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10 Greatest Book To Film Adaptations

There have been many films adapted from books, some good and others bad, with some even better than the book. While I would always tell people they must read the book before they see the film, take a look at our list of the ten greatest films adapted from books.

Fight Club

Courtesy of rollingstone.com
Courtesy of rollingstone.com

With a recommendation from the author of the novel, there’s no reason not to see this film. While it’s likely the twist ending has already been ruined for you in the current internet age, there’s so much more to this film than the ending.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Courtesy of screenplayscripts.com
Courtesy of screenplayscripts.com

Johnny Depp went to great lengths to get into character for this film, following around Hunter S. Thompson for a long time, even going to the length of living with him. This film is a drug fueled journey right into the death of the American Dream. Seemingly a crazy epic of decadence, the film actually touches upon many serious themes including the death of the counterculture and the Vietnam war.

The Shining

Courtesy of the-indie-pendent.com
Courtesy of the-indie-pendent.com

In my family, there’s a longstanding argument about whether the film or the novel version of The Shining is better. I have to say, I prefer the film. Kubrick was able to take King’s novel and turn it into a much more daunting experience, the entire film being atmospheric brilliance from start to finish. This is a must see.

The Shawshank Redemption

Courtesy of thedailybeast.com
Courtesy of thedailybeast.com

Yet another King one, this originally started as a novella. Chronicling the incarceration of the banker Andy Dufresne’s, it spans seventeen years, highlighting the various hardships that fall upon him and his various inmates under the brutal leader of the prison.

The Godfather

Courtesy of drafthouse.com
Courtesy of drafthouse.com

The Godfather is many peoples all time favourite films and has become so synonymous with cinema, to the point where many people don’t even know that the film is based on a book by Mario Puzo. Most people will already know about this film, but if you don’t I recommend you watch it. Possibly one of the one of few examples where the film surpasses the book in quality.

Matilda

Courtesy of zimbio.com
Courtesy of zimbio.com

I’ll admit, it’s been a long time since I read Matilda, but I know for a fact that the film is fantastic. I love anything to do with Danny DeVito, but there’s much more to this film than just him. With great acting, funny dialogue and genuinely scary moments for a child, this one has it all.

One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest

Courtesy of langleyfilmbox.com
Courtesy of langleyfilmbox.com

Jack Nicholson gives one of his best performance in this one. Based on the book by Ken Kesey, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest is a tale that shows the power the grinding power of the uppers can have on those below. With a fantastic cast of characters, the scenes are often overflowing with fantastic exchanges that do the original dialogue justice.

American Psycho

Courtesy of truecrime.i09.com
Courtesy of truecrime.i09.com

American Psycho is a satire on the decadence evident in the life of Wall Street and the Yuppies. Christian Bale plays the part brilliantly, allowing the incredibly dark matter to shine through his performance, even leaving enough room for some comedic scenes. While the book is far more brutal than the film, it’s definitely still worth a look.

Trainspotting

Courtesy of conversationsabouther.net
Courtesy of conversationsabouther.net

Featuring a cameo from the author himself, this is another film that not only received the praise of the writer, but has actively said it tells the story better than the book. Trainspotting follows various characters in Scotland as they steal, scam, cheat and lie in the pursuit of booze, girls or heroin.



Jake Ormrod
I am a freelance writer living in Manchester, finishing off my first novel for a Creative Writing MA. I write/read every day and have a borderline obsession with music and video games.

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