Around here, fans of Kerouac's On the Road are giddy with anticipation and anxiety (okay, mostly anxiety) about the upcoming film adaptation, which already received some mixed reviews following its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. We're making a list of great books that were turned into less-than-great movies, and we want your help.
Take a look at the books we've selected so far. Is there a horrible movie adaptation out there that we've forgotten to include? Is your favorite movie on this list and you want to plead its case? Let me know in the comments. We'll incorporate your suggestions and publish the final version of the list in a couple of weeks on our booklist page.
- The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
- The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
- Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt
- Running with Scissors: A Memoir by Augusten Burroughs
- Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs
- The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
- American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
- One for the Money by Janet Evanovich
- Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
- Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
- The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
- Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
- Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein
- Dune by Frank Herbert
- Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
- I am Legend by Richard Matheson
- The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen by Alan Moore
- The Big Year by Mark Obmascik
- The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffeneger
- Interview With the Vampire by Anne Rice
- Even Cowgirls Get the Blues by Tom Robbins
- The Human Stain by Philip Roth
- The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
- All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren
- Savages by Don Winslow
- The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe
[Update: 11/29/12] The final version of our booklist is now available online! Thanks again to all of you who contributed to this project. You came up with some great suggestions. Let's do it again soon!
Yes, but 'League of Extraordinary Gentlemen' was especially bad. Like King's 'The Shining,' it'll stand for many others. ('From Hell' is the runner-up.)
The Orchid Thief.
Good one! I like a lot of Charlie Kaufman's movies, but his non-adaptation of The Orchid Thief in 'Adaptation' left me cold, too.
Tony Hillerman's "A Thief of Time" was made into an absolutely vile TV movie. Aside from pointless plot changes, EVERY ONE of the female characters, who in the book were each smart, helpful and sympathetic characters) were stereotyped and made unsympathetic or even downright nasty. Somebody sure had issues.
The Golden Compass! The books are marvelous and the movie just destroyed any integrity the book had.
Thank you all for the great suggestions! I'll let you know when the final list is published. If you think of any other additions in the meantime, feel free to keep posting!
"Timeline" by Michael Crichton. The book is a page turner that reads likes a screenplay and then they butchered it in the movie.
Have you thought about a follow-up list of movies that are better than the book?
That's a great idea, Carol! I'll look into putting that together for our Movie Lists page. Thanks!
i did enjoy the film version of "fear and loathing in las vegas" depp and del toro were great, but nothing can truly equate with the mad doctor's hallucinations smeared, dog-eared and spilling from the back pack suppossedly carrying your textbooks. a genuine thrill-ride. (carnival ride?)