Terrible Books Make Great Films (And Vice Versa)

Ultimately, we're all going to need a bigger boat.

Why is it so hard to make a good film out of a good book? Why? WHY????

The Goldfinch seems set to be the latest great book terrible film adaptation to fail to capture what made the novel great. And it follows reviews of It: Chapter 2 arguing that the movie missed the mark in terms of capturing the menace of Stephen King’s book (which has plenty weird about it to start with…).

The biggest problem with a good book is that a lot of the time the thing that makes a book great is the writing – the language, the pacing, the way the story unfolds – rather than that it’s about, say, a boy wizard-slash-Christ analogue.

You know the one.

And that’s the stuff which translates least well to the screen. In fact, it’s preferable to get a trashy book written by a hack than an artsy classic where every setnence is a tiny work of art.

For example: Francis Ford Coppola’s decision to eliminate a long, rambling through-plot about a woman getting restorative surgery on her vagina from Mario Puzo’s trite novel is just one of the reasons why The Godfather is a great film and an annoying unreadable book.

Similarly, the decision by Steven Spielberg to focus the movie version of Jaws on a large unstoppable sea monster made it rather more interesting than the novel, which is a leaden exploration of infidelity and small-town corruption featuring unlikeable characters and tedious exposition, punctuated by the odd shark attack.

And ultimately that’s what makes awful books much easier to film. After all, they’re different mediums with different requirements, with pacing being the most obvious.

Thus if you have a meh sort of a YA series about a girl what shoots arrows or some vampires which encourage stalking and chastity then you’re more comfortable moving things around, cutting boring bits and inventing new bits to make an interesting film.

But it’s harder if you have source material that you love because then it becomes harder to cut things that won’t work on screen, or which pad out the run time, or

There’s also the reason why short stories tend to make better films than entire novels. To use Stephen King’s source material again: Stand By Me is a great film. Dark Tower very, very isn’t.

And sure, the Golden Age Of Television has let some great book-to-screen adaptations, from the brilliant (Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s Good Omens) to the a-bit-over-faithful (Jospeh Heller’s Catch-22) to the utterly infuriating (Nail Gaiman again: oh, American Gods, you’re so close to being amazing and yet…).


And it’s not perfect. Meg: A Novel Of Deep Terror, for example, is an unreadably bad book by Steve Alten about a prehistoric shark sharking it up in the modern era, and last year’s film version The Meg was hardly better, although wildly different. And those claiming 50 Shades Of Grey is a great book are about as numerous as those claiming it’s a cinema classic.

Great books make for terrible films, and terrible books can be perfect movies. So if you love Donna Tartt’s prose, maybe avoid The Goldfinch like the plague. But man, how fun is Starship Troopers?


Robert Pattinson Says He Smells Like A Crayon And I Need To Know Which Colour

Another wild yarn from R-Patz.

Robert Pattinson has gained quite a reputation for spinning wild yarns during interviews, but his most recent comments on his body odour have me truly shaken.

In a recent interview with Allure the star of the upcoming The Batman film said, “Lots of people tell me I smell like a crayon.”

The interviewer – understandably bewildered by this statement – then asked, “Like you’re made of wax?”

To which R-Patz responded, “Yes! Like I’m embalmed.”

I have so many questions. What colour crayon does Pattinson smell like? What brand? Is he using lots of crayons? And most importantly, who are these multiple people who are telling him he smells like crayon!? Is that an insult, or a compliment?

It’s not the first time Robert Pattinson’s scent has come up in conversation. Back in 2009, E! News reported that an unidentified source who worked “very closely” with the actor on New Moon said “he stinks.”

“I mean, it’s awful,” the source said. “He never showers, and it drives people on the set crazy.”

“He completely reeks,” an unidentified crew member added. Yikes.

It’s been over a decade since then, so we can only hope Robert Pattinson has swapped his lack of showering for an obsession with crayons. 

Speaking of celebrity scents, celebrity tattoo artist Lauren Winzer dishes on what Post Malone smells like on It’s Been A Big Day For…below:

During his interview with Allure, Pattinson was also asked about being recently named the “most handsome man” in the world according to science.

“It’s weird,” he said. “I never was really up for the good-looking-guy roles, because I’ve always been quite awkward when meeting people.”

“My Harry Potter role was a good-looking guy, and it was a shock that it was quite easy to get. And then in Twilight, [Edward is] beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. When I turned up for the auditions, I had done a job where I’d dyed my hair black, because I had an inch and a half of roots, and I had waxed my body. And then I had a few months where I’d been drinking beer all day, so I had this hairless, chubby body. I looked like a baby with a wig on.”

Hairless, chubby, waxed or smelling like a crayon – we’ll take Robert Pattinson any which way.

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