I think I must be going soft in my old age, because The Help is the second book-to-movie adaptation I’ve seen recently and had no real complaints about. Of course there were the small changes that always come with such adaptations, little things left out to make the story shorter and easier to follow. But there were no major plot points that I felt should have been included and the feel of the book was preserved beautifully.
One major change I expected was the way in which the story was told, since in the book the story is mostly narrated by the characters. Fortunately, there actually was a lot of narration by the characters much of which came straight from the book. The dialogue was also very true to the original. In both cases, I really appreciated the direct use of quotes because the narration and the dialogue in the book were just so good!
The casting was also done very well.. Getting to see everyone from the book at least very close to how I pictured them was great. One of my favorites was actually Celia Foote, who’s personality came across clearly from our very first glimpse of her. And while there were a few characters whose appearance didn’t exactly match my mental image, their acting was always spot on. This is one case were the book was so good I was sure the movie wouldn’t live up to it, but they were actually very similar experiences. I think you could probably read and watch in either order without taking away from either. And I would definitely suggest doing both 🙂
See my review of the book here.
This week I read two non-project books which were so good, I thought they each deserved their on post. You can read about the first one here.
Current Fiction Readings
As I’ve spent more time wandering the library, I find more and more books that I’ve heard a lot about and which I can’t believe I haven’t read yet. The Help was one of these books and based on the waiting list after me, I was lucky to stumble on a copy! And I must say, along with the Percy Jackson series, this book is a convincing argument in favor of listening to all the hype some books get. I loved this book. In fact, my first thought when I finished it was that I just didn’t have words to describe how much I loved this book. Since then, I’ve been pondering what to say about it and there are two specific features which I think contribute to the success of this book.
First, the author does an incredible job of telling the story from three different perspectives, accents and all. At different times you almost believe a matronly black woman, a spunky young black woman, or a shy young white woman is sitting down next to you telling her story. (For those of you who avoided the hype, this is a book about three women trying to enact change in a racist community during the period of Jim Crow laws, so my identification of the women’s races is both pertinent to the plot and important because of the great job the author does capturing the accents of the two black women.)
The second really great thing about this book was the subject, because more than a book about the process of desegregation, this was a book about people. A book about human nature. A book about people bravely coming together to do something good. I’m almost scared to watch the movie, I just have trouble imagining it living up to the book! I think I might rent it some times this week though (as the waiting list at the library is almost 100 people long!) and I’ll let you know how it goes if I do.
The Help – 5 stars – Awesome! The characters felt very real and the story was incredibly moving. Listen to the hype. Read it.
- The Mind of Tanitha – “I loved this book. I loved the way it took me to a different country, a different time…”