Our favourite books brought to life

cover for One flew over the cuckoo's nestMovies and TV series based on books are funny things. You either love them or you hate them. There is nothing more annoying than one you hate and nothing more satisfying than one which brings a book or even a character truly alive.

I came across an interesting blog listing ten favourite movie adaptations of books recently and it got me thinking – what exactly are my favourites? The author’s list was pretty idiosyncratic as I guess everyone’s will be and included The Planet of the Apes , Lolita , Brokeback Mountain and One flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Of this list I think there is only one I have both seen and read – One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, although I loved both Brokeback Mountain and Planet of the Apes (the 70s version) as films.

He also liked Graham Greene’s The Fallen Idol which I have neither read nor seen. Greene was apparently deeply disappointed by most of the movies made from his books, although Brighton Rock is mentioned as acceptable and of course there’s The Third Man, one of my favs.  I wonder what he would have made of the 2005 version of The Quiet American, which I really enjoyed?

Many of my favourites include recent adaptations of Jane Austen books both in film and on television, which is a bit of a coup really, because its hard to satisfy when we know the books so well.

cover for High FidelityThe film versions of Atonement, The Remains of the Day and The Shipping News make my list because they captured the original so well. I also loved the film of Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity. An all time favourite remains To Kill a Mockingbird.

I’m a mystery buff so I can’t leave out the movie versions of Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow and Snow Falling on Cedars, The Constant Gardener, Red Dust and the recent version of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

I don’t know how anyone can get it down to a list of ten. I haven’t even started on my favourite New Zealand ones like In  My Father’s Den and Sleeping Dogs.

What are you favourites and pet hates?

Check our great list of Books into Movies to extend your reading and viewing.