I just found myself in the same conundrum. After feeling so proud of myself for finishing the novel "The Paperboy" (and blogging about it here), I went in search of another novel for all the same grandiose reasons that anyone has when they decide to turn off the TV and try reading instead: I wanted to be cultured, I wanted a greater intellectual challenge, and I wanted to lengthen my attention span.
The book "Proof of Life," based on a 2000 film about the kidnapping and ransom industry in South America, was already on my bookshelf and looked immensely promising: It was based on a film I'd seen and it was about something interesting. The book was riveting until I discovered halfway through that this wasn't the novel that the film was based on. Instead, this was a novelization of the movie. The front of the book reads "A novel by David Robbins...Based on the Screenplay by Tony Gilroy." Am I an idiot or what?
So the big question is: Are the intellectual riches I would have gotten from reading a novel still valid now that I know I'm reading a novelization? Am I still reading a novel?
Responses when I asked this on the IMDB Message Board:
- "Counts as a novel, just not necessarily a good one." -BloodVVank
- "Technically, yes. Intellectually, no." -Shantytown1212
- "If film adaptations of novels count as films, then novel adaptations of films count as novels." -GrimlocksNewBrain
- "Someone wrote it to the best of their ability - I say yes!" -Chason_S
- "They may not be great works of literature, but it's still reading a novel. An author spent quite a bit of time writing it after all." -Unwantedaddress
- "Sounds like you're reading for all the wrong reasons." -Dio52
- "Does reading the Cliff Notes count as readng the book?" -Dolfanatic313
- "I didn't even know those still existed, seemed like an 80's thing to me, but I don't see why it wouldn't count as reading a book. It probably won't count as reading a good book, and probably won't make you necessarily more "cultured", but " -Shagrroten