From Page to Screen: In Cold Blood (1967) and In Cold Blood (1996)

My love for Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood (which some ungenerous souls might call an obsession) has been well documented on this blog.

But my interest in the story transcends the book. The 1967 film adaptation is one of my favorite movies and is one of the examples I always point to when people claim that a movie can never be as good as the book.

A few months ago, I watched the 1996 miniseries adaptation of the story with my coworker Jen. If the 1967 version is one of the best adaptations I’ve ever seen, the 1996 version is easily one of the absolute worst.

Usually the “From Page to Screen” series is a venue for me to compare and contrast books with their adaptations. But this is my series and my rules, and I’ve decided to bend the rules for this one. So, this month we’re comparing and contrasting two adaptations and exploring why one is considered a masterpiece and the other, well, isn’t. Let’s just call it Screen vs. Screen for this month.

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From Page to Screen: The Girl on the Train

Rachel Watson has, to put it mildly, seen better days.

An unstable alcoholic who is prone to blackouts, she no longer has a husband, job, or home. Instead, she’s reduced to living with a friend and spending her days riding the train because she has nothing better to do with her time. She distracts herself by watching a couple who live in a house next to the railway track.

As she rides by every day, she crafts a story in her head about this seemingly perfect couple. She gives them names and occupations and hobbies. And, yes, that’s as creepy as it sounds. This unhinged respite from her own troubled life is shaken one day when she rides by and sees something that shatters the illusions she has created in her own imagination.

Even more worryingly, she learns soon that the woman who lives in the house has disappeared. Rachel starts to suspect that she may know more about the case than she realizes, but she can’t remember anything. Complications ensue.

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Sneak Peek for Next Year

A whole new year, a whole new blog? Not exactly but definitely time for a few tweaks.

2017

This year, a lot of our blog posts have focused on our 2016 Library Challenge. But as the year is winding down and the challenge deadline is drawing near, I wanted to spend some time looking ahead to next year.

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2016 Library Book Challenge: A Classic Romance

One of the categories in this year’s reading challenge is a classic romance, and the week before Valentine’s Day seems the perfect time to offer suggestions for this one.

The word “classic” means something different for everyone, so I tried to include a broad range of selections. Yes, there are books that most people would instantly describe as classics, even if it is not their preference–19th century, gets taught in school. But I also included some more contemporary titles that have been popular in recent years.

In addition, I know not everyone enjoys this genre, so I’ve tried to include enough variety that everyone should find something they like, even if “classic romance” isn’t a category they usually read.

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