I read Alice Sebold's tragic novel The Lovely Bones when it came out in 2002 and loved it; so why was I so nervous to hear that Peter Jackson was adapting the book into a movie two years ago? I didn't know how the central act — Susie Salmon's rape and murder — would be handled onscreen.
The film is being released tomorrow and it sounds like my fears might have been justified — some early reviews complain that the central crimes have been toned down for the film version. It's not that I want to see these graphic scenes, but it seems wrong to neglect the horrific events the book hinges on. In fact, I would just as well have not seen this novel adapted at all given the highly sensitive subject matter.
This happens a lot — we all have gripes about filmmakers changing aspects of books for their cinematic counterparts, but what about when it's not just an aspect — what about entire books that should have never made it to the big screen? It's hard cramming hundreds of pages into two hours; it's even more difficult translating certain aspects that may only work on the page. In recent years, the adaptations of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and The Time Traveler's Wife disappointed me so much. It wasn't that I thought the films could have been different, it's that I thought that perhaps they never should have been turned into movies at all. Tell me: are there any books that you thought should never have been adapted?