There’s a lot to be said about book adaptations. Whether they be movies, tv shows, stage productions, or even other books, people usually have wide-ranging opinions on the quality (or lack thereof) of these adaptations.
And since there’s so, so much to say about them, I’ve decided not to put it all in one post. That would just be too much, I’d never be able to gather all of my thoughts so quickly (or coherently, I might add).
So this is the first of what will likely be many posts throughout the year (and beyond!?) about adaptations. Today, I’m talking about the persistence of adaptations in your mind after having experienced them.
Now, what does that even mean!? Basically: I cannot unsee images from Alice in Wonderland, the movies, while reading Adventures and Looking Glass. It’s simply impossible for me with this books. I am picturing Alice, the Caterpillar, the Queen of Hearts, the White Rabbit, and the Cheshire Cat as their respective characters from Disney’s fantastic animated movie, but am unfortunately seeing Johnny Depp’s version of the Mad Hatter. And what’s even more odd: I’m picturing the King of Hearts as the adaptation Binghamton University put on stage a couple of years ago. What a mish-mash!
As I was reading and picturing these characters in my head, I wondered if it had any affect over how I felt about the characters and the book overall. Ultimately, my conclusion was the it obviously did, because I don’t think I enjoyed the book as much as I should have, or expected to, or wanted. I don’t even remember Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum! (Clearly, I already have to reread). And I’m wondering if I’m more hesitant to continue on in the book and fully immerse myself in Looking Glass because I really did not enjoy Tim Burton’s 2010 movie. I’ve watched it a few times, but never fully, because I’ve just never enjoyed it.
So as I work to push Johnny Depp’s portrayal from my mind, what do you guys think? Does picturing an adapted character in your head while you read help or hurt you? (And don’t worry, I’ll be exploring this further with other books and characters. For right now, Alice is on my mind!)