Layne asked:

I'm torn about reading this because I pretty much always like the book better than the movie. And in this case, I am such a huge fan of the movie I couldn't bear for the book to ruin it for me! Help?

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Shannon Princess Bride is the only time that I would say that the book and the movie are just as good as each other. It helps that the same person wrote both the book and the screenplay. If you love the movie you'll love the book too; nothing is really changed, it just has more detail, more background, more events. They're both amazing and, for once, it's possible to love both the book AND the movie. :)
Chris Harvey I am most of the way through the book now, after having been a huge fan of the movie....I almost didn't start this book thinking I wouldn't like it - knowing the story etc... BUT I am loving it! Yes, many scenes are verbatim from the movie but there is more background info and its great. read it.
Bekah I'm the same way you are and I read the book after I watched the movie. Since both are masterpieces, it didn't really ruin it for me! Definitely give the book a try - it's completely worth it!
Dennis Dunn I loved the movie. So, I read the book.
I'm a book junky, but I think this one case where the Movie -- fast paced, perfect actors and humor -- was much better than the book.
Other movies that were better than the book (in order of betterness, if I can make up a word):
1. Forrest Gump. The book is a profane -- do you know any one who finished it? As one example, Jenny and Forrest get together because she lusts after his 6' 2" hunky body, rather than his love.
2. Wicked (a play, rather than a movie). The play allows for a somewhat happy ending and the maturing of the characters. I watched previews of the play, fell in love with it and got the book. Ugh. The book has Elphaba kill a kid (somewhat inadvertently, a giant icicle goes through a boy who is bullying her son) and describes her affair that resulted in the pregnancy (the guy was married). Elphaba dies. The wizard plans his suicide.
3. The Princess Diaries (Julie Andrews, Anne Hathaway -- joy!). The book is an actual diary told from a 15 year-old's perspective, her father is still alive (and bald) and grandma is an old biddy -- not that loveable.
4. Mary Poppins. The book had magic to Disney (he read it to his kids) but I could only make it halfway through the story.
5. The Wizard of Oz. The movie and music and some wonderful actors (Judy Garland, the Lion and the Witch are all fantastic). The book is OK but there is better fantasy out now.
6. The Martian. Similar to #7 below, the movie is fast paced. It has almost everything the movie has, but does it in a more fluid, powerful way. Plus, there is so much that this is better envisioned with the movie. (I only have so much imagination. I'm not Anne Shirley. As an aside, the one thing the book did better was explain the explosion that killed the potatoes.)
7. Schindler's list. Both the book and the Movie are classics. But the book -- as non-fiction -- is primarily a collection of accounts by survivors.
In the movie, Spielberg creates a more powerful narrative. (I read the book in one sitting, ending at 2 in the morning, which may mean I didn't appreciate it as much as I should.)
Please forgive my typos. I'm writing quick as I should be finishing another project.
Cat Willam Goldman wrote the screen play for the movie and he was frequently on set while they were filming. I had read the book a dozen times before they made the movie. I still love the book and the movie is one of my favorites. There are a few differences but when you have Billy Chrystal in a movie you can't expect him to always follow the script. Teh differences don't take away from the movie at all.
Lauren Henry I grew up on the movie and decided to read the book last year. I was so surprised at how good it was! All the wit and character that you love is right there in the pages
Cassandra If you loved the movie, there's a very good chance that you will LOATHE the book. It could even ruin the movie for you.

The book is a mean-spirited story about a greedy, selfish, unfaithful author who is cold-hearted towards his only son, aside from an obsessive search for a fairytale that the author decides he should foist onto his son. Goldman populated that fairytale with extreme caricatures so he could indirectly sneer at the very concept of fairytales. This is the fairytale that he wrote for his young daughters: a book that I would not read to a young girl.

The movie is a light-hearted romp with some funny lines, a scene-stealing performance by Mandy Patinkin, and a wonderful lesson on the nature of real love.

Don't listen to the people here. The movie and book are so different in tone and content, that I don't know how to explain the fact that the same man wrote both without assuming that the studio heads had a lot of influence on the changes.
Caroline I read this in middle school, which was.... well... over a decade ago.. ;)
BUT, I do recall enjoying the book as much as the movie, and I've always been a big fan of the movie, watching it EVERY time it came on TV as a kid. I really do need to re-read this one of these days.
Shrimpy Like you, I watched the movie first, and to this day it's still makes my Top 10. Then I read the book. Oh boy. I just really didn't like his style of fantasy writing, the book felt bloated and strange, and two pages in I wanted to punch Buttercup in the nose. But it really all depends on preferences. You might really like his style, you never know.
Trev What is Your Favorite Book? Favorite Movie?

- Since I was about 10 my Answer to both of those Questions has been Princess Bride. I'm 30 now. I don't see this answer changing.
Larissa This is one of those books where I like the movie slightly better than the book. BUT, the book does give a lot of background info that helps you understand the movie better. The movie is not complete without the book, and vise versa.
Kelly I love both the book and the movie in different ways. I don't think that it is necessary to compare the two works. Enjoy them both as the masterpieces that they are.
Michael Movie's better. You'll probably only have patience for the book if you're 20-30yo..
Shiraz Don't worry! The book is more for background information about the characters, its easier to understand the movie if you read the book first, so you can understand the characters better. It also explains why each character has a different attitude towards themselves, and other people.
Nathan Even though I didn't like the book as much as some of these people did, it wasn't bad. It didn't ruin the movie; it made me appreciate the movie a bit more. Where it came from and the subtle differences that actually make the movie better. Eels, better rhymes, and MLTs to be short.
Emily I love the movie with a passion and am reading the book now. It's perfect. They are both perfect in their separate mediums. Think of the book as a longer, more detail version of the movie. The writing style is precious. I'd say it enhances the movie rather than challenges it. Before I even started Chapter 2: The Groom, I knew it was my favorite book. I NEVER have a favorite book. I like getting more background of the characters and the world. You should be fine!
Charlotte The book is good, and it more a background to the story not just from the characters perspective but also from the author's at point. I personally still prefer the movie but that not to do with the story but more the structure of the book didn't work for me. However I say overall if you enjoyed the movie it's worth a read.
Jon Cinema is such a different medium, that movies can live alongside the books their based on, and even sometimes even surpass them.

For anyone worried about the old adage of the film never living up to the book I would recommend watching and then reading: Jaws, The Godfather, The Hustler, Cool Hand Luke, Fight Club, The Wizard of Oz, Jurassic Park, The Shawshank Redemption, Jumanji, It's A Wonderful Life, No Country For Old Men, and Shrek.
Jessa I don't think the book ruins the movie, but it's more like an extended version (like most movie to book relationships tend to be). The movie stays pretty true to the style of the book, but the book has all these parts and backstories that enrich the story altogether.
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