6 books that are as good as the movie, according to BCPL Staff

1.The roaring twenties, a secret romance, lavish parties and dramatic deaths!
What’s not to love? The novel, The Great Gatsby by Scott Fitzgerald is a wonderfully intense and passionate story and the 2013 film adaptation by film director Baz Lurhmann is no different. Vibrant colors, a star studded cast, beautiful costuming and a soundtrack that you’ll have on repeat for weeks. And if you like this book to film adaptation, definitely try out Lurhmann’s take on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
— Emily Sexton, Youth Services Associate

 

2. My favorite book that became a movie is A Town like Alice by Nevil Shute. I saw the movie on TV first. It was amazing! And then when I found out it was a book, I had to read it. The story takes place during the latter part of World War II and the period just after the war. The setting is Southeast Asia and Australia.  There are two main story arcs. The heroine is an English girl working in Southeast Asia who becomes a prisoner of war when the Japanese invade. The first half of the book is the story of the forced march and imprisonment of the English women and children in her group. During the march they are helped by an Australian soldier who steals food and medicine for them.  The second part of the story takes place after the war when the heroine uses her inheritance to come back to Asia to provide a well for the native women who helped them during the war. She learns what happened to the Australian soldier and goes to Australia to find him. Meanwhile, he has gone to England to find her. The story is basically the same in both the book and movie. It is a testament to the human will to survive, and not just to survive, but thrive and build a new life, to turn their desolate piece of Australia into a successful community like Alice Springs.
Sharon Franklin, Walton Branch Manager

 

3. I loved the book Forrest Gump by Winston Groom.  I read the book after the movie and I enjoyed it as much as the film.  The movie was a near-perfect work of cinematography, in my opinion, so I can’t say that it was a disappointment to watch it again after reading the book.  Books allow a more clear and deep look into the characters’ motivations and thoughts, which made my experience richer after watching it again.  I highly recommend both! My preferred order in this case is watch the movie, read the book, then watch the movie again. It’s worth your while!
Ginger Stapp, Early Literacy Specialist

 

4. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving was made into a movie called Simon Birch. The book tops my list of best books.  I did not like the movie version of the book.  The truth is that the movie would have been a good movie if I had not read the book.  It just did not do the book justice.
— Carrie Herrmann, Library Director

 

5. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton is a coming of age story dealing with teen issues among the greasers (poor) and socs (rich).  I remember going to the theater as a tween with my girlfriends having no idea what The Outsiders was about, only knowing that the entire cast was teen heartthrobs. Not having read the book to compare it to, I thought the movie was fantastic! But after reading the book, I was in awe of the characters, realizing I hardly knew them by just watching the movie. The cast is so perfectly chosen for this movie, but the letdown is that top-notch actors are given minor roles for major characters.  Dally Winston (Matt Dillon), Johnny Cade (Ralph Macchio), Darry Curtis (Patrick Swayze) and Sodapop Curtis (Rob Lowe) are main characters in the book, yet we hardly gain any emotional attachment to them in the movie.  The novel is written in first person from the view of 14-year-old Ponyboy Curtis who connects us to every character in the book far beyond a brief introduction causing us to be heartbroken at the end of the novel when we realize the good in Dally and the appreciation for life in Johnny that the movie does not portray.  Although the first and last line of the novel are presented in the movie, it seems to be more moving in the book as we come to discover what we just read.  So although I loved the movie, I am not sure I would have had the same feelings had I read the book first or if the cast was any different.  Stay gold Ponyboy.
Jennifer Cheek, Public Relations Specialist

 

6. One of my favorite books that was turned into a movie is Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith. Both fall into the “so bad it’s good” category; they’re good guilty pleasures. Although Grahame-Smith wrote both the book and the screenplay, they are very different (I prefer the book). They are exactly how it sounds: Abraham Lincoln, if he was a vampire hunter. I like the book because it references a lot of historical events and contains cameos of Lincoln’s contemporaries (my favorite being Edgar Allan Poe). It also contains references to cities I’ve lived in in my home state of Indiana. Did you know Honest Abe killed his first vampire in Rising Sun? Didn’t think so.
Emily FoxYouth Services Associate

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