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AskAlex #19

Back to one of my biggest interests this week, as I talk about book/film adaptations. They’re something that are becoming increasingly popular with Les Miserables and The Great Gatsby being released this year and the re-make of Carrie about to be released. Everyone always has high expectations of the film adaptation of a literary classic but they don’t always match up.

What do you think was the worst book to film adaptation of all time?

Generally, I think I’ve been quite lucky with the adaptations I’ve seen. There aren’t many that I’ve seen that I’ve thought were particularly bad. However, it does bother me when the film veers too far away from the book. One that springs to mind is Coraline. Although it’s a great book and a great film, there are some dramatic differences including a whole character who is added to the film. Both the Neil Gaiman novel and the Henry Selick film capture the weird, creepy nature of the story but they just don’t have the same appeal. For me, the film actually tips the book which is unusual for me to say.

I know that Stephen King wasn’t impressed with Kubrick’s version of The Shining and although, it is considered a great film, it really doesn’t have anything on the book. Both of them really scared me but the book is much more enigmatic and King’s descriptions are much more spine-tingling than Jack Nicholson sneering “Here’s Johnny!”

I always try to watch films of books that I’ve read because I think it helps further your understanding of the story and characters. Therefore I’ve seen a lot of them. Going the opposite way of the question, I’d have to say that the best film adaptations are the Harry Potter series and The Hunger Games. Both stick closely to the books and certainly with Harry Potter, you can see that the writer has had a lot of involvement with the production. I think this is what makes film adaptations strong and a true testament to both the author and film producer.

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