When you think of MASH what do you think of? For most people it’s probably the show which ran for 12 seasons. For others its the film which the show is a continuation. But before either of these things MASH was a book.
But it wasn’t just one, oh no. MASH turned into an entire series of book. MASH Mania, MASH Goes to Maine, among many others.
As adaptations go, the MASH film is probably the more accurate of the two. Book and movie Hawkeye is far less likable and charming than the TV counterpart played by Alan Alda. However, probably because of this and many of the changes the TV show made, it did far better than either the book or movie versions.
So in this case, faithful does not always equal good. In fact of any of these I highly prefer the TV show. The changes made gave the characters a realness and a sympathy completely lacking in the novel. And while the film is good, nobody is as likable as TV Hawkeye. No one gets across the horrors of war like Alan Alda as he rages against the war around him with anger tinged humor.
Because when it comes down to it thats what all three of these formats of the story does. In essence each one is about how these fictional doctors deal with it all as kids are crumbling around them to bullets and shelling and all the other monstrosities war brings.
And so in that case, is either adaptation successful? Absolutely.
Each of these tells that story in its own way. My personal favorite is the show (one of the few times when I’ll advocate for a visual format over the book).
So which is your favorite version of MASH? Share your pick in the comments.
From my shelf to yours,