DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!
Jul 12 2013

ShareReads: A View From the Peanut Gallery

by Veronica W


For anyone who loves sci-fi and/or fantasy, the Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins was a treat. It held you enthralled until the very end and when the movie came out, it was greeted with cheers. Although I didn’t go to the movies to see it, I didn’t want to be number 328 in line for a library copy either. So, when I found it on sale, I grabbed a copy. Big mistake. The book was wonderful; the movie, in my opinion, not so much. Even on sale, I felt it cost me too much.

FredericaAs I read my way leisurely through the summer, I can’t help thinking sometimes “What a great movie this book or that book would be!”  I even select the cast for them. A friend and I lament continually about the injustice of Jane Austen’s many works being made into movies (which we love) while the fans of the prolific and wonderful Georgette Heyer must make do with rereading her books over and over again.  (I know, literary elitists will be appalled that we would compare the two). However for those who often find it tiring to read Austen but love the regency era, Heyer’s works are clever, witty, true to the times and darn good reading. I would recommend starting with Frederica.

motherrainwaterThis summer, in addition to rereading Heyer, I have been drawn to fiction about the Dust Bowl during the depression era and can recommend two very good books. Mother Road, by Dorothy Garlock, has everything you need for some lightweight, on-the-beach reading, as does Rainwater by Sandra Brown. They have drama, history, suspense, action and romance. Also, they would both make great movies.

Have you ever been disappointed in a book’s transition to the big screen? Is there a book you feel screams to be made into a movie? Let me know. I have Warner Bros. studio on speed dial.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

David July 12, 2013 at 10:36 AM

I enjoyed the movie version of “The Object of My Affection,” by Stephen McCauley, on its own terms, but I thought it was a poor adaptation of the book. The movie really just uses McCauley’s basic concept, and not much more.

Lee July 12, 2013 at 12:19 PM

I feel the same disappointment about the Chronicles of Narnia books that were made into movies. They’re just not the same! The details are not there, and the CG is not as pretty as the scenery in my imagination.

Jencey Gortney July 12, 2013 at 1:52 PM

I actually wrote a paper on this subject in college. The subject of the paper was why the Firm the movie didn’t live up to the book. I have been pleasantly surprised by some books that have become movies, others I have been disappointed. I had hoped the The Chamber the movie would be better than the book. Books where I thought the movies got it right: The Pelican Brief, Something Borrowed, One for the Money, and I could probably list others.

Patricia D July 15, 2013 at 8:39 AM

Ah, Ms. W–how did you know I’m re-reading the Grand Sophy for the seventyeleventh time? Though I love Alverstoke, and Fredericka’s brothers, I don’t think there’s any way to compete with a woman who will shoot a man so her cousin will feel sorry for him and agree to marry him. I’m thinking Hugh Jackman for Charles Rivenhall and Alan Rickman for Lord Alverstoke. NO ONE should be sneering at Ms. Heyer’s work. She wasn’t first hand observer of her times, but she was an extraordinary historian and amazing storyteller.

As for movie adaptations, I’d have to say The Princess Bride is probably the single best adaption to film EVER (I guess that happens when the same guy writes both) and Peter Jackson’s work actually made me happier than the Lord of the Rings books–more of the actual story and much less of Tolkien boring me by constantly showing off his dazzling brilliance. I realize these are fighting words, but there you have it.

Now, we just need to find someone to put Fredericka and Sophy on the screen and I also wouldn’t mind a fab version of Rose in Bloom or Little Men.

Ken July 15, 2013 at 1:21 PM

I love this topic. As anyone who knows me would be unsurprised to learn, I have a little rule about this for myself. I will either read the book (most likely) or see the movie, but very rarely do I experience both because they can be so different. Also, I like to engage my own imagination rather than remember a film depiction in my mind as I read. (I made the rule as an adult. As a kid, I wasn’t so picky.)

Spydah July 15, 2013 at 4:27 PM

When I read the Bridges of Madison County, I knew it would be made into a movie. The characters/actors were as if I picked them myself. Loved every detailed of it! The Best!

The Color Purple was also another. I prayed they would make it in to a movie….as you all know…they did! Pure Enjoyment.

The Disappointment…..Jack Reacher……Tom Cruise was a let down. Could not get into the movie….because Tom Crusie looks nothing like Jack Reacher! Visuals are everything to me.

Lynne July 16, 2013 at 10:51 AM

I fell in love with City of Thieves by David Benioff last year, and think it would make a terrific movie. A few weeks ago I read an interview with Benioff and learned he is a screen writer, and wrote each chapter like a scene in a movie. So no wonder I thought it would be a great film! But it’s also a great book.

Sarah July 16, 2013 at 1:00 PM

I recently read The Night Circus, and I think it would make a fantastic movie! I’m keeping my fingers crossed! Biggest disappointment recently was Silver Linings Playbook. The movie was such a let down after reading the book.

Ken July 16, 2013 at 6:33 PM

I read online that “The Art of Racing in the Rain” was optioned as a movie, but it hasn’t been released yet. I loved the book and think it would make a good movie.

Ev July 27, 2013 at 11:42 AM

I totally agree with the Princess Bride. There are two movies I can think of that I liked just as much as the book, Relic and The Bone Collector. The movie Relic had a different ending because what reads well doesn’t watch well. I think the movie ending was more exciting! The Bone Collector took some pretty big license with the books characters, but the plot was the same. I kinda like how they switched up the characters. These are also the only books that I saw the movie before reading the books; which may go a longer way to explaining why I like the movies.

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