Top Ten Tuesday: Page to Screen (The good, the better and the frightening)

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl since January of 2018. Jana writes, “it was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.” In that spirit, link up with your list at That Artsy Reader Girl and comment with your list, link, or thoughts below.

Movies so good, they made me want to read the book:

  1. Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín. A sweet and relatable coming-of-age tale capturing the heart and resilience of immigrant life in the 1950s.
  2. Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton. I must admit I’ve yet to read Crichton, but I recently re-watched the original film and have two take-aways: 1. The special effects (groundbreaking at the time) don’t quite hold up these days. 2. I’m fascinated by the science and ethical questions posed by the story more than the charging dinos. But don’t get me started on the formulaic sequels.
  3. Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx. A short story of haunting true love that deserves the depth of attention which the movie memorably sparked.

Movies which made me afraid to read the novel:

  1. Fight Club– Chuck Palahniuk. Let me explain; with brilliant biting portrayals by Edward Norton, Brad Pitt and Helena Bonham Carter, this cult classic is such a perfectly encapsulated film experience (and total mind ‘f’) I fear the book won’t live up to it. Even if I were to read it, I couldn’t talk about it, therefore I guess you’d never know.
  2. The Painted Veil– W. Somerset Maugham. I’ve read comparisons to the novel that mention Kitty never reconciles her feelings for her husband, Walter, (another affecting performance by Ed Norton) as explicitly as portrayed in the movie. As the tragic unsung hero, I can’t abide the thought that Walter’s stoic love goes unreturned.
  3. Requiem for a Dream-based on the novel by Hubert Selby Jr. The downward spiral of its four central characters is a descent straight into hell created by drug dependence. Depicting the underbelly of the American dream, a story so disturbing I wouldn’t want to relive it, but one I will never forget.
  4. Gone With the Wind-Margaret Mitchell. One of my bestie’s favorite books, but after watching this endless, overwrought epic, I’m afraid I’d never be able to take the material seriously.

Movies that eclipsed their source material:

That’s open to debate, but whenever I think of these stories, my mind leaps to their movies foremost. Each a profound story that became a beloved and/or award-winning film.

  1. The Shawshank Redemption based on Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King.
  2. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.
  3. The Princess Bride by William Golding.
  4. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. I watched The Outsiders at age 6 and it made such an impression as it was the first time I realized, along with Pony Boy, that life can be harshly unfair.
  5. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith.

What movies are so affecting they caused you to read, (or never-want-to read) the original novels?

16 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Page to Screen (The good, the better and the frightening)

    1. I will read it, I swear! For some reason, I made it all these years before recognizing Crichton is pretty much required reading. The science fiction medical thriller genre has caught my attention and I need to cross off one of the best from my list.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Brooklyn captured my heart with it’s sweet subtle performances. I’m looking forward to reading it, hopefully this summer. Both versions of TPB were worthy but the story-within-a-story, within-another-story frame narrative got tiresome in the book. The movie hit all the right notes.
      Gregory Peck is legendary in TKAM, the movie is quite powerful, but the book is beautifully written especially Scout’s perspective, a masterful story.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. YESSSS!!! Michael Crichton!!! He is one of my top three favorite authors for sure. I can read anything by him and consider it time well spent. Him and Ray Bradbury both have that prophetic future gift…. long range views eloquently portrayed. I had no idea Fight Club was a book. Interesting.


    1. My Crichton resistance is crumbling. I couldn’t equate dinosaur to literary read before, but I realize his writing is much more than it’s fantastic qualities, surely worthwhile reading.
      Thank you for sharing your thoughts on Bradbury too, I agree, a visionary with awe-inspiring talent.
      Oh yes! Fight Club is indeed. I wager it will be beyond gritty, but Chuck can turn plot and setting on it’s head in astounding ways, I might have to go for it.


  2. Ha, no Jurassic Park sequels, got it! I don’t like the new movies very much, but I’m down for anything with Goldblum in it. I think Crichton is a great ideas man, but I don’t like the way he writes. He’s the Elon Musk of sciencey literary stuff. I just find his writing pretty darn dry, and more than a little reminiscent of Peter Benchley (Jaws, and another one of those ones that gets called out for being amazing inspiration – and an amazing movie – but not such a great book.)


    1. I’ve heard the same about Jaws, but I’m going to give Crichton a shot-I’m okay with slightly dry if it’s lush in setting and sentiment (which you know from our differing takes on The Lord of the Rings).

      Goldblum is king. I wish he’d do other projects, underrated talent for sure.


      1. Hey, here’s what I replied to your comment about our NASA fight, because I actually deleted the post, and now I don’t have anywhere to respond to!

        You know, I actually felt so bad about airing our dirty, STUPID laundry, I deleted that post! I’ll try to find another way to bring the nails back, but I wasn’t feeling great about telling “the world” about our idiot fights. And it WAS very stupid! And I might also be very stupid for being a moon walk denier, but holy cripes, in that moment, it was definitely the hill I was going to die on. The problem is, things were starting to veer into “I am legitimately angry with you” territory, and sometimes when things get to that point, you – as in me – can say things you can’t take back. Best to just shut the hell up and sit there in my tinfoil hat!

        I like that you and Shel were standing on couches. Is there any better place to have a standoff than in the middle of a futon?! I DO like arguing from an intellectual standpoint – you’re right, keeps the synapses firing – but I hate how quickly these things can spiral from joke to BFD. P.S. You were both right. There, a totally unhelpful opinion!


      2. Have you seen Thor: Ragnarok? I’m generally not a huge fan of the Marvel movies, but it was outstanding – it had a real goofball, slapstick sense of humour. Anyhow, Goldblum is in it – plays a junk dealer in blue lipstick who owns an orgy spacecraft. And if that last sentence doesn’t get you interested, I don’t know what would!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I haven’t, for same reason, but I’ll definitely check it out. My biggest beef w/those movies is they never end. Besides the paper-thin plots.


          1. My biggest beef is that every guy is an unrepentant ass (with an amazing ass) that’s all I LOVE YOU BABY, BUT I HAVE TO GO SAVE THE WORLD, AND I’LL PROBABLY DIE, LEAVING YOU BROKENHEARTED, BUT IT’S WHAT I HAVE TO DO…AS A SUPERHERO. Times, like, a dozen stupid movies. Not a fan at all, but Ragnarok, um, rocked. It’s a big goof.


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