The Soloist: A Lost Dream, an Unlikely Friendship, and the Redemptive Power of Music

The Soloist: A Lost Dream, an Unlikely Friendship, and the Redemptive Power of Music - Steve Lopez, William Hughes The book is far better than the movie. I watched half the movie, then listened to all but the final 15 minutes of the audiobook, then finished the movie, then finished the book. After reading the majority of the book, I found the movie much less tolerable than I had before. If Steve had been as unpleasant in the book as he was in the movie I'm not sure I could've finished listening to it. While it's possible that Steve sugarcoated both his behavior and Nathaniel's, I can't help feeling that they were both much kinder than showed in the film. In the book, Steve is fairly clueless about mental illness, but is willing to listen to many different opinions and try to figure out what the best path is. In the film, Steve is just as clueless, but has decided what he thinks is best for Nathaniel and cusses out people who tell him that that may not be the best path. I was just confused by some of the changes in the film, particularly the bizarre decision to portray Steve as a divorced man, apparently cohabiting with his girlfriend, where in the book he was happily married with kids.

I get the feeling that in writing Steve was doing his best to keep the book clean, though there's only so much one can do with this kind of subject. There is discussion of mental illness, prostitution, substance abuse, violence and homelessness. There isn't that much cussing in throughout most of the book, but when there is cussing, it's pretty bad.

If you have to make a choice between reading the book and watching the movie, read the book.