The Bookshop


The way it usually works is this: I see the film, then I read the book. I do it in that order because a film, of necessity, has to trim the story to fit its running time. Reading the book before seeing the film usually means that I sit in the cinema complaining that my favourite character/chapter/scene has been cut.

So that’s what I did with The Bookshop. I saw the film first, liked it and, thinking the book would fill out the story even more, bought it on the way home. Well, it has LESS than the film. Some characters are sketched in so briefly they barely exist. (Just about everything Bill Nighy does is based on the slightest of descriptions.) Motives are buried so deeply the reader will probably feel like an archeologist prising them loose.

I felt like I was reading an outline for a story, one the film’s scriptwriter then used as a foundation for something much more substantial.

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