July 17, 2009

Take a Chance: Book vs. Movie

The Take a Chance Challenge is hosted by the creative genius Jenners from Find Your Next Book Here.

10. Movie/Book Comparison.
Find a book that you haven't read that has a movie based on it that you haven't seen. Read the book and watch the movie within a few days of each other. Write about your reactions to both the book and the movie and compare the two.

The Bone Collector by Jeffrey Deaver

SYNOPSIS: Lincoln Rhyme was one of the nation's most brilliant criminologists, a genius in the field of forensics. Now an accident has left him a quadriplegic and emotionally stunted. But he's about to be dragged into the most explosive case of his already distinguished career. A diabolical killer known as the Bone Collector has been stalking unsuspecting prey on the streets of New York and it will take Rhyme's investigative skills to stop him. With beautiful police detective Amelia Sachs at his side, Rhyme must uncover a labyrinth of clues to prevent the next grisly crime. But a race against the clock becomes a terrifying battle of wits as Rhyme is drawn, step by chilling step, into the mind of a monstrous madman who won't stop until he has stripped life down to raw bone...

I loved this book. It starts with a bang and doesn't stop until the last page. Rhyme is a retired forensic scientist who was paralyzed from a falling support beam while working a crime scene. Only his left index finger can move. Gimmicky, yes. Interesting, still yes. Amelia Sachs is drawn into the picture because she was the first on the scene at the first crime scene of the serial killer. Rhyme was impressed by the way Sachs secured the crime scene and gets her, much to her chagrin, to work the case with him. He talks to her through a headset while she works the crime scenes. The gruesomeness of the crime scenes is often more than Sachs feels she can handle. The killer is into bones, if you understand what I am saying. The crime scenes and forensics are described in a lot of detail so if you get queasy watching CSI or Bones, then I do not recommend this book. If you think CSI is the best show ever, then you will not have any problems with the graphic nature of some of the scenes.

I really liked the way Rhyme, Sachs, and the others working the case interact together. I like Sachs and Rhyme's personalities a lot- fresh, fierce, and assertive, even with each other. I like Deaver's writing style. I don't feel that it is too gimicky to use a disabled scientist and a beautiful female cop in the book. At least no more gimicky than any other crime novel. In fact, I think Deaver makes it work really well. There is a slight attraction, mostly mentally, between Sachs and Rhyme. It is not a romance story, but it is not a strictly business relationship either. And I love how the crime is solved. You see part of it coming, but you don't see all of it coming and that is an ending I can really enjoy.

I really liked the casting of the movie. Denzel Washington plays Rhyme and Angelina Jolie plays Amelia, although her name is now Amelia Donaghey. In fact, while the cast is really remarkable, I was confused why everyone had a different name except for Rhyme. Even Rhyme's caregiver, Thom, who was an amazing character in the book, turned into Thelma. Queen Latifah did a great job playing Thelma and they made Thelma as likeable as Thom was in the book, but I am not understanding why the gender was changed.

While the movie followed the basic plot of the book, there were also very Hollywood aspects added to the movie. This did not impress me. I felt they left out some very interesting parts from the book and added other scenes just to make it seem more Hollywood. It was not as true-to-the-book a movie as you can find. In fact, they even changed who the killer was for the movie! Why, oh, why? This made no sense to me at all. In fact, the crime was solved in a similar way, but I just did not like that they switched that. It ruined a movie that was already on shaky ground for me.

Definitely the book is better. Hands down. I think the movie would be very interesting if seen first, but once you read the book, you will never like the movie again, in my opinion. The movie cut out so much that it seemed choppy and all over the place compared to the book. The book's story flowed very nicely and it was a nice size of 423 pages in mass market paperback size. I understand that there was a lot to fit into a 2 hour movie, but I think a better screenplay writer could have done it more justice, pardon the pun.

Take a Chance Challenge, Triple 999 Challenge, Genre Challenge, A to Z Authors Challenge, New Authors Challenge
4.5 Stars


  1. It's so strange that they changed random elements like that with no apparent reason. It does sound like it could have used a better script, or maybe less focus-group testing. :P

  2. That's one of the reasons why I usually see the movie first and then fill in all the details or get the true story with the book.

  3. I almost always prefer the book over the movie, especially with this type of book.

  4. I saw the movie years ago and really enjoyed it. I actually had no idea there was a book. Having seen the movie first, I'm just not sure I could see Thelma as anyone else. Great review on a fun challenge.

  5. It's fun making comparisons between the two, isn't it? I've had a chance to do that with a couple of books and movies this year. It's always interesting to do that, especially so close together.

    I haven't yet read a Deaver book but I have seen this movie. I look forward to eventually reading this one.

  6. Sounds very strange that they had to change so many of the names. But to change the killer???? That just seems very very wrong. I hate when Hollywood bastardizes a book like that. I haven't read any books by this author but I keep meaning to because I know he has written a lot so if I like him, I have a nice little stockpile.

  7. I actually really enjoyed this movie, so now I feel like I should definitely read the book!

  8. I agree with Elizabeth, I enjoyed the movie. Now I'll need to read the book.

  9. Just got through a great Deaver story, The Cold Moon. Best crime writing I've ever heard. I thought I'd continue with the only Rhyme story that made it to film, Bone Collector. I was disappointed with the movie form the first camera shot. I'm halfway through and not interested. I suspect I know who the killer is but I'll finish it to be sure. Thanks for telling me to read the book. I might take you up on it.


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