Tag Archives: Count of Monte Cristo

Books that shouldn’t hit the big screen

Okay, I like a great movie based on a book just as much as the next girl. I can’t tell you how much I love the current trend of turning much-loved YA books into film series. I currently can’t wait for Cassandra Clare‘s series to make it to film, starting with The City of Bones. I’m also eagerly awaiting November and the final Twilight movie. Not to mention Catching Fire!

Even when a book doesn’t follow the book exactly, many movies based on books are enjoyable. Some eclipse the popularity of the book (Gone with the Wind or The Silence of the Lambs are good examples).

However, just because a book is wonderful, doesn’t mean that it always belongs on-screen. For one reason or another, these books should never make it to film:

  1. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway – If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you know that there is no love lost between me and anything related to fish. This book however is mostly a guy sitting in a boat by himself thinking and trying to catch a fish. Might be interesting reading to many (not me but many others) but it makes for some of the most boring stuff ever put onto a reel of film.
  2. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams – I’ve seen the movie. It was entertaining. Then I read the book and realized how bad the movie is in comparison. While Hitchhiker isn’t among my favorites, the book has far too much to ever make sense in film!
  3. The Help by Kathryn Stockett – While my review of this book isn’t up yet (it’s coming soon), I was writing the review and realized that I really didn’t want to see the movie. This book is a whole lot of people sitting around talking and the action sequences wouldn’t make much sense. I have a feeling that a lot of the depth would be missing as well. I just don’t see that one going well.
  4. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas – I love this book. It is an amazing read. I accidentally read the abridged version first and was appalled when I found out how much I was missing! There is simply no way to condense this story for film without losing too much of the story!
  5. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy – Again, far too long to condense down without losing too much of the story. Plus so much of the emotion in this piece would be too hard to translate into film.
  6. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy – 300 characters. Do I need to say any more?
  7. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card – Okay. I love this book. I am going to go see the movie. My problem is that there is NO WAY they are going to find kids that are smart enough and young enough to play these parts convincingly. Plus the chance that it is going to be very cheesy is extremely high.
  8. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce – I know you haven’t heard about this one on my blog yet. I have two reviews scheduled for this one because it is just that good! This one is all about a guy taking a very LONG walk. Definitely not something that I think will translate to film well. Internal dialogue books rarely do.

What books do you think should NEVER be turned into films?

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Obsessive List of Books that Should be turned into Musicals

One of my favorite book based musicals

What makes a book a good candidate for musical theater?

  • plenty of action
  • fresh material
  • intense emotion
  • where bursting into song at the drop of a hat isn’t awkward πŸ˜‰

Here is my list of books that I think would make for a fantastic musical experience.

  1. Hadassah by Tommy Tenney – This book tells the story of Esther through the eyes of her descendants. The powerful portrayal of a young Jewish girl forced to become the wife of a king who will save her people from extinction. The movie did a great job of telling the story but song might be a better way to communicate some of the raw emotion of the situations Esther ends up in.
  2. The Map of Time by Felix J. Palma – H.G. Wells? Check. Funny Narrator? Check. Time Travel? Check. Con men? Check. Overly emotional and dramatic characters? Double check. Tons of Great Roles for Men? Check. I think you get the point πŸ˜‰
  3. How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss – I’m shocked this one hasn’t been done yet! There are already some great songs associated with the story. Add in a few more and bam! Instant musical!
  4. Songmaster by Orson Scott Card – The way this book talks about music alone makes it musical worthy. The whole time I was reading, I wanted to hear the music going through the author’s mind at the time. I can’t even imagine how powerful a musical based on this book would be! Some of the scenes might be difficult to transfer to the stage but if they could figure it out…
  5. The Lottery by Shirley Jackson – I know I’m getting some very puzzled looks right now. People are going what is she thinking? Sweeney Todd is what I’m thinking. A musical about a whole town who sacrifices one person just because it is the way it has always been. The turmoil of having to give up your life, your friend, your family member, etc. How people deal with the grief. This would require some expanding by a talented writer but it would be a powerful story.
  6. Fairest of All by Serena Valentino– What made Snow White’s stepmother hate her so much? is the basic idea behind this book. It’s a powerful story and I love seeing fairy tales from the villain’s point of view πŸ™‚
  7. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White – A book about a spider saving the life of a pig. Great stuff. With the stylized musicals about animals that Disney has done as a template, this could make a great musical. If it is done well.
  8. A Little Princess by Frances Hodgeson Burnett – The story of a little girl who has it all, losing her life completely but never giving up hope. It’s a great story but finding a young actress to play Sara might prove difficult.
  9. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas – A musical all about getting revenge on the people who wronged you. The only trick would be cutting down the source material while allowing the story to still make sense. This one would be a LONG musical but has the potential to be the next Les Miserables if done correctly.
  10. Matilda by Roald Dahl – Okay, I debated putting this one on the list but decided to for the purely selfish reason thatΒ  would love to see this as a musical. I don’t know how many others would, but to me, this would be great fun with songs worked in. Good luck finding a kid to play the title role though. **note – after writing this article I found out that there is a musical based on this book but it hasn’t made it to the US.

What do you think? Love my list? Hate it? Did I miss one (or more) that you thought should be included?

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