Let's face it, most "famous" books end up as some form of visual entertainment...be it TV show, cartoon, or full length motion picture. Now, I understand from the big Hollywood Production Companies why...money pure and simple, but for us fans why would we want that to happen? Do we really need a "I can touch it, see it, hear it" kind of interaction with something that we had been very happy to simply imagine as we read in our own minds?
For the most part, we don't. We are happy reading, therefore we are readers and writers. That is our medium.
Now, few would object to a favorite book/author being turned into a movie/cartoon/show...but for one reason.
They would absolutely murder what was beautiful in the book and turn it into a half witted, watered down, G rated-when-in-the-book-it-was-R rated (or opposite) nightmare.
Does that happen, oh hell yes. Often...yes. Always...no.
There are notable horror stories, for example The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, was a dire, beautiful, tragic, and hopeful novel all in one. I think I cried, laughed, screamed at the book, flung it across the room in horror and still picked it up to finish it with teary eyes. The movie directed by Peter Jackson was...well it was. I can't explain it. It just didn't take the heart and soul from the tragedy and translate it for me, but that is my own opinion and yours may differ.
Now it wasn't anyone's fault, they had their vision, and that of Mr. Jackson, but his imagination is used to Hobbits and Elves not murdered, raped little girls.
One book that translated well to screen was one of Mr. Jackson's (well, three books and movies) and that of course would be The Lord of the Rings trilogy. I know he changed bits from the book, I know some mainish characters went missing and their lines given to others...but how could anyone have translated the brilliant works of JRR Tolkien without messing it up, without Mr. Tolkien there to help you figure it out?! I don't believe you could, and I believe they did their best and I loved the movies if only as a mere small attempt at such translation of greatness. I missed Glorfindel and didn't like the "shield surfing" Legolas did, but could anyone have done better...doubtful. I read The Lord of the Rings on almost a daily basis...I have the single volume book of all three at my work. I read it on my lunch breaks and it helps center me as a reader and writer.
What books that were turned into movies worked for you? Which ones (and I know there are many) didn't? Please, share with us xD