As an avid reader, it never fails that when a movie comes out based on a book I love, against my better judgment, I end up paying $9.50 to see it and frequently find myself terribly disappointed! To some extent, it has to do with the genre (in my opinion). A good thriller can usually be translated fairly well into a movie while a complex drama, rich with character development, should be left alone. The most recent example of this that I can think of is The Time Traveler’s Wife, a beautifully written story that was made into a mediocre movie. I did cry at the end of the movie, but only because I was informing my husband how the book ended and the memory of that moved me!
That said, however, I still find myself imagining how a story would play out on screen and will base my opinions solely on that as I list the three books that I believe could translate well into a movie.
Step on a Crack by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge
This is the first book in the Michael Bennett series which I am embarrassed to say I love. I am embarrassed simply because that are not the most intelligent novels ever written but, to me, all three have proven to be somewhat addictive. Detective Michael Bennett is an Irish-Catholic American, living in NY and, by the end of the first book, raising ten children alone. The potential to combine this very likable (albeit a little cliche) character with a thrilling story of (in the first book) a siege at St Patrick’s Cathedral allows a lot of potential. I have even cast (in my mind) the characters for the movie but that is for another day…
Book of Lies by Brad Meltzer
This movie would be a thrilling ‘hunt’ movie, similar to Dan Brown’s series but using the creation of the Superman comic books at the heart of this conspiracy. Wildly imaginative premise and truly fascinating characters would make for a great thriller! The ending surprised me, also, which is rare when reading a thriller (the reader can often glean the hints a bit better than in a movie) so I am fairly sure it would be enjoyed by movie fans.
The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
I said earlier that I believe thrillers translate better from page to screen and one would have to be extremely careful to turn this absolutely beautiful novel into a movie. However, the story is so important (I never really grasped the implications of Japanese internment during WWII) I believe it should be made into a movie solely to reach a broader audience. It is a sweeping piece of historical fiction, a genre that has met with some success (Gone with the Wind!) so I believe it can be done.