The book is a favorite of mine, so I was was warily excited to see it brought to life even if it was a TV miniseries. Wary because I can count 2 King adaptations that are GOOD. Stand by Me and The Shawshank Redemption. My gut feeling is that these 2 are so good because they were based off of short stories. Bag of Bones is a huge book (although not King's biggest book) and I knew stuff would be cut.
First, I do love Pierce Brosnan. I do! But he is too old for this role! He's 58 and Mike Noonan, I think, was in his late 30's/early 40s. Pierce is still quite handsome, but just wasn't right. His acting was good but the maniacal cackling was a little ... campy. And excessive.
While I was expecting stuff to be cut, I didn't expect so much to be changed. It felt like it was changed to be shocking to the viewer instead of heartbreaking as it was in the book. Jo didn't get hit by a bus (really????). She died of an unexpected aneurysm while running to help victims of a car accident.
The "Once for yes, twice for no"? Oh so creepy and awesome in the book, happened WAY too soon in the movie and not in the right places. They lost the oomph that the phrase had. The history of the cabin was left out, as well as the name (Sara Laughs). It never even said where the story was set which I thought was weird. I watched this with my family and my sister's friend had to ask questions that should have been answered by the show. Heck, I was confused and I read the book several times.
The book was published in 1998 and the movie makers decided to update that by putting iPads and iPhones in nearly every scene. It irritated me to see that simply because I wouldn't think someone going away to a cabin in Maine and being haunted by ghosts of his dead wife and a dead singer from the 30's is going to worry that much about new technology.
The racism issues were completely erased. Along with the bonding scenes between Noonan and Maddie and the kid. Those were needed, in some shape, because it made no sense that the kid would just adore this old guy after meeting him once for less than 2 minutes.
And finally.... the kid's mom had her head blown apart by a bullet and less than 24 hours later watches this strange man murder another lady, and yet, the kid and Noonan go off hand in hand to go frickin' canoeing. WTF?
If you think it would be easier and less time consuming to just watch the show, delete it from your DVR now and go read the book. The book is a beautiful piece of literature that deserves the attention that you give it. It doesn't try to hit you with a bus or spurt blood all over your carpet. It takes your hand, gently guides you through a haunted and stunning love story. Please, trust me. You won't end the book wishing for those hours of your life back.