The Voyage of the Dawn Treader: Should You Read the Book Before Seeing the Movie?
If you're visual like me, you've already made a motion picture in your head while reading C.S. Lewis' The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. That's what I do with most any book I'm making my way through. I just can't help it, and it's how I'm wired.
So by the time I get to the theater to see a book adaptation on the big screen, believe you me I've got some great expectations. Sometimes they're dashed. Sometimes they're met. And other times they're exceeded.
But in the case of the upcoming film in The Chronicles of Narnia franchise, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, I had not read this book since I was a young child (actually my mom read it to me … thanks, Mom!). And quite frankly, I remembered nothing about it.
Still, that didn't ruin my experience. If anything, after I saw the film at a sneak preview screening last week, I was inspired to read the book again—thirty-plus years later. Now that's the mark of a good movie!
Recently I posed this "should you read the book before seeing the movie" question to Lewis' stepson, Douglas Gresham, who is also executive producer of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (read the Douglas Gresham interview). And he didn't seem to think it mattered one way or the other. Do whatever you like.
However, you probably shouldn't read the book while you're watching the movie, which incidentally releases in theaters on December 10, 2010. That's just my advice. Before or after. Not during. Because you don't want to get seasick, and you surely don't want to miss an amazing 3D adventure on a ship that'll "take you places you never dreamed existed."