Don't Judge This Book By Its Movie

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.

[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!

Written by Brett on November 15, 2012



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.)

Lisa F. on November 21, 2012


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.

Renna Shesso on November 21, 2012


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.

Anonymous on November 23, 2012


The Golden Compass! The books are marvelous and the movie just destroyed any integrity the book had.

Brett on November 27, 2012


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!

Carol on November 27, 2012


"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!

eric on December 1, 2012


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?)

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