The Book Was Better than the Movie – Categorizing the Same Story in Different Genres

„The book was so much better than the movie.“ I have heard this sentence so many times and I don’t agree. Generally because I have studied television narratives and I know that there is quite the difference between book, TV and movie narratives (to name just a few) and see them as separate entities. Lately I had a few stories where I enjoyed the movie more than the book only to realize that I would categorize them in different genres.

Aurora Teagarden Series by Charlaine Harris – Books vs. Movies


The Books

I have started to read the series as a crime story. Though it is cozy, comfy and less gruesome than other books, it never struck me as a crime story. Sure there was a mystery in it, the protagonist was interested in murder, but she never really investigated. It was pure coincidence that she got information and was actually at the right spot at the right time. There was a lot more side chatter that in other crime novels. The protagonist was far from being investigative and seemed rather clueless. So for me this is more of a comfy read about Aurora’s life mixed with a little mystery than an actual crime story.

The Movies

However, the Hallmark movies are really wonderful and I watched and enjoyed them as a crime story. Here, the protagonist is far more investigative and a little nosy. It is not coincidence that lead her on the right track. Her private life is still quite dominant, but somehow intertwines better with the crime story. I liked the characters a lot more than I did in the novel and the crime was actually presented as a crime story.

The Books Are Not The Movies – Reading Two Different Genres

So for me personally, the book is not always better than the movie as well as the movie is not necessarily better than the book. I consume both in a different way, as two different categories – cozy-chick-lit-with-a -little-mystery novel vs. cozy crime movie. So, apart from the fact that one might have to remember that telling a story in a book and telling a story on a screen are very different ways of storytelling, one can actually enjoy both with an open mind. I did not put any expectations into reading or watching Aurora Teagarden novels but let them just role over me and see what develops during my reading or watching of the story. This way I don’t feel like I wasted time.

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One of my Favorite Cozy Crime Authors – Katharina M. Mylius „Tödliches Blau“ (Review in German and English)

paperback
publisher: Dryas Verlag
published 2017
pages: 256

In (Very) Short:

Der Trainer des Ruderclubs der Universität Oxford treibt tot in der Themse. Zunächst sieht es danach aus, als sei der Mann ertrunken. Doch dann verdichten sich die Hinweise, dass er hinterlistig ermordet wurde. Das Inspektoren-Duo Heidi Green und Frederick Collins ermittelt und findet heraus, dass sich der ehrgeizige Trainer mit seiner harschen Art viele Feinde gemacht hat. Dabei gerät ein Ruderer besonders ins Visier der Ermittler. Wenig später wird jedoch auch er tot aufgefunden…

Inspectors Heidi Green and Frederick Collins are at it again. In their 4th case the trainer of the Oxford rowing team is murdered short before the traditional rowing competition between Oxford and Cambridge. Wondering a little whether the other team wanted to gain an advantage, Green and Collins discover that quite a few people had a grudge (the wives, the children, the replacements, the rowing team itself). Now the inspectors have to navigate their way around a minefield of lies, accusations and hurt egos.

My Opinion:

Ich bin ein großer Fan von Katharina M. Mylius. Ihre wunderbare und bezaubernde Art zu schreiben begeistert mich immer wieder. Die Geschichte ist schnell und spritzig (mir fällt hier wirklich gerade kein besseres Wort ein), die Protagonisten sind sympathisch und liebenswert und das Verbrechen bleibt durchaus rätselhaft auch wenn man den Mörder durchaus schon vor ende erspähen kann. Mylius schafft es aber immer wieder einen auf unterschiedliche Fährten zu locken. Dabei bleiben die Morde zwar grausam und brutal, aber es fühlt sich nicht nach einer überwiegend blutigen Angelegenheit an. Es bleibt für mich immer ein cozy crime.

Zudem bin ich großer Fan der Protagonisten, die, anders als viele andere auch mal ein funktionierendes Privatleben haben und einen angenehmen, teils ironischen Umgang miteinander haben. Dies ist für mich ihr bestes Buch bis jetzt.

I thoroughly enjoy the work of Katharina M. Mylius. She has a wonderful and captivating way to write the story and enthrall her audience. The story is fast-paced, the protagonists are very sympathetic, the crime remains puzzling though you can glimpse who the murderer is. Yet Mylius integrates quite a few red herring and creates quite a few suspects. The murders however are not gruesome. Even when the crime is quite violent, it still does not feel overwhelmingly bloody or even blood thirsty. It remains a cozy crime.

I really enjoy the functioning lives of the detectives that are sprinkled throughout the investigation as well as the connection they have with each other and their colleagues. I think this is one of my favorite books so far.

Bottom Line:

Ein wunderbarer Krimi aus und in Oxford mit sympatischen Figuren und einem wunderbaren Schreibstil.

A wonderful cozy crime, yet only for readers of German. It has not been translated into English – which is a shame.

Rating:

Gitta Edelmann – Canterbury Requiem: Ein Krimi aus Kent

This book is not published in English yet. Look further down for a short review in English.

 Canterbury Requiem

Taschenbuch
Verlag: Goldfinch
veröffentlicht 2014
Seiten: 258

Book (Deutsch)

Klappentext:

Es regnet und ein kalter Wind fegt durch Canterburys Straßen, als Ella sich nach der Chorprobe von Aileen verabschiedet. Am nächsten Morgen ist Aileen tot. Zunächst sieht alles nach einem Unfall mit Fahrerflucht aus, doch dann stellt sich heraus, dass Aileen starke Beruhigungsmittel im Blut hatte. Entschlossen beginnt Ella, die erst kürzlich nach Canterbury gezogen ist, in Aileens Leben nachzuforschen. Dabei stößt sie auf Ungereimtheiten, häkelnde alte Damen, einen mürrischen Professor, einen pfiffigen Nachbarsjungen, einen ausgesprochen attraktiven jungen Mann im Pub und einen Detective Inspector, der ihr das Leben nicht unbedingt leichter macht … (Amazon)

In Kürze:

+ Krimi in Canterbury
+ erinnert im Konzept an Agatha Christie Romane
+ sympathische, liebenswerte Protagonistin
+ spannend, unterhaltsam, nicht gruseliger Kriminalfall

Meinung:

Canterbury Requiem von Gitta Edelmann ist ein englischer Krimi der nicht nur in England spielt, sondern mich auch an Christie und Co. erinnert hat. Ich war auf jeden Fall begeistert.

Ella zieht nach Canterbury um dort eine neue Romanreihen anzufangen, die in Canterbury spielen soll. Daher will sie sich mir der Stadt sowie Land und Leuten vertraut machen und wird Mitglied eines Chors. Nach der ersten Chorprobe verabschiedet sie sich von Aileen, die dann prompt von einem Auto angefahren wird und verstirbt. Nachdem ersten Schock stellt sich jedoch schnell heraus, dass Aileen starke Medikamente genommen hat und so fragt sich nicht nur Ella, ob noch mehr hinter dem Unfall steckt. Langsam fängt sie an zu ermitteln und stößt damit nicht nur auf Gegenliebe sondern bringt sich auch selbst in Gefahr.

Der Roman hat einige Schnittstellen mit meinen innig geliebten Marple Krimis. Auch wenn ich vielleicht etwas mehr Krimi und weniger gesellschaftliche und persönliche Verwicklungen gehabt hätte, erinnert es mich doch stark an einige Romane von Christie. Auch da spielen zwischenmenschliche Beziehungen eine Rolle und die Polizei ist weniger begeistert von der Hilfe der Autorin (wie auch bei Jane Marple). Das Leben von Ella ist mit der Handlung und den Charakteren verwoben und das Ende vielleicht nicht ganz so überraschend, aber doch passend.

Ich habe mich sehr schnell in den Roman eingelesen. Der Schreibstil war flüssig und leicht, die Beschreibungen von Canterbury so gut, dass ich mich auch noch an das ein oder andere erinnern konnte, auch wenn es schon etwas her ist, dass ich das letzte Mal da war. Die Protagonisten waren mir sympathisch und ich habe eine kleine Schwäche für den grummeligen Polizisten.

Vielen Dank an den Goldfinch Verlag für die Bereitstellung des Buches.

Fazit:

Ein wirklich gelungener Roman, der mich sehr gut unterhalten hat. Ich war sehr positiv überrascht und hoffe bald wieder etwas von der Autorin lesen zu können.

In English:

This novel by Gitta Edelmann is a crime story set in Canterbury. The main protagonist Ella moves to Canterbury to research a new setting for her book series and she has chosen England, more specific Canterbury. After she joins a choir group in order to meet new people, a member of that group is hit by a car right after practice. It is revealed by the police that the victim had a high dose of medication in her system and the question slowly arises whether this actually was an accident or maybe murder. Ella is intrigued and starts to investigate.

The concept of the story is a whodunit with a lot more personal life details of the protagonist. It was a great and entertaining read. Though there might have been less crime than I anticipated, I really enjoyed the book. The writing was fluent, the protagonist likeable, and I do have a weakness for the slightly grumpy police officer.

This book is written by a German author and has not been translated yet, but I really recommend this novel to anyone who is able to read German.

Rating:

rating 4

Agatha Christie – Cat Among the Pigeons

cat among the pigeons

paperback
publisher: HarperCollins
published 2002
pages: 352

Book on Amazon

Blurb:

Late one night, two teachers investigate a mysterious flashing light in the sports pavilion, while the rest of the school sleeps. There, among the lacrosse sticks, they stumble upon the body of the unpopular games mistress – shot through the heart from point-blank range.

The school is thrown into chaos when the ‘cat’ strikes again. Unfortunately, schoolgirl Julia Upjohn knows too much. In particular, she knows that without Hercule Poirot’s help, she will be the next victim…

In (Very) Short:

+ a Hercule Poirot Mystery
+ thrilling and entertaining read
+ story worked despite the lack of Poirot in the beginning
+ the spy and revolution aspect were a lovely twist
– just a little Poirot towards the end

My Opinion:

Cat Among The Pigeons is one of the later Poirot mysteries and since he has been old when Christie started the series, he is even older now and thus not as present in the story than I would have liked him to be.

The story starts out at many different places before settling at the grounds of Meadowbank School. We meet a foreign prince and his British friend planing their escape from a revolutionary country, we meet the sister and the niece of the British friend, we hear about diamonds, spies, army and police officials and all strings come together at an all girls school in England.

While we know more than the characters do, we are sure that the murder has nothing to do with the school per se but with people coming together here. But is that really the case. As the story gets more convoluted and we as readers are not as sure anymore, Hercules Poirot finally enters the scene and saves the day.

The story is exiting and thrilling and there are so many twists and turns that I was thrown of any track and idea I had and did not know what to believe anymore. I enjoyed the foreign as well as the spy aspect of the story. Christie’s writing and stories are soothing and yet still exiting. But I wished Poirot would have entered the story earlier and not so much during the end. It sometimes seems a little forced that with someone telling him about the events, he still figured it all out without having been there himself. But still, the story was still very good without his constant presence.

Bottom Line:

A thrilling and great read.

Rating:

rating 4

Alan Bradley – I am Half-Sick of Shadows

Falvia4-2

Paperback
publisher: Bantam Books
published: 2011
pages: 293

Book on Amazon

Blurb:

It’s Christmas time and Flavia de Luce – eleven-year-old sleuth with a passion for chemistry – is tucked away in her laboratory, whipping up a concoction to ensnare Saint Nick. But she is soon distracted when a film crew arrives at Buckshaw, the de Luce’s decaying English estate, to shoot a movie starting the famed Phyllis Wyvern. Amid a raging blizzard, the entire village of Bishops Lacey gathers at Buckshaw to watch Wyvern perform, yet nobody is prepared for the evening shocking conclusion: a body found strangled to death with a length of film. But who among the assembled guests would stage such a chilling scene? As the storm worsens and the lists of suspects grows, Flavia must ferret out a killer hidden in plain sight.

In (Very) Short:

+ 4th Flavia de Luce mystery
+ funny and entertaining
+ whodunit mystery
+ the relationships between Flavia, Dogger, and her sisters are the basis of the story constellation and the icing on the cake

My Opinion:

The 4th book in the Flavia de Luce mystery series I am Half-Sick of Shadows is again another wonderful read. I am a fan of Flavia, her investigative method, and her wonderful view on her sisters, the town, and the world.

Flavia is the youngest daughter of Colonel de Luce who lost his wife many years ago. He is too busy mourning his late wife and busy with his stamp collection to really pay much attention to his three daughters. While the older daughters love to torment Flavia, his youngest daughter is a passionate chemist, who loves to experiment and occasionally does that on her sisters.

This time the de Luce rent the mansion to a film crew shooting a movie starring the famous Phyllis Wyvern – an actress all three de Luce girls are fans off. After Ms Wyvern agrees to help the church of Bishops Lacey by acting a scene from Romeo and Juliet for their benefit, the entire town is stranded at Buckshaw during a blizzard, only to discover a dead body. Flavia and the police start to investigate.

The cover is a lovely continuation of the previous novels and captivates the eye this time in a lovely read. A little bolder than the previous books in purple, light green and yellow. The writing is fluent and Flavia is wonderfully sarcastic and sometimes as lost and overwhelmed with her sisters attitude as an 11-year-old should be. I particularly like her relationship with the family friend Dogger and the chief investigator Inspector Hewitt. Hewitt and Flavia do butt heads yet he is never disrespectful or condescending towards her.

The mystery itself starts a little late this time around and some readers, who read this solely as a crime story, might be disappointed. I, however, was not. After reading many Christie novels I know that it sometimes takes time before a crime is committed or the investigation begins. And I really enjoy spending time with Flavia, Dogger, and her sisters. The crime was a very nice whodunit (and I honestly wasn’t sure who did it) and the end was interesting, exiting, surprising and explosive to say the least. A very good read.

Bottom Line:

An entertaining and funny read with a wonderfully nosy and wicked Flavia and an explosive finale.

Rating:

rating 5

My Reading Month December

My November reading slump continued way into December and picked up again towards the end. During the Christmas days I finally found the leisure and peace to sit down and read a little more and I did read five books this month.

December Haul

Alan Bradley – I am Half Sick of Shadows

My first book this month was the fourth Flavia de Luce mystery. I enjoyed this one as much as the previous books. It is funny, entertaining, I really like the dynamic between Falvia and Dogger, and the crime itself gives the book a nice whodunit touch. If you, however, intend to read the book as a crime story, you might be a little disappointed because it takes quite a while for the crime to take place and the investigation to start. But I read the books because of Flavia, so I wasn’t disappointed but enjoyed my crime free time with her as well as her investigation.

Petra Schier – Vier Pfoten unterm Weihnachtsbaum

I have read my first Christmas novel and I honestly did not know what to expect. I have watched my fair share of soppy Christmas movies, so I thought when in the right mood… The story itself (as most other Christmas story) was fairly predictable, but I wanted a happy end and all that. It was a good and light read that made a rainy day a little easier to endure.

William Shakespeare – Julius Caesar

Since I have so many classic authors on my shelfs because of my studies, I though I’ll try to pick up one of those every once in a while and the first one was Julius Caesar. I don’t feel like I am ready to write a good review about it yet because I will have to read a few more of his works (for comparison). I know I did not enjoy this as much as The Tempest, but Shakespeare has always been good so far.

Sarah J. Maas – Crown of Midnight

I finally finished this book after a long break. I knew that I needed to read Crown of Midnight in as few sittings as possible. This is not one of those books where I read a couple of pages and put it down again. In the first pages I was a little disappointed because it was quite soppy. The focus was on the relationship which was nice but a little too much. That’s another reason it lay for a while on my nightstand. I just wasn’t in the mood. However, the pace of the narration and the story itself increased soon and in hindsight this (for me) prolonged love thingy was necessary to understand the later actions. I was riveted throughout the rest of the book. Not as good as the first, but good.

Pauline Francis – Rabenlady

This was a young adult historic novel that I stumbled upon short before Christmas break and my mother (sneaky as always) secretly bought it for me. It’s about the young Lady Jane Grey (the Queen of England for nine days before Mary Tudor reclaimed the throne) and her life and way to the throne. While she was a historic figure, her potential love interest was imagined, but the story itself was beautiful, somewhat tranquil, and sad. Though the pace of the story was slow, it was an interesting take on a time in which England was midst religious uncertainty – a good read.

Audio Book Month November Part 2 (English)

Leonie Swann – Glennkill

Nach all dem eher heiteren Geplänkel habe ich mich dann einem Krimi zugewandt – einem heiteren Krimi (wenn es sowas denn gibt) wohlgemerkt.

After my many lighter audio books, I turned to a crime story – a light and breezy one, however.

Blurb:

Ein Mordfall im Schafsmilieu: Als der Schäfer George eines morgens mit einem Spaten in der Brust auf der Weide liegt,beschließen die schlauesten und mutigsten Schafe, den Fall selbst zu lösen. Bei ihren Ermittlungen werden sie zwar immer wieder ermattet einnicken, am Ende aber kraft ihrer überragenden Intuition den Fall klären.

On a hillside near the cosy Irish village of Glennkill, a flock of sheep gather around their beloved shepherd George, who lies murdered, his body pinned to the pasture with a spade.

Fortunately, George has left behind an unusually intelligent group of sheep. Every night since they were lambs, he has read aloud to them – fairy tales, factual books about ovine disease, even detective stories – in order to help them sleep.

Faced with a real-life investigation, the flock spring into action.

They are led with fortitude by Miss Maple, the cleverest sheep in Glennkill and possibly the world, She is aided by Cordelia, who loves long words; and Othello, a ram with a dark past. Together they uncover the truth behind the life and death of their shepherd. Why did George tie little packets under their bellies before they crossed the meadow? And whose blood does Ham the butcher have on his hands?

While some of the detectives insist on chewing the evidence, or even forgetting it, together they succeed in shedding the revelatory light on the inexplicable world of human beings, and even on themselves.

 Meinung/Opinion:

Diesen Schafskrimi habe ich schon seit längerem auf meinem Nachttisch liegen gehabt, bin aber nicht dazu gekommen ihn zu lesen oder besser zu beenden. Als nun viele lange Fahrten anstanden und mir das Hörbuch vor die Füße gefallen ist, habe ich nicht lange gezögert.

Der Krimi an sich ist eher ruhig und behäbig – also nicht reißerisch oder eckelig. Die Probleme, die ich beim Lesen des Buches hatte (oft war die Handlung etwas langsam und auch die Schafprotagonisten etwas gewöhnungsbedürftig), waren beim Hörbuch nicht vorhanden. Was meiner Meinung nach an der wunderbaren Lesung von Andrea Sawatzki liegt. Es war wirklich toll, unterhaltsam und spannend. Wirklich ein Genuss.

I had the book on my night stand for some time now, but I never managed to finish it. So when a lot of travelling was ahead of me, I was very happy when I stumbled upon the audio book.

The crime story itself is rather calm and ponderous – so nothing to bloody and disgusting. I did not have the same problems with the audio book that I had with the book itself, but I believe that was due to the wonderful reading of Andrea Sawatzki (a German actress). It was thoroughly entertaining and funny – a great enjoyment.

Sophie Kinsella – Twenties Girl

Mein einzig Englisches Experiment war Sophie Kinsella. Nachdem ich mit einem deutschen Hörbuch von ihr sehr gut zurecht gekommen bin, habe ich mich mal an ein englisches rangetraut. Ich hatte es schon mal mit einem anderen audio book versucht, bin aber mit dem Sprecher überhaupt nicht zurechtgekommen. Aber hier war es kein Problem.

My only English experiment this time was Sophie Kinsella’s audio book Twenties Girl. After I listened to a German audio book of hers and I really enjoyed, I stumbled across this one. I was a little reluctant since I had difficulties with other English audio books not because of the language but because of the person reading it. I couldn’t cope with their voice. But this was a lovely surprise.

Blurb:

Im falschen Film gelandet? Zumindest in einer anderen Zeit: Der spritzigen Lara erscheint der Geist ihrer gerade verstorbenen Großtante Sadie. Doch statt steinalt ist dieser Geist jung und kapriziös und will sich so richtig amüsieren. Er schickt Lara auf einen Trip voller Überraschungen: Mit Champagner und Charleston zurück in die wilden 1920er Jahre. Nebenbei soll Lara für Sadie eine rätselhafte Halskette wiederfinden und damit ein uraltes Familiengeheimnis lüften.

Lara Lington has always had an overactive imagination, but suddenly that imagination seems to be in overdrive. Normal professional twenty-something young women don’t get visited by ghosts. Or do they?

When the spirit of Lara’s great-aunt Sadie–a feisty, demanding girl with firm ideas about fashion, love, and the right way to dance–mysteriously appears, she has one last request: Lara must find a missing necklace that had been in Sadie’s possession for more than seventy-five years, and Sadie cannot rest without it. Lara, on the other hand, has a number of ongoing distractions. Her best friend and business partner has run off to Goa, her start-up company is floundering, and she’s just been dumped by the “perfect” man.

Sadie, however, could care less.

Lara and Sadie make a hilarious sparring duo, and at first it seems as though they have nothing in common. But as the mission to find Sadie’s necklace leads to intrigue and a new romance for Lara, these very different “twenties” girls learn some surprising truths from each other along the way.

Meinung/Opinion:

Das Buch war wunderbar gelesen, auch wenn mir der Geist doch das ein oder andere Mal auf den Zeiger ging. Was mir bis jetzt immer sehr gut an den Geschichten von Kinsella gefallen hat, sind die doch sehr unterschiedlichen Aspekte, die sie aufgreift. Geister, Amnesie oder Kaufsucht – oft nach Schema F verlaufend, aber einfach immer individuell. Sehr gut und lustig.

The story was beautifully read and the very entertaining despite the occasionally annoying ghost. I really enjoy Kinsella’s work so far since she incorporates very different aspects in her stories: ghosts, amnesia, shopaholics. Though the stories follow a similar pattern they are still very individual. Funny and entertaining.