Days in the mountains become weeks, as their hope for rescue dwindles. How will they make it out of the wilderness and if they do, how will this experience change them forever? Heart-wrenching and unputdownable, The Mountain Between Us will reaffirm your belief in the power of love to sustain us.
First a confession: I love Charles Martin's writing and have never been disappointed by his work. I have novels I prefer over the rest and his Chasing Fireflies remains on my all time favorite list. It was the first time I had read his work and was totally swept away. Because I know that I will enjoy his novels, I pick them up whenever I find them...and this one has been on my TBR shelf for several years after I plucked it from a clearance shelf at Half Price Books for $3. Hardback! (Thunder and Rain & Where the River Ends are still waiting on that shelf for me.)
During our last Barn Book Club meeting, we decided that we would like to read something movie related...and wouldn't you know it, the movie version was being released on October 6. We read his latest novel earlier this year and the consensus was 'liked it', so they were game to read this one and schedule a movie date for Sunday.
Sharnel and I read the book, Stacy and Anita only saw the movie.
First the book:
We loved it! Such a sweeping and enthralling tale. It truly is 'unputdownable' as the book blurb says. The story is full of adventure and of heroism. You find yourself so entranced by their sheer will to survive that you have to know how they overcome each setback...willing them forward with every chapter because you care so deeply for the characters.
There is a story within the story as Ben takes time each day to record messages to his wife (some of which Ashley overhears). He tells her of what they are facing on the mountain, but he is also recounting for her their own love story and how much he misses her. You know that something has happened between them that stirs his own unwillingness to leave Ashley behind to go for help (even as she urges him to), but it takes time for that unveiling and that is what makes this such a wonderful story.
For the two of us that read the book, we couldn't give it any higher praises.
Now the movie:
There is a doctor named Ben. There is a journalist. There is a dog. There is a plane crash. They are stranded on a mountain in the middle of nowhere. That is all.
The storyline is so different. More politically correct. More feminist friendly.
Don't get me wrong...the actors do a superb job. But the storyline lacks the spark that the novel thrives upon.
One of the things that disappointed me so with the movie was that it was so bland...and even though the actors say at one point that they have been on the mountain for three weeks, it seems more like 5 or 6 days. The novel makes you feel the ice, snow and cold and the fear that grabs you each time something goes wrong and you wonder if they will make it out alive. The movie just shows them plodding through heavy snow and finding plenty of shelter and fire as if they only experience a bit of discomfort. There is little suspense.
For instance, in the novel they become aware that they are being stalked by a mountain lion. This goes on for several days as they realize it is closing in on them and Ben tries to figure out how to take out the cat before it takes them out. Suspenseful, right? In the movie, Ben goes out to climb a peak for a better look, the cat comes to the crash site, attacks the dog and enters the broken hull of the plane looking hungrily at Alex. A moments excitement at best.
So at dinner we asked Stacy and Anita their thoughts about the movie. They both agreed that is was okay, predictable and that they felt the love scene was a bit out of place. When we shared the plot of the novel with them, they both agreed that the book would have been better.
It currently has a 45% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
We are going to try it again soon with Same Kind of Different As Me. I've been told I will cry in that one too...maybe more so since it is a true story!