The Notebook was Nicolas Sparks first-ever published book. When published, it became an almost instant success, and his career was made. However, it wasn’t until about 10 years later that the book was transformed into one of the most iconic romance movies of modern history. Should you read the book or just skip it and watch the movie? I’m here to tell you in this edition of Book vs. Movie.
In the book, the plot is not as dramatic as in the movie. The book is told as a narrative from the present about the past. The book focuses most on what happened after the 14-year separation between Noah and Allie, with little focus on their original meet-up. The book also goes into their older life more, with a lot of discussion about both Noah and Allie’s health.
In the movie, things are more dramatic. Everything is intensified from the novel. The earlier romance is more dramatic. Noah is obsessed with Allie for his entire life. It has that “movie element” where every event and quote is tied together neatly so that they can say the same things to each other at multiple points in the movie. The biggest change, however, between the movie and the book is that in the book, neither party dies. In the movie, Allie and Noah die dramatically together in the same bed in the middle of the night.
The characters are about the same in the book and movie, although I thought Allie’s likability was even less in the movie. I am not sure what the inspiration for a life-long romance with her was, as she was nothing more than an extremely spoiled young woman. Noah in the movie was a lot more romantic than he was in the book. In the book, he sort of stuck me as a dull, rather ordinary person. But in all honesty, I didn’t really like how he was played in the movie either.
Most of the settings for Nicolas Sparks books are in North Carolina. This one is no different. The most notable difference is that The Notebook takes place just after WWII, while most other stories are more modern in setting. I believe the movie did a wonderful job of building the set to match the period. All of the costumes, vehicles, and everything else in the movie fit right in to the period.
Overall, the movie has a slightly different feel than the book. The book has a feeling of a nice romance that blossomed slowly over time. The movie has a feel that is more like a tragic, dysfunctional romance that never was right until the very end when they died together. The movie was a lot more dramatic, but I don’t know if that was a bad thing.
This story is another that confuses my answer some. I would love to say, “nah, just go read the book,” but I really love the movie. I like the different ending and the increased drama. I guess I prefer my romances to be heartbreaking, so they are sort of unsatisfying to me if they are not. I might almost say that the movie is better than the book in the case of the notebook. I don’t think you will miss much if you never read the book.
I’ll admit, my opinion of the movie may be heavily influenced by when I saw it, because I saw it as a newly-engaged person watching it with my finance, so it is entirely possible that my opinion may not be altogether unbiased when it comes to this movie.
Which version did you prefer?