How to Compare Books & Movies

Written by aletha reil
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How to Compare Books & Movies
Comparing books and their movie versions is easy. (writing book image by AGphotographer from

Many books from different genres of literature have been made into movies. Comparing the book version of a story to the movie version is easy. Most of the time there are wide gaps between the book and the movie due to the time constraints and other constrictions in making a movie version.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • The book version of the title you're comparing
  • The movie version of the title you're comparing

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  1. 1

    Choose a book that has been made into a movie and read it; then watch the movie version of the book. Many classic and popular books have been turned into movies, including C.S. Lewis' "The Chronicles of Narnia" and "Price Caspian;" Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland;" The Harry Potter series, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes books; Dr. Seuss' "Horton Hears a Who!' and "The Grinch that Stole Christmas;" William Goldman's "The Princess Bride;" and Charlotte Bronte's "Jane Eyre."

  2. 2

    Note the differences in the plot, along with what vivid scenes and elements were missing from the movie that were in the book, or vice versa. For example, one reader from, in comparing the book version of "The Secret Life of Bees" to the movie, notes that in the book, the bees were a major part of the overall story and were wove in as important thematic elements; yet in the movie, the bees were written in as an afterthought.

  3. 3

    Note the differences in the characters you imagined while reading the book, and the actors chosen to represent them in the movie. Experts at suggest asking questions about the character, such as: How were the characters differ from what you imagined, and how were they similar?

  4. 4

    Note other differences between the book and movie. provides an example of noting such differences in its analysis of Hollywood's movie version of "Sherlock Holmes," versus the original book. The critic, Eilis Mernagh, notes that the movie version presents Holmes' character as much more exciting and sexual than the slightly asexual version of Holmes presented in the actual books.

  5. 5

    Note the other similarities between the book and the movie. In his article on, "Books Vs. Movies," Richard Corliss notes the similarities and differences between C.S. Lewis' "The Chronicles of Narnia" and the film version. He notes that though Lewis' version adds power, charm, subtlety and mystery that no film version could replicate, both the book and the movie do an impeccable job at presenting Aslan the lion as a noble and awe-inspiring beast.

  6. 6

    Determine which version of the story was more accurate, and which you liked better, the movie version or the book version, and for what reasons. In relation to determining whether the book or movie was a more accurate depiction of the story, experts at encourage you to ask questions about the two in your decision-making process, such as why certain characters may have been left out or added; why certain parts of the book were cut out of the movie by producers; why parts were added by producers; and whether the producers portrayed the book accurately and why.

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