Archive for the ‘Saw the Movie? Read the Book!’ Category


Saw the Movie? Read the Book!

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

These July movies are based on books:


How to Train Your Dragon 2
: based on the books/characters created by Cressida Cowell.
Want to see the art of the movie? The Art of How to Train Your Dragon 2 is the book for you!
Fun fact: Gobber is the first openly homosexual character in a DreamWorks Animation film. This is evidenced when he says the reason he never married was because of the arguing. He then adds, “Well, this and another reason.” (IMDb)

Oorlogsgeheimen (Secrets of War): a Dutch movie based on the Dutch book Oorlogsgeheimen by Jacques Vriens.
Not so fun fact: Unfortunately I didn’t find the book translated in English.

The Fault in Our Stars: Based on the book The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. (Also available as ebook)
Fun fact: The title is a variation on a quote from Act I, Scene II of William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar: “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves…” (IMDb)

The Homesman: Based on The Homesman by Glendon Swarthout.
Fun fact: Glendon Swarthout’s novel was published in 1988. Paul Newman owned the rights for a time, and he wanted to direct the film himself. He had at least two scripts written before giving up. (IMDb)

Saw the Movie? Read the Book!

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

These June movies are based on books:

Devil’s Knot: based on Devil’s Knot: The True Story of the West Memphis Three by Mara Leveritt.
Fun fact: According to Colin Firth, when he was first offered the role of Darcy, his brother incredulously remarked, “Darcy? But isn’t he supposed to be sexy?” (IMDb)

Joe: based on Joe by Larry Brown (ebook available).
(Not so) fun fact: Gary Poulter, who plays the part of Wade the father a.k.a. G-Daawg, was a homeless man given the role by director David Gordon Green, who often casts locals in his movies. Poulter died on the streets of Austin a couple of months after filming stopped. (IMDb)

The Double: based on the short story The Double by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (ebook available).
Fun fact: The first line of Yasmin Paige’s character, Melanie, is “Idiot!”, the title of another novel by Fyodor Dostoevsky, author of the novel upon which this film is based. (IMDb)

The Two Faces of January: based on The Two Faces of January by Patricia Highsmith (ebook available).
Fun fact: [Viggo Mortensen] [s]peaks fluent English, Spanish, Danish, and French, but he also speaks Swedish and Norwegian reasonably well. (IMDb)

Saw the Movie? Read the Book!

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

These May movies are based on books:

The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared: based on the novel with the same name by Jonas Jonasson. (Ebook available)
The film is Swedish (Hundraåringen som klev ut genom fönstret och försvann) and will have Dutch subtitles when watched in the cinema.

The Railway Man: based on the autobiographical novel with the same name by Eric Lomax. (Ebook available)
Fun fact: “The film uses compressed time to speed up the story. Eric Lomax and Patti Wallace did meet in 1980, but in reality they didn’t marry until 1983. Eric didn’t learn that Takashi Nagase was still alive until 1993, and they finally met in 1995.” (IMDb)

Tracks: based on Robyn Davidson’s memoir of the same name. (Ebook available)
Fun fact: “There has been many attempts to bring Robyn Davidson’s novel to the big screen. Over the years both Julia Roberts and Nicole Kidman have been attached to the lead role. Development on the movie adaptation began before lead actress Mia Wasikowska was even born.” (IMDb)

X-Men: Days of Future Past: based on the fictional Marvel Universe characters The X-Men.
Fun fact: “The original ‘Days of Future past’ comic mentioned time travel from the year 2013, the same year in which filming began.” (IMDb)

Edge of Tomorrow: based on All You Need is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka.
Fun fact: “Filmed almost entirely on the same sets used for the ‘Harry Potter’ series of films.” (IMDb)

Enemy: based on The Double by José Saramago. (Ebook available)
Fun fact: “The cast signed a confidentiality agreement that doesn’t allow them to speak and/or explain to the press the meaning of spiders in the movie.” (IMDb)

A Long Way Down: based on the novel with the same name by Nick Hornby. (Ebook available)
Fun fact: “Johnny Depp bought the movie rights before the book’s initial release.” (IMDb)

A Song of Ice and Fire: The Books behind HBO’s Game of Thrones

Monday, April 7th, 2014

By Elizabeth Eckhart

George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series has gained immense popularity from the HBO television adaptation, Game of Thrones. The show has caused quite a frenzy, and even caused many fans to pick up the books in order to discover the fate of their favorite characters. What they may find in the novels, however, is a much deeper story than they ever knew existed.

While the show relies entirely on action and what viewers can see, the books delve deeply into each character’s inner thoughts. The chapters are told in third person from over 30 different points of view, and George R. R. Martin is a master at getting inside each and every one of their heads. In the books, popular characters such as Jon Snow, Daenerys and Tyrion are even more multi-layered than in the show – not only are they more complex, but often they are nastier than the generally morally correct versions viewers are shown on-screen.

Catelyn Stark, another primary example, is a popular point of view character in Martin’s books, but the show entirely removes her cold behavior toward Jon Snow, her husband Ned’s alleged bastard son. In the novels, she is resentful that Ned brought home an illegitimate child and is often cruel toward Jon, but the show softens her bitterness to a few measly remarks. With more time focused on her internal thoughts in the books, readers are able to become acquainted with her and have sympathy for her, despite her flaws, as is the case for several other characters as well.

It seems unlikely that HBO will truly be able to manage the growing cast of characters in the television format. After his third book, A Storm of Swords, Martin began to add so many point of view characters that he could not tell all of their stories within one installment. Only half of the characters appear in A Feast for Crows, and the other half appear in the fifth novel,  A Dance of Dragons. The events of the two books are simultaneous until the timeline catches up in the final chapters of Dance.

George R.R. Martin is known for making his fans wait years for his books, as long as half a decade, and many fear that the show (the fourth season of which is already done filming and set to premiere in the Netherlands on HBO tonight) will catch up to the events of the books before he is able to finish them. Especially since the wait for the sixth book, The Winds of Winter, is likely to be long as well.

Besides feeling the heat of the show’s progress, fans are also worried that that perhaps Martin himself will never finish the series, (he is after all, in his 60’s and above a healthy weight) in which case no one would ever find out who wins the game of thrones and rules the seven kingdoms. Show fans are busy worrying if Daenerys will ever make it to Westeros, but fans of the book are more concerned regarding the multiple additional mysteries that may never be resolved.

For example, Jon Snow’s parentage is a huge unanswered question in the series, and many fans suspect that he is not actually Ned’s bastard, but perhaps the offspring of Rhaegar Targaryen and Ned’s sister, Lyanna Stark, instead. Another unsolved mystery is the identity of Azor Ahai, the legendary hero who wields the sword Lightbringer (according to a prophecy). Under the influence of the red sorceress Melisandre, Stannis Baratheon believes himself be Azor Ahai, but many suspect Azor Ahai is actually Daenerys or Jon.

With the huge amount of character threads and plots that have arisen in Martin’s most recent book, it seems almost impossible for each character’s story to be tied up conclusively. Because of Martin’s tendency toward complexity, a clear “winner” of the Iron Throne seems unlikely, and perhaps the seven kingdoms of Westeros will be ruled independently, rather than having one true king.

Martin has stated that the ending he anticipates writing is “bittersweet.” Indeed, fans want concrete answers, but it is still unclear whether Martin will deliver them (after all, Martin is known for not catering to his fans’ wishes regarding plot). Much of his writing focuses on the journey rather than the outcome, but there is no question that the entire A Song of Ice and Fire series is a thrilling journey for its readers.

Elizabeth can be found on Twitter @elizeckhart.

Ebooks are available for each separate title as well as for the entire series (so far) in one:  A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows, A Dance with Dragons (part 1 and part 2) and altogether.

Saw the Movie? Read the Book!

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

Well, there are enough great movies to choose from in April, but, as far as I could see, only one has some bookish value. *

The Amazing Spider-Man 2: based on the character Spider-Man by Stan Lee. Check out our Film section for the book on the movie:
The Amazing Spider-Man: Behind the Scenes and Beyond the Web and our Graphic Novels section for the Marvel Comics.
Fun fact: “The dog that Gwen walks while Peter spies in her from a rooftop, actually belongs to Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone. They adopted him in 2013.” (IMDb) (Yes, an animal fact. There’s a reason I’m the buyer for the animal section in The Hague ;-) )

* Two movies I mentioned in the March edition, have been moved back to April: Divergent and Snow Piercer.