Guest Post: 5 Books That Were Great Movies

Everyone loves a good book adaption—good being the operative word. There have been countless classic novels that have found their way onto the big screen, but not everyone has been a success. It seems to be a delicate art to capture the atmosphere and mood of a story perfectly when translating it into film, and many attempts have resulted in complete flops!

Here are five incredible works of literature that were made into just as spectacular movies that truly did them justice.

1. Lord of the Rings

Probably in competition for the most epic tale of all time, “The Lord of the Rings” has become a powerful entertainment franchise. These books have been hailed as classics long before their film adaptions came to fruition, so fans of the trilogy were overjoyed when director Peter Jackson so masterfully handled this legendary story.

The premise is so complex and the fantasy universe so comprehensive that it would be impossible to give a succinct summary. But if you are a fan of magical creatures, epic adventures, heartfelt relationships, crazy battles and the constant war between good and evil, then both film and book are sure to delight.

Buy the book trilogy—plus prequel—on Amazon, or watch the movies for a small price on Google Play.

2. Les Miserables

This nineteenth-century classic has long been hailed as one of the greatest novels ever written. Coming in at a mighty 1,900 pages in its original form, so many avid readers have wanted to explore the tale that there have been countless translations, abridged copies or series versions.

For many, the recent film release in 2012 provided the perfect platform to understand and absorb the legendary tale. It follows an ex-convict as he attempts to change his ways and live with his guilt, alongside a plethora of other historically relevant characters. Set in post-revolutionary France, it provides a fantastic history lesson, alongside being a gripping narrative in its own right. Plus, the musical element of the film is a perfect accompaniment to cement the famed mood and atmosphere of the story.

This film is available on Amazon Video, and the Kindle version of the book can be downloaded for free.

3. My Sisters Keeper

Jodi Piccoult is an author who is famed for tackling difficult topics about motherhood and raising children. However, her smash hit “My Sisters Keeper” is probably her most tear-wrenching work thus far. The story asks what would you do if your child were so sick that the only way to keep them alive was to give birth to another daughter to create a genetic transplant match.

Anna was born to donate tissue, organs and blood to her dying sister, Kate. Her life was a happy one, but when she realized that Kate might need one of her kidneys she decides to take her life and her body back into her own hands. The following moral and ethical battle that both her parents now face is so much more complicated than can be seen on the surface, and this compelling story has been perfectly translated to the screen for all the enjoy.

Buy the book now on Amazon, where you can watch the film as well.

4. The Road

“The Road,” by Cormac McCarthy, does apocalypse like no one has seen it before. It’s the telling of an isolated perspective—that of one father and his son—as they aim to navigate the barren, post-apocalyptic wasteland that, for an unspecified reason, the world has become. It’s this intimate narration that makes the book such a success, and it also was perfectly encapsulated by director John Hillcoat in the 2009 film version.

The story looks at the day-by-day. There are no giant zombie battles, no epic weather storm sequences or huge monsters. Instead, it follows the pair’s search for food, their timid interactions with others, and above all, a father’s struggle to protect and provide for his children, even in the harshest of conditions. It’s this unique angle that makes this film and book so incredibly impacting.

The book can be purchased on Amazon, and the film is being hosted on YouTube for rental at a small price.

5. Into The Wild

This book, written by Jon Krakauer, is an expansion of an article written on the life and death of dedicated vagabond, Christopher McCandless. We all know what it’s like to feel the bite of wanderlust, but Mr. McCandless took it a step further than most. After graduating, his disappeared into the American wilderness never to be heard from again.

When his body was discovered in a derelict bus in rural Alaska along with the journal, many tried to work out what had happened. This book and subsequent film consist of the speculations around McCandless’s great adventure, and the events that finally led up to this death. An epic read and an even more nail-biting watch, this story explores what happens when you decide that society just isn't enough anymore.

Buy the book here, or watch the film for free on American Netflix.

Do you agree with these choices? Or are there better examples that you feel should have made the list? Be sure to leave a comment below, we’d love to hear your ideas.

About the author: Caroline is an entertainment and cyber-security blogger. She loves stories and can’t get enough of the best books and films on the market. She’s constantly on the search for new and exciting titles!