In a rare turn of events I saw this movie before I’d even heard of the book. I was intrigued by the trailer for the movie and when I finally had a chance to watch it I fell in love with the movie, and thereafter I needed to read the book (though it still took me about a year to buy it). Now I’m conflicted I’m not sure if I like the movie or the book more.
Having seen the movie first I had a basic idea of what the story was, but I was surprised at how much was changed (as I always am in movies). Though I love the move, this is yet another case in point of how filmmakers, or studios, or whomever it is, seem to think that we’re stupid. They have to hammer home points rather than just letting them play out as written in the book Then they have to take some of the more risque or controversial issues and change them. In the book Victoria marries someone much older than she is, and she is pregnant before the wedding. No such thing was mentioned. Granted there wasn’t as much room in the movie for Victoria’s story as there was in the book, but I like this point in the book
I was surprised at how much liberty was taken with the captain of the lightning catching ship. He’s barely mentioned , save for one or two chapters, in the novel but he’s a key character in the movie. Hell, they didn’t even keep the same name. Captain Alderic becomes Captain Shakespeare (you know, Shake Spear!) in the movie. That, I admit was fun. What’s not to love about a cross-dressing pirate of a lightning capturing ship?
I remember watching Gaiman’s comments on writing the story and how he wanted to write a fairy tale for adults. Therefore I shouldn’t have been surprised at some of the foul language in the novel, but I was Also, there was a tad more sexuality than I had expected, but it definitely worked with the story.
I have to say that one of the things I didn’t like was the idea of talking animals. It reminded me too much of The Chronicles of Narnia and Alice in Wonderland, but I guess it is the nature of fairy tales to include these types of things (The Frog Prince, anyone?)
All in all it is a good and interesting tale, and quick to read as well. I’ll read it again in future but now I think I have to go an watch the movie.