The Paperboy: Book (SPOILER ALERT of the book and film)

So after watching the film a week a go yesterday, I bought the book the next day and today I have finished reading The Paperboy. And the film is different to the book. I’m not sure which is better. And I find it really interesting that I can’t decide because at Univeristy I am currently making a Radio magazine programme about Books and one lovely segment of the show is about do adapted films live up to the expectation of the fans of the books. Most of the stuff at the beginning of the film also happens in the book. But as for the middle of the film, there are parts where the plot of the chapter in the book happens in the film but it is slightly different. For example (a slight spoiler but not a who-did-it spoiler) in the book when Jack, the main character, is stung by jellyfish the group of girls pee on him and Charlotte stands at the side not sure what to do. However, in the film Jack is stung by the jellyfish, the group of girls go over as does Charlotte and the girls say they need to pee on him so that they can stop the infection from killing him. But Charlotte tells them to get lost and that ‘if anyone is going to pee on him, it’s me’. Charlotte pees on him. And as for the end of the film, well that is completely different. Jack’s father does get married to his girlfriend who he is with throughout the duration of the film (whereas in the book he meets her halfway through) but although [SPOILER ALERT!!!] two of the characters die in the tense finale of the film, the whole scene is completely different to the book. Obviously the director had to cut and rearrange some scenes so that the film was not too long so that makes sense but still… the end is very different. The two characters do die but one of them dies differently. If you watch the film and read the book you will no what I mean. And in the film the maid is the one narrating it whereas in the book Jack is the narrator.

The film makes the plot more tense than in the book; we don’t blink once so we can understand what is happening and hope Jack gets with Charlotte and then saves her later on. The film is more tense than the book because ther eis more going on. But, the many plots in the film is also the reason why some people don’t like it – the film also has too much going on, (which I personally don’t mind because I understood it). One example is that during the end, whilst Jack is trying to find Charlotte etc etc, he sees Yardley Acheman (his brother Ward’s work partner) who shouts and gets angry with Jack and we then find out that Yardley is not English and is in fact American. In the film Yardley Acheman is black and pretends to be from England so he can work and have a good professional job. Nowhere in the book does it say anything about this plot – that he is pretending to be English or that he even is from England. And it’s the little extras which I understand why some don’t like the film and love the book. I really like both and honestly can’t decide which is better. The film is more tense and I think has a better end – it also has some better scenes, e.g. Charlotte is the one who pees on Jack, which is quite funny because he fancies her but she doesn’t want to get with him and instead of having sex with her he gets a load of his pee over his body and on his face. But eventually in the film Jack and Charlotte get together, whereas in the book he doesn’t. However, the book is more easy to understand and at other moments when the film is not can be tense and difficult to not put the book down. Overall I like both for their similarities and differences.


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