Megan Harlan
January 09, 1998 AT 05:00 AM EST

Encyclopedia of Novels Into Films

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
James M. Welsh, John C. Tibbetts
genre
Reference, Movies

We gave it an B

Why is the book almost always better than the movie? Encyclopedia of Novels into Films by John C. Tibbetts and James M. Welsh answers that question by offering synopses and comparative critiques of more than 300 novels and their film adaptations. Emphasizing the Sisyphean challenges faced by directors and screenwriters in transposing a verbal form to a visual one, the entries span from dumbed-down howlers like Brian De Palma’s The Bonfire of the Vanities to Oscar winners like Anthony Minghella’s liberal but illuminating adaptation of The English Patient. Discriminating and jargon free, this compendium should prove useful to film and book buffs—and ought to be required reading for literature-trawling filmmakers. B

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