Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

You've Seen the Film. Librarians Pick Top 50 Books Behind the Movies

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

You've Seen the Film. Librarians Pick Top 50 Books Behind the Movies

Article excerpt

Byline: ANDR PAINE

FROM science fiction and horror to literary classics, they have inspired some of the most stunning films of all time. But movie fans are being urged to go back to the often superior stories behind the big-screen blockbusters, with the publication today of a definitive list of the 50 best books adapted for cinema.

The Reel Fiction list ranges from classics such as EM Forster's A Room With A View - filmed in 1985 with Helena Bonham Carter - to modern fiction including Nick Hornby's About A Boy, filmed in 2002 and starring Hugh Grant.

William Thackeray's Vanity Fair is the oldest book on the list, dating from 1847, and has inspired several film versions - the most recent of which stars Reese Witherspoon and is due to be released next year.

The top 50 has been compiled by London's librarians and will be promoted from today in all the capital's 395 public libraries, as well as in bookshops and on the website www.londonlibraries.org/read.

Lyn Brown, of the London Libraries Development Agency, said: "Reading remains at the heart of public libraries' work. As a film buff, I'm delighted that with Reel Fiction, libraries are bringing moviegoers back to the novel that inspired the film."

The list will be poetic justice for writers who demurred at Hollywood's interpretation of their work. The late Anthony Burgess was shocked to see a big-screen version of his novel billed as "Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange". Most studios stuck to the book titles, although Evelyn Waugh's Vile Bodies was altered to Bright Young Things, partly because Hollywood chiefs expressed confusion at the original title.

Today's rundown comes as libraries try to encourage new users amid warnings that the service could die out within 15 years. The number of books borrowed has fallen by 35 per cent during the last decade.

REEL FICTION HOLLYWOOD'S INSPIRATION

2001: A Space Odyssey Arthur C Clarke

A Clockwork Orange Anthony Burgess

A Kestrel For A Knave Barry Hines (filmed as Kes)

A Room With A View EM Forster

About A Boy Nick Hornby

Accidental Tourist Anne Tyler

Anita And Me Meera Syal

The Beach Alex Garland

Beloved Toni Morrison

The Chocolat Joanne Harris

Cold Mountain Charles Frazier

The Color Purple Alice Walker

The Day Of The Triffids John Wyndham

Death In Venice Thomas Mann

Divine Secrets Of The Ya-Ya Sisterhood Rebecca Wells

Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? …

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