While comparing the differences between a book and its cinematic adaptation can often lead to heart-wrenching disappointment, there are some occasions when it has actually succeeded, and when it does, the result is spectacular.
The accomplishment of reading a novel before seeing it in the cinema also fulfills me with a slight air of smugness and superiority, in comparison to other people who clearly haven’t bothered.
To share this feeling with you all, I have narrowed down a list of eight essential books to read before you see their movie adaptations are released now/in the coming months. Any one of them could possibly be the next people claim that “the movie was every bit as good as the book”.
Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
Chances are you will already know what to expect before going to see this movie. Starring Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey and Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele, the characters erotic exploits are set for release on the big screen just in time for Valentine’s Day.
American Sniper by Chris Kyle
The autobiography of SEAL Chief Chris Kyle tells a fascinating and brutal account of his rise through the ranks, that has solidified his status as the most lethal sniper in American military history. The upcoming adaptation comes from Clint Eastwood and stars Bradley Cooper in the lead role.
Still Alice by Lisa Genova
We follow the story of a successful Harvard professor, who receives a tragic diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. As she becomes increasingly disorientated and forgetful, Alice struggles to navigate these moments of confusion and slowly learns how to make the most of her time while she can. Alice is played by the uncompromising Julianne Moore, nominated for an Oscar for her brilliant work in this leading role.
The story follows an unconventional private eye and the bizarre situation he finds himself steeped in following his ex-girlfriend’s plea to help her kidnap a billionaire land developer, whom she just so happens to be in love with. Set in the psychedelic sixties, the big screen adaptation features a stellar line-up; led by Joaquin Phoenix, who is supported by Reese Witherspoon, Josh Brolin, Benicio Del Toro and Owen Wilson.
In the heart of the sea by Nathaniel Philbrick
Based on one of the most dramatic maritime disasters in history, the novel tells the true story of the sinking of the Whaleship Essex that was attacked by a sperm whale in 1820, and what also became of the ships survivors. The movie features Aussie Chris Hemsworth in the lead role and by the looks of the trailer, audiences can look forward to one epic adventure.
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
From the author of Gone Girl, one of 2014’s most buzzed about films, comes another psychological thriller with a twist, and this time it's about a woman struggling to recover from the murder of her family and contend with the secret society determined to revisit the crime to investigate what really happened. The movie adaption has assembled Hollywood heavyweights like Charlize Theron, Chloe Grace Moretz, Christina Hendricks and Nicholas Hoult.
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
On a similar wave length to The Hunger Games series, Insurgent is the second book of the thrilling ‘Divergent’ trilogy, which follows Tris Prior and her unshakable bravery in attempting to led a revolution against an entire government body to restore peace.
Paper Towns by John Green
From the author that brought us the tearjerker of the century - ‘Fault in Our Stars’, comes the classic tale of Boy meets girl. Boy falls in love with girl. Girl takes boy on a revenge fuelled midnight adventure, only to mysteriously disappear afterward. You know, that old tale? This unconventional love story is equally quirky, humourous and charming.
- our thanks to Sophie Buchan for the fantastic guest post!