From Adults to Teens and Everything In Between

From Adults to Teens and Everything In Between

Friday, August 6, 2010

Book Turned Movie

What a coup for an author to have his or her book made into a movie, huh?  When it's done right, it can enhance the reader's experience of the book.  When done poorly, a movie adapted from your favorite book is maddening.  It makes you wonder if the film maker even read the book!

I've been thinking about this topic lately because one of my favorite books, The Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follett, is playing as a miniseries on cable right now.  Thus far, I'm really pleased with the film interpretation of the book.  See my review of the miniseries here.
  On thinking about the kinds of books that convert well to movies, thrillers, suspense, and horror genres come to mind.  The books of John Grisham and Stephen King have done very well as movies.  More difficult, though not impossible, is turning books that are highly character-driven into film.  The movie Bridget Jones's Diary, because of the heavy use of the main character's internal dialogue, was nicely done. 

Some of my favorite book-to-movie conversions are oldies:  To Kill a Mockingbird, The Wizzard of Oz, and Gone with the Wind.  These movies just seem grand, boosting up the already impressive status of the underlying books.  What are some of your favorite books that have been artfully turned into film?  What about books you loved but did not work so well as a movie?  I'd love to hear your opinion!


  1. I usually shy away from movies that were originally books for exactly the reason you state - 9 times out of 10, the book puts the movie to shame! One of my all-time favorite books is "The Secret Life of Bees," and I feel the movie was reasonably well done. I also think a good job was done of "The Color Purple."

    On the FLIP side, one book that I just did NOT like at all was "Wicked." But it is MARVELOUS as a musical. So, I guess interpreting the written word into the visual arts is a two-way street: it can either help it or burden it, depending! :)

  2. I absolutely adore The Sisterhood of The Traveling Pants movies!

  3. I'm loving that series too! I think they did a great job with the adaptation, because the book is so divinely RICH! (Here's hoping they do another one on World Without End!)

    I'm with you on GWTW and To Kill a Mockingbird. I thought Schindler's List was brilliant.

    I was disappointed with Twilight (yes, raising my freak flag high), because the book had so much great dialogue that just wasn't there in the movie.

  4. My husband read the books and had told me a bit about it. It is not what I would normally read... but watching the series has been great! Now I want to go back and read the book to compare!


Stat Counter