Submarine, Blade Runner and Fantastic Mr Fox | Book vs. Film Adaptations

We've all been there before, it's announced that the rights to your favourite book have been sold and its big screen graduation is imminent. You sit for months, albeit impatiently, praying that they've done your favourite characters justice and praying that they've left in your favourite piece of dialogue. Flash forward a year or so to the fateful release day. You storm into your local cinema and locate your screen, with a bag bursting with popcorn and sweets, full of hope and excitement. However, you haven't even met the bottom of your popcorn box before it's made blatantly obvious that your favourite book, that book you couldn't put down and told everyone to read but knew they wouldn't because they'd 'rather just watch the film when it comes out instead', has been butchered. You cry for months to non-readers, swearing on your cat's life that the book is so much better and that they would see if they only gave it a chance. However, it's too late. No one is going to let you recommend a film to them ever again, let alone read that book that you hold so dear. 

We thought we'd share some book to film adaptations with you, and let you know what medium we thought came out tops. Leave some of your book to movie horror stories in the comments below and we will get round to consoling you! 

submarine uk lifestyle blog the finer things club film reviews

film | book 

BI read Submarine back in 2013 and fell in love with it from the first page. Seriously. It's one of my favourite reads, ever. It was ridiculously funny. It was dark. It  was clever. It was really refreshing. Honestly, I hadn't laughed out loud at a book like that before and I haven't since. Oliver is an absolutely fantastic protagonist, and he frequently takes the story to places you didn't think it would go. Dunthorne's prose is also pretty much spot on throughout. The film, however, was just okay. There's no denying that it is shot beautifully because it really bloody is. It's like a hipster's wet dream with a liquid gold soundtrack to boot, and I'll be generous and give it a few points because it did tinker with the one thing that I didn't quite like in the book. However, for me, it just felt empty. I think Craig Roberts did a good job when it came to playing Tate, but I much preferred his character on the page. The film honed in on Oliver's relationship with Jordanna when it should have been exploring relationships as a whole, whether it's the relationship between Tate's parents or the relationship between Oliver and his coming of age, and all the hilarious observations that come with it. I wouldn't say don't watch the film but I would say read the book first because, in my opinion, it's a million times better. 

verdict: the book is better!  

do androids dream of electric sheep? book review blade runner film review lifestyle blog

film | book 

L: It was like I had never seen the film before when I sat down and watched Blade Runner again after reading Philip K. Dick's classic sci-fi novel, and Blade Runner source material, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Admittedly, I hadn't seen the film in a few years, but I'm sure I appreciated a lot of the elements more this time around. When you're reading the book, you naturally look out for key characters, key plot lines and settings and, as a result, I found myself taking in a lot more of the film as I looked out for these things. I love Ridley Scott's interpretation as it's really fascinating and really weird, but I think it's done so well that you can easily separate the two and appreciate them as sci-fi classics in their own right. Don't get me wrong, there were a few things from the book that I would have liked to have made the cut such as the weird mood devices and the interest in, and difference between, artificial and real animals. Where's the electric sheep?! Aside from this though, I loved the film and I'll never get tired of seeing 1980's sci-fi interpretations of the future. Where's my flying car?! 

verdict: the book and the film are equally as good! 

uk lifestyle blog the finer things club wes anderson movie reviews

fantastic mr fox vs. fantastic mr fox
film | book 

BThis is one of those rare occurrences where the adaptation works in harmony with the source material. The book is my favourite Dahl because it's so fun and inventive, and the film also happens to be one of my favourite Anderson films too. Anderson's adaptation captures the charm of Dahl's classic but also gives it a new lease of life with the introduction of new characters, settings and situations. There's nothing that I don't like about it, from the fantastic voice acting to the perfect character development. A perfect book and a perfect film. I have nothing but good things to say about them both.

LNow this adaptation is a lot different from the one I experienced with Blade Runner because you can clearly see the core of the book throughout the film, despite the additions. However, whilst fleshing out the book, these additions also complemented the original ideas entirely. For example, there was one part of the film, concerning the tactics the farmers used to try and flush the foxes out of their den that I was sure I had read in the book, as it just seemed to fit in with Dahl's style so well. I also thought it was pretty awesome to have Clooney and Streep voicing Mr and Mrs Fox, and it was a masterstroke by Mr Anderson to add a curious opossum. I like the length of the book, it's one of the things that make it such an awesome children's tale, but I'm glad more was added to the film, turning it into a story that everyone in the family can enjoy. On a final note, I guess I just have to emphasize how awesome the animation is too, and how much I enjoyed the hilarious moments that remind you that you are watching wild animals.

b: the book and the film are equally as good!
l: the film edges it slightly! 

NOW THAT YOU know what we think, TELL US...
 What books have been adapted really well, in your opinion?
 What books have been adapted terribly, in your opinion? 
 Would you like to see more posts like this in the future? 

Leave your answers in the comments below, or tweet us @tftcblog. We'll see you on Wednesday.

with regards, THE FINER THINGS CLUB.



  1. I loved loved loved Submarine as a book but the film didn't really do it for me. I enjoyed watching it, but have to agree the book is most definitely better. I really need to see Fantastic Mr Fox, I used to love the book yet I've just never got round to the film. It's on my list.

  2. I just want to say that Blade Runner is not an adaptation of "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?". Yes, they have common elements because the film is kinda based on it. I love them both too.
    Andreea | http://catsfika.blogspot.ro/

  3. Great post, for me it would have to be World War Z by Max Brookes. The book is fantastic, a documentary style collection of stories telling the tales of various people during the outbreak of World War Z. The only thing the film has in common with the book is the title, I drafted an entire blog post about how awful the film was compared to the book.

  4. I like it when films add something extra to the story, so they don't have to be a copy of the book to be successful, if that makes sense. Like the virgin suicides, the film leaves out a lot of stuff that's in the book but the hazy cinematography and soundtrack captured the spirit of the book. High fidelity lost a lot of its charm because the film switched the setting to America, but john cusack as Rob was perfect casting so I enjoyed it as a film on its own terms rather than as just a book adaptation. Love this post, it would be cool to see it as a regular feature :)

  5. I think it's all too easy for film directors to get a book adaptation wrong which makes it even more suprising when you find one that's been really well adapted! I think one of the best adaptations I've ever seen was 'The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas' - such an amazing story and the film was just beautifully done. I'd read the book a few years earlier and knew the ending but it was still both mesmerising and horrifying how they brought it to life - in the cinema at the end of the film the whole audience just sat there in shocked silence! x


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