Which films were better than the book?

From today’s trending Twitter hashtag, #TheFilmwasBetter.

I have to admit that in most cases, I like books better than movies. But there are at least a few films in which the Hollywood creation was more entertaining than the source material:

Fast Times at Ridgemont High

This teen classic of 1982 was based on a nonfiction undercover exposé of teen life at a San Diego area high school.

I’m not sure if that original book is even in print anymore. But the Hollywood version (which was considerably embellished, of course), is still popular….for a nearly 40-year-old movie about teenagers, that is.

View Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Amazon!

True Grit

I wouldn’t exactly call Charles Portis’s 1968 novel, True Grit bad, but I prefer the film adaptations. True Grit has been made into a movie twice. The most recent film version, starring Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon, is the better of the two.

Here are a few more examples in which the Hollywood version of the book was better (or just as good):

Little House on the Prairie

Game of Thrones


Cloud Atlas

Hey, while you’re here.…Check out my free online serial, The Consultant. This is the web serial that everyone’s talking about….the story of an ordinary American trapped in North Korea. (And best of all, you can read it for FREE…no sign-up required, no strings attached!)

The Consultant

The end of the ‘Science Fiction and Fantasy Marketing Podcast’

Although most of what I write can be classified as neither science fiction nor fantasy, I’ve been a faithful weekly listener of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Marketing Podcast for about three years now.

Joe Lallo, Lindsay Buroker, and Jeff Poole never fail to provide good insights on the art and business of writing.

This past week, they announced that they would be “taking a few months off”.

That of course leaves the door open for a return. If the history of other podcasts, blogs, and YouTube channels is a guide, however, “taking a few months off” is usually synonymous with quitting for good.

I shall be sorry to see them go. Nevertheless, I can understand if their hearts are no longer in the endeavor.

Sometimes a podcast, a YouTube channel, or a blog simply runs its course… Sometimes for the audience…and sometimes for the creator(s).


Remembering my childhood “shark phase”

When I was a kid, I went through various phases with hobbies, interests, and obsessions.

One of these was my “shark phase”. For about a year, I read every book about sharks that I could get my hands on.

I still have a passive interest in sharks. Sharks are awe-inspiring creatures. I mean, just think about it: A shark is a fish that, even now, in the 21st century, will eat you if given the opportunity.

My interest in sharks has occasionally shown up in my fiction. (There is a shark story in my Hay Moon short story collection.) And I’m still a sucker for  Shark Week on the Discovery Channel.

But back to that childhood obsession with sharks. While poking around on Amazon, I recently came across a listing for the book, Sharks: Attacks on Man, by George A. Llano. Published in 1975, the book is long out of print; but there are still some old used copies floating around.

I owned a copy of this book around 1979. I read it and reread it. Included in this slender volume were stories of the Matawan Creek shark attacks of 1916, and the harrowing experiences of the sailors of the USS Indianapolis, who had to contend with man-eating sharks after their ship was sunk by the Japanese.

There are probably better books about shark attacks on the market today (and certainly more current ones). Nevertheless, I’ll always look back fondly on George A. Llano’s Sharks: Attacks on Man, which provided me with many hours of entertainment about forty years ago.