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Friday, September 18, 2015

15 Novels Inspiring Recent/Soon-to-be-Released Films

and Chapters/Indigo (https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/page-to-screen/coming-soon?s_campaign=Indigo:Social:Twitter:Books&s_campaign=Indigo:Social:Twitter:) have compiled lists of recent/ soon-to-be-released films and tv movies based on books.  Here’s my list of 15 interesting novels which have been adapted into (recent or soon-to-be-released) films.

London Fields – Martin Amis  (Film starring Billy Bob Thornton)
In this murder mystery, the murderee is Nicola Six, a "black hole" of sex and self-loathing intent on orchestrating her own extinction.  The murderer may be Keith Talent, a violent lowlife whose only passions are pornography and darts.  Or is the killer the rich, honorable, and dimly romantic Guy Clinch?

Room – Emma Donaghue   (Film starring Brie Larson)
The narrator is five-year-old Jack, a child born into a 12’ x 12’ room, the only home he’s ever known.
His mother, kidnapped seven years earlier at age 19, has created a world for her son that is rich in play and learning, all the while anticipating the day they might make their “great escape.”

The Danish Girl – David Ebershoff   (Film starring Eddie Redmayne)
The Danish Girl portrays the unique intimacy that defines every marriage and the remarkable story of Lili Elbe, a pioneer in transgender history, and the woman torn between loyalty to her marriage and her own ambitions and desires.

The Dressmaker – Roasalie Ham  (Film starring Kate Winslet)
After twenty years spent mastering the art of dressmaking at couture houses in Paris, Tilly Dunnage returns to the small Australian town she was banished from as a child.  She plans only to check on her ailing mother and leave.  But Tilly decides to stay, and though she is still an outcast, her lush, exquisite dresses prove irresistible to the prim women of Dungatar.  Through her fashion business, her friendship with Sergeant Farrat, the town’s only policeman, and a budding romance with Teddy, the local football star whose family is almost as reviled as hers, she finds a measure of grudging acceptance. But as her dresses begin to arouse competition and envy in town, causing old resentments to surface, it becomes clear that Tilly’s mind is set on exacting revenge on those who wronged her.

Into the Forest – Jean Hegland   (Film starring Ellen Page and Evan Rachel Wood)
Set in the near-future, Into the Forest focuses on the relationship between two teenage sisters living alone in their Northern California forest home.  Over 30 miles from the nearest town, and several miles away from their nearest neighbor, Nell and Eva struggle to survive as society begins to decay and collapse around them.

The Price of Salt – Patricia Highsmith   (Film starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara)
Therese Belivet is a stage designer trapped in a department-store day job.  Her salvation arrives one day in the form of Carol Aird, an alluring suburban housewife in the throes of a divorce. They fall in love and set out across the United States, pursued by a private investigator who eventually blackmails Carol into a choice between her daughter and her lover.

Beasts of No Nation – Uzodinma Iweala    (Film starring Abraham Attah)
Agu, a young boy in an unnamed West African nation, is recruited into a unit of guerrilla fighters as civil war engulfs his country.  Haunted by his father's own death at the hands of militants, Agu is vulnerable to the dangerous yet paternal nature of his new commander.  While the war rages on, Agu becomes increasingly divorced from the life he had known before the conflict started—a life of school friends, church services, and time with his family still intact.

A Tale of Love and Darkness – Amos Oz   (Film starring Natalie Portman)
A Tale of Love and Darkness is the story of a boy who grows up in war-torn Jerusalem, in a small apartment crowded with books in twelve languages and relatives speaking nearly as many.  The story of an adolescent whose life has been changed forever by his mother’s suicide.  The story of a man who leaves the constraints of his family and community to join a kibbutz, change his name, marry, have children.  The story of a writer who becomes an active participant in the political life of his nation.

The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge – Michael Punke   (Film starring Leonardo DiCaprio)
Frontiersman Hugh Glass enters the employ of Capt. Andrew Henry, trapping along tributaries of the Missouri River.  After surviving months of hardship and Indian attack, he falls victim to a grizzly bear.   Glass appears to be mortally wounded.  Initially, Captain Henry refuses to abandon him and has him carried along the Grand River.  Unfortunately, the terrain soon makes transporting Glass impossible.  Even though his death seems certain, Henry details two men, a fugitive mercenary, John Fitzgerald, and young Jim Bridger to stand watch and bury him.  After several days, Fitzgerald sights hostile Indians.  Taking Glass's rifle and tossing Bridger his knife, Fitzgerald flees with Bridger, leaving Glass.  Enraged at being left alone and defenseless, Glass survives and embarks on a 3,000-mile-long vengeful pursuit of his betrayers.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – Ransom Riggs   (Film starring Asa Butterfield)
A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.  As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar.  They may have been dangerous.  They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason.  And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

The Septembers of Shiraz – Dalia Sofer   (Film starring Adrien Brody and Salma Hayek)
On a September day in 1981, gem trader Isaac Amin is accosted by Revolutionary Guards at his Tehran office and imprisoned for no other crime than being Jewish in a country where Muslim fanaticism is growing daily.  Being rich and having had slender ties to the Shah's regime magnify his peril.  In anguish over what might be happening to his family, Isaac watches the brutal mutilation and executions of prisoners around him.  His wife, Farnaz, struggles to keep from slipping into despair, while his young daughter, Shirin, steals files from the home of a playmate whose father is in charge of the prison that holds her father.  Far away in Brooklyn, Isaac's nonreligious son, Parviz, struggles without his family's money and falls for the pious daughter of his Hasidic landlord.

The Light Between Oceans – M. L. Stedman   (Film starring Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander)
After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day’s journey from the coast.  To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby.  Tom, who keeps meticulous records and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately, but Isabel insists the baby is a “gift from God,” and against Tom’s judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy. When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world.

Brooklyn – Colm Tóibín   (Film starring Saoirse Ronan)
In Ireland in the early 1950s, Eilis Lacey cannot find work. Thus when a job is offered in America, it is clear to everyone that she must go.  Leaving her family and country, Eilis heads for unfamiliar Brooklyn, and to a crowded boarding house where the landlady’s intense scrutiny and the small jealousies of her fellow residents only deepen her isolation.  Slowly, however, the pain of parting is buried beneath the rhythms of her new life.

The Martian – Andy Weir   (Film starring Matt Damon)
Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars.  After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive.  But Mark isn't ready to give up.  Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next.  Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

The Family Fang – Kevin Wilson   (Film starring Nicole Kidman and Jason Bateman)
Annie and Buster Fang have spent most of their adult lives trying to distance themselves from their famous artist parents, Caleb and Camille.  But when a bad economy and a few bad personal decisions converge, the two siblings have nowhere to turn but their family home.  Reunited under one roof for the first time in more than a decade and surrounded by the souvenirs of their unusual upbringing, Buster and Annie are forced to confront not only their creatively ambitious parents, but the chaos and confusion of their childhood.

(All book descriptions are from www.amazon.ca.)