I feel so honored to have the brilliant, awesome, brilliantly awesome Sangu Mandanna (author of The Lost Girl) over at the blog today, and she's stop over to share her Top 10 adaptation faves! Wanna know if your own faves made it to her list? Check it out below.
Adaptations are very, very tricky. When an iconic or popular book is adapted, fans become rabid. They want their favourite book made just right. I want my favourite books adapted just right. So I get very snotty when something doesn’t live up to the book.
I also understand that an adaptation is just that. It’s somebody else’s vision, not usually the author’s. It’s not supposed to be the book transcribed into a different medium. Many adaptations have failed because they’ve tried to be too like the book (in my opinion the first two Harry Potter films, much as I love them, aren’t as good as the others because they’re such literal translations of the books).
So it’s a fine line. I am very picky. But I have seen some winners and here, in order, are my top ten.
10. Blood and Chocolate (2007), adapted from the novel by Annette Curtis Klause
This is an unusual choice because the film is so very different from the book. So different, in fact, that just about the only thing they seem to share is a title, character names and werewolves. So maybe this only made the cut because I actually saw the film before I read the book, which meant I wasn’t prejudiced either way. But, weighed separately, I like the book and I like the film. So that makes this a success for me.
9. Pride and Prejudice (2005), adapted from the novel by Jane Austen
I don’t know why I like this so much. I just do! And Matthew Macfayden really grows on you.
8. Beauty and the Beast (1991), adapted from the traditional fairy-tale (original author or creator unknown)
Oh, I know it’s Disney. I know it’s not entirely faithful to the original versions of the story. But I love this. I love Disney. (And am I crazy or does anyone else think the Beast has a really sexy voice?)
7. Emma (2007), TV adaptation of the novel by Jane Austen
This is the second of Austen’s novels to make it onto this list, so it will probably come as a surprise when I confess that I am not an Austen fan. I haven’t really been able to enjoy her books. But for some reason film and TV adaptations of her work are always a winner for me, and Emma just about tops the list. Kate Beckinsale is a great Emma.
6. The Hunger Games (2012), adapted from the novel by Suzanne Collins
I thought the filmmakers did a great job with this adaptation. It was true to the book and added a few very nice touches (seeing more of Seneca Crane was awesome). The music really made this film for me; it was incredibly stirring.
5. Howl’s Moving Castle (2004), adapted from the novel by Diana Wynne Jones
All I can say is: SO. UNBELIEVABLY. CUTE.
4. The Godfather (1972), adapted from the novel by Mario Puzo
I think this is the iconic example of an almost perfect adaptation. Practically every fan I know thinks so. The film may have cut a lot of the book’s plot and subplots out, but I think it did so wisely because it gives itself room to do the real story justice. But where this adaptation really succeeds is with its cast.
3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 and Part 2 (2010 and 2011), adapted from the novel by JK Rowling
I love the Harry Potter books. I also love the films. But these two adaptations are my favourite of the lot. They’re dark, they’re gritty, they’re poignant, they made me cry and laugh, and they’re so very true to the book.
2. Sherlock (2010), adapted from the stories by Arthur Conan Doyle
I love Sherlock Holmes. The original stories rank among my favourite stories of all time and I am a rabid, rabid Holmes fan. Which means I am rabid about adaptations. Very few actually win my approval, let alone make me buy the DVD. Don’t even get me started on Robert Downey Jr. But the BBC’s adaptation of Sherlock Holmes ticks every box. Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman are fantastic. And yes, I have both series on DVD. The third cannot come soon enough...
1. Les Miserables (musical, 1985 and film, 2012), adapted from the novel by Victor Hugo
Nothing I say could possibly explain just how much I love Les Mis and how successfully and beautifully I think the musical (and film version of the musical) adapted the book. So I’m just going to let the fact that this tops my list speak for itself.
What favourite adaptations make your list?
The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna
Release Date: January 3rd 2013
Published by: Definitions (Random House UK)
Eva’s life is not her own. She is a creation, an abomination – an echo. Made by the Weavers as a copy of someone else, she is expected to replace a girl named Amarra, her ‘other’, if she ever died. Eva studies what Amarra does, what she eats, what it’s like to kiss her boyfriend, Ray. So when Amarra is killed in a car crash, Eva should be ready.
But fifteen years of studying never prepared her for this.
Now she must abandon everything she’s ever known – the guardians who raised her, the boy she’s forbidden to love – to move to India and convince the world that Amarra is still alive ...
GIVEAWAY TIME! WIN A COPY OF THE LOST GIRL! (UK version)
Thanks to the lovely folks over at Random House, we have 1 copy of The Lost Girl to give away!
Open to UK residents (if know someone in the UK who can receive this book when you win, feel free to enter!)
Must be at least 13 years old
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