Blonde by Joyce Carol Oates – The Book vs. The Movie


Read This:

Blonde by Joyce Carol Oates

Watch This:

Blonde on Netflix

Why We Made this Selection and Background Knowledge

Julie: Heard about the standing ovation at the Venice film festival and it intrigued me.

Claire: All the headlines of the 14-minute standing ovation.

Before you say which you liked better, did you read the book or listen to the audiobook… because it matters.

Julie: Read on Kindle

Claire: Audiobook narrated by Jayne Atkinson

Overall Opinion of the Book

Julie:  Graphic. Disturbing at times. Definitely not for everyone. Ultimately, I couldn’t finish it. I want to finish it – cause I ain’t no quitter – and I probably will eventually. I’m about 75% done right now. I had to take multiple breaks from reading it while reading it.

Claire: I enjoyed it. Maybe this is a genre I like. I read another biographical fiction a couple of years ago on Princess Margaret and loved it. Anyways, I can’t say I loved this book, but I did enjoy it. Probably the hardest part of this book for me was keeping in mind that it is a biographical fiction, and some of these things might not have actually happened to this very real person.

Overall Opinion of the Movie

Julie: Obvi with a book over 700 pages they had to leave a lot out… even if the movie is almost 3 hours. I had to watch it for over two nights. It was… a lot. I could see the movie feeling odd if you hadn’t read the book and didn’t have a feel for how it was like little snippets of time and places.

Claire:  I was just left thinking “wow” when it was over. Like not like “this was the best movie ever wow” but more of a “what did I just watch wow” I did think it was good, but some of the scenes and camera angles definitely threw me off.

Which was better?

Julie: The Book

Claire: The Book


  1. Was the outcome the same in both the show and the book? Yes
  2. Was the main character/primary narrator the same in the show and the book? Yes
  3. Was the primary conflict the same in the show and the book? Yes
  4. Would you read the book again or recommend it to a friend? Yes
  5. Would you watch the show/movie again or recommend it to a friend? Claire – Yes, Julie – No

Overall rating: Claire – 5/5, Julie 4/5

To listen to the full episode on Blonde check out But the Book was Better on Apple and Spotify. Don’t forget to subscribe so you know exactly when each episode is released!


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