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The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks: Book or Movie?

The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks


In My Opinion

In the Nicholas Sparks story called The Notebook he tells about the love between a man and a woman, from when they met as teenagers until they are in a nursing home, trying to overcome the trials of Alzheimer’s and loss of memory. Throughout the story it is clear that they love each other deeply. I was fortunate to read and watch the movie version of this touching story. There was one thing that I found surprising, that I enjoyed the movie more than I did the book, which is rare for me. When I have watched other movie versions of a book, I found that the book had so much more depth and character than the movie version did. In this case I found the opposite occurred. That in the movie format The Notebook had characters that had so much more depth and emotion than the book version. Also, the parts that the director’s and producers added to the movie did not take away from the story; instead it enhanced the whole piece. When I finished the book, I felt that I needed to evaluate the difference between The Notebook’s, written and movie version in order to understand the power of love that transcends illness and separation which I am sure in reality normal people experience every day, just like the characters in this story.

As I mentioned earlier the story describes the lives of a couple’s life from the time they fell in love as teenagers, until they are both in their later years. The Notebook, spans two different spans of time. Alternating between memories, of teenage versions of Allie and Noah the main characters, to older versions of the couple. At first it is not clear if the two timelines are related through characters or stories, until the reader realizes that the common thread in both spans of time is a notebook that is being read by an elderly male character to a sickly female character. From the beginning of the story it is clear that this elderly male character name, “Duke” cares deeply for the female character. She seems lost and confused. The story that he reads to her is from this notebook, it tells of a young couple from different social classes and the impossibility for them to be together. However, they continue to stay in love throughout the years and miles between the two. It is soon becomes clear to the reader that “Duke” does not just care for the lost elderly lady, but he loves her. Also, she seems lost because she has Alzheimer’s and she does not know who he is, although he reads to her from the notebook every day. As the story unfolds it is clear that “Duke” is the same young Noah in the notebook and the elderly lady is Allie. He also reads to her every day the story of their pure love from the notebook, in the hopes that Allie will remember him and herself. In the end all his devotion to Allie pays off and she remembers their love. If for just a time, Allie knows who Noah is, her husband and best friend. This story shows the power of love and what it can do to bring two people together no matter what the odds are whether it is, social class, distance, time nor loss of memory.

The Difference

There are several scenarios that the movie director has added to the movie that was absent in the book. First off, the movie focuses heavily on Allie and Noah’s younger characters and their relationship, whereas, the book generalized the characters which did not show the byplay of their relationship. The lack of depth to the characters in the book, took away some of the meaning of the story. I felt this when I watched the movie, that it depicted the pure love the young couple felt and what they endured in order to be together. A second difference between the book and the movie was that in the book format, the author of the notebook which Noah is reading from was written by Noah himself. In contrast, in the movie format the author of the notebook he is reading from was written by Allie. Which she instructed Noah to read to her when her illness progressed and she could not remember who she was let alone who Noah was. Another scenario that was absent from the book was the ending. In the book they are both in the nursing home and Noah sneaks into Allie’s room because he misses her on their anniversary, hoping that she will remember him and not send him away. Instead she does and she opens her arms and accepts her love to her heart. On the other hand, in the movie Noah sneaks into Allie’s room to be with her on their anniversary, hoping that she will remember him. When she wakes up and sees Noah’s face, her face lights up and she recognizes him. They lay together and hold one another where she remembers their love and they fall asleep in each other’s arms. In the morning the nurse finds that they have passed away in their sleep still holding each other with an expression of love and peace on their faces.

Worth Sharing

After reviewing both versions of The Notebook, I saw the similarities and differences in both adaptations. I still preferred the movie version over the book, because I felt the true love that the characters felt and the ending had so much more impact on me, than the book did. However, I concluded the one similarity between the two was that a love like Allie and Noah’s can with stand everything. Not just in a book but, in real life. It inspires the reader and gives them hope that the power of love can transcend any obstacle. I would highly recommend both versions; however, I enjoyed the movie version's story line more.

Curious minds want to know....


sassychapman on November 29, 2012:

this is amazing hub

Priscilla from El Paso on February 26, 2012:

Good hub. I read the book and saw movie, your hub explains them both perfectly.

adultsearch from NYC, NYC on December 19, 2011:

Good hub! We have the same interest reading books and then watch the movie version. Keep it up.

radavis from New Oxford, Pennsylvania on September 06, 2011:

A well-written hub. Your thoughts on the book and movie are similar to mine. The movie is great to see after reading the book because it just amplifies the characters and their emotions. Great job! Great hub!

writinginalaska from southeast Alaska on May 21, 2011:

i have watched this movie so many times i have lost count and it moves me every single time. But then again i own a copy of the book and each time i read it i am tear struck. Certain pages are dog eared especially her letter to him. I treasure them both in different ways. a very nice hub. thank you.

johana on August 16, 2010:

its a nice story

Putz Ballard on March 02, 2010:

Scroll to Continue

This is one of my all time favorites

Katie Butler from Sensual, USA on February 14, 2010:

I'll have to get a copy of this. I also usually like the books better than the movies, and rarely watch a movie of a book I liked. Glad to know that this one is worthwhile.

Money Glitch from Texas on February 13, 2010:

I haven't read the book, however, I love the movie. I've watched it at least 3 or 4 times and that's something I don't do. Congrats on being selected to the HubNugget Wannabes. Lots of Luck!

shazwellyn on February 13, 2010:

I loved it. It is just my kinda movie. I didn't read the book though. Thanks for your review xx

Beth100 from Canada on February 13, 2010:

I really enjoyed the movie! In fact, I was planning on watching it for Valentines (just a reminder how lucky we are to share such a special day and remember it).

Tony McGregor from South Africa on February 13, 2010:

Haven't seen the movie or read the book but now will look out for them. Thanks for sharing your insights.

Love and peace


Missi Darnell from Southern California on February 13, 2010:

I'm a fan of Nicholas Sparks, loved the movie hands down, it is one of my all time favorite love stories.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on February 13, 2010:

Good hub. I haven't seen the movies but intend to.

Michelle Simtoco from Cebu, Philippines on February 12, 2010:

Telynisblessed: You are indeed blessed today because this hub caught the attention of the Hubnuggets Team and it has been nominated! Thumbs up!!! In case you haven't received the official email from Hubpages, here is the link so you can check the Hubnuggets out:

Reflecting on your review, I agree that the story is indeed beautiful and wonderful and I too rejoice over the fact that love can be deep and meaningful and can carry one through life's challenges. I haven't read the book though but like you, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. You know, made me really quiet after. :)

sophs on February 12, 2010:

Brilliant hub! Absolutely love this movie, have never read the book though. Great work Telynisblessed :)

Terrilyn Lum (author) from Honolulu, Hawaii on February 12, 2010:

Michael, Thank you for the compliment...I agree Nicholas Sparks always lets his readers experience and feel what his characters are going through. Stay Blessed ~Terrilyn

alexandriaruthk from US on February 12, 2010:

lovely, I love the movie,

Michael Shane from Gadsden, Alabama on February 11, 2010:

Great Hub! The movie really did the book justice. more people are more likely to watch a movie instead of read a book. I wished I could write as good as Nicholas Sparks.

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