Kristen Lopez explores 52 literary and cinematic classics in her first book, But Have You Read the Book?, published by Running Press.
There are several conversations that can take place following a cinematic adaptation of a book. One of them deals with the book being better. While that can be true, there are people who have never even read the source material and might not even bother with. Or, quite possibly, the film could inspire them to seek it out. My love of Jurassic Park is how I cam to own a number of Michael Crichton novels. It’s why I chose a Jurassic Park still for this review’s featured image. Similarly, The Rainmaker is what inspired me to seek out the works of John Grisham. Meanwhile, I’m still waiting for Brad Meltzer’s legal thrillers to see the big screen, or any screen for that matter. Seriously, Brad Meltzer is one of the best authors working today! But I digress.
In putting this book together, Lopez goes in chronological order of each film’s release date. As such, it starts out with Frankenstein (1931) and ends with Passing (2021). Not every book-turned film is included–the mere topic alone would be several volumes if broken down. It would not surprise me at all if we were to see a second volume at some point in the future. As Lopez notes in her introduction, the selections are a “broad cross-section” of not only genres and authors the cinematic adaptations that stay true to a book or divert completely altogether.
Lopez does her due diligence in breaking down both books and films over the course of a few pages. Every now and then, she’ll throw in an insert or two, perhaps commenting on sequels or other adaptations. If one of the 52 books are on your list to read at some point: spoiler alert, there are spoilers throughout. The same, too, goes for the cinematic adaptations. Regardless, she breaks down some of the substantial changes between the two.
But Have You Read the Book: 52 Gems That Inspired Our Favorite Films is a quick page-turner that you won’t be able to put down. Do yourself a favor and get it today. Who knows, maybe you’ll be inspired to rewatch or reread some of your favorites.
But Have You Read the Book? is now available in bookstores.
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