Watching a film, television movie or mini-series based on a literary work without having ever read the book is as valid as having read the book first and watching the film or TV movie later. In fact, most people do the former rather than the latter. Of course, you run the risk of being turned off by the movie or mini-series and never wanting to touch the original source with a ten-foot pole.
Even though I have yet to read Alice Sebold's "The Lovely Bones," I cannot assert that Peter Jackson's adaptation of the same has completely turned me away from the novel. In fact, I now want to see how Sebold handles the fantasy elements and if the novel has as many confounding tone shifts as the film.
As a movie, "The Lovely Bones" is not as bad as most critics claim it to be. Is it flawed? Absolutely. But I've seen it twice already and I can assure you that there is a lot to recommend even though the film doesn't quite come together as a whole.
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