By November 23, 2010 1 Comments Read More →

Reading the Screen: Novelizations

Morning Glory, the new movie starring Rachel McAdams as amorning-glory1 television producer, is getting solid reviews. There is, rather predictably, a tie-in novelization, but here’s the surprise: it’s a good book.

“Novelization” is a sort of literary dirty word, used to describe books written from screenplays. As a general rule they’re badly written, with paper-thin characters and descriptive passages that are barely more elaborate than a script’s stage directions.

Diana Peterfreund’s Morning Glory, on the other hand, is a good read. Not just a good novelization, mind you, but a well written and engaging story in its own right — a novelization too good to be called a novelization.

indy-rollins1Morning Glory, if you haven’t already heard, also stars Harrison Ford, which is awfully convenient, since I want to talk about  Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008), an excellent adaptation of the movie of the same name. James Rollins, who’s written a string of best-selling novels, takes the raw material — the screenplay — and fashions it into an exciting, fast paced, and altogether thrilling adventure.

There are other noteworthy novelizations, and I want to talk about them later. But first, I want your suggestions for novelizations worth recommending (or, if you like, staying far, far away from). What do you think?

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