A friend and fellow teacher at my school has a sign in her room that reads “The book is ALWAYS better.” It’s an amusing sign that speaks volumes about her personality, and her former students often quote it when they enter my classroom a year later. However, as much fun as it is, I don’t think that sign is accurate. Oh, to be sure, the book is USUALLY better. But the sign doesn’t say “usually,” it says “always,” a word which here means “in perpetuity and without exception throughout the universe.” The problem with an absolute statement such as this one is that even a single exception can invalidate it. The film version of Jaws, compared to the original novel, is more taught, has greater suspense, and does away with that rubbish subplot about Hooper having an affair with Brody’s wife. The ending of the film The Mist concludes things with a tone so bleak and hopeless that Stephen King even said he’d wished he thought of it himself. And having finally binged the third and final season of...