Blogger Book Nook #7: Books on Screen

book movie film adapations TV

This month on the Blogger Book Nook, we're talking adaptations. Whether you love or hate them, books being adapted for film, TV, and theatre are big business. A new movie based on Beatrix Potter's tender tale of Peter Rabbit hit the big screens this year and the film version of popular novel Ready Player One will be joining it in movie theaters very soon. It seems that there's never been a better time to see your favourite books in the big screen! That's why, in March, Tabitha and I decided to challenge the lovely ladies in our Facebook group to select a book with an adaptation to read this month and as always, there's a Q&A to match. Huge thanks to our wonderful members Abbie, Em, Hels, Fleur, Steph, and Zoe for doing an amazing job with the February prompt! Let's dive right in to March's questions...

book film screen novel adaptation TV

1. What's your favourite book to screen adaptation? Why?

Natalie Portman was absolutely sensational as Anne Boleyn in the 2008 film based on Philippa Gregory's The Other Boleyn Girl. She conveyed the fiery temperament of Henry VIII's second queen exceptionally well, although a few pretty major alterations to the other characters and plotlines from book to screen means this can't win the crown as my favourite. The 2006 adaptation of The Devil Wears Prada was also excellent, I think that Meryl Streep smashed it as Miranda Priestly. However, my all time fave has to be the cinematic adaptation of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe in 2005 - James McAvoy as Mr Tumnus has a special place in my heart!

2. What's your least favourite book to screen adaptation? Why?

Anyone who knows me knows how much I ADORE ancient history, so when a film comes out based on a Greek myth, I have to see it. However, because I studied the ancient world for four years, it does make me a bit of a tough customer, hence why the 2004 film Troy starring Brad Pitt is on my "hate" list. The story is loosely based on Homer's Iliad but it had so many disappointments. I actually screamed at the screen when evil Greek leader Agamemnon died during the Trojan War in the film - he has one of the coolest and most gruesome deaths in all of Greek literature (he was killed whilst in the bath by his scheming wife Clytaemnestra and her new lover Aegisthus, who just happened to be Agamemnon's brother - naughty) and the film Troy robbed him of that brilliant demise, so for this and many many other reasons that I won't go into in case this post turns into an essay, I wasn't a fan.

3. What book would you most like to see on screen that hasn't been adapted yet?

I would absolutely love to see Marissa Meyer's Cinder on screen, maybe as a Netflix series instead of a film though! I'd certainly tune in to watch it! I have a mini review of Cinder in an old bookshelf update post, if you're interested to hear what I thought.

4. Do you always read the book before watching the adaption?

Normally I always try to read the book first - I raced through A Handmaid's Tale so that I could finish it before the TV series started but then I never ended up watching it! Ooops! 13 Reasons Why was an exception to my normal rule as the hype around it was just too big. I got so suckered in to the series and binge watched it over the space of a few days, although I can understand a lot of the misgivings around it. I still need to read the book to see how it compares. 

5. Does seeing your favourite characters on screen ruin how they appear in your imagination?

Hmmm. Yes and no. Sometimes I don't have a very strong impression of how characters look, instead I have a much better visual image of the settings described. For example, lately I have been obsessed with the A Court of Thorns and Roses series and from the second book, A Court of Mist and Fury, I now have a really strong mental picture about what Rhysand's city Velaris looks like. I'm not sure I'd like to see it on screen just in case it doesn't match the image I've built up!

novel book screen TV film movie adaptation

Mini Review

For March's reading prompt, I picked up a copy of Alice Walker's The Color Purple. It had been sitting on my bookshelf for ages and this month's prompt gave me the perfect opportunity to start reading. If you're also tempted to read this book, I must warn you: It will absolutely break your heart. Told in epistolary form, the main character is Celie, a young black woman who is routinely raped and beaten by her supposed father, her two children being ripped away from her before she is sold off to marry a man known for a long time only as Mister. Celie's life does not improve in Mister's household. She is regularly brutalised by her new husband and he even cuts off all contact between Celie and her beloved sister Nettie. 

Things start to change a little when Mister brings home beautiful and enigmatic musician Shug Avery, with whom he is absolutely besotted. Shug and Celie embark on a friendship which later turns romantic and even sexual. Shug's strength and independence helps Celie on a journey of personal development, culminating in her leaving Mister's house and starting her own sewing business. The ending of the book will have you practically weeping with joy when a newly assertive Celie is at long last reunited with someone very dear to her.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book although it was very much an emotional whirlwind. Your heart bleeds for poor Celie when you learn of her persistent abuse. However, the book is very much about her triumph and you are cheering her on wholeheartedly when she breaks free from her oppressors. Celie's character truly was amazing, she was a woman subjected to so much, yet she still had so much love and no bitterness in her soul. The film was equally tragic and touching, I can see why many view it as one of Spielberg's best works.

How about you? Do you tend to read the book before watching the film? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time, 

A x

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