Tag Archives: 2001

The Best Novel to Movie Adaptations

Are you the kind of person who gets excited when one of your favourite books is being made into a movie? Or are you afraid that they’ll completely destroy your beloved story? Well, I say “yes” to both questions.

I compiled a short list of the novel to movie adaptations that I thought were well done. And they are:

  1. Lord of the Rings trilogy
  2. 2001: A Space Odyssey
  3. To Kill a Mockingbird
  4. Harry Potter series

I explained my choices in a video, which you can watch below.

What do you think are the best novel to movie adaptations? Let me know in the comments below.

2001: A Video Review

It’s interesting doing these retro book reviews. It’s been more than four years since I’ve read the book, but the feeling sticks with me. I may not remember all the details, but I can remember pretty well my impression of the book.

This one left a very positive memory for me. I enjoyed it very much, and it was my first five star review. So, I did a video review of it! Enjoy!

The original review is here, if you’d like to read it.

Let me know what you thought of the book in the comments below or on the original review post!

Entering the Strange World of Movie Novelisations

There are a lot of movies based on books.  For some, I’ve read both the novel and the movie.  That’s always an interesting thing to do, seeing how they’re different.

Lord of the Rings comes to mind when I think of movies made from books.  They did a pretty good job, I thought.  There were some things cut out, but overall, it was one of the better adaptations I’ve sen.  Another is Harry Potter.  I think it was reasonably well-done, although some of the things that were cut I felt were essential to understanding the whole story.  The movies didn’t have as much heart as the books.  Jurassic Park is on the other end of the spectrum.  The movie held little resemblance to the book.  The book was smartly written, had several subplots, and was absolutely fascinating.  The movie focused more on the dinosaurs and action, rather than the story.  It was a fun movie, but I was disappointed in the story.

A unique one is 2001: A Space Odyssey.  The novel and movie were written at the same time.  Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick worked together, making sure the novel and movie followed each other closely.  However, the movie was changed to go to Jupiter, while the book went to Saturn.  I believe this had to do with special effects.  Late 1960s special effects weren’t good enough to show the rings of Saturn.  Subsequent books ignored the fact that the first one went to Saturn, and instead focused on Jupiter.  I loved both the novel and movie, though.  Usually, I find that novels feel much longer than movies, but in this case, the movie felt slow, while the novel moved at a quick pace.

startreknemesisAnd then there’s the topic I want to talk about, movie novelisations.  I’d never read one before.  Until now, that is.  I’m currently reading Star Trek Nemesis, the final movie featuring the Next Generation cast.  The movie didn’t go over well with people, and as I’ve watched it, I wasn’t enthusiastic about the book.  Well, the novel is very easy to read, follows the movie very closely, and is incredibly short.  But I have this very strange uneasy feeling while reading it.  I’m inside the heads of the characters.  I know what they’re thinking and feeling.  And that’s everyone, because we’re inside the heads of every character in every scene.  I’m not used to reading omniscient point of view novels, except for limited omniscient.  In this book, we know everything.  I’m really not used to being inside Star Trek characters’ minds.  And another thing is that I know exactly what’s going to happen.  There’s no suspense, and there’s really no difference from the movie other than knowing their thoughts.  It’s kind of unsettling.

What do you think of movie novelisations?

Book Review – 2001: A Space Odyssey

2001: A Space Odyssey2001: A Space Odyssey

Author: Arthur C. Clarke

Series: Space Odyssey #1

Genre: Science Fiction

Published 1968

Review Copy: Paperback bought new

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5

Goodreads Description

The year is 2001, and cosmonauts uncover a mysterious monolith that has been buried on the Moon for at least three million years. To their astonishment, the monolith releases an equally mysterious pulse—a kind of signal—in the direction of Saturn after it is unearthed. Whether alarm or communication, the human race must know what the signal is—and who it was intended for.

The Discovery and its crew, assisted by the highly advanced HAL 9000 computer system, sets out to investigate. But as the crew draws closer to their rendezvous with a mysterious and ancient alien civilization, they realize that the greatest dangers they face come from within the spacecraft itself. HAL proves a dangerous traveling companion, and the crew must outwit him to survive.

This novel version of the famous Stanley Kubrick film 2001: A Space Odyssey was written by Clarke in conjunction with the movie’s production. It is meant to stand as a companion piece, and it offers a complementary narrative that’s loaded with compelling science fiction ideas.

Review

I’ve seen the movie, and now I’ve finally read the book.  It’s been years since I’ve seen the movie, but 2001: A Space Odyssey brought back a lot of memories.  2001 was published in 1968, but a lot of the science is spot on.  Of course, there were gaps of knowledge in 1968 about Jupiter and Saturn, but Arthur C. Clarke’s depiction of Europa and the rings of Saturn were surprisingly good.  Clarke understood the science of space and the difficulties involved with space travel, so this book was highly realistic.

The story is a classic.  It’s about man’s ultimate discovery and the journey to find out what life means.  This book was written in very short chapters, which made it very easy to read in short bursts.  While Clarke was very descriptive about scientific and technical terms, it didn’t make it more difficult to read.  In fact, he seemed to be able to describe these things in terms which the average person could understand.  I found this book delightfully easy to read.

The characters were very believable.  They were realistic people who behaved just like any real person would.  They were quite engaging, especially the non-human character, HAL 9000, which was Discovery’s computer.  Hal was the book’s antagonist, and is probably the most memorable computer in literature or film.

The quick pace and short length of this book left little room for slow periods.  It was constantly engaging, and I kept wanting to read.  I knew the movie was good, but I was very happy to discover how good the book is.  I highly recommend 2001: A Space Odyssey to anyone with any interest in space or science fiction.  Don’t let its age fool you.  The science is quite good for most of the movie.  One of the best books I’ve read in a while.

I rate it 5 out of 5.