Novels into Film: Adaptations & Interpretation

Salem. 2018. 416p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781682179079. $185. REF
Many of the works in this compilation of book-to-film adaptations are well known, but readers will find a few surprises (It's a Wonderful Life was adapted from a short story; Herman Hesse's Siddhartha was a 1972 film). The list includes both faithful adaptations and those only loosely based on the book (such as Apocalypse Now, from Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness). Entries are alphabetized by movie title, with brief facts about the adapted works (title, if different; author; year first published), followed by information on the films (year released, director, screenwriter, and stars), the production process, and the movies' impact. Also included are indexes of print works by title, author, and publication date, and films by screenwriter, director, and release date. Though the introduction states that the encyclopedia is written from a literary standpoint, minimizing the use of film jargon, in fact entries tend to focus on the film adaptations. A literary audience may be annoyed by this perspective, but those interested in how a narrative is crafted for film will be fascinated at the accessible, thoughtful treatment.
VERDICT Recommended for those curious about how stories transition from the printed page to the big screen.

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