Many years passed between my viewing the film version of Snow Falling on Cedars and finally reading the book one morning when I was at a friend's house, awake many hours before she was. I was impressed by the stunning, detailed descriptions of landscapes, people (physically and mentally), and I appreciated the detailed way the story unfolded. Comparing the book to the film (which is always a bad idea), I can say that I enjoyed both. The book offers eloquent descriptions of characters, so you understand them with greater depth. Particularly important are the elegant portrayals of Kabuo, Hatsue, and Ishmael, and the narrative relies on flashback sequences to convey the characters' relationships to each other and to reveal the history of why each character is how he or she is. In the film, for example, Ishmael's bitterness is not fully developed, and Kabuo's character is not fleshed out well either. It was, for example, impossible for the movie to convey Kabuo's feelings as expressed in the book, e.g. "He had meant to project to the jurors his innocence, he's wanted them to see that his spirit was haunted," and, "It had seemed to Kabuo that his detachment from this world was somehow self-explanatory." Although the manner in which both Kabuo and Ishmael had been affected by the war was touched on in the film, the book delved deeply into these matters. The book helps bring the scenery and the people to life far more than the movie "incarnation" possibly could. That much is to be expected.