7 Books That Are Arguably Better Than The Movie

books to film

by Grazia Contributor |
Published on

2016 is the year of the literary blockbuster – with anticipated book-to-film adaptations to look forward to, from family friendly fantasy to who-dunnit thrillers. The Girl on the Train release being high up on our watch list, obvs.

In some respects, filmmakers should have it easy to make a hit film with a sell-out book to fall back on. But as a wise fictional character once said, ‘with great power comes great responsibility.’ Die-hard fans of the book are not going to let you off easily if poor casting, missing chunks of your favourite moments and alternative endings have made its way onto the big screen.

Here’s Grazia's pick of the books that were infinitely better than the film version…

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

books to film

If tearjerkers are your thing, then no doubt you’ll have read Jojo Moyes bestseller Me Before You. The coming of age tale which sees the lovable and quirky Lou Clarke help to care of brooding Will Traynor, who is paralyzed after a tragic accident is best read with a big box of Kleenex. And of course there was high expectations with the film version pegged as Bridget Jones meets The Notebook, cast GoT actress Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin in the lead roles. While it had all the ingredients for a classic weepie, general consensus was the pair lacked chemistry and, er, there was a lot of eyebrow action going on.

You can buy Me Before You by Jojo Moyes as an Audio book here

One Day by David Nicholls

books to film

It was hard to imagine David Nicholls topping the success of university comedy Starter for 10, but then came a long One Day. A When Harry Met Sally-style romantic drama spanning two decades. But Oh Dear – that film. First up, while we are huge fans of Anne Hathaway and her past roles (Princess Diaries. Just saying), the Oscar-winning star’s Yorkshire accent playing the earnest Emma Morley didn’t quite pan out. And Jim Strugess’ role as the Dexter was a complete dud. In fairness though, condensing 20 years into one hour and 30 minutes on screen is no easy feat.

You can buy One Day by David Nichollsas an audio book here

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

leo dicaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio stars in it. The Aussie visionary behind Moulin Rouge! is on board. And major $$$ to be spent. Oh, the possibilities. Whether you’ve read F.Scott Fitzgerald’s 1920s classic during your A Levels or borrowed it from your parents bookshelf, once you’ve turned the last page this glittering tale will stay with you years later. But the OTT film version was very much Baz Luhrmann’s Great Gatsby. Not F.Scott Fitzgerald's. Watch the 1970s adaptation with Robert Redford as the mysterious Jay Gatsby instead.

You can buy The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald as an audio book here.

The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

books to film

Arguably our favourite chick-lit series ever. We could not wait to see Sophie Kinsella’s Shopaholic books about financial journalist and serial shopper, Rebecca Bloomwood, finally brought to life on screen with Isla Fisher playing Becky in the Confessions of a Shopaholic, opposite Hugh Dancy. Sadly, the film version lacked serious chemistry between the romantic leads.

You can buy The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella on audio book here.

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

books to film

Adapting all 864 pages of Leo Tolstoy’s 1875 classic, Anna Karenina, was never going to be easy. But then you’ve got Keira Knightley to play one of the greatest literary heroines and period drama pro Joe Wright directing – what could go wrong? Um, quite a bit it would seem. Ultimately, the film feels too operatic and lacks the in-depth emotions carried through in the original book.

You can buy Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoyas an audio book here.

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

books to film

Sara Gruen’s epic romantic novel set in the 1930s, told through flashbacks, is a magical story about a young 20-something student who runs away with the circus and falls in love with the star act. The film, starring Robert Pattinson at the height of his Twi-hard fame in 2011 and Reese Witherspoon fails however to capture the magic on-screen.

You can buy Water for Elephants by Sara Gruenas an audio book here

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

books to film

The ultimate warning in vanity – man (Dorian Gray) sees a newly painted picture of himself and swears he will do whatever it takes to look that ah-mazing for eternity (trust us, it’s enough to put you off selfies for life). But the bordering on ridiculous 2009 adaptation with Ben Barnes and Colin Firth is limited – with poor CGI, undeveloped characters and the sin of all book-to-film sins - it completely ignores the original plot in the book. Poor form.

You can buy The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde as an audio book here

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