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Authors Who Hated the Movie Versions of Their Books (Mental Floss)

One of my friends told me about this article on Mental Floss about authors who hated the movie versions of their books.

Authors Who Hated the Movie Versions of Their Books

For those of you who just want a quick run down, the authors and movies are:

  • P.L. Travers and Mary Poppins
  • Stephen King and The Shining
  • Anne Rice and Interview with a Vampire
  • Winston Groom and Forrest Gump
  • Clive Cussler and Sahara
  • J.D. Salinger and Ugly Willy in Connecticut/My Foolish Heart
  • Anthony Burgess and The Clockwork Orange
  • Brett Easton Ellis and The Informers
  • Roald Dahl and Charlie and The Chocolate Factory (the Gene Wilder one)
  • Ken Kesey and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
  • Richard Matheson and I Am Legend (all of the remakes)
willa wonka and the chocolate facotory

First of all, I didn’t realize a few of these movies were originally books, like Mary Poppins and Forrest Gump. Also, Stephen King basically implied The Shining wasn’t scary enough….Um what?? God help us from his mind!!

Also, I saw Sahara….and yeah, it wasn’t that good. :/ Also, I wonder what Roald Dahl would have thought of the 2005 version of his book with Johnny Depp AND the Wes Anderson take on Fantastic Mr. Fox (<--One of my FAVE movies).

As for me, here’s my top list of books that I liked better than the movies (ie this could be a very long list, so I’m going to limit myself to 5):

  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (the 6th book) – This book was one of my favorites in the series, and I was disappointed in this movie.
  • Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine – I was obsessed with this book in 6th grade, and although the movie is cute, it didn’t do the book justice at all.
  • Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbit – Again, the movie was just ok. This book was one of my favorites growing up, so I had a ton of expectations for the movie.
  • Eragon by Christopher Paolini – Ugh. For those of you who have even seen this movie, it was really, really bad. Which is probably why they never made the rest of the books into movies.
  • Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak – I know we’re talking about a 20-ish page book here, but the movies was SO WEIRD. I think they were really trying to expand the storyline and it just messed with the whole vibe of the book. The only good thing was the soundtrack with Arcade Fire.

Your turn! Name some books you liked waaaay better than the movie!

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.
  • Order of the Phoenix was the fifth book 😉 but I totally agree though, as a book to movie adaption it really disappointed me. I’ve never read the Eragon books, but the film was really odd – it just left it all hanging there with little or no explanation.
    It must be really annoying as an author to see your book fail as a film (or at least not turn out as you had planned/hoped for)

    • Good call on the HP book! The best thing about the Eragon movie was the 3D dragon…and that’s about it.

      Poor, poor authors.

  • Robin

    I completely agree with you about the 6th Harry Potter (Half-Blood Prince, right?)! I was so disappointed that I stayed up until midnight to see it. And that was my favorite book of the series!

    Interesting about Mary Poppins! That must be a really good book then because I still love the movie. 🙂

    • Yes, I meant Half-Blood Prince! I was super bummed about that movie. What a disappointment. :/

      Who knew about Mary Popppins?! lol

  • “God help us from his mind!!” LOL!!! That killed me. 🙂

  • I totally agree with your comments on Eragon. They butchered that book. I feel the same way about I Am Number Four. There were things in the book that they changed for the movie that make it really difficult to continue the book series as movies. Have you read The Wizard of Oz? The book is SO different from the movie but I did love the movie so I can’t complain too much.

    1. Eragon by Christopher Paolini
    2. I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore
    3. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
    4. Message in a Bottle by Nicholas Sparks
    5. One for the Money by Janet Evanovich

    I think the only instance of me enjoying a movie better than the book is with The Lovely Bones. I hated reading that book but I really enjoyed the film adaptation.

    • I still need to read I Am Number Four!! You didn’t like the movie? Sad day, dude. I haven’t read the Wizard of Oz, but I know it’s supposed to be more about the economics of the time and not a cutsy story about Dorothy. Weird!

      The Lovely Bones looks super intense, and I’ve avoided the book and the movie for that reason. Maybe I’ll stop playing hard to get now, though. 😉

      Thanks for pointing out this article to me, Steph!!

  • Ella Enchanted and the Princess Diaries

    • Oh, yeah the Princess Diaries! I actually liked the movies, but they were in no way similar to the books at all. I mean the characters had the same names…and the similarities stopped there.

  • Jan

    Percy Jackson and the Lightning thief. the movie version was bad, they made so many changes

  • The Golden Compass is one of my favorite books, and one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen. Many other adaptations have been disappointing for some reason or another, but none ever came close to that level.

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