Make your own free website on


2 Alternate Covers of the Book….& The Alliance Classics Video Cover

Which one is better?
it always seems that if one watches a film, and then reads the book, the film seemed better.
And… if one read the book, and then watched the film, the book seemed better. Well, for me, neither way counts, because the book by Walter Tevis just cannot compare to the genius within Nicolas Roeg, David Bowie and others in the movie.

The Book...
Bowie was not familiar with the original 1963 novel by Walter Tevis. Instead, he attempted to investigate his soon to be director, Nicolas Roeg's past films, including Performance, etc. He found that Roeg was one of the only directors he would find suitable to work with and corresponding to his nature.
If you take a glance throughout the novel, it is quite dull, and 85% or more of the novel deals with Newton's lawyer and his business. *yawn* Instead of Mary Lou, it's Betty Jo - a forty year old woman who is not his wife, but yet, Newton's housekeeper! What was Walter Tevis thinking? I have definitely read better books, but I have never seen such an interesting film. Gosh… It was quite disappointing to find the novel after seeing the movie. There is always a difference, but believe me, Nic Roeg and David Bowie are capable of making anything seem different…

The Movie…
The movie, in comparison to the book, provided much more excitement - Newton and Mary Lou were a couple, she was young, and so was Newton, and the exciting escapades of Britain and the 70s were also incorporated into the film.
Bowie did not like the script when he first read it. Nicolas Roeg also wished to change a few things, but the screenplay had to do for the moment. Roeg made the best out of it, however, and the film got on track.
Just a tip: For those who say the movie was boring...why don't you try reading the book!?

My advice to you is not to get too close to the book. If you have not yet read the book or seen the movie, your obvious choice would be to watch the movie. But who hasn't seen this one yet?
Almost every chapter in the book deals with Newton and Bryce, which becomes quite dull. Thank goodness for Nic Roeg and David Bowie's talent...not to mention the younger looks of Candy Clark, which take away fears of having to see a 'middle aged' woman as in the novel. Candy Clark does, however, have to play Mary Lou during different stages in her life, young and old, but the book starts off with her being old enough…
In the book, Newton is fingernail-less, his waist is 5 inches and he is over 6 feet tall. Although we can't seem to find anyone on earth with those same qualities, we can picture David Bowie as Newton - which makes the character's personality and appearance more interesting.
The movie alone helps you picture the story better, and without any visuals, you would be tremendously lost.

[ home | david bowie | photographs | information | book vs. movie | insights | links | updates ]