We nearly got through an entire week without a privileged old asshole making a fool of himself, but then John Grisham came along and spoiled everything. Specifically, he gave an interview to the Daily Telegraph in England, wherein he took the opportunity to expound on how he thinks it’s all wrong to lock up old white men who just happen to enjoy watching some child pornography when they get home drunk. He complained that, “We have prisons now filled with guys my age. Sixty-year-old white men in prison who’ve never harmed anybody, would never touch a child,” and cited the example of a friend who “went to a website… labeled, 16-year-old wannabe hookers, or something… [and] downloaded some stuff. It was 16-year-old girls who looked 30. You know, they were all dressed up and whatever. He shouldn’t have done it, it was stupid. But it wasn’t 10-year-old boys and he didn’t touch anything… [But] he went to prison for three years.” This, according to John Grisham, is a Bad Thing. Dear god. Where to begin? … Read More
John Grisham is a real life lawyer. John Grisham has written a bunch of books about fake lawyers. So,… Read More
Forbes has released their yearly ranking of the top-earning authors, and there are few surprises. James Patterson, as always,… Read More
Well, here we go again. Stephen King recently published Doctor Sleep, the sequel to The Shining, and so we’re again asking what he thought of Stanley Kubrick’s film adaptation of the original book. And the answer, as ever, is not much. He’s voiced these objections before, in previous interviews and essays; he disliked Kubrick’s take on the property so much, in fact, that he co-produced and wrote a mini-series “do over” in 1997. (It was not well regarded.) This latest round of niggling was swiftly shot down by Kubrick defenders as the carping of a jealous, inferior artist; over at Salon, Laura Miller fires back, arguing that King’s claims of misinterpretation are correct. Almost point for point, she’s right — Kubrick’s film is not a good adaptation of King’s work. But it’s also a great film, so the quality of the adaptation is patently irrelevant. … Read More
The big-screen version of The Firm, the first of John Grisham’s novels to be adapted for film, was released 20 years ago this week. The movie was a major success both critically and commercially, and its popularity not only made John Grisham a household name, it also ushered in the era of legal thrillers. Grisham was the king of the genre, and his first seven novels were all made into movies before the legal thriller went out of fashion. To celebrate, here’s a ranking of the eight films adapted from Grisham’s books (minus the TV adaptation of A Painted House, a coming-of-age drama, and Christmas With the Kranks — for obvious reasons). … Read More
Last week, we had a good laugh at the recently uncovered notes from the producers of Blade Runner, who seemed united in their hatred for the “deadly dull” sci-fi noir that would prove one of the most influential movies of the ‘80s. But it’s important to remember that some of those casually involved in the production actually liked it quite a bit — particularly Philip K. Dick, whose book Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? was the basis of Ridley Scott’s film. And while there’s a long (and enjoyable) history of authors loathing what Hollywood does to their books, there are a few examples of writers who are utterly delighted with their page-to-film adaptations. We’ve collected them for you after the jump. … Read More
Everyone’s self-deprecating once in a while — even literary geniuses. Or perhaps, especially literary geniuses? After all, they know the exact right words to string together to tease themselves, talking down their bodies of work or their personal histories — though usually, let’s be fair, tempering it with a “but” at the end. These people have to sell books, after all. After the jump, a few of our favorite authors make fun of themselves, as gently as the ego demands. Let us know your favorite, or add one we missed in the comments! … Read More
Forbes has just published its annual list of the year’s top earning authors, and the results, not unusually, are sure to make aspiring authors of serious literary fiction reconsider their craft. Yes, the big money in 2011 was in genre fiction, with authors of thrillers and YA novels attracting the bulk of the book buyers’ hard-earned dollars. But you already knew that.
In other notable developments, George R.R. Martin makes his debut on the list, thanks to the success of the HBO adaptation of Game of Thrones and the attendant skyrocketing book sales he’s been enjoying. We were surprised (though we shouldn’t have been) by just how much money The Diary of a Wimpy Kid franchise has made. J.K. Rowling, whose star had been waning a bit (as far as Forbes lists go, anyways), is back, thanks to Pottermore and her upcoming novel for adults, The Casual Vacancy, for which she received a reported $8 million advance. And while the race and age breakdowns haven’t changed much at all, female authors are slowly climbing the rankings. Click through to read the full list and our numerical breakdown. … Read More
The ’90s publishing paradigm favored confessional memoirs, legal thrillers, and books about genetically recreated dinosaurs taking over amusement parks. We couldn’t get enough of the stuff. But though we still enjoy the confessional memoir, we’re less inclined to go for a Crichton rip-off today, for whatever the reason. Probably because we’re too engrossed in reading vampire fiction for chaste teens or books about four-year-olds seeing the light. What were the authors you loved in the ’90s that you think fell of the map a bit, readers? Let us know in the comments section below. … Read More
[Editor's note: While your editors take the day off, Flavorwire will be counting down some of our most popular features of 2011 so far. This post originally ran on March 23rd. Enjoy your Memorial Day!] One of several slight disappointments at the box office last week was The Lincoln Lawyer, an adaptation of a Michael Connelly novel with Matthew McConaughey in the lead. We haven’t seen the film, but based on the poster, it appears to be about a lawyer who works from the hood of his car. Yeah, we’re gonna go with that. Anyway, it came in fourth for the weekend, so whoever approved McConaughey wearing a shirt in the poster is surely fired already. But the film met with warm reviews, garnering an 82% at Rotten Tomatoes and positive comparisons to the source material (even from the author himself).
Though many would consider Connelly’s books to be serviceable genre potboilers rather than fine literature, this may very well be a case where the movie is better than the book — the exception to the rule. Or is it? The notion that film adaptations of novels are always inferior to the original isn’t always borne out by the facts. Join us after a jump for a look at ten movies we think were better than the book. … Read More