Oscar season was an excellent moment to appreciate great films based on great books. Recently, the most obvious example would be the Harry Potter series that has inspired so many people to revisit books and reading. Keep in mind that as excellent as movies may be, there is no way they can fully recreate the rich environment that exists in the novel. In order for a story to fit within the two hour time frame, the director must leave out an awful lot. For example, in the final film in the Potter series, there was some intrigue involving a mirror fragment – but, how, why? Where did the mirror and its special powers come from? All of that information is perfectly developed in the novels along with a wealth of information about each character and other magical implements.
This month I’m recommending books that have been made into movies. If you liked the movie, try the book and you are certain to be pleasantly surprised:
War Horse, Spielberg’s latest film is based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo about Joey, a horse and his adventures in World War I when sold by his young owner’s father. For those who like war stories, horses and the special relationship between a boy and his horse.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is the movie based on the bestseller from Sweden. The story takes place over three volumes and is a very intense tale with an unforgettable heroine –Lisbeth Salander, a hacker with a punk edge able to uncover secrets and even the score. For those who love stories featuring strong women, suspense and dark, dirty secrets.
Great books that inspired Spanish movies include –
The Pearl by the great director Emilio Fernández [Interesting factoid -Fernández was the model for the Oscar statuette) is based on the wonderful novella by John Steinbeck who also collaborated on the movie. It’s about a family of poor divers and the drastic change that comes to their lives after finding a pearl. This book is short, easy to read and beautifully written.
Two Crimes – this black comedy is based on the novel by Jorge Ibargüengoitia about a man who, fleeing the big city after being falsely accused of murder, falls into worse situations in the small town where he is hiding. Any novel by Ibargüengoitia is a delight.
Other suggestions –Paradise Travel, Jorge Franco Ramos; The Secret in Their Eyes, Eduardo Sacheri