Tuesday 12 April 2011

Top Ten Tuesday - Books I'd like to see become movies.

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This meme was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists! Each week we will post a new Top Ten list complete with one of our bloggers’ answers. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND fill out Mr. Linky . I If you can't come up with ten, don't worry about it---post as many as you can! This week is Top Ten Books you would love to see as Movies.

As a rule I hate movie and tv adaptations. They rarely do the book justice. Sometimes the book has been changed so much it's unrecognisable. I could probably list on one hand the number of films taken from books that I like (in other words I like it enough that I can ignore any changes - almost). In saying that I have a list on the condition that it is done properly!

1. The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver. This was one of my favourite books last year. There is just so much involved in it that I think it could translate to film well. Of course it is rather large so realistically huge chunks may have to be cut out. I would love to see it in film because of the history. The narrator works for artist Diego and has a friendship with his wife Frida Kahlo. He worked for Trotsky. He was in America during the depression and was caught up in the riots. Since he worked for Kahlo and Trotsky he was accused of being a communist and was in America when everyone was afraid of communism. Like I said quite a lot but I think if done properly it could translate well.

2. Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr. A teen book that doesn't glamourise the paranormal world that centres round the plot. In this book it's fairies and they aren't nice. They are scary and vicious and cold. They amuse themselves by playing pranks on humans who generally can't see them. The main character is one of the few who can yet she knows if she acknowledges it she's in trouble. The King of the fairies must make this character his Queen in order to gain control. It's not romantic it's dark and creepy. If this aspect of it is the main one in the film I think it could be a fantastic film

3. Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy. I cannot rave enough about this series of books. A skeleton detective who can do magic. A young sidekick learning the ropes. It's filled with snappy humour and magic and lots of action. Like Wicked Lovely it doesn't glamourise the paranormal. It's scary and dangerous. I think it would be difficult to translate mind you but if it was done properly it would make an AMAZING film.

4. Greg Mandal series by Peter F. Hamilton. I love science fiction books although I don't read them as much as I used to. A lot of the classics have already been turned into films. I think that some of my favourites would be just too difficult to change into movies. There would have to be so many changes that they would lose something. Like the Nights Dawn Trilogy by Peter F. Hamilton. I think it would be too easy for it to become a spoof. How can you take seriously Al Capone back from the dead and possessing a body (bet your laughing but in the book it does work). The Greg Mandal series is set in the same universe but quite a bit before. It's during the development of the technologies that are in the trilogy. They are more crime based sci fi and for this reason I think it could work.

5. Alone In Berlin by Hans Fallada. I think could make a fantastic film. They would need to get the fear of that era right. Particularly the fear of friends turning on each other. A middle aged couple who lose their son in the war and in their grief decide to rebel against the Nazi's. It's small and their fear is great but they feel it's a step they have to take. This would be a heartbreaking film, scary and I think could become a classic. I imagine that if this is done in the way it should be done it would be an award winner.

6. Hustle (also published as Spanish Fly) by Will Ferguson. Set during the great depression a young boy joins a couple of con artists and they con their way from town to town. This could be a funny and exciting film. No need for special effects. Just some good costumes, good setting and fantastic acting. This era is an interesting one and the book shows many different aspects of it. I think it could easily be translated to film.

7. Little Friend by Donna Tartt. Whilst my favourite book by Donna Tartt is actually "The Secret History" I think this one would make the better film. A little girl determined to find out who killed her brother when she was just a baby. Her eyes are set on a family who have been in and out of prison. Whilst they are up to something did they really kill him? Meanwhile her family life is far from ideal. Her mum retreats after the death of her son, the father abandons them and so she is brought up by the housekeeper, three great aunties and a tough grandmother who all prefer her spaced out sister. Harriet is a tough like her grandmother and despite the characters in the book not really getting her I liked her. It's quite a sad story. I think if told from Harriet's point of view it could make a good film.

8. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Okay this is the second book I have chosen set in Nazi Germany and whilst I realise there are lots of these films out there the two that I have mentioned I believe would stand out. Liesal's parents have been taken away to a concentration camp and she is being looked after by a kind old couple. Liesal steals her first book during the funeral of her brother and it then becomes her coping mechanism. Another sad story but it also has the kindness of strangers, hope and friendship. I loved this book and cried many times reading it. The only thing that might cause problems is that the narrator is death.

9. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. I picked this one because I have an obsession with this period at the moment and this was another of my favourite books last year. The book is set during the rise on Anne Boleyn and the fall of Cardinal Wolsey. It's from the point of view of Cromwell (which is in itself unusual) who is just an honest family man who is trying to do the best he can to help the King. I think the problem with this wouldn't be will it translate but would it gain enough interest. Unlike a lot of books it doesn't glamourise the era and so it might not garner enough interest when adapted into a film. If it was glamourised I know that I wouldn't want to see it as it wouldn't be true to the book.

10. Mirror, Mirror by Gregory Maguire. I reviewed this not so long ago so I won't go into detail about the book. I would love to see this as a film because of it's historical aspects. For me it would have to play on the Italian setting and bring to the forefront Lucretia and her history (which the book does do). I think it could be done well so long as it stays true to the book which focuses on the period as well as the setting.

I did have another on the list but I have since changed my mind. I thought of the Charlie Parker series by John Connolly. The reason I changed my mind is that I think it would be better as a long running tv series instead. Some of the characters like Angel need more than a film to develop. Plus the connection between all the characters and then Charlie Parkers background needs more than that. I still think it could adapt well to the screen but a tv series would be better.

I have said all this but if any of these were adapted I would be nervous about it. Would need to wait and see what others think as I wouldn't want to taint some of my favourite books.


  1. I share your pessimism about movie adaptations. Kindred spirit!

    Here's my post for today's Top Ten Tuesday.

  2. Always love meeting a kindred spirit, lol. Especially when it comes to things like that.

  3. I like your mini reviews for each of your choices. The Lacuna is on my TBR shelf and I am quite looking forward to getting to it sometime soon. Same with The Book Thief. Great list!

  4. Didn't mean to turn them into mini reviews, lol. Felt though I had to explain my reasons for picking them in detail. Should definitely read both the Lacuna and The Book Thief. Can't recommend either of them enough.

  5. Nice list :) I don't think I'd go see the Book Thief. I think they would slaughter it, I don't know how "death" could be captured in a film and I think they would miss the whole poetic feel of the book. Kaye—the road goes ever ever on

  6. I thought about putting The Book Thief on my list but of of my favourite bits was the drawings and they wouldn't have the same effect on screen. I think if they had a voice over for Death (I can think of a few distinguished actors who would suit the role) it wouldn't work but not if they tried to make him a character. There's a few directors that I can think of that wouldn't slaughter it.

  7. Once I get around to doing my Top Ten list, I assure you Skulduggery Pleasant will be on it. I just finished reading book 4 and I'm anxiously awaiting diving into book 5. I just have to write the review for book 3 first. :)

    Also, you've been awarded the Frequent Commenter Award. Come claim it from my blog.


  8. pwb, I think you are right. Death would work as a voice over and there are a lot of fantastic authors out there who would be great at it.

    Gabriel - Glad you are loving skulduggery. I realy need to hunt out the first three so I can read them again. The other two I have in read as they are hardbacks. Thank you.