Book watching

I'm so ashamed. I feel like this is such a hackneyed subject but...

The last two books I read are slated to become movies. They were both pretty good, too. And honestly, I can only imagine myself going to see one of them (in the theater):

The Adderall Diaries by Stephen Elliot: James Franco (the Bo Jackson of media, evidentally) has optioned the book. The rumor is that he will be re-writing for the screen, but in an exclusive Minneapolis Books and Bars Skype session Stephen Elliot says he's been asked by Franco to write it. So, there you go. That'll be cool, right? At least it'll be edgy no matter what, I mean, it's about sex, drugs, and murder. 


One Day by David Nicholls: This is going to sound real lame, but they're casting Anne Hathaway as Emma Morley. As a novel, One Day is a delight, but as a movie it's going to be another Bridget Jones, or a Reality Bites kind of thing (I guess the later wouldn't be THAT bad, but someone should call up Ethan Hawke and get him in the movie). Anyway, maybe I'm worrying about it too much. No, I definitely am. 

One of my guilty pleasure books was, for a long time, The Hottest State by Ethan Hawke. Yeah, he's an author...what, you didn't know? The book is about an awkwardly beautiful girl, perfect in her imperfections, yadda, yadda, and a handsome artist/musician/writer who just can't appreciate her, or something. It's a quick and heartbreaking read. As far as I knew it sort of went under the radar. Then, in 2006 they made it into a movie, starring a totally beautiful chica, and a totally baby-faced and handsome dudebro with perfect teeth. Why?

If you're doing to muck it up, why even do it?

(Sidenote: The day after I saw The Hottest State in theaters...on opening myself...I bumped into a handsome dudebro at my local Whole Foods. "You look familiar. Do I know you?" I said. He didn't reply. Then I recognized him as being the star of the movie I had just seen the night previous. He was nice. And used to be homeless with his mom in Philadelphia, I guess. The movie still wasn't that good. But, Dear Wendy is.)

Also, what's all this I hear about The Great Gatsby in 3-D?

Ugh. All of this got me thinking about other terrible, depressing book-to-movie adaptions.

In light of how I'm trying to make 2011 a year of solid positivity, all of this got me thinking about some of my favorite book-to-movie adaptions.

Fight Club, book by Chuck Palahniuk (1996); movie directed by David Fincher (2006)

 I find, in general, Palahniuk's prose to be lacking in depth. His ideas are interesting, disgusting, jaw-dropping, and exciting, but his writing lacks lyricism. How lyrical can you be while writing about the world's largest gang-bang that ends with the female pornstar's son slipping her a cyanide pill during intercourse? I guess that's something to take into account. (Oh, I was just informed that they're making Snuff into a movie, too.) Fincher gave Palahniuk's story the final touch it needed to become a classic: some artistic talent.

The Virgin Suicides, book by Jefery Eugenides (1993), movie directed by Sofia Coppola (1999) 

Maybe it's because I saw the movie before I read the book, but the movie is so good that even if the book had been terrible (which it's not) I would have liked it anyway. The Virgin Suicides helped me understand myself a little more, by way of what it means to be a girl. Is that weird? Maybe. I think that maybe the book was a little slow for me because I knew what was going to happen, and I just wanted to get to all the creepy parts.

• Can we talk about Stanley Kubrik really quickly?  

The Shining, written by Stephen King (1977); directed by Kubrick (1980) BOOM!

A Clockwork Orange, written by Anthony Burgess (1962); directed by Kubrick (1971) BOOM!

Lolita, written by Vladimir Nabokov (1955); directed by Kubrick (1962) BOOM!


Ok. Ok. Ok. I mean, this list could go on for quite a bit with other excellent book-movies like Trainspotting, There Will be Blood, No Country for Old Men, The Omega Man (based on a book called I Am Legend), Rules of Attraction...

Alright, I'm convinced – bring on the new book-movies. But, let's keep raging against sequels and remakes, okay?


Courtney Davison is the Editorial Intern for Paper Darts, and a freelance writer. She loves getting mail and eating snacks. Feel free to stalk her, but never judge her.

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