I love a good book to film or TV adaptation, but there are some that have just been massive disappointments. So, I have taken it upon myself to make a little list (you know how I love a list!) of the books that should probably have been left as such. My great disappointment with a bad adaptation - apart from feeling a favorite story has been somehow disrespected - is often that I feel it will prevent people who haven't yet read the far superior book from bothering to pick it up and missing out of an excellent reading experience. To be fair, I will do another post soon about films/TV that is as good as, or better than the book - they do exist;-) I would love to know what you think. Do you agree with some of my picks? Disagree? Which adaptations would you add to the list?
The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
I read this book in high school, and though it is quite a tome, my whole class seemed to enjoy it (possibly due to a few naughty bits our teacher told us to skip;-) However, when the time came for us to watch the film - or rather mini-series - I was rather disappointed. The casting was good, but it felt stiff and overdone, not magical at all and if I had seen the film before reading the book, I do not think I would have been inclined to pick it up.
The Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
I have read most of Chevalier's books and enjoyed them all, but this one undoubtedly received the bulk of the attention. It tells the (possibly) story behind of of Johannes Vermeer's best-known paintings. The film, despite Colin Firth, Scarlett Johansson and Essie Davis at the helm, was such a disappointment to me, lacking energy and full of characters I could not really care much about.
Eragon by Christpher Paolini
I absolutely loved this book, the characters the lush world building and the dragons. The film adaptation several years ago, however, was a massive let down. It was over done, left out such important details and felt more like a badly designed video game than a film honoring a truly imaginative and well written book.
Revenge of the Witch (The Wardstone Chronicles by Joseph Delaney)
This is another favorite series, with such consistently engaging stories, developing characters and a creepy atmosphere. Unfortunately, I could not even finish watching the adaptation, that is how bad it was! Whoever produced it turned a unique story into a silly production from which even the author has tried to distance himself.
Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
If you read these books, especially the first few, you will surely agree that the adaptation lacked all of the charm of the written Becky Bloomwood. Yes, she was also quite silly and shallow, but she was also kind and deeper than the version portrayed in this mindless adaptation. I know people will disagree with me on this one, but I was definitely left disappointed.
Macbeth by William Shakespeare
There have been several adaptations this play, my favorite of Shakespeare's tragedies (though it sounds weird to describe a tragedy as such...) However, I have only see the one with Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard and let me tell you, the bard would have turned over in his grave!
The Iliad by Home (Troy)
The Iliad is a masterpiece, Troy was a disaster. The cast may have been bloated with talent, but it did not translate to the underwhelming film.