11 Authors Who Hated The Movie Versions Of Their Books

Mary Poppins Poster 

Disney’s Mary Poppins might be a cherished childhood memory for a lot of us, but for author P.L. Travers, it was a complete slap in the face. Despite having script approval, Travers’ edits were largely disregarded. Travers loathed the movie’s animated sequences and was perturbed that Mary Poppins’ strict side was downplayed. After some heated meetings, Travers reluctantly approved. She would have been shunned from the star-studded premiere had she not shamed a Disney exec into an invite. The 65-year-old Travers spent most of the movie crying and ultimately refused to let Disney touch the rest of the series.

    The Shining Poster

    Stephen King probably made movie buffs cringe when he said he hated what Stanley Kubrick did to The Shining. “I’d admired Kubrick for a long time and had great expectations for the project, but I was deeply disappointed in the end result. … Kubrick just couldn’t grasp the sheer inhuman evil of The Overlook Hotel. So he looked, instead, for evil in the characters and made the film into a domestic tragedy with only vaguely supernatural overtones. That was the basic flaw: because he couldn’t believe, he couldn’t make the film believable to others.” He was also unhappy with Jack Nicholson’s performance – King wanted it to be clear that Jack Torrance wasn’t crazy until he got to the hotel and felt that Nicholson made the character crazy from the start. With director Mick Garris, King ended up working on another version of The Shining that aired on ABC in 1997.

    Interview with the Vampire The Vampire Chronicles Poster

    After casting was completed for the movie version of Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire, she said Tom Cruise was “no more my vampire Lestat than Edward G. Robinson is Rhett Butler.” The casting was “so bizarre,” she said, “it’s almost impossible to imagine how it’s going to work.” When she saw the movie, however, she actually loved Cruise’s portrayal and told him what an impressive job he had done. She still hasn’t come around to liking Queen of the Damned, though, telling her Facebook fans to avoid seeing the film that “mutilated” her books.

    Forrest Gump Poster

    Note to filmmakers: don’t anger the author of the book before the sequel has been written. Unhappy with the way Hollywood treated Forrest Gump by omitting plot points and sanitizing some of the language and sex, author Winston Groom started its sequel with the lines, “Don’t never let nobody make a movie of your life’s story,” and “Whether they get it right or wrong, it don’t matter.” You can’t blame Groom for being mad: he sued for the 3% net profits his contract promised him, which he hadn’t received because producers claimed that by the time they took out production costs and advertising and promotional costs, the movie didn’t turn a profit. To add insult to injury, Groom wasn’t mentioned in any of the six Academy Award acceptance speeches given by various cast and crew members of Forrest Gump.

    Sahara Poster

    Clive Cussler’s Dirk Pitt tales have a cult following. Dirk Pitt movies don’t, especially 2005’s Sahara starring Matthew McConaughey and Penelope Cruz. In fact, it was a certified flop: the $145 million production made just $68 million at the box office. Cussler said it was because the producer failed to give him total script control as agreed upon and sued for $38 million. He lost. In fact, Cussler was ordered to pay $13.9 million for legal fees incurred by the Sahara production company. Though that order was overturned in 2010, it’s safe to say that Cussler probably won’t be pursuing that relationship again. By the way, the other Dirk Pitt movie adaptation, Raise the Titanic!, was also an epic stinker and was even nominated for the first ever Golden Raspberry Award (in multiple categories). Despite having the star presence of Oscar winners Jason Robards and Alec Guinness, the movie made back less than 20 percent of its $40 million budget.

    My Foolish Heart Poster

    There’s a reason no one has ever seen a big-screen version of Catcher in the Rye or Franny and Zooey. In the late ‘40s, J.D. Salinger consented to have his short story Uncle Wiggly in Connecticut made into a movie retitled My Foolish Heart. He was so mortified by the swooning love story that he swore his works would never be butchered again.

      A Clockwork Orange Poster

      Not only did Anthony Burgess dislike the movie based on his novella A Clockwork Orange, he later regretted writing any of it in the first place. “The book I am best known for, or only known for, is a novel I am prepared to repudiate: written a quarter of a century ago, a jeu d’esprit knocked off for money in three weeks, it became known as the raw material for a film which seemed to glorify sex and violence. The film made it easy for readers of the book to misunderstand what it was about, and the misunderstanding will pursue me till I die. I should not have written the book because of this danger of misinterpretation.”

      American Psycho Poster

      Bret Easton Ellis doesn’t think any of the film adaptations of his books are that great (save for maybe The Rules of Attraction), but he dislikes some more than others. Though he worked on 2009’s The Informers, he says, “That movie doesn’t work for a lot reasons but I don’t think any of those reasons are my fault.” And Ellis believes American Psycho never should have happened: “American Psycho was a book I didn’t think needed to be turned into a movie. I think the problem with American Psycho was that it was conceived as a novel, as a literary work with a very unreliable narrator at the center of it and the medium of film demands answers. It demands answers. You can be as ambiguous as you want with a movie, but it doesn’t matter — we’re still looking at it. It’s still being answered for us visually. I don’t think American Psycho is particularly more interesting if you knew that he did it or think that it all happens in his head. I think the answer to that question makes the book infinitely less interesting.”

      Willy Wonka  the Chocolate Factory Poster

      Ever wonder why Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator hasn’t followed in the silver screen footsteps of its predecessor, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? Because Roald Dahl felt the movie version of his book was “crummy,” found Gene Wilder’s Willy Wonka to be “pretentious” and “bouncy,” and thought the director had “no talent or flair.” He vowed that film producers would never get their hands on the sequel to similarly ruin it, at least not in his lifetime.

      One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest Poster

      Despite the fact that One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest swept the Academy Awards – it won Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Screenplay – author Ken Kesey was not impressed. He was originally slated to help with the production, but left two weeks into the process. Though he claimed for a long time that he didn’t even watch it and was especially upset that they didn’t keep the viewpoint of Chief Bromden, his wife later said that he was glad the movie was made.

      The Omega Man Poster

      Richard Matheson has been annoyed with the adaptations of his book I Am Legend since 1964. The first one, The Last Man on Earth, starred Vincent Price. “I was disappointed in The Last Man on Earth, even though they more or less followed my story. I think Vincent Price, whom I love in every one of his pictures that I wrote, was miscast. I also felt the direction was kind of poor.” Another version, The Omega Man, starred Charlton Heston. “The Omega Man was so removed from my book that it didn’t even bother me,” Matheson said. And when I Am Legend starring Will Smith was announced, the author commented, “I don’t know why Hollywood is fascinated by my book when they never care to film it as I wrote it.” The most recent adaptation, by the way, completely changed Matheson’s ending because it didn’t test well with audiences. 

      by Stacy Conradt 

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      The 10 Most Twisted Literary Couples

      George and Martha from Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
      The archetypal bantering couple, Albee’s dark pair are ruthless, brutal, and toxic to everyone around them. But of course, it’s their shared secret that’s the most twisted of all.

      Catherine and Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights
      The ultimate story of dark, destructive obsession, Cathy and Heathcliff manage to be endlessly cruel to one another while they cling to each other’s hearts as tightly as possible. Catherine’s bitter plea basically sums it up: “I wish I could hold you… until we were both dead.”

      Jamie and Cersei Lannister from A Song of Ice and Fire
      Jamie and Cersei are twins-turned-lovers willing to kill to protect their secret, which is twisted enough on its own. We won’t spoil it for those who haven’t gotten there yet (or are watching the show), but let’s just say that later on, things get even more… mangled.

      Lestat and Louis from Interview with the Vampire
      Though it’s never explicitly stated (at least not in this novel), it’s pretty clear that these two vampires are lovers, albeit constantly at odds, with Lestat denigrating and abusing Louis and Louis constantly complaining about his hatred for Lestat. Which makes sense — after all, it’s not like you can really expect a relationship that begins with one party killing the other and turing them into a demon to be functional.

      Valmont and Merteuil from Dangerous Liaisons
      In this epistolary novel (which yes, was the source material for Cruel Intentions), the Vicomte de Valmont and the Marquise de Merteuil are determined to corrupt and seduce everyone around them — including each other. Merteuil dangles herself before Valmont so she can use him for her own ends, but decides maybe she wants his heart as well as his body, whether he’s willing to give it or not. Suffice it to say, it all ends in smallpox.

      Charles and Camilla from The Secret History
      Another pair of handsome blond twins secretly in love with each other, Charles and Camilla have a very different feel than the Lannisters — creepier, less proud — but their jealousy is just as potent and their relationship is perhaps even more binding.

      Frank and April from Revolutionary Road
      We shudder at the very thought of this novel, or indeed, at any of Yates’s fictional relationships. Manipulation, barely constrained rage in suburbia, guilt and self-hatred make this one of the most destructive couples we’ve ever gotten to know. As Yates once explained, “If my work has a theme, I suspect it is a simple one: that most human beings are inescapably alone, and therein lies their tragedy.”

      Jake and Brett from The Sun Also Rises
      Poor Jake and Brett. They can’t be together, but they can’t seem to leave each other alone, either, much to the destruction of everyone’s tender booze-soaked feelings. It’s all very exasperating, but it does lead to one of the most iconic final lines in literature.

      Tom and Daisy Buchanan from The Great Gatsby
      Tom and Daisy are twisted in their own mundane, unhappy little way, lying and cheating and being generally terrible. “They were careless people, Tom and Daisy — they smashed things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.”

      Lolita and Humbert from Lolita
      He, a middle-aged scholar plagued by a terrible obsession with nymphets, she, and 11-year-old girl who likes the attention — at first. Need we go on?

      by Emily Temple

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      J.K. Rowling’s favourite books as a child

      What were J.K. Rowling’s favourite books as a child

      1. The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge
      2. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
      3. Manxmouse by Paul Gallico
      4. everything by Noel Streatfeild
      5. everything by E. Nesbit
      6. Black Beauty by Anna Sewell (indeed, anything with a horse in it) 

      Who is J.K. Rowling’s favourite literary hero? 

      My favourite literary heroine is Jo March. It is hard to overstate what she meant to a small, plain girl called Jo, who had a hot temper and a burning ambition to be a writer.  

      What were the best books J.K. Rowling’s mother gave  or read to her?

      She gave me virtually all the books mentioned above. My most vivid memory of being read to is my father reading The Wind in the Willows when I was around 4 and suffering from the measles. In fact, that’s all I remember about having the measles: Ratty, Mole and Badger.

      Excerpts taken from NY Times Interview with J.K. Rowling

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      Sometimes the film is better... - 15 films that were better than, or as good as, the book.

      These are 15 films that I believe were actually better than, or as good as, the book.

      This list was compiled with a vague sense of unease. I generally don’t believe any film is better than the book. However, sometimes there are books that aren’t that good to start with. At other times, magic happens and the film is as good as, or even better than, the original.

      1. Atonement by Ian McEwan
      2. Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote
      3. Fight Club by Chuck Palhniuk
      4. Fried Green Tomatoes At The Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg
      5. Jaws by Peter Benchley
      6. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
      7. No Country For Old Men by Cormac McCarthy
      8. One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
      9. The Cider House Rules by John Irving
      10. The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger
      11. The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje
      12. The Green Mile by Stephen King
      13. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
      14. The Princess Bride by William Goldman
      15. Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh

      Please share films that you enjoyed more than, or as much as, the book below.

      The Cider House Rules Image

       by Amanda Patterson  


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      Bookshops we want to visit

      Flourish & Blotts, from the Harry Potter series

      The 10 Best Fictional Bookstores in Pop Culture

      1. Embryo Concepts, from Funny Face
      2. Monsieur Labisse’s bookshop, from Hugo 
      3. Brightman’s Attic, from The Brooklyn Follies
      4. Women & Women First, from Portlandia
      5. Ray’s Occult Books, from Ghostbusters 2
      6. Black Books, from Black Books 
      7. Flourish & Blotts, from the Harry Potter series 
      8. Carolina’s Café con Libros, from Desperado 
      9. The Shop Around The Corner, from You’ve Got Mail
      10. Argosy Book Shop, from Vertigo

      Via Flavorwire


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      Suzanne Collins's Top 10 Novels As A Teenager

      Suzanne Collins chooses 10 Favourite Novels

      1. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith 
      2. The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers 
      3. Nineteen Eighty Four by George Orwell 
      4. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy 
      5. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut 
      6. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle 
      7. Lord of the Flies by William Golding 
      8. Boris by Jaapter Haar 
      9. Germinal by Emile Zola 
      10. Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury

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       by Amanda Patterson


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