Top Ten Tuesdays are hosted by The Broke and The Bookish, and feature lists related to all things bookish–characters, authors, titles, and favorites. They’re an excellent way to find new interesting books on a variety of topics, and to find bloggers that love the books you do.

Check out their blog for their top ten and lists of other bloggers who participate!

top ten tues

July 9: Top Ten Best/Worst Movie Adaptations (you could pick best or worst OR split it in half).

I went for half-ish. I’m far more inclined to adore movie adaptations than deplore them.


cloud atlas

1.Cloud Atlas (2012); David Mitchell. Yes, the movie is weird and disjointed, but the book is weird and disjointed, so it’s supposed to be that way. I think it’s amazing that anyone made this particular book into a film that made sense at all.

scarlet letter

2. Easy A (2010)/Scarlet Letter; Nathaniel Hawthorne. This is a looser adaptation, with a high school girl who people think has been sleeping around. She decides to wear red As on her clothes, since they’re reading Hawthorne’s book in class. Hilarious movie!

fight club

3. Fight Club (1990); Chuck Palahniuk. Perfectly captures the feel of the book. Otherwise, I can’t talk about it. Don’t want to break the rules.


4. Holes (2003); Louis Sachar. Whimsical and magical, and yet also perfectly captures the hot, dingy reality of a camp for ‘troubled’ boys. And poor Stanley… he’s well-acted.


5. Jaws (1975); Peter Benchley. Another movie that deviates from the book, but much to the movie’s benefit. Even a major technical prop problem helped to create tension.


6. Matilda (1996); Roald Dahl. Even though the movie exaggerates greatly Matilda’s powers, this is still a great example of small people standing up to bullies.


alice in wonderland

7. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (2010); Lewis Carroll. Alice’s adventures are supposed to be dreamy, confusing, and strange, but the movie is simply strange.

bicentennial man

8. Bicentennial Man (1999); Isaac Asimov. Perhaps the problem was that this was made from a short story, and there simply wasn’t enough to make a full movie. Either way, this translation lost some of the thought-provoking logic, and gained a bit much sentiment.

grinch christmas

9. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)/Dr. Suess. From a typical work by Suess, funny and clever, to a movie with a monster who was scary in all the wrong ways. Maybe this was the make-up, but it may have been the acting, too.

water for elephants

10. Water for Elephants (2011); Sara Gruen. The book was sad, and fraught, and the movie was just… sad. Something got lost in translation.

About Caitlin Stern

I have a MA in English, and have so many fantasy/urban fantasy WIPs it's not even funny. I'm an avid reader of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, romance, biography, fiction, and anything else that catches my interest. I collect books, and bookmarks I find that are visually appealing and useful.

19 responses »

  1. I’m interested to see Cloud Atlas, but I want to read the book first, and it kind of intimidates me.

    Funny story: Because of how it’s structured, we’ve had people bring the book back thinking it was defective. The first time, none of the staff had read it, so we thought the customer was right and actually shipped some copies back.

    • caitlinstern says:

      It does end abruptly at the sections–I could see how people would be confused. You should give it a try, though. It’s not as hard to read as you’d think.

  2. Marcia says:

    Always enjoy your Top Ten lists, Caitlin. This was no exception, even though I’ve only seen two of the movies you mention. I agree whole-heartedly on both Jaws, and on The Grinch. Of course, to me, anything Jim Carrey does is frightening and creepy, and not in a good way. I love all the Dr. Suess books, and think the animated version of the Grinch worked out pretty well, but this one did not. I read Jaws when it came out and saw the movie, too, which was huge for me, because I have had shark related nightmares all my life. It truly scared me. The movie was as good if not better than the book.

    Haven’t yet worked up the nerve to tackle Water For Elephants, though the book is in my To Be Read basket, where it has languished for months and months. My mother said it was the most depressing book she’d ever read, and she usually doesn’t pick up on anything very subtle, so I am afraid it would really upset me. Still working up my courage.

    Fun post, and interesting, too.

    • Marcia says:

      PS…Unlike you, I tend to think Hollywood gets it wrong 9 out of 10 times. I’ve seen very few movie adaptations that worked for me, though the ones that did were excellent, and sometimes better than the book.

    • caitlinstern says:

      I’m kind of glad I missed out on Jaws until a high school film class. It made it significantly less scary…
      Water for Elephants is quite sad, but sometimes sad is good. Especially if you read something funny afterwards.

  3. Ciara_H says:

    I also have Matilda on my list too. I want to read Cloud Atlas before I watch the film but I’ve heard great things about both.

  4. terribruce says:

    Good list! I haven’t read the book but I’ve been dying to see the Cloud Atlas movie. I agree with you totally on the 2010 Alice in Wonderland – and I love Johnny Depp and Tim Burton but that movie was…oh dear. Same with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (oh nuts! Should have put that on my list, too! LOL!).

  5. Oooh I forgot about Easy A! That was a great adaptation of The Scarlet Letter. Great list 🙂

    Here’s my Top Ten!

  6. Jen Pace says:

    i loved easy A! i need to read fight club and watch the movie again.

  7. Thanks for checking out my blog to start of. Next I just bought Cloud Atlas to read this week with a birthday gift card. I agree with all of your choices that I have read and seen and there’s a handful that I hadn’t read or seen the film versions. Something I should really get on.

    Michaela @

  8. Madeline says:

    I almost put Holes on my list! I loved the book so much, and the movie was pretty good, too.

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