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Books to Film 2008: 10 Books You Should Read Before Seeing The Movie
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Books to Film 2008When I was 12, I went down to my local video store and rented the VHS tape of The Hotel New Hampshire. In the film’s credits, I learned that the movie was based on the novel of the same name by John Irving. At that time, I kind of understood that there were these people called “screenwriters” who wrote movies, but this was the first time I made the connection that sometimes, movies were adapted from books.

From then on, if I found out a movie was based on a book, I’d run down to the library and borrow a copy of the book. But this was pre-Internet days, so this information wasn’t too easy to come by, especially not to a kid. So, I’d always be alert during the film’s opening credits to catch this information, then, if I enjoyed the movie, I’d read the book.

Covering entertainment news every day, I often write about books being adapted for film, so I’ve been running under the assumption that the average person also knows this information. Turns out, that’s not so. I’ve met people who didn’t know Atonement and The Kite Runner were based on books, and forget it if the movie was based on a graphic novel — no one seems to have that on their radar.

That’s why I’ve compiled a list of 10 movies coming out this year which were adapted from book/graphic novels, along with related source material to get you ready for the 2008 mega-movie season.

 

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

Source Material: The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
Author: C.S. Lewis
Screenplay: Andrew Adamson, Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Cast: Ben Barnes, Liam Neeson (voice), Sergio Castellitto
Release date: May 16, 2008

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian movie posterIn this tale that continues The Chronicles of Narnia fantasy saga, the Pevensie children — Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy — find themselves transported out of England and back into the magical land of Narnia. The children find that while it’s only been one year in their time that they’ve been away, 1300 years have passed in Narnia and much has changed there since the siblings ruled greatly as Kings and Queens of the land. After usurping the throne, the evil King Miraz now rules over Narnia instead of its rightful heir, Miraz’s nephew Prince Caspian, who lives in exile.

Non-canon tidbit: Susan and Prince Caspian’s ages are slightly advanced in order to creating a budding romance between the two characters.

Related Reading: The Chronicles of Narnia Complete Collection with Narnia Timeline by C.S. Lewis — This collection includes all seven Narnia books, as well as a Narnia timeline. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe marks the first appearance of the Pevensie children.

 

Sex and the City

Source Material: Sex and the City
Author: Candace Bushnell
Screenplay: Michael Patrick King
Cast: Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon
Release date: May 30, 2008

Sex and the City movie posterJust about everyone knows the long-running HBO series, which starred Sarah Jessica Parker as relationship columnist Carrie Bradshaw and her trio of close-knit NYC socialite girlfriends. But how many people remember that the cable television series — created by Darren Star — was actually first a best-selling book by Candace Bushnell? Bushnell’s book was a collection of essays the author wrote for the New York Observer about her and her friends’ experiences in the Manhattan social scene.

Non-canon tidbit: In the book, Carrie has a wider range of friends and the three presented as her inner circle on the show — Charlotte, Miranda, and Samantha — are minor characters with much different personalities.

Related Reading: Sex and the City: The Movie, the official movie companion by Amy Soln and Sex and the City: Kiss and Tell Updated Edition by Amy Soln, the official companion to the television series.

 

Midnight Meat Train

Source Material: The Midnight Meat Train from Books of Blood
Author: Clive Barker
Screenplay: Jeff Buhler
Cast: Bradley Cooper, Roger Bart, Vinnie Jones, Brooke Shields
Release date: May 14, 2008

Midnight Meat TrainAfter falling asleep on a New York subway train, the unemployed Leon Kaufman, awakens to find himself at the last stop of the line — a secret station where a killer named Mahogany has the bodies of the people he’s butchered hanging like animal carcasses at a meat warehouse. Leon must fight the killer for survival, but winning means more than just staying alive, but a whole new way of life.

Non-canon tidbit: In the film, Leon is a photographer on the trail of a subway serial killer, and reports are that the story has been expanded on for the adaptation.

Related Reading: Books of Blood by Clive Barker — A six-volume collected anthology of horror fiction short stories. No other stories relate to Midnight Meat Train, but the collection does include The Forbidden (adapted to film as Candyman) and The Last Illusion (adapted to film as Lord of Illusions), as well as The Book of Blood, which is currently being adapted for film.

 

Wanted

Source Material: Wanted
Author: Mark Millar (writer), J.G. Jones (illustrator)
Screenplay: Derek Haas, Michael Brandt, Chris Morgan, Dean Georgaris
Cast: James McAvoy, Morgan Freeman, Angelina Jolie
Release date: June 27, 2008

Exclusive NYCC Wanted movie posterUnenthusiastic slacker Wes is a hypochondriac whose job makes him miserable, as does his live-in girlfriend who cheats on him. He has no hope for his life and lives a bleak existence, until one day a bad-ass assassin named Fox comes into his life and reveals that Wes is actually the son of The Killer, the recently killed leader of a sect within the secret supervillain organization called The Fraternity. But Wes’s inheritance is more than large sums of money; it also comes his father’s position in The Fraternity, which sets Wes on a path of violence that let’s him have everything he’s ever wanted and more. Director Timur Bekmambetov’s big-screen version stars James McAvoy as Wes, with Angelina Jolie playing his mentor and lover Fox.

If you think you’ll fancy the movie, then pick up the Wanted (Assassin’s Editon) version of the graphic novel, which contains the original series, plus the Wanted Dossier, excerpts of Millar’s script, interviews, and behind-the-scenes developmental art.

Non-canon tidbit: Word is that the first half of the film follows the story of the graphic novel and that the ending is similar, but that the superhero attire was axed (not sure if this means that the entire superhero element was ditched, too). Also, the film introduces a new plot element by having the organization follow death orders commanded by the Fates, weavers of every human’s lifeline.

Related Reading: Savage Dragon #127 & 128 by Erik Larsen — Some Wanted characters appear in these two issues of Image Comics’ Savage Dragon #127 and #128, a story published after the end of Wanted. These issues have yet to be collected into trade paperback at this time.

 

Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D

Source Material: Journey to the Center of the Earth
Author: Jules Verne
Screenplay: Michael Weiss and Mark Levin
Cast: Brendan Fraser, Josh Hutcherson, Anita Briem
Release date: July 11, 2008

Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D movie posterIn this Jules Verne classic, an eccentric professor and his nephew decipher a coded manuscript which leads them to Iceland where they descend into a volcano. Once inside “the center of the earth” the duo and their guide encounter dangerous prehistoric conditions and species.

Non-canon tidbit: Aside from modernizing the 1864 science fiction tale, the professor (Brendan Fraser) and his nephew are now guided by an attractive female named Hannah. Not much is known about the character yet, but I’m guessing there will be a love connection between Hannah and Fraser’s character.

Related Reading: Verne wrote many adventuring tales, though none that were specifically related to Journey. For another popular Verne tale there’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (Completely Restored and Annotated), or check out Jules Verne: The Definitive Biography to learn more about this extraordinary author.

 

Choke

Source Material: Choke
Author: Chuck Palahniuk
Screenplay: Clark Gregg
Cast: Sam Rockwell, Anjelica Huston
Release date: September 26, 2008

ChokeThe novel from Fight Club author Palahniuk tells the tale of Victor Mancini, whose unfit mother kidnapped him from various foster homes as a child. As an adult, Victor is a med-school dropout and sex addict who becomes a con man in an effort to get the money to support his mother, who’s now in a nursing home. His con involves “choking” on his food at restaurants so that someone can “save” him; after they do, Victor preys on their sympathies, getting them to pay his bills.

Non-canon tidbit: In an interview with IndieWire, writer/director Clark Gregg said of his adaptation: “After spinning my wheels in a reverent haze for nearly a year, I finally threw the book in a drawer and decided to write my own personal version of this story, one that Chuck would probably have me removed from. This, of course, is when the adaptation finally started to work and to my surprise, Chuck was extremely supportive of its departures.” Translation: expect this adaptation to be loosely based on the novel.

Related Reading: Nothing Choke-specific, but for another Chuck Palahniuk book-to-film, check out Fight Club: A Novel.

 

City of Ember

Source Material: The City of Ember
Author: Jeanne Duprau
Screenplay: Caroline Thompson
Cast: Bill Murray, Tim Robbins, Saoirse Ronan
Release date: October 10, 2008

City of EmberNot much is known about the film City of Ember besides the casting, its director Gil Kenan (Monster House), and that its screenplay is by Caroline Thompson, who penned such greats as The Nightmare Before Christmas, Edward Scissorhands, and The Secret Garden. Oh, and that one Tom Hanks is the producer. The children’s book takes place in the city of Ember, where there is no natural light and all electricity is powered through a often-failing generator. Once the lights go out for good, the people of Ember are doomed. Because of the lack of moveable light, the people are trapped in the city, but 12-year-old Lina and Doon believe there must be a way out, so they set out to find out how, which involves deciphering clues from an old mysterious letter they discovered.

Non-canon tidbit: The plot summary released for the movie follows the book exactly — so far, so good! Though, the film’s official synopsis has Lina and Doon as teenagers, not 12-year-olds.

Related Reading: The People of Sparks and The Prophet of Yonwood by Jeanne DuprauEmber is the first book of the series and Sparks is its sequel; Yonwood is the third book, but it’s actually a prequel to Ember.

 

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Source Material: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Book 6)
Author: J.K. Rowling
Screenplay: Steve Kloves
Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson
Release date: November 21, 2008

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood PrinceThe young wizard Harry Potter, now 16 years old, and his friends return to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for their sixth year. In this installment, Harry comes into the possession of a Potions textbook containing useful notes written by the book’s previous owner, a former student known only as “the Half-Blood Prince.” While the notes seem helpful, they could also be a trap of some kind set by Harry’s long-time nemesis, the evil Lord Voldemort. This sixth offering is a much darker tale as Harry faces the greatest dangers of his life as he slowly uncovers the mystery of Voldemort’s past and prepares to square off with the dark lord’s minions, the Death Eaters.

Non-canon tidbit: Producer David Baron confirmed that a scene is being added to the film that was not in the book which will take place at the Burrow.

Related Reading: Harry Potter Boxset Books 1-7 by J.K. Rowling — This set contains all seven of the Harry Potter books in hardcover, but if tackling six of the seven HP books prior to the sixth movie’s release seems daunting, then start with book 5, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, then move on to the Half-Book Prince book.

 

Twilight

Source Material: Twilight
Author: Stephenie Meyer
Screenplay: Melissa Rosenberg
Cast: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson
Release date: December 12, 2008

TwilightThis first book of the teen vampire series, published in 2005, has been a great hit recently with young teens. In the novel, Bella Swan moves to a new town with her father and into a new high school, where she meets the mysterious Edward Cullen, who at first seems to dislike her. But when Bella is almost hit by a car, Edward saves her and they eventually fall in love. Bella soon realizes that Edward is no ordinary boy, but a vampire, as his supernatural abilities come to light and the lovers are threatened by other vampires.

Non-canon tidbit: The film’s plot follows that of the book, and so far, no diversions from the book have been reported (but, hey, there’s still time!).

Related Reading: The sequels: New Moon (The Twilight Saga, Book 2), Eclipse (The Twilight Saga, Book 3), and due out on August 2, 2008 Breaking Dawn (The Twilight Saga, Book 4).

 

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Source Material: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald
Screenplay: Eric Roth
Cast: Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett
Release date: December 19, 2008

The Curious Case of Benjamin ButtonFitzgerald’s short story follows the life of Benjamin Button, who was born an old man in 1860 to a prominent family in Maryland, and over time, ages in reverse. The story is dramatic, but also comedic as Benjamin’s friends and loved ones absurdly remark how he should try to control his strange aging. Not much is known at this time about the David Fincher-directed film adaptation, which stars Brad Pitt as the title character, but chances are, it will take many liberties interpreting the details in Button’s life that were only touched upon in the book — his life was as full of eventful moments, much like Forrest Gump’s life was. Also, Pitt’s baby daughter Shiloh Jolie-Pitt makes a cameo.

Non-canon tidbit: In the film, Button is born in 1919 and the events in his life go through till the year 2000.

Related Reading: Six Tales of the Jazz Age by F. Scott Fitzgerald — The Six Tales of the Jazz Age short story collection was originally the only place to read Benjamin Button, but the story is now available in its own book to tie-in with the film (see Source Material link). While the character of Benjamin Button does not appear in any of Fitzgerald tale, the Jazz Age collection contains similar fantastical stories.

 
 

Here are some films that were released in the beginning of the year, if you’d like to catch up with them before the DVD releases.

 

The Spiderwick Chronicles

Source Material: The Spiderwick Chronicles Books 1-5
Author: Holly Black and Tony Diterlizzi
Screenplay: Karey Kirkpatrick, David Berenbaum, John Sayles
Cast: Freddie Highmore, Sarah Bolger, David Strathairn
Release date: February 14, 2008

The Spiderwick ChroniclesThe Grace children along with their mom move into the Spiderwick Estate, where they discover a book — Arthur Spiderwick’s Field Guide to the Fantastical World Around You — which awakens the surrounding magical world of faeries, goblins, and an evil powerful ogre to their presence.

The film is based on the five novels in this children’s book series — The Field Guide; The Seeing Stone; Lucinda’s Secret; The Ironwood Tree; The Wrath of Mulgrath — though not all of the elements from the books made it into the film.

Non-canon tidbit: The screenplay departs quite a bit from the books, though that could be because some elements from the books will be used in the film sequels. A subplot about the children’s parents is introduced, and there’s an alternate more audience-friendly ending.

Related Reading: Arthur Spiderwick’s Field Guide to the Fantastical World Around You by Holly Black and Tony Diterlizzi — This is the field guide left behind by Arthur Spiderwick that the children use to help them combat the evil magical creatures surrounding the Spiderwick Estate.

 

Jumper

Source Material: Jumper: A Novel
Author: Steven Gould
Screenplay: Simon Kinberg
Cast: Hayden Christensen, Jamie Bell, Samuel L. Jackson, Rachel Bilson
Release date: February 14, 2008

JumperThe 1992 novel follows the story of Davy, a teenager who discovers that he has the power to teleport. He uses that power to get away from his abusive father and search for his long-lost mother, resorting to criminal activities to get what he wants. The film does follow that part of the book, giving Davy (now David) a similar childhood appearance and the same love interest, teleportation skills, and initial criminal motives. But instead of showing Davy’s progression and maturity, David becomes a spoiled, whiney, hurtful person who wants what he wants when he wants it and thankfully he’s got this lovely teleportation power to do it. (Is this the only type of character Hayden Christensen can play?)

Non-canon tidbit: See above; also the film added in Paladins, religious fanatics who track down “jumpers” like David to kill them.

Related Reading: Jumper: Griffin’s Story and Reflex by Steven GouldGriffin’s Story is a new adventure that revolves around a character created specifically for the film, a 9-year-old jumper Griffin O’Conner, while Relex is Jumper‘s sequel, which follows the life of the adult David.

 

The Other Boleyn Girl

Source Material: The Other Boleyn Girl
Author: Philippa Gregory
Screenplay: Peter Morgan
Cast: Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson, Eric Bana
Release date: February 29, 2008

The Other Boleyn GirlPhlippa Gregory’s historical fiction masterpiece is told from the perspective of Mary Boleyn, the younger fairer sister of Anne Boleyn. Before Anne infamously wedded the 16th-century King Henry VIII and gave birth to the future Queen Elizabeth I, the lesser-known Mary was the King’s mistress. The novel gives us what the PG-13 film, which stars Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson as the rivaling sisters, could not — an R-rated and more realistic portrayal of these real-life events.

Non-canon tidbit: Many, many liberties are taken in this film adaptation, though that’s to be expected considering the source material was a fictional retelling of historical events. Much of Anne and Mary’s childhood is omitted from the film, and how the two sisters became involved with the King is changed from the book.

Related Reading: The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn by Robin Maxwell — While Philippa Gregory has gone on to tackle more Tudor subjects, The Other Boleyn Girl is her only novel focused on Anne and her sister Mary. Maxwell’s novel is another fictional account of Anne Boleyn’s life told through Anne’s diary, as read by her daughter Elizabeth I.

 

Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who

Source Material: Horton Hears A Who!
Author: Dr. Seuss
Screenplay: Ken Daurio, Cinco Paul
Cast: (voices) Jim Carrey, Steve Carell
Release date: March 14, 2008

Horton Hears A Who“A person’s a person no matter how small” is what we learn from this Dr. Seuss tale about Horton, an elephant who stumbles upon a speck of dust which contains an entire town of microscope people in it. No one will believe the elephant’s claims that there are people living in the dust; instead they mock Horton’s efforts Horton to protect the town, called Who-ville, from harm. Horton’s cause is a noble one and he works together with the people of Who-ville to convince the disbelievers to come around.

Non-canon tidbit: The film follows the events and characters of the original tale. But because the 1954 illustrated storybook runs only 30 pages, the CGI-animated film elaborates on the story, and obviously, the dialogue.

Related Reading: How the Grinch Stole Christmas! and Horton Hatches the Egg by Dr. SeussGrinch is a post-Horton tale involving the people of Who-ville, while Horton Hatches an Egg is our first introduction to the elephant Horton.

 
  • Jerry

    Choke was a great book. It has been decades since I read Caspian– did like the film.
    City of Ember sounds promising.
    Great article!!

  • WordSlinger

    Great idea for an article.

    I think everyone should read the book first… and not to sound snooty or tell your friends the book was so much better, but because some of these (I’m looking at you Harry Potter) are so epic that the movies have to leave some things out. Knowing the background details can make the movie more enjoyable. Not to mention some writers (Palahniuk) have such a unique style that not reading the book is actually doing yourself a disservice.

  • screech

    No mention of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road??

  • i only agree with “choke”, the others are definitely not worth it.

  • bernd

    Great list. Undoubtedly one peace deserves a place here:
    Perfume – The Story of a Murderer

    Remember, for a long time the book from Suskind was deemed unfilmable.
    Kudos to Tom Tykwer (Director of “Run Lola run”) for making this breathtaking movie.

  • rob

    I guess counting is not your strong suit, but nice list nonetheless.

  • Marcin

    What a disappointing list. No Blindness by Jose Saramago? It was an amazing book and I figured that it would be number one on the list, and instead we get Sex and the City and Horton Hears a Who?

  • @Marcin
    Horton Hears A Who is a classic, and SHOULD be read before seeing the film. Your first impression should be the book’s illustrations and Dr. Seuss’s unique way of storytelling. And guess what? People LIKE Sex and the City — hence why it was a best-selling book and the show ran for nine seasons. Just because one item you liked didn’t make it to the list doesn’t mean everything on here is wrong.

    @rob
    Glad you like the list, but no need to be snide. There’s 10 items on the main list. At the bottom, I specifically state that I’m including a few extras for movies that were already released this year. No crime in that. No need to insult my math skills (which while they might not be the greatest, are most certainly at least on par with those of a 2 year old, thanks).

  • Marcin

    Just saying, I’m surprised you missed Blindness. Didn’t that book win awards? Maybe not, but I know that Jose Saramago has some award winning books.

    And I don’t think that the Sex and the City series is identical to the book, so reading it would make no difference. I read Horton and other Dr. Seuss books when I was younger but they are definitely not necessary to read to enjoy/understand the movie better.

  • nick

    as Marcin said, i can’t believe you missed blindness. the only reason i read this post was to see what number on the list blindness was. for anyone who hasn’t read it, blindness is basically lord of the flies meets outbreak meets heart of darkness. oh, and the author won the NOBEL PRIZE FOR LITERATURE.

  • Bo

    I don’t even like Sex in the City and I know that the character is Miranda, not Amanda. Fact checking, anyone?

    [Author note: EXCUSE ME for the error in the name, I did, in fact know it was Miranda, but I typed it incorrectly. I guess I’ll have to fire my high-priced Fact Checker. If that error is my biggest sin in life, I think I’ll be ok. Thanks for so lovingly pointing out my mistake.]

  • Funny…there was no mention of Miracle at St. Anna’s.

    (Oh of course…it’s a Spike Lee movie. No wonder)

  • I believe The Time Travel’s Wife is also going to be a movie this year. I know my wife is very excited about the movie after reading the book.

  • This is a great post. I enjoy reading as much as I enjoy going to the movies. I’ve got mixed feelings about reading the book first or seeing the movie first. Because of the time constraint and limitations of the feature film most novels are much more complex than the movies based upon them. One example would be 1995’s Rob Roy. After seeing the movie I quickly purchased and read the book only to discover that the two stories are completely different. It appeared to me that the movie was based upon one paragraph in the book.

    Then there are movies that I’ve enjoyed, until I read the book and realized that the producers had completely botched the story. Eragon is an example of this sort of tragedy. Again the movie inspired me to read the book. Now I’m horrified that I ever thought the movie was well done.

  • Good idea for a list, but some of these movies are not worth seeing…what about Oil! (movie is There will be blood) or No Country for Old Men?

  • Jimmy

    No one should read Wanted. It’s awful.

    You mention non-canon tidbits. Well, since Wanted is a racist power-fantasy on the part of Mark Millar that celebrates casual murder and glorifies rape, I’d be willing to bet that the movie takes some of that stuff out.

  • Great books. I think I’ve read all of them. Thanks for this list!

  • Nye

    no mention of Watchmen? one of the greatest graphic novels in history, about to be completely butchered by hollywood.
    it’s a book about superheroes, but with very little action, a hell of a lot of dialogue and character development, and a pretty dark and r rated ending, so there is no way they’re going to stick to the plot at all. (especially considering that alan moore has publicly disowned any more adaptations of his books after v for vendetta and the league of extraordinary gentlemen were ruined so thoroughly)

  • A few I’d like to add to your list:
    In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (great 1967 film)
    Sphere by Michael Crichton
    Jurassic Park by Crichton

  • KY fly boy

    I would add “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy also. And I think “Pattern Recognition” by William Gibson will be out soon.

  • prole

    You know Atlas Shrugged is in pre-production, right?

    [Editor’s Note: Yes: ‘Atlas Shrugged’ Moves Forward — not due out til 2009 or 2010.]

  • david dimichele

    nice list….liked BUTTON but where is McCarthy’s ROAD or especially YATES’ REVOLUTIONARY ROAD, which is going to star DiCaprio and Winslet directed by Mendes!!! I’m there…a great book

  • Dr. Manhattan

    Nice read, but no Watchmen means this list is far from top notch, as well as the aforementioned Blindness. But seriously, Watchmen. Watchmen. And for Nye, I’m currently optimistic, but will probably cry when it comes out.

    [Editor’s Note: It’s a list of movies coming out THIS YEAR, which is why Watchmen is not listed this time around.]

  • jakacat

    Plan B aquired the rights to the Max Brooks “World War Z”.

  • Cheese and crackers, people! The title of the article is “10 Books You Should Read Before Seeing The Movie”, not “The Complete Comprehensive List Of All Books Being Made Into Movies In The Next and Previous Twenty Years.”

    If that WERE the title… well… first, I’d make fun of it… but SECOND, I’d understand some of the complaining going on.

    As it stands, though…? Please. Let’s pick our rightious indignation off the ground and save it for an appropriate forum. Y’know, like… anything George Lucas does. =P

    (And I’m not talking to everyone here. It’s one thing to say, “Hey, here’s another book people should read before the movie!” and it’s another to say, “You left this OUT? OMGWTF is wrong with you?!?!” I’m sure you’re all smart enough to figure that out.)

    Nice list, Evey!

    But, you COMPLETELY excluded Faranheit 9/11! I mean… didn’t they write a book about that stuff…?

    ;)

  • lap

    I didn’t even know Choke was in the works- and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is one of the few Fitzgerald stories I haven’t read, so I will have to persue it, because I have to read the books first! I love your anecdote about The Hotel New Hampshire, because talk about a great example of the adaptation failing to pack the punch of the novel…

  • ryans

    Don’t forget Tucker Max’s book: I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell

  • carlitos

    I think Wanted isn’t particularly great, all style with very little substance, can’t see the movie being much better. No mention of Angels and Demons coming out in December? Its a great example of pulp fiction, a lot of fun to read, looking forward to the movie!

    [Editor’s Note: Angels & Demons is NOT coming out in Dec. Release date is May 15, 2009.]

  • Joshua

    I cannot believe you didn’t mention Time Travellers Wife by audrey Niffenegger!

  • Rory Flynn

    The Ruins…great suspenseful, creepy book, but just okay movie with a totally unbelievable cop-out ending.
    No Country For Old Men…both book and movie were incredible but the book will make you appreciate the movie that much more.

    City of Ember…was recommended to me years ago. I’ll have to give it another try. Thanks

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  • Skip

    Glad you put Twilight on the list. Can’t see how good the movie would be, having so much to live up to from us fans, though!
    :)

  • lgtnin

    My first encounter with this phenomenon was Valley of the Dolls.
    I had to hide the book from my mother and spent the night with a friend to go see the movie. I no longer go to the movies (I might occasionally rent a DVD) but I read probably ten books a month. I’ve never really understood why we must use such pretty and perfect protagonists. In my minds eye, they are always so normal and imperfect.

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  • Melissa

    Oh great list! I really enjoyed reading Twilight (which I know says in your article is great for teens, I highly recommend it for all women of any age, as I loved it) and The Other Boleyn Girl. I’ll have to check out the rest of those books!

    (I had no idea Sex in the City was based off of a book!!)

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  • Iuno if I’d ever read anything before seeing it because it would just ruin things for me.

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  • Sophie

    i have read the harry potter series and the twilight series are my fav books. i have also reed the spiderwick chronicles.

  • ariel

    Twilight is a definate MUST READ BEFORE!

    and so are the Harry Potter books and Chronicles of Narnia

    I plan to read City of Ember before

    books are 10x better than any movie made of them

  • Alice

    Give it a rest, people. So, your favorite book in the world didn’t make it onto the list. Too bad. Just take this list as something positive, reading recommendations for great movies and books. The tile wasn’t “The only books that were made into movies that you should ever read.” It’s ten books, not a thousand. You can’t reference every great book. (Though, kudos for putting up Twilight and Harry Potter 6. They may be written for teens and children, but they are great books, if you like fantasy. I’m not one to talk, being a teen though.)

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  • Blindness by Jose Saramago should definitely be on the list; he won a fucking Nobel Prize!

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  • Claire

    OMG! Twilight is a must read!!!!!!

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  • !!Chaos!!

    Umm ya, the Wanted grafic novel is almost a polar opposite of the movie.While the main character is an assasin, most everyone else is just the classic comic supervillan/homocidal maniac.There are several mentions of him committing rape, not one saying it’s a bad thing, and a couple mentions of pedophelia.The entire premise is of a group of supervillians with absolute control and no risk of being caught.The police work for them, not some of the police but ALL of them.All in all, not something you’d want to your kids to be reading, or even a few adults.

  • Lizzii

    All i can say is that twilight as there YEY.

    And it is definetly worth reading wether befor or after the film.

    just your not a proper fan if you read it after.

    (:

  • Lamberg

    Another maybe a nudge old movie/book though but that is more of a “read the book, keep away from the movie” kind of situation is The World According to Garp by John Irving.

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