Book V.S. Film: 12 Years a Slave

My first Book V.S. the Film post, if you’re wondering what i thought of the film, I’ve already reviewed it here. In this post I’ll talk about the book and then how it is in comparison to the film. I recommend , if you want more of my personal views on the film to go check my review out on the film first 🙂


I first saw the film and i was SO intrigued by its premise i just HAD to read the book, this has happened before and its ended up changing my views on the film (for the worst however) The book was not big and seemed small for such a hugely significant tale that spanned 12 years! I found the novel to be an easy read, though at times to be quite boring with the descriptions of Solomon’s working life, however things worked. While i seeked more depth and emotion in the character of Solomon that i felt maybe lacked on screen, i wasn’t able to find it here. For me this book read like an outline of the film and didn’t offer anything major new for me, though there was one point in the book that wasn’t in the film and it was minor but i questioned why this small thing was changed as it would add more to the character of Solomon. In all though the film does stick by the book and i came away reading the book content but not effected as i was watching the film. However i should note i thoroughly enjoyed the simple reading of Solomon’s words himself and what he had to say, praise and negatives.


The film pretty much stays true to the book, and doesn’t take drastic liberties, if anything is changed it’s for artistic reasons that only accompany the factual elements. The book isn’t a must read, once you have seen the film but i would read the book film, then watch the film, as the book make bore you after seeing such an intense film, high expectations will also arise once you have watched the film.


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