Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient, 1992 Man Booker Prize Winner

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Onto book two, this should be interesting as The English Patient is the first novel on my list that has already been adapted into a film, which was released in 1996 and starred Ralph Fiennes, Kristin Scott Thomas and Juliette Binoche. I have seen the film about three times I estimate, so I already know what the plot is and how it ends. But I would now like to pose a question to my readers. Does seeing a film adaption of a book first, then reading the book after take away from the experience of reading it? To fully appreciate the story, must you read the book first before seeing the film adaption of it? Please discuss.

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3 thoughts on “Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient, 1992 Man Booker Prize Winner

  1. Claire

    Hmmm, an interesting one. I always think that one should read the book first before seeing the film – as the book (usually) comes before the film. In most cases I prefer the book to the film (the exception that I can think of currently is P D James Death Comes to Pemberley, where I enjoyed the adaptation much more than the book).

    However, I haven’t read the book or seen the film of The English Patient, so looking forward to your review of both!

    Cx

  2. Interesting, I just finished reading Cloud Atlas after having seen the film. It was not as thrilling a read because I knew what was going to happen, and while the film adaptation was quite close to the book, I realised as soon as I read Sonmi’s part that the film was missing a fairly crucial chunk of her story and, in hindsight, lacked depth for that. So I think sometimes reading after watching can actually make you appreciate certain parts of the story more for the part they play than you might otherwise if you were reading it ‘fresh’.

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