Book Adaptations


Every Tuesday over at the  The Broke and Bookish we all get to look at a particular topic for discussion and use various (or more to the point ten) examples to demonstrate that particular topic.  This week’s topic is:

Top ten book to film/tv adaptations

This includes, likes, dislikes and some where I’ve seen the adaptation but not read the book.  Some of these really won’t be a surprise but here goes:

  1. Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien – love the books, love the films.  Aragorn *le sigh.  Simple really.  These films are so good and so true to the books.  Yes, of course, some things are not included and some sequences maybe slightly altered, but not by much (to my mind anyway).
  2. Harry Potter – very much ditto the above.  Great books.  Great films.  Although, and I hate to be critical, the last two films annoyed me somewhat – no need to split the book into two and I didn’t like some of the changes.  Just saying.
  3. I am Legend by Richard Matheson.  This is only a short book but it really does have an impact.  It’s a very dark read and frankly is a bit miserable – but it’s supposed to be because you’re supposed to feel how the main protagonist does – and he’s pretty bloody miserable.  I think the film adaptation is a really good film – but it annoys me so much how they changed the ending.  For me, the ending of this book is what really has an impact.  It’s just so unexpected and so good – it gives meaning to the title of the book in fact. Why change it?
  4. Watership Down by Richard Adams. This is a great book and a good film.  Thank Frith.
  5. Bram Stoker’s Dracula. This book is so good and there have been so many adaptations that it would be difficult to list them all here.  My personal favourite is the film with Gary Oldman and Anthony Hopkins.
  6. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley – again, a magnificent book.  Such a conundrum – nurture/nature and who is really the monster here.  It’s difficult to really pin down a favourite adaptation but I really like the one that takes a more comical look, Young Frankenstein.  Brilliantly funny, shot in black and white and surely one of the most quoted films ever – if only by me!
  7. Shakespeare – could there be any more adaptations – I’m sure that somebody somewhere most have checkout if he has the most adaptations ever.  I’ve not read all his plays.   Okay, I’ve read one – which is A Midsummer Night’s Dream – and I’ve watched a few adaptations for this.  Not sure how brilliant they were to be honest – I hold out for a really good one given what can now be achieved.
  8. We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver – this is the sort of book that takes you a little while to get into but, once it sinks its hooks in, you read it with an ever increasing sense of dread/fascination and horror.  Yeah, I wanted more answers from this book – why oh why!  Just why?  The film.  I have mixed feelings for.  I’m not sure that it quite gives the same sense of foreboding as the book and it’s even more gloomy.  They’re both pretty grim to be honest but I think the book had me more hooked.
  9. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold.  This is a book that doesn’t resound with everyone but it totally had me hooked. I think, given the way the book grabbed me, it was always going to be a difficult act to follow.  I think the adaptation is pretty good but the book is so much better.
  10. The Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.  A series that is very good to read and an adaptation that is really faithful to the books so far.  Very enjoyable on both counts.

This list could have been a lot, lot longer.  But, 10 it is.  What adaptations have you enjoyed??


20 Responses to “Book Adaptations”

  1. maddalena@spaceandsorcery

    I hear you about Matheson… The first movie they made out of this story was quite disappointing, so that I refused to watch the more recent one, preferring to stick to what I read so long ago…

  2. DJ (@MyLifeMyBooksMyEscape)

    You, I’ve still never read the Harry Potter books. Freaking LOVE all the movies; watch them every single time they are one TV. But book wise, I last left off about midway in The Goblet of Fire form when I was around 11 or 12? One day!

    • @lynnsbooks

      One day indeed – I love the HP films. I could watch them again and again.
      Lynn 😀

  3. Nathan

    NOT just by you. My wife and I quote Young Frankenstein on a daily bases and watched it in the middle of summer. What hump?

    • @lynnsbooks

      Oh my – I love that film. I’m the most annoying person in the world to watch it though because I could virtually quote the whole thing from start to finish – which is very annoying for everyone else (even if I’m enjoying myself). ‘Nice hopping’.
      Lynn 😀

  4. Tammy

    The Lovely Bones is still one of my favorite books, and I actually thought they did a good job with the movie. And I agree with you about Dracula. I loved the Gary Oldman version!

    • @lynnsbooks

      I quite liked the Lovely Bones movie – but I loved the book and so it was always going to be difficult to compete. Gary Oldman made a great Dracula I thought.
      Lynn 😀

  5. Jamie Wu

    I need to read I am Legend, I’ve heard so many great things about the book. I just watched a few episodes of the Outlander series, has me wanting to check the books out.

    • @lynnsbooks

      I love the Outlander series – although I never quite made it to the end – read about 5 or 6 and they were good. The first book really does hook you in.
      Lynn 😀

  6. jessicabookworm

    I also love the Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter adaptations, plus I think the Dracula starring Gary Oldman is very cool too. While I have watched quite a few adaptations and spins on Frankenstein, I think my favourite would have to be the 1994 film starring Kenneth Branagh and Robert De Niro…I love Branagh 😀

  7. Lisa (@TenaciousReader)

    I havent read the books, but I love the Outlander series.

    • @lynnsbooks

      It’s very good so I can’t blame you and really does stay quite faithful to the books.
      Lynn 😀

  8. Mari

    I am actually guilty at loving the Outlander series a bit more than the book (yes, book singular, because I haven’t actually continued to the next book, haha). That said, I should catch up to the rest of the show…

    • @lynnsbooks

      Do you know, I think if I’d watched the series I probably wouldn’t have gone back to the books – the series are very well done.
      Lynn 😀

  9. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    This would actually be a really hard list for me to do because I’m so picky with my film adaptations! It’s always nice to see when movies do justice to the classics though 🙂

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yeah, they don’t always work – and I hate adaptations that mess with the endings of books. Why! Just leave it alone.
      Lynn 😀

  10. Danya @ Fine Print

    We’re totally agreed on The Lovely Bones, I thought the film was a really good adaptation! I think my favourite book to film adaptation is The Princess Bride, mostly because I think the film is waaaay better than the book (I know, sacrilege!).

    • @lynnsbooks

      OMG – The Princess Bride – I love that film – and yes, I think it surpasses the book even – sacrilege indeed!

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