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
Today at Flavorpill, we furthered our geeky obsession with typography thanks to this sexually-suggestive font and a website that’s dedicated to the typographical artifacts of New York. We checked out a gallery of social networking anonymity and decided that our favorite default images are on Famegame.com and Talking Points Memo. We felt guilty… Read More
After collecting data from 13,000 bookstores, websites and non-traditional bookselling stores, the Daily Beast has rounded up the top reads within 16 U.S. cities. While fiction picks seemed to waver between Dan Brown, Kathryn Stockett, James Patterson and John Grisham, the non-fiction reads offered… Read More
1. Through no fault of host Neil Patrick Harris, we fell asleep during the Emmys, but it sounds like we didn’t miss too many surprises. [via LAT]
2. Thom Yorke collaborated with Banksy on the video for his new solo song “The Hollow Earth.” (Watch the embedded clip after the jump.) [via NME]
3. Barack Obama visits David Letterman for the first time since becoming president tonight. [via NYT]
4. Sorry boys: Zooey Deschanel and Ben Gibbard married over the weekend. [via MTV]
5. John Grisham empathizes with Dan Brown because he doesn’t write “literature” either. [via Telegraph] … Read More