We’ve had it for years, but I only just discovered the book ‘Behind the Bestsellers‘ this week. It’s a fascinating collection of the stories behind the stories – anecdotes and experiences that led to the creation of some of literature’s most famous places, characters and books.
Did you know that the tales that good friend Bertram Russel told Arthur Conan Doyle about ghostly demon dogs that roamed Dartmoor, were the basis for the creative return of Conan Doyle’s most famous character? Sherlock Holmes had been killed off in The Final Problem eight years earlier, but returned in The Hound of the Baskervilles.
Orwell’s 1984was a culmination of his life’s political beliefs and experiences. His work with the Indian Imperial police in Burma, his involvement with the Spanish Worker’s Party during their Civil War and producing BBC wartime propaganda moulded his hatred of ‘the man’ with it’s bureaucratic secrecy and hypocrisy.
Dan Brown’s father was a mathematician, creating codes, puzzles and cryptic clues as elaborate treasure hunts for his children on their birthdays and at Christmas. His college years in New England, surrounded by Masonic Lodges and ‘Founding Father’ clubs, piqued an interest in secret societies, and an incident at school when Secret Service agents arrived to detain a student culminated in his fascination of government agencies. All three put together form the basis of The Da Vinci Code.
I could go on all day, there’s the background to 50 books listed!
Have you noticed how many popular novels are being made into films this year? Angels and Demons, based on Dan Brown’s popular Robert Langdon series started the year off with a blockbuster film from a bestseller book. Oddly enough the book is set prior to the events is The Da Vinci Code, but the film is made as a sequel.
If thrillers weren’t your thing, ever popular Jodi Picoult had her first novel to film treatment with My Sister’s Keeper just a few months back. Shortly after, Sophie Kinsella’s Confessions of a Shopaholic also came to the screen starring Australia’s Isla Fisher. This film was a reasonable box office success, but panned by the critics. Audrey Niffennegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife has just been released starring another Aussie, Eric Bana, and whilst we are on the Aussie theme, Maurice Sendak’s timeless children’s classic, Where the Wild Things Are which was filmed in and around Melbourne will be released next month. Most of this feature was actually filmed in 2005 but has been in what they call ‘development hell’ until this year.
If Graphic Novels are your thing, the very popular Will Eisner series The Spirit was released as a film this year, but has unfortunately been tagged one of worst films of 2009.
But wait there’s more!
Dickens’ classic, A Christmas Carol has had a CGI re-imagining, released just in time for Christmas and to rave reviews. But possibly the most highly anticipated book-to-film event this year is the Twilight sequel, New Moon which was released today across Australia!
There’s plenty I’ve missed, tell us what others you have enjoyed this year or are looking forward to being released in 2010?
Which do you think was better, the book or the film? If you haven’t yet read the book, come to the library, grab a copy and make up your own mind which was better.
Posted in books, new resources
Tagged A Christmas Carol, Angels and Demons, Audrey Niffenegger, bookstofilm, Catalog, Confessions of a Shopaholic, Dan Brown, jodi picoult, My Sister's Keeper, new moon, Stephenie Meyer, The Spirit, The Time Traveler's Wife, Twilight, where the wild things are, Will Eisner