Recently, I’ve been thinking about movies based on books. I love books (I’m a librarian), but I also love movies, and it has always bugged me when people say that â€œthe book is always better than the movie.â€ Obviously it is true that there are a lot of crummy movie adaptations out there, but it seems to me that when people say that the book is better, they are mostly disappointed that the movie wasn’t â€œfaithfulâ€ enough to the book-â€”that it didn’t live up to the image they had in their head when they read the book.
But for me, regardless of how â€œfaithfulâ€ it is to the book, it is always interesting to see how movies use the visual medium to reinterpret or change books. Once you look at movie adaptations this way, you see that not only are there a lot of really good ones, but a lot of times even the bad ones have interesting things about them. I wrote a more thorough article about this for Young Adult Library services, but today, I want to show you what I mean by looking at one movie: The Vampire’s Assistant, directed and co-written by Paul Weitz, and based on the Vampire Blood Trilogy (Cirque du Freak, The Vampire’s Assistant, and Tunnels of Blood) of Darren Shan’s 12-novel series, The Saga of Darren Shan, which is also known as the Cirque du Freak series. (Cirque du Freak was one of YALSA’s 2005 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults.)