules, visit the the page HERE
"She heaved on a second log and sat back, not without a nervous look or so behind her, where blue-purple light from the fire was dancing over the polished brown bone of the skull."--Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
What's on your page 56 this week?
Thursday, April 2, 2015
So there's an occasional thing we like to do on Our Thoughts Precisely. We'll see a movie and then read the book after to see if there are any differences, if it's more detailed, and whatnot. All to see if we like the Movie, the Book, or Both.
Title: Howl's Moving Castle
Author: Diana Wynne Jones
Source/Format: Purchased, Paperback
More Details: Fantasy, Middle Grade
Publisher/Publication Date: Greenwillow Books, April 22, 2008 (First published 1986)
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Summary from Goodreads...
I first learned about Howl’s Moving Castle when I saw the movie, and since then I’ve been curious about the book. So, recently I went out and purchased it. I can see the story and how it was adapted to the movie, but I also clearly saw the differences between the two. But that doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy the book. In fact, I have to say that I loved it. It was the kind of book that literally kept me up until three in the morning because I just had to finished it.
Going into this book I knew that there were going to be some differences, but I have to say that it didn’t bother me at all. The basic concept is about the same. The story follows Sophie Hatter after her unfortunate meeting with the Witch of the Waste and what happens after that. She runs into Calcifer, Howl, and Michael when she enters the castle uninvited. The novel certainly delved more into Howl's past, and what his family was like. The extra details were certainly a nice addition. Characters like Howl's apprentice, Michael, and Sophie's sisters—Lettie and Martha—played other roles in the book. I felt like they were more involved with parts of the story dedicated to exploring their personalities a little more. Some of the events were different and you really have to pay attention to what’s going on otherwise you might overlook it—I almost overlooked it, but thankfully I caught the details.
The setting was pretty similar to the movie, give or take a few details. The plot did have some major differences and I really enjoyed seeing how the story played out in the novel. Another aspect that I liked was the fact that a few details were given further explanationss, giving some clarity to their meaning. So while there were clear differences between the book and the movie, I loved both of them. Would I recommend the novel? Totally. And the Movie? Yep. This is the first in the trilogy and I have to say that I would definitely like to get the other two at some point in time, because I'm curious to see what happens to Sophie, Howl, and Calcifer after the end of Howl's Moving Castle.