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January 02, 2008



I definitely agree with "To Kill a Mockingbird". I would like to add "The Shawshank Redemption" adapted from another Stephen King short story, "Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption". Incredible original work and an even better(in my opinion) movie.


I definitely agree with "To Kill a Mockingbird". I would like to add "The Shawshank Redemption" adapted from another Stephen King short story, "Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption". Incredible original work and an even better(in my opinion) movie.


One I'd like to add is, Woman in the Dunes, written by Kobo Abe. The film, directed by Hiroshi Teshigahara, was splendid and very true to the author's fantastical story.


The Kite Runner is a wonderful read and I thought the movie was done well.


Although they weren't identical to the books and some purists may disagree with my nomination, I believe the Lord Of The Rings Trilogy directed by Peter Jackson belongs on this list.


I've been a screenwriter for 27 years and have adapted Stephen King, Carolyn Chute, and Peter Maas among others. I also teach adaptation to students at Dartmouth College. There is one primary reason why the "book is better." Most books are a twenty-hour or more experience. Most films are a two-hour experience. You get out of something what you put into it. Plus, although movies have the ability to really add spectacle (music, casting, cinematography, editing, great sound) nothing competes well with one's imagination. Books will usually be better for this reason. That said, some of my favorite adaptations are: Jaws, The English Patient, Lolita (Kubrick version), The Tin Drum, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Psycho (the Hitchcock version) and Bladerunner. This year, I would add The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.


One of my personal choices for a "boovie" (great film adaptation of a great book) is "The Collector" by John Fowles. While it is difficult to reduce any good book down to a two hour film, "The Collector" movie captured the suspense, hope, terror and darkness of the book.

Truman Capote's "Breakfast at Tiffany's", though just a novella of about 81 pages (in fact, perhaps a short book translates better into a two hour film), made for a great "boovie" through its good casting and direction.

M. Allen Greenbaum

Although I believe that Tom Perrota is one of the most gifted writers of the past two decades, the movie of his "Election" offered somewhat more nuanced issues and characters (particularly the jock brother) than the book. I'd also nominate (the original version of) "The Manchurian Candidate," "Up Periscope," and "My Fair Lady," to name just a few.

For a very disappointing adaptation of an excellent book, look no further than "The Color Purple." The actors were wonderful, but the screenplay and direction were woefully inadequate in capturing the power of the novel.

Ira Hantz

The Lord of the Rings trilogy
I read the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings Trilogy probably close to 40 years ago and enjoyed them tremendously. It really made you use your imagination to picture the different creatures, elves and dwarves, etc. I think with all the advances in technology and digital imaging, the movies have brought the books to life. I saw them all on the IMAX screen and they were amazing.

Jan Pillsbury

My husband and I recently saw Into The Wild and thought it was better than the book, written by Jon Krakauer. We both thought the book was a great adventure story, but the movie really made this true story come alive!


I nominate "The Color Purple" by Alice Walker.

Jeff Hardy

The Sand Pebbles
Lawrence of Arabia/Seven Pillars of Wisdom

Jeff Hardy

The Sand Pebbles
Lawrence of Arabia/Seven Pillars of Wisdom

Sally Dayton

Purists will probably disagree, but I think the movies of the J.R.R. Tolkien "Ring" series are spectacular renditions of the books. I was originally not a huge "Ring" fan, but my late husband had read all of the books several times, practically knew them all by heart. I'm not sure he'd say that the movies were better than the books, but he certainly thought the movies were as well done as they could possibly be. And I'm looking forward to "The Hobbit!"

John Lynch

I was struck by the 'boovie' notion; but perhaps in an unexpected way. The great tragedy of our education system is that there few great readings in it. With the possible exception of "Cry The Beloved Country") either no films have been made of HS texts...or very bad films occasioned by the weak books on which they were based. Generations of people have been taught that the best of literature is the pantheon of "1984", "Catch 22", "The Great Gatsby", and "Catcher in the Rye". All of these were added to HS curricula in the 60's because of their irreverence; and challenge to the social mores of the time. They have little else to recommend them. Now, they have been codified into an improbable and bizarre canon

Michael Jones

I want to start my own book reviews; not so much for others to read, but to record my personal thoughts and impressions and maybe include a few quotes.

Have other readers done this and any tips on getting started?


I can think of two incidents where the movie is better than the book.

Wuthering Heights. The movie got to the end and stopped. The book got to the end, then petered along for another 40K words.

Neverending Story by Michael Ende. The movie had a sense of structure and cohesion that the book sorely lacked.

But The Firm? No way. The book was brilliant in a way no movie could be.

For the most past though, it's an unfair comparison. Books have an unlimited special effects budget. Books can control what the reader notices and when, used to brilliant effect in mysteries as the reader is given clues drizzled along. Books can let you into the head of a character, so that the reader can hear the thoughts, the observations, and the reasoning of the character. That's something no other medium offers and that's why it's so rare to find a movie, deprived of that storytelling power, that can match up to a book.

Joy Jolin

I think that Schindler's List, which was done off of the book Shindler's Ark would be at the top of the list for me. Very captivating movie.

Julie K

THE SHAWHANK REDEMPTION. Good story, spectacular movie.

In comedy, the adaptation of Dave Barry's BIG TROUBLE was every bit as hilarious as the book.


It's not coming from quite the literary powerhouse that many of the other nominees do, but I think The Green Mile is the one boovie that I have seen where the movie is better then the book - by far.

Lucy Gowan

I read Kite Runner and loved it. The book enhanced the visual quality with which Khaled Hosseini paints the picture of Afghanistan. I went to see the movie with great trepidation, but I was so happy that the movie stuck faithfully to the book. A great Boovie!

Fred Putnam

My daughter has a tee-shirt that reads "Never judge a book by its movie", which still strikes me as good advice.

I find that I have to try to forget the book when watching the movie. Perhaps the few that are okay are "Something Wicked This Way Comes" (but my judgment is skewed by knowing that Ray Bradbury helped with the film and ended up liking it better than the book).

I am fully sympathetic to John Lynch's post (preceding mine).

Thanks for the forum!

Mike Crutcher

I would have to nominate "Twelve O'Clock High," by Sy Bartlett and Bernie Lay, Jr, both, I believe, veterans of the 8th Air Force in WWII. The book is almost forgotten because of the superb movie with Gregory Peck, Hugh Marlowe, Gary Merrill, Millard Mitchell, and Dean Jagger in a Best Support Actor Oscar role. This movie actually prompted my wider reading about the war in the air, both in Europe and the Pacific Theaters. The movie has an advantage here--in part because of truly skilled actors--in portraying the psychological stresses of combat but also how those stresses affect relationships. Reportedly, many 8th Air Force veterans consider "Twelve O'Clock High" to be one of the few movies that "got it right" in terms of the affect war can have on those who fight it. So, at times, movies can be a stimulus to go and read even more books.

Susan Long

One of the more recent boovies is "P.S. I Love You." I had read the book by Cecelia Ahern about a year and thoroughly enjoyed it. So much, in fact, that I found everything she had written and read them as well. I was excited when I saw a movie was coming out. But was quickly disappointed. The movie gave no time to develop the great love that existed between the married couple so we couldn't really grieve when he died. That was the whole crux of the story - her devastation and then her journey back. Perhaps if I hadn't read the book, I could have appreciated the movie more.


I think the Harry Potter movies have done a tremendous job of bringing Rowling's books to life. Much of that of course can be credited with the director(s) using her has an on-set resource.

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