Friday, October 2, 2009

TV To Movie to Book


I came to Serenity very late because for a long time I thought it was about vampires in space. But I finally watched it from Netflix, and enjoyed it enough to mention to my brother, who lent me his copies of the TV series (which I have in my desk's top drawer, ready to give back). I liked those as well, so I checked the library and got the comics, and some books of essays, and the novelization. I am nothing if not thorough.

Usually when I read I book I like to fall into it; only afterwards will I notice technique or style or language. Books from movies are a big exception -- with them it's all about comparing a written scene with its video counterpart, or deciding if the writing gets the same meaning from the scene as I did. Keith R.A. DeCandido's version of Serenity followed the movie very closely, with many dialogue lines taken straight from the script. He didn't intrude much, confining himself to retelling the story with some glimpses into the minds of the characters. I thought he did a good job with Mal and Jayne, but I found his River a bit different from mine. Since River is insane, that's probably par for the course. He tried to patch up the relationship between Mal and Imara, always one of the weaknesses of the series, but I still don't believe it.

Not really a good novel in itself, it makes for a fun thought experiment. I've read some dreadful books based on movies (there was a disaster around the E.T. movie, for example), but this one is pleasant. B.

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