As you know that I’ve never had a guest writer on my blog before, but when Spencer Blohm contacted me regarding my review of The Maze Runner book and wanted to share his point of view on the matter, I didn’t mind at all. Here’s his piece of writing.
“The new film The Maze Runner opened at the top of the box office charts, but this blockbuster sci-fi film began as a bestselling young adult novel from author James Dashner. As is the case with any film adaptation of a novel, there have been a number of changes. Whether they were for the better or worse is up to the individual viewer but what we end up with is the same story being told in two very different ways.
One only needs to look at the other powerhouse YA series that have made the journey to film to see the varying degrees of deviation from the book. It’s always a source of contention for readers when even the smallest liberties are taken, but clearly those who have seen the Harry Potter series, The Hunger Games, or Divergent (all of which you can watch on demand through providers like DirecTV or online at sites like Amazon Prime) don’t seem to mind that much.
The novel version of The Maze Runner follows Thomas (played by Dylan O’Brien in the film) as he wakes up in an elevator with no memories except his name. As the elevator doors open, Thomas finds out he is far from alone. Now he must find out why he and the others have been sent to the Glade and why they have been locked inside a giant stone maze.
A major component of the The Maze Runner novel is the life the Gladers have made for themselves. These kids have been sent to this mysterious place and have created a whole society, complete with rules, responsibilities and a way of doing things much akin to Lord of the Flies. Generally, these rules are followed and everyone works together to make survival in the Glade easier for the whole.
In the book we are allowed seeming unlimited access to this world. James Dashner not only sets up this wonderful world of survival, but he gives us the time to experience and feel what it is like to be a Glader. The movie adaptation takes this joy away from us. Instead of watching Thomas learning and adjusting to life in the Glade, he jumps from one dangerous situation to the next. Watching the film, I felt almost robbed of this special bond with the Gladers.
Speaking of special bonds, in the novel version of The Maze Runner, a lot of time is spent on the relationship between Thomas and Teresa (played by Kaya Scodelario). They have the ability to communicate telepathically, giving the reader insights into them as characters. Using the new accelerated timeline, the filmmakers were able to completely cut out the telepathic bond between our two main characters.
The filmmakers also decided to change certain aspects of the Glade and maze itself. In the book, the maze and Glade are underground. The sky the Gladers see is fabricated to simulate actual outside sky and weather. The movie has our heroes surviving beneath a real sky, as the maze and Glade complex is located above ground.
Other liberties have been taken with the layout and sectioning of the maze. In the movie we see the maze sectioned off into 8 numbered areas. Each day a different area opens up for the Gladers to explore. This numbered sectioning also helps leads to an easier puzzle for Thomas and the others to solve.
As a whole, the The Maze Runner novel and film versions both tell a great story, each with their own unique vision and style. While die-hard fans of James Dashner’s novel will be off put (and possibly upset) with some of the changes made, those that go in with an open mind will leave happy. For those of you who did like the movie, then you’re in luck because the film for the second book in the series is currently in pre-production and is expected to be released in September of 2015.”