Guest Post: Awesome Books Ruined By Movie Adaptations

The Time Traveler's Wife

Here at B-Lines and Felines we love books and films but we cringe whenever a great book is turned into a terrible movie. We were therefore intrigued when presented with this guest post. So here’s an interesting question for you… one we agree with, one we disagree with and one we’re not sure. Can you guess which is which?

Awesome Books Ruined By Movie Adaptations

Books are always seen as far superior to movie adaptations, but that is pretty understandable. Books do not have budget constraints and time issues to deal with, but every now and again movies completely lose the plot, literally! There are, of course, a few exceptions to the rule, but here are a few of the worst ever film adaptations:

I Am Legend

On the face of it, I Am Legend was a great concept for a film to be based on, a lone survivor in a post-apocalyptic New York. But if you have read the book then you would know the story is more than that, for a start, the dialog is based almost entirely in Robert Neville’s head and tracks his decent into madness. The ending of the book turns it into a masterpiece, but the movie had a completely different ending! An alternate ending released on the DVD made up for things a little bit, but not enough to keep it off this list!


Even without comparing this to the book, the overall consensus is that it’s purely decisively average. When you do compare it to the book, then it’s an absolute train wreck of a film. Eragon is a series of books written by American author Christopher Paolini, the first was placed on the New York Times best seller list for 121 weeks and had a pretty diehard fan base. But this counted against the movie adaptation when they decided to change the book almost entirely. If you’re going to change so many details, then you need to make sure that the finished product is good, this just wasn’t, even John Malkovich couldn’t save it.

The Time Travellers Wife

The Time Travellers Wife is a great book that is fairly simple in nature (compared to most time travelling storylines); it is based around a man who has a medical disorder that causes him to travel through time, who at various stages interacts with a woman who he will eventually marry. The book did a great job of simplifying a pretty complex plotline, but the movie takes this and shakes it all about, if you haven’t read the book before watching the film, chances are you’ll struggle to get what’s going on first time round!

So there we have it! I’m sure everyone will have their own opinions as to what are the best and worst movie adaptations, be sure to leave these in the comments.

The article was brought to you by UK cinema chain Vue.

Follow Dave

Dave Brown

I was born in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, England and have always been a bookworm and enjoyed creative writing at school. In 1999 I created the Elencheran Chronicles and have been writing ever since. My first novel, Fezariu's Epiphany, was published in May 2011. When not writing I'm a lover of films, games, books and blogging. I live in Barnsley, with my wife, Donna, and our six cats - Kain, Razz, Buggles, Charlie, Bilbo and Frodo.
Follow Dave
Pin It

  1. I always cringe when I hear that books I love are getting turned into movies.Usually, it doesn't end well, although I agree with you about The Time Traveller's Wife. It is one of my favorite books, although admittedly there were a couple of times while reading it, where I had to flip back to the chapter head to find out what year we were in. Given that, I couldn't imagine how they would make this movie without complete confusion. For months I refused to go see it. When I finally did, I was pleasantly surprised.(& I do agree though that one should read the book first). One movie that completely drove me nuts was "Under the Tuscan Sun." The only similarity to the book was that it was about an American living in Tuscany. Other than that, it was completely different. I don't know why they even bothered giving it the same name, On the flip side, I thought the Harry Potter movies were well done & I enjoined the Hunger Games as well. My biggest complaint with movies like that is that there is SO much, it's hard to get it all in & scenes (some important) get cut.

    1. I agree, Karen, movies do have a challenge in forcibly editing novels down to fit the big screen but some adaptations have been dreadful.

      Donna and I loved The Time Travellers Wife but we did not like the film. We felt so much of it was done wrong and missing the poignant ending from the book was a real shame.

      Haven't seen or read Under the Tuscan Sun but it doesn't sound great (the film that is!)

Leave a Comment