Tonight I saw The Time Traveler's Wife with one of my dearest friends who drove down from the L.A. area to see me while I was in town. We went shopping (err, browsing) at an outdoor mall, she nearly had to drag me out of Border's where (despite the fact that I have 2 books in my suitcase in addition to a e-reader full of manuscripts) I bought a book. Sigh. We had dinner at a new Mexican restaurant I was told I just had to try out. Then we went and saw the movie.
I read the book about a month ago. The book is always, always better than the movie. Everyone knows this. In this case, though I liked Rachel McAdams and thought Eric Bana was the perfect ratio of hunky and tortured (and let's face it -- all librarians should look like him!) they skipped major parts of this book. Now those of you who have read it know the book is so complex it makes your brain work overtime just to sort the plot out, all the while realizing you're supposed to be confused -- like time does, the plot always sorts itself out. Ha! Take that all of my former professors. After nearly four years I can still bs my way through a typed paragraph if I have to. I jest. That was brilliant.
Anyway, this movie time travels. It skips huge parts of plot, characterization and roughly leaves out core elements of what makes this book such a wonderful read. That's not to say the movie isn't entertaining... it certainly was. Some movies you can get away without reading the book. I just watched The Secret Life of Bees yesterday and though it has been years since I read the book, based on the parts I do remember... I actually like the movie better. Where Atonement is concerned, though I loved the book, the movie is a great love story set to a beautiful score with a perfect cast. And the chemistry between Keira Knightley and James McAvoy -- be still my heart! So maybe you can skip that book. Shh! Don't tell I said that. I'll get fired from my job as official book hyper upper for Ye Grande Publishing Company.
But please people, if there is one thing you gather from this somewhat rambling, admittedly nerdy but still very well-intentioned post it is not to skip Audrey Niffenger's book. If you were planning on reading it, read it. If you weren't, read it. If I had my perfect order you would do as follows:
1) Watch the movie trailer. I've even made it easy for you by linking it as the movie title in the first sentence of this post. Though it gives away quite a bit (couldn't find the shorter one they've been playing on TV set to the Carolina Liar song I love) watching it will help you get a general feel so that when you are 20 pgs. in and feel like you don't know what the hell is going on you will perservere. 2) Read the book. It is big but it is addicting. 3) See the movie. Be jealous of Rachel McAdams and her perfect hair, beautiful wedding dress, and the fact that she gets to kiss Eric Bana but leave the theater knowing that the movie didn't come close. You have the inside story.
I am a late twenties Southern Californian who, like so many others, gave up normal sized living spaces, driving, and sometimes food when I moved to NYC in the Fall of 2007 to pursue my "dream career." I live among books, out of suitcases, and in awe of the ways my life has changed over the past three years. And I do wear flip flops down Lexington Ave. E-mail me at flipflopsonlex [at] gmail [dot] com.