You are 1/3rd correct. The Blind Side movie was shit, but both the film and TV adaptations of Friday Night Lights are outstanding.
OT - Best Book You Have Read?
...the film adaptation of Friday Night Lights to be a shame in that they skipped over the really interesting parts of the book. From a sheer football perspective, they changed a lot of the details. In reality, Permian played Dallas Carter in the semi-finals (not the state championship) at the University of Texas (not the Astrodome) in very rainy conditions (not climate controlled). The rain had a huge impact on Permain's strong passing game (that and the multitude of D1 guys Carter had).
I have only seen a few scenes from the TV version, but I have not been impressed with the quality of football (though I have heard from many that it is a good drama).
The most interesting media coverage of Friday Night Lights I have seen is in the DVD extras, one of which is titled something like "The Story of the Real 1988 Permian Panthers." If you've read the book, this extra is fantastic.
IMO film adaptations don't owe strict fealty to their source material. Friday Night Lights, as a book, is fantastic no doubt. But that doesn't meant that other media inspired by it have to stick to its every detail. Indeed, because they are different objects in different media they must be different. If they were to stick exactly to the original book's text they would fail. The fact that they do not is not neccesarily the key to their success, but it allows them the freedom to become quality media objects.
IMO film adaptations don't owe strict fealty to their source material.
No, but they should be in the ballpark. Otherwise it's just using the name to sell what they're peddling. That is exactly the film version of Friday Night Lights.
I've never read the book or seen the movie, but I can vouch for the TV show being absolutely fantastic. I can't speak to how it works specifically as an adaptation, but I can say that while football often provides a narrative center, it is kind of beside the point. Really fantastic drama, highly recommended.
Crime and Punishment. And there's never been a better American novel than Moby Dick. Candide or anything by Voltaire. These are all classics, I'm unoriginal in my reading.
If you like to read though, you've probably been through those. Keeping with the unoriginal theme then, On the Road by Kerouac is a quick summertime read. Or go Up North and read For Whom the Bell Tolls on the same beaches Hemingway built sandcastles on as a kid.
Ah, yes. I have read those. Moby Dick was excellent. For some reason I have never read For Whom the Bell Tolls. I have heard it mentioned numerous times but always shrugged it off. I'm putting it on "the list" this time.
Sorry, I'm going to have to disagree on Crime and Punishment. I found it to be way to dry for my tastes.
For me it predates Freud in the development of psychology. I don't know if the field has advanced much beyond what Dostoevsky knew back then, before any of it had a name. In my mind Russian writers are the best, and he was first among them.
I really enjoyed On the Road. Whenever faced with a tough time in my life I read Hemingway's Old Man and the Sea. It provides much needed perspective.
... i loved the book, and the stories my dad told me about what it was like before i could read. hated the movie tho.
EDIT: also brian piccolo, first book i ever read. great story even for guys who arent bears fans.
Agreed re: Friday Night Lights. The movie only told about 2/3 of the story, and what they missed was huge as it related to the book.
Memorial Day by Vince Flynn
Some of these are probably "great literature" but most are just good stories that I enjoy (re-)reading. I spend most of my day reading academic stuff (I'm a graduate student in history) so I tend to read more of what would probably be described as "escapist."
Isaac Asimov, Foundation series
Isaac Asimov, I,Robot
Umberto Eco, Name of the Rose
Alexandre Dumas, Count of Monte Cristo
Phillip K. Dick - I'm a big fan of his short stories; there are a couple of anthologies out there. I'm not as big a fan of his novels, not sure why
Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451
Homer, The Odyssey (get a good translation - I'm a fan of Stanley Lombardo's translation)
Robert Ludlum, The Bourne Identity
Tom Clancy, The Hunt for Red October
Agatha Christie, Murder on the Orient Express
Michael Crichton, Jurassic Park
Dava Sobel, Longitude - non-fiction, "popular" history of the resolution of the problem of determining longitude on a ship. The illustrated edition is very cool.
the whole bourne trilogy was great. the movies didn't quite live up. different enemy i guess.
i totally agree. i hated how the bourne supremacy and bourne ultimatum movies were drastically different than the books
Robert Fagles also does good Homeric translations
For me, it's The Histories by Herodotus. Not fiction, but ancient history directly from an ancient source. Love it
I'll second Herodotus, I don't recall how much of him I read, but I starkly remember reading about the Persian Wars, especially the Battle of Thermopylae.
If you like ancient histories, I'd also recommend Twelve Cesaers by Suetonius, it's on the lives, both public and personal, of the Cesaers from Julius to Domitian. I found it fascinating, and the parts that describe the depravity of Caligula and Nero are haunting.
I have read all of Crichton, Ludlum, and Clancy. I had to read The Odyssey for a Greek Mythology class in Dennison with a broken A/C. I probably would have enjoyed the book under other circumstances. I liked I,Robot the movie, so I should check out the book. Thanks.
I thoroughly enjoyed just about every Crichton novel, especially Travels, which was autobiographical. Tom Clancy is interesting 50% of the time. I've never read Ludlum, but he's on my list.
especially at putting you in a city you've never been to and describing it so well you feel like you're there. After reading 3 or 4 of his books and having "visited" the major cities in Europe, the narrative had to rely on characterization and plots and my interest waned.
But, I loved those first 4 books.
Count of Monte Cristo is a must! I highly recommend reading the full unabridged version.
A few added recommendations:
- American Gods, Neil Gaiman
- Kidnapped, Robert Louis Stevenson
- Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain
Glad to see someone mention him. In addition to Monte Cristo, the Three Musketeers novels are pure pleasure to read. A bonus is that you get a sense of time and place for that period in France.
Favorite book is more obscure: The Throat by Peter Straub.
Since somebody has already said Catch 22, how about Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson or Requiem for a Dream by Hubert Selby Jr.
Requiem was a superb book and an amazing movie. Catch 22? How can you not love a book with a character named Lt. General Scheisskopf? And Fear and Loathing? "As your attorney, I advise you to rent a very fast car with no top. And you'll need the cocaine. Tape recorder for special music. Acapulco shirts."
When Leto shot up in his infected arm I almost threw up.
Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathon Safran Foer
Gai-Jin (and Shogun) by James Clavell (epic books about samurai hating the western world)
The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
The Long Walk by Stephen King
East of Eden by John Steinbeck
Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
Wow, haven't read The Long Walk in a long time, but it's a good one. I read it shortly after it was released under King's name - he orignally wrote it under the pseudonym Richard Bachman..
East of Eden
I've got just about all of his books, and love them. Halfway through Invisible Monsters right now and then I'll have read all but his newest and Fight Club. His books are a little graphic at times, but they are very well written and always interested.
My favorite thus far has to be Survivor, although Rant and Lullaby were also excellent. Rant is a little bit of a tough read because of the style it is written in, but well worth reading 3 or 4 times.
I have read Fight Club. It's one of my favorite given it's length. Sometimes I find myself having to fight through 800-1000 page novels that seem to get really dull around the 500 page mark.
i'd have to agree on palahniuk's stuff. his writing style is incredible. i haven't read survivor or rant, but i thought lullaby was a great book.. probably better than fight club, although fight club was a great book
Survivor is so good. The only book I've read by him, but a truly compelling story.
I can't buy any good books here in China and I really want to read his latest, I think it's called Pygmy. I'm also a huge Kurt Vonnegut fan. It's hard to pick a favorite of his, but at the moment I'll go with Slapstick. Charles Bukowski is another must read IMO. My girlfriend has become really interested in American Literature as a way to better understand the American mentality and frighteningly has become a huge Bukowski fan in the process. She now believes we are all drunken maniacs. My all time favorite book is Richard Braughtigan's Trout Fishing in America. I'm definitely a better fisherman having read that book.
Pygmy was pretty good, definitely enjoyable, and a little funny that you can't buy it in China with the book being very centered on someone from a Communist government trying to live in a hyperbole of american culture.
He just put another book out, called Tell-All. I've yet to pick it up, and have no idea how its going to be.
beyond the classics. Moby Dick, Gone With the Wind ect...
I love Palahniuk, but I got Pygmy and have found it unreadable. Otherwise, I've bought every single one of his books and loved them.
I recommend American Gods by Neil Gaiman. I just finished reading it about a week and a half ago and I really enjoyed it.
Great book. His best, IMO.
It is Gaiman's most complete story.
He does a wonderful and crazy job of creating these fantastic worlds and ideas, yet in some of his books you finish with an empty feeling, expecting another 200 pages.
American Gods delivers, and the book's concept could be the topic of a myriad of theses varying in topics between religion, world mythology, American history, and philosophy or a combination...
“God’s die. And when they truly die they are unmourned and unremembered. Ideas are more difficult to kill than people, but they can be killed, in the end.” ~American Gods
"The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"
"War as They Knew it" (I love the book, It's the only good thing Rosenberg produced)
There are probably plenty more I can't think of right now
Agree--I love all 6 books of the Hitchiker's Guide 'trilogy.' All of them are a fun read.
The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch by Philip K. Dick.
I'm reading A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin and his writing style is fantastic. He has written for TV Shows in the past and his technique definitely reflects that by making the book flow very easily. I haven't finished it, though, so I can't really say it's my favorite.
I would have to say my favorite is Brave New World. I find his view of consumerism and human manufacturing to be very intriguing. While I like the whole book, there have been times where I will just pick up the book and read the first few chapters because of the ideals of the society.
That whole series by Martin is fantastic - the only problem is that he's been working on the next book in the series (with two more to go I think) for the last 7 years.
It's the first of a series, and the next book is really good as well. But I tired of them after the third.
Were you aware that they are making an HBO series out of it?