Thursday, December 24, 2009


The movie version of Holes isn't that far from the original story. I say that based on my memory of the movie and the book. I watched the movie version first. But as a storyteller, there are a number of things that stand out in the way the story was told in the movie and how Louis Sachar originally told it.

The original story has a clear focus on Stanley Yelnats and the connections with the events so many decades earlier seem to be focused more on him. As I recall from the movie, a lot more emphasis was put on the events that caused the treasure to be hidden in the first place. In the book, we are told those things, but it doesn’t have quite the same poignancy to the death of the characters that the movie has. Good or bad, that’s the way it is.

Given the nature of the story, we might think the story is a coming of age story or a love story of some kind. In actual fact, it is a whydunit. Throughout the story, we have more and more information revealed about why the boys are digging holes. But it is only the reader who learns the full story, because the characters are unaware of much of the important parts. There are benefits to telling a story in this way, but it is a hard decision to decide to leave our main characters ignorant.