Best Book-to-Movie Adaptations

There is a fine line between a good book adaptation and a poor one. The smallest thing can tip the scales: changing the ending, removing a character, inventing a character, or changing the character roles which alter their onscreen personality (looking at your Ron Weasley, you deserved better).

Booklovers crave and desire to see their favourite books come to the big screen, but at the same time there is a deep trepidation that there will be a great injustice and disservice to the characters and the overall story. I could write page after page of bad book to film adaptations and while that is tempting, it is negative and a bit mean so instead I want to focus on the few I have found which were truly wonderful movies that stay true to the original story.

If a book becomes a movie and I see a runtime of 2.5 hours I have a good feeling because so often it means a great adaptation with a lot true to the book. Not always the case, there will always be exceptions, but it gives me hope.

The Lord of The Rings Series (Extended editions) – Anyone who is out there thinking that 3 hours is enough time to swoon over Aragorn and his wonderful hair is greatly mistaken. I sat through the extended editions of all three films because if I was going to watch them I was going to do it right. No doubt unimportant plot points were included in those extra 30 minutes but it was a great representation of the books. All the little moments and extended scenes, the minor things that became big. The only issue is Merry and Pippin don’t get the serious portrayal they deserve, there’s cheeky but then there’s foolish which Jackson did a bit too much.

The Martian – I was curious how the greatest book of all time was going to be portrayed in film but I had nothing to worry about. There is so much to love about this movie and every minute was a delight. The only downside is the best part of the book was not included re: Aquaman and whales. Other than that, it was a marvellous film from start to finish and felt like a true depiction of the book, minor addition to the end aside.

Gone Girl – For all the hate I had for the book, the movie is actually an accurate representation of the story. I was curious how they would show the flashbacks and the ‘diary’ component but David Fincher has done a great job. It might have been a better movie to see without reading the book because I didn’t hate Nick quite as much in the movie.

Paper Towns – This one I was surprised by my own reaction to. There are changes to the story, a few character moments tweaked and swapped, but the overall theme and feeling of the book has been translated to the screen really well. It felt the same as the book, even though there were a few changes it didn’t matter. It stayed true to the message even with the required movie changes and I was impressed.

The Hunger Games – One of the best adaptations I have seen of a book. It had everything that made the books amazing and it felt as strong and powerful watching it as when I was reading it. I felt the books were playing out in front of me and I loved every minute of it.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – I remember this being the first movie adaptation of a book I’d really paid attention to. I have a vivid memory as it began thinking it was word for word of the book and I loved everything about it. Sure Peeves is missing, but there’s so much else true to that first book that brought that magical experience to life.

Honourable mentions

The Book Thief – I missed a few of the nuances and scenes from the book but it was still an emotional kick in the guts. Not quite as powerful as the book, but still excellent nonetheless.

The Princess Bride – I actually fell in love with the movie before I read the book many years later and I was surprised at their similarities. It’s not an unlikeable movie, quite wonderful in fact, but there are a few changes but the spirit remains and what was left in was delightful.

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I also hated Girl on the Train, and was yes, was surprised I hated the movie as well. Funny that…

These are only the adaptations I have seen, if there are some excellent movie adaptations out there of books please let me know so I can check them out.

Seasons Greetings, Everyone!

It’s ticked over to Christmas here in Australia and the day is looking to be hot and lazy.

As the Christmas lunch is being prepared and the presents await to be opened I hope all of your celebrations whatever they may be are wonderful!

My plans include eating cheese, drinking wine, listening to carols about snow and cold weather, and eating more cheese.

I hope your Christmas Day is filled with all things jolly and I encourage everyone if they can, to sneak off and read a book in a quiet corner.

Staunch Book Prize

I discovered something truly wonderful the other day. There is a new book prize which I think is long overdue and one I think readers will celebrate. Staunch Book Prize is in its inaugural year and its aim is to award the prize to the author of a thriller where no woman is beaten, stalked, sexually exploited, raped or murdered.

Based in England and founded by writer Bridget Lawless, the prize aims to reward writers who tell a thrilling story without resorting to well-worn clichés, “particularly female characters who are sexually assaulted (however ‘necessary to the plot’), or done away with (however ingeniously).”

When I heard about this I cheered because so often these women in these books are treated so poorly, and while there is argument for storytelling, more often than not the treatment of these women have nothing to do with the storyline, or these characters offer nothing more than playing victim to the often male lead allowing him to be clever and solving the case.

The Staunch Book prize is here to make space for the books that don’t include violence towards women as part of their narrative. As the website states:

While women in the real world are fighting sexual abuse and violence, being disbelieved when they report rape or assault, or being murdered because they’re women, the casual and endless depiction of women as victims or prey sits uneasily alongside their fight. While real rape survivors struggle to be heard and counted, fictional rape victims take the stage – usually as two-dimensional characters – in stories that celebrate the cunning (often, charming sexiness/astonishing brutality) of serial rapists and the dogged brilliance of detectives.

The judges include Bridget Lawless, actor, writer and comedian Doon Mackichon, and literary agent Piers Blofeld. The shortlist is to be announced 1st November and hopefully this list will be a great starting point for readers who are looking for entertaining books with thrilling plots and captivating characters, without resorting to the same old stories. The winner will be announced 26th November, a day chosen to honour the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

For further details check out the website or follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Bookish Things I Plan to Do in NYC

Image result for nyc skyline silhouette pixabay

New York City is the prime place for all book things. It is the place for publishing houses, famous authors, amazing inspirations. There are also a myriad of fun literary things to do whether it is seeing Shakespeare in the Park, or visiting the houses and watering holes of famous authors and poets. I am going on holiday in a few weeks time and one of my destinations in New York City. There are many wonderful things to see in New York City but there are a particular group of book related things that I am itching to visit.

NYC Library

This may be a nice, fancy library that is a great place to visit on its own, but I am going for another reason: I need to see the original Winnie the Pooh toys.

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I have wanted to see them ever since I found out they were there and I never thought I would get the chance to see them in person. When I realised in amongst all my other NYC planning that I could actually go and see them I was beyond excited. I may be more excited about this than some of the other things on my trip list. The other reasons of course are the majestic lions that guard the front, and all the wonderful book inside.

The Strand

Image result for the strand bookshop logoI first read about this wonderful shop in Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares and I knew I needed to go one day. Turns out that day is now coming so of course that is on my To Do list. I doubt I’ll meet any Dash’s while I am there, though you never know. The Strand boasts 18 miles of books (approx 29km), and while I know buying books is dangerous at home, it’s probably even more dangerous when you have luggage restrictions but surely I’ll need one memento?

Forbidden Planet

While this is technically a comic book shop, I am counting this. It is also right next to The Strand so it’s obviously meant to be. I only found about this place recently, but I am intrigued to see what it is like. It doesn’t just sell comics, it also sells merch and clothes so it should be a well worth the trip.

Visit Alice

Image result for alice statue central parkThe Alice in Wonderland Statue is something I am eager to see in Central Park. I missed out on Oscar Wilde in Dublin so I am going to make an effort to track this one down and add it to my collection of literary statues alongside my Paddington and Peter Pan ones.

 

Are there any great book related NYC things that you have always wanted to do or have done? Are they any that you think I should do while I am there? Let me know in the comments!

Australia’s Favourite Authors 2018

Australia’s Favourite Authors of 2018 have been announced as Booktopia’s yearly hunt for Australia’s favourite author has come to an end. After weeks of voting and round after round knocking out some big names in Australian literature, the final results are in. The usual suspects made the cut but there were a few surprises, both who was left out and who was included. Of course, I wasn’t super surprised at who made it to the number one spot, but the rest of the top ten was quite interesting. I was pleased to see John Marsden in the top ten, I was worried he would end up further up the list but that isn’t the case. I also loved seeing some children’s authors in there like Anh Do and Andy Griffiths, give Morrissey, Winton, and Courtney some competition.

As a side note, I love how the results were laid out this year. There is a short author bio and the books of each author are included too. I’ve listed the Top Ten below but the full list of 50 authors can be found on Booktopia’s website.

 

Top Ten Authors

1. Mathew Reilly

2. Liane Moriarty

3. Mem Fox

4. Anh Do

5. Tim Winton

6. Bryce Courtney

7. John Marsden

8. Monica McInerney

9. Andy Griffiths

10. Di Morrissey

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