Saturday, September 3, 2011
If you have not yet read The Help -- read it. If you have not yet seen the movie -- see it. Usually I like to read books first, then see movies, but in this case I saw the movie, then read the book. This is the first time I have seen a movie based on a book and they were incredibly closely aligned. I think back to Hunt for Red October, or Shogun. The books were much better than the movies.
In The Help, the casting was perfect. The movie brought to life the characters in the book, who were already pretty lively! The plot in the book was carried over almost perfectly to the movie. There were some subtle, and one or two not-so-subtle, changes, but all in all, they were magnificent reflections of each other.
The books evokes the time period well. Historical events, like the murder of Emmet Till, the bombings of churches, sit-ins at Woolworths' counter, John Kennedy's assassination, were present but background to the characters and the story. The characters run the story and they are beautifully realized. I especially like Minny and Celia.
This is what good writing looks like. A good story well told. That's what I'm aiming for in my book, but when I read a good book like this, I'm almost tempted to give up, stop writing, and just keep reading.
Read the book - you won't regret it.