Favourite Works of Fiction & Their Adaptations

We can debate the merits of book to screen adaptations all we want but the truth is, it’s still going to happen.  We can cross our fingers and watch with baited breath, and sometimes we are disappointed.  But sometimes everything works out and despite our favourite scene that got cut, and the discrepancies we find in everything from character ages to dress colour, sometimes we are left with something that can stand on its own and is just as great as its source material (if for different reasons).  These are not necessarily the best adaptations, but they are my favourite book and adaptation pairings.

Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

VS Gone with the Wind (1939)


I saw the film several years ago and finally picked up the book earlier this year.  As I’m sure we can all agree, the film is an epic masterpiece and the book even more so.  I didn’t know that it was possible for me to love Scarlett and Rhett any more than I did, but reading the book proved to me that it was possible.  I love everything that this story is, whether it’s on a page or a TV.

A Game of Thrones by George RR Martin

VS Game of Thrones (season 1, HBO, 2011)


I won’t get started on the sacrifices that have been made to bring this amazing series to the screen (yes, I’m one of those people) so I will say this instead.  I am forever grateful to HBO for season 1 of Game of Thrones because it introduced me to the Song of Ice and Fire series.  Even with it’s smaller budget it crafted a TV show that so beautifully did the book justice, I don’t know if I have ever seen a better adaptation, and I’m sure it will be a while before I do again.

Stardust by Neil Gaiman

VS Stardust (2007)


Stardust is, I think, the only book I have read that I could describe as a ‘swashbuckling adventure’.  Or that’s how it reads to me, anyway.  The film captures this exactly.  It’s so fun!  The characters are so colourful, the magic is brilliant and it was great to see this brought to life on screen.

The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick

VS Silver Linings Playbook (2012)


I’ll be honest, the film took me by surprise.  I watched it because I am a fan of the actors and I was totally bowled over by the story.  I had to read the book.  It was better; and that’s saying something, the film is one of my favourites!  Give me an unconventional love story, a motivated main character and throw in some NFL and apparently, I’ll be there.

The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

VS The Importance of Being Earnest (2002)


Like Game of Thrones, I believe this to be a pretty true adaptation.  It captures the, dare I say it, absurdity of the story and it pulls it off.  It’s a film I can watch over and over again and my very favourite play.

So there you go, some adaptations work out better than others.  The STARZ TV adaptation of my favourite book, Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, is set to premiere in August and there are further rumours that another of my favourites, American Gods by Neil Gaiman, is slated for adaptation in the near future.  Here’s hoping they will make this list, should I revisit the topic in a few years.

But what do you think about adaptations?  What are your favourites?


7 thoughts on “Favourite Works of Fiction & Their Adaptations

  1. It’s a terrible, terrible film, but I love the Mansfield Park adaptation starring Jonny Lee Miller – it’s a guilty pleasure. I also love the BBC 1995 Persuasion adaptation and the BBC 1995 Pride and Prejudice adaptation. I’m a sucker for period drama.

    Weirdly, I preferred the Stardust film to the book. And I loved the difference of The Silver Lining’s Playbook, it was just different enough for me to not be bothered by the changes they made. I think I’ll always prefer the book though. Game of Thrones, both awesome, I’d only choose the book over the show because I prefer to read than to view.

    • See, that’s what I’m talking about! It might be “terrible”, but you still love it – that’s exactly what this post was about. I just love these adaptations, no matter their relationship with the source matter.

      I totally agree about The Silver Linings Playbook, the differences gave me both an amazing book to read and a fantastic film to watch.

  2. I LOVE Stardust. I watched the movie before reading the book, and even though this is bookish blasphemy, I prefer the movie. It’s just so good! The characters are amazing, the costumes, the actors, the everything. “What do stars do?” AUGH my feels just thinking about it.

  3. I tried reading Gone with the Wind years ago (the film is amazing, of course!) but it’s so massive I ended up skimming partway through, and I don’t think I ever got to the end. I totally need to try it again!

    • I know it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you can give it the time it needs (because my goodness, that is one heck of a book!) it is well worth it. I absolutely adored the read and even though there are some slow parts, I just love the characters so much!

  4. Pingback: Sunday Post (July 13) | Girl of 1000 Wonders

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