Aspiring writer (particularly in film & music). Pop culture enthusiast.
Published October 26th 2011
It seems like every new movie being released was previously a novel. Some of them are terrible film adaptations that should never have been made. However that are a handful of books that have been made into spectacular films. Here's my 'Top Five' selection of Book to Film Adaptations that I think are highly worth checking out.
Fight Club written by Chuck Palahniuk. Movie starring Brad Pitt, Edward Norton and Helena Bonham Carter:
Whenever I've tried to explain what Fight Club is about I always find myself lacking the right words, and to be honest the less you know before reading or watching Fight Club the better it is. I had no idea what it was the first time I saw it and I remember being so confused and amazed at the same time that I just had to watch it again. After the second time watching it I just had to read the book. I didn't think the book was going to match the incredible film, but it did. It's such a captivating well-told story that needs to be heard. Watch the movie. Read the book. Who cares what it's about, just do it.
High Fidelity written by Nick Hornby. Movie starring John Cusack, Jack Black and Iben Hjejle: Rob is in his mid-thirties, owns a record store, and has just been dumped by his girlfriend. He has two employees Dick and Barry who together spend their time discussing music and creating top five lists. Rob lists his top five most memorable breakups and decides to get in touch with his ex girlfriends.
I was lucky enough to read the book before ever seeing the movie (I unfortunately was a late bloomer to High Fidelity). I read it in High School and fell in love with it. I honestly can't find a fault in the book, and that goes for the film too. The film was made in 2000 and stars John Cusack who portrays the character or Rob brilliantly. If you're a fan of music, lists, and a little romance then this is the definite combination for you.
Harry Potter written by J.K. Rowling. Movies starring Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint: There's no way I'm choosing one Harry Potter movie for this list. It counts as a series, we all know that. Harry Potter doesn't really need much explain now does it? Whether you've read the books, seen the movies, or you're not a fan at all, you should still know what Harry Potter is. One of the worlds most talked about book and film franchise. That being said, here's a quick recap:
Harry Potter has been living a miserable life with his terrible Aunt and Uncle since his parents were killed during a battle between Lord Voldemort (he who must not be named). Harry finds out that he is a wizard on his eleventh birthday. The fantasy novels continue to follow the adventurous lives of Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley and they fight battles, attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and basically try to save the day as something always seems to be going on in the world of Harry Potter.
The Lord of The Rings written by J. R. R. Tolkien. Movies starring Elijah Wood, Orlando Bloom and Ian McKellen: Again The Lord of The Rings counts as a series. Much like Harry Potter, The Lord of The Rings is a huge success in the book and film industry. It's truly a masterpiece. It is a fantasy trilogy series which was written by a philologist and Oxford Professor.
The Lord of The Rings is set in a small village in the Shire. Frodo the Hobbit has been trusted and held responsible for an ancient Ring, The Ring of Power. Frodo goes on a quest to destroy the ring but does not go alone. Frodo brings his friends with him as they travel across the Middle Earth to get rid of the ring into the Mt. Doom volcano as it's the only place it can be destroyed.
Reading the book is only for very dedicated fans. Others would prefer to just watch the movies and enjoy the visual beauty of The Lord of The Rings, and there's nothing wrong with that.
The Princess Bride written by William Goldman.
Movie starring Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin and Robin Wright:
The Princess Bride is known as a tale of true love, high adventure, pirates, princesses, fencing, death, miracles, anything you could think of really. William Goldman takes out the 'good parts' of the classic tale told by S. Morgenstern.
When I first saw this movie the next thing I did was go to my local library and find the book. I loved it. Yes it had it's dull moments, but the good thing about the Williams version is that he keeps the 'good parts' so to speak. I look forward to reading this book to my children one day, or I can just be the cool Auntie who reads to them. That could happen, right?
Honorable mentions:The Outsiders, Trainspotting, Lolita, To Kill a Mocking Bird and The Basketball Diaries.
Stephen King's more serious novels like The Green Mile, Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption, and The Body (which filmed as Stand by Me) make excellent adaptations, and I've heard really good things about We Need to Talk About Kevin.