Book Versus Movie

Will children even try to tackle the full stories later in life, especially with mind-strainers like Moby Dick or Frankenstein? Both are classic movies, which make the story lines more accessible and more popular than the dense, adult books. The idea that there are still plenty of good books – including original versions of Moby Dick or Frankenstein  – available in bookstores and libraries is undeniable. But equally undeniable is the engulfing power of the movie industry, which imposes itself on children’s markets more and more, resulting in a higher incidence of mediocrity within the children’s publishing industry.

This paragraph in an otherwise fascinating review of the dumbing down of children’s books indicates to me that the author has not read Frankenstein. The movie is nothing like the book, as any of my freshman from last semester will tell you. Yes, you may get some of the story, but it’s just not the same on any level.

Moby Dick… I haven’t seen the movie, but I have read the book. As I recall, 20 years down the road, this book had one chapter of whaling history and lore followed by one chapter of story, for hundreds of pages. I doubt seriously that any movie would have the informative chapters included. How could it?

The quote is from John E. Mitchell, November 2000.