Skip to main content

The Notebook: Is The Movie vs. The Book

The Notebook is a novel that is a quick read because it is engrossing and very light, even though it does deal with some darker subjects, such as war, death, and aging. Voluminous novels take longer to digest, but The Notebook is a romantic drama that absorbs the reader. No wonder this book was turned into a movie because it is very good, but is the movie better than the book? In this case I would have to say the movie is slightly better than the book, but the novel is very good also. Unlike many novels The Notebook mostly focuses on the main characters Allie and Noah, which makes it easier to focus and not get bothered with the details.This is the not most erudite book in the world, but The Notebook is pleasant and spiritual. The book actually talks about religion and God in a non-judgmental and unpretentious way, whereas the movie is more romantic focused. The movie does have its spiritual elements, but in the book these are discussed farther in depth. There were certain scenes in the book that were changed in the movie to ease the telling of the story line, especially the age differences between Noah and Allie. Also, the gap between when they first met and when they are reunited it much shorter in the movie than in the book.

The Book And The Movie Side By Side

In the book Noah and Allie first met in 1932 when she is 15 and he is 17. However in the film Allie is 17 and the year is 1940, and we are lead to believe Noah is around the same age. There may have been a difference in age because some movie goers may not have felt as comfortable with the intimate scene between a 17 year old Allie and Noah who was almost 18, but I am not sure. Nevertheless, I have to say it was better her age was older in the movie because most movie goers can identify with their first adult love around the age of 17 or 18, whereas 15 is the age of our first high school crush. A major difference between the book and the movie is how Allie and Noah are separated in 1932, but in the movie it is 1940 and almost the beginning of the US entry into World War II. This timeline may have been created to make the tension more dramatic because a fourteen year separation between the characters in the book is harder to relate to, especially for a younger audience.


Why I Like The Movie More

Noah's character is so much more romantic in the movie than in the book. Do not get me wrong, Noah always loves Allie, but writing one love letter a day for a year before giving up is much more intense than writing a letter once a month for seven years. In the book it feels like Noah regards Allie as an old pen pal, but in the movie it seems as if he cannot live without her. It is also very dramatic because Noah sends off his very last love letter right before leaving for war, whereas in the movie Noah sent his last love letter in 1939 and did not enlist in the war until 1941! The timeline has been shortened for the movie, which makes it easier for younger audiences to relate too.

On the other hand I love the spirituality of the book and how Noah regards Allie, which is an element that is somewhat missing in the movie. Yes Allie and Noah had a red hot reunion, but the focus of the movie seems to be more about the physicality than their spiritual connection. In the book Noah kept the painting Allie made for him fourteen years earlier and admires it on his wall, whereas her fiancé was not very excited about a similar piece she painted for him. Thus, we can see the deeper connection between Allie and Noah in the book than in the movie. Although in the movie Noah gives Allie a set of paints because he knows she feels most free when she is painting, but even that scene does not go as deep as the book. I love the description in the book of how Noah puts up with Allie getting paint on furniture and around the house during their marriage, which shows the pet peeves couples have to put up with in lifelong relationships. Thus, both the book and the movie have their strong points, but you will never know unless you read the book and/or watch the movie.


SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on September 10, 2012:

This hub is about comparing and contrast similarities between the book and the movie where the characters are involved, and not about the style of language used. I think if you read the book then you will get a sense for the similarities between this and the movie.

Abdul-Azeez Ismail on September 10, 2012:

Hi SweetiePie

Would you be able to help me?

do they use any of the same style of language, speech (direct writing to speech) in the movie? If so where are the proofs in the book and in the movie?

SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on February 14, 2011:


You summarized it well, and yes the ending of the movie makes more sense than the book. I never could get into reading The Wedding because Noah believes Allie has been reincarnated into a bird, and goes and talks to her. I like Spark's writing and all, but something about that just seemed to comical. The movie tied the last scene in well with the beach scene where Allie says she wants to be a bird.

Sarah on February 14, 2011:

Hi! I watched the film before I read the book and I definitely preferred the film- maybe it's because I watched the film first, I don't know. I find the film so gripping, in fact it's probably my favourite film, always cheers me up :)

The book has it's merits like you said about the spirituality and the pet peeves, it has a more long-term view which is important to the story but that was also pulled off well in the film. Plus I would have to say that the ending is better in the film, perfect end to the perfect love story. Love conquers all!!! :)

SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on February 13, 2011:

Hi Dolores,

Scroll to Continue

Most books are better than the movie, but I just felt the Notebook was a better movie than book. The book was good, but the way the storyline was arranged in the movie just was easier to follow. In the book Noah and Allie meet in 1932 when she is fifteen, and he is eighteen. He was her first, but fourteen years later she is telling him there has been no other man except him, even though she is engaged. The time lapse in the book is just harder to buy in a way. I appreciate how in the movie Allie is seventeen and meets Noah when he is eighteen in 1940. The two have a romance just before World War II, and are united after the war. For the sake of the romantic aspect of the story it just flows better. I am sure there are cases where someone could fall in love when they are fifteen and still be holding a candle for the guy fourteen years later, but that aspect of the book is just hard to buy.

Dolores Monet from East Coast, United States on February 11, 2011:

The trouble with seeing a movie after reading and loving a book is that I am so often disappointed, mad even. I know that's silly. They just can't put it all into a movie due to time limitations.

SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on September 25, 2009:

Silly Monkey,

I never stated that the boat scene was not in the book. I still enjoy the movie a bit more than the book, but I am glad to hear your thoughts.

silly monkey on September 25, 2009:

yes, the scene where they are out by the lake is in the book.

Personally I too, thought the movie was slightly more enjoyable, but only because I watched it before reading the novel.

I recently read the novel for a project, then watched the film and realized that the film has left out so many details, which caused it to have a different focus. There also were various of parts in which I would have directed more differently, by sticking to Nicholas Sparks's version.

I would have to say that after reading the novel, I have become frustrate with the movie and enjoyed it less than before.

SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on March 15, 2009:


It has been a couple of years since I read the book, so I would have to scan that to job my memory.

cynthia on March 15, 2009:


well i have a question i haven't read the book but is the scene where they are out by the lake in the book??

Bobo on January 07, 2009:


SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on December 30, 2008:

Thanks Lgali.

I can see how you liked the book more allshookup, I usually like the books more too. For some reason I just connected with the movie more, but it might be because I think the script was very good. I hope all these comments have helped to maybe answer Fatima's question.

allshookup from The South, United States on December 30, 2008:

I read the book before I saw the movie. I think I liked the book better. But the movie makes me cry as much as the book did.

Home is where she is.

That line gets me everytime.

Good hub.

Lgali on December 30, 2008:

thanks for review

SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on December 30, 2008:


This article discusses the differences and similarities, so if you read it again it will help. Or, if you ask a question I can answer it here.

fatima on December 30, 2008:

hi, i just would like to know the differences between the novel and the movie of The notebook plz if u could help me

SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on December 11, 2008:

Zsuzsy Bee,

Very good points. I believe reading the book first will give one a better appreciation for the movie. I remember reading the book Dances With Wolves when I was 12 and have a great appreciation for small scenes in the film that would not have made sense if I had not read the book.

Zsuzsy Bee from Ontario/Canada on December 11, 2008:

SweetiePie! I'm of the opinion that you should read the book first and then watch the movie. Each has it's magical moments that you just wouldn't get if you skipped out on one or the other. What really surprised me about the 'notebook' is that even my generation can relate to it. The actors in the movie did a fabulous job, especially James Garner. I have read everything that the author, Nicholas Sparks has ever written. Most of his books would make great movies.

nice hub regards Zsuzsy

SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on December 11, 2008:

I have the encore and HBO package and I like the movies it includes, which are many newer titles.  However, as I said Netflix is very good.  For five dollars a month you can get a decent package with them. Tell your friends they should write here on hubpages more, I like it more than the phone these days.

countrywomen from Washington, USA on December 11, 2008:

I do have comcast cable but the offerings of new movies aren't as updated and those which are more expensive. Even I am careful with spending too much on entertainment but I do need to relax (in fact nowadays my friends are complaining that I am not talking enough on phone ever since I joined HP)..LOL

SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on December 11, 2008:

I think Netflix is your best bet then. I used to have Netflix and really liked their flexiblity. They even have smaller collection of movies you can watch on your computer without having to wait for your dvd's in the mail. However, last April I just decided I wanted to have cable and finally settled for this. I do not go out at all so cable, Internet, phone bundle is my entertainment.

countrywomen from Washington, USA on December 11, 2008:

I stay away from the city of seattle(Just 10 miles but it is quite a distance for me to go for a movie)..LOL

SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on December 11, 2008:

I am lucky because I work at a city library where we happen to have many new dvd's and some really great VHS movies. I suppose not all libraries have new movies, but I think maybe near by you might have a city library that does. However the driving distance might not be worth it.

countrywomen from Washington, USA on December 11, 2008:

I do volunteer my time at the local county library but the movies available are mostly old or not so popular movies. I did check out some good foreign movies their. I have couple of friends living closeby who don't have a TV & Car. So I tend to bring the new movies like Indiana Jones, Wall E or other popular movies to watch it at our house. I feel $8 per head is too much for a ticket in the theatre.

SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on December 11, 2008:


You could save a lot of money if you just checked out dvds at the library.  Ours has many dvds that people check out, but myself I have cable, Internet, and phone package so do not really check out dvd's at the library.  However, checking out dvd's at the library is the cheapest way to go, and they have many of the newer films.  Some charge a dollar, but many libraries check out movies for free. Dvd's usually check out for several weeks at a library, which is easier than video stores.

countrywomen from Washington, USA on December 11, 2008:

Ok you really have got me curious on this one. I already a have long list of movies from my brother's favorites which I haven't seen yet. I am considering taking netflix account. I am presently using hollywood videos which is good but I have to make an effort to select and return to the store (I guess I am getting lazier by the day)...LOL

SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on December 11, 2008:

I think you will like it if you do.

countrywomen from Washington, USA on December 11, 2008:

You are welcome. Yes I will check it out.

SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on December 11, 2008:

This is a great book, but the movie is better and I recommend checking that one out. Thanks for commenting :).

countrywomen from Washington, USA on December 11, 2008:

SP- You keep yourself busy with HP. Another good review and I never knew this movie forget about the novel. I guess I need to ramp up my general awareness.

Related Articles