Welcome to the October edition of Book Bag Bundles. October is the start of the buildup to Halloween and one of my favourite times of year – the leaves are changing colour, the weather has changed and autumn has arrived. A lot has happened since the last edition and the highlights that caught my eye are below.
Man Booker Prize
The winner of the Man Booker prize was announced this month and the winner was….Richard Flanagan for his book Narrow Road to the Deep North. Congratulations to Richard and his book is on my ever growing list to read.
Nobel Literature Prize
This is not something I really follow compared to the Man Booker prize but I was interested to see who won this year. Since 1901, the Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded annually to an author from any country who has, in the words of Alfred Nobel, produced “in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction” And the winner for the Nobel Prize in Literature 2014 was French writer Patrick Modiano.
Films v books
Gone Girl has been a cinema blockbuster and from its release as a film everyone has been talking about it. Also on my daily commute I have seen so many people reading the book. For me I have passed on this film as the book was never one for me and so I don’t think the film is either. I have heard it is good though, as is the book and it is clever writing from Gillian Flynn.
But this film has led me to think about how films based on books really bring more attention to the book. I always notice that book shops promote the book more, the book usually get a rebrand and so many more people seem to read the book after the film. The question is would some people ever pick up the book if a film wasn’t made? I am guilty also of this as I read the book The Beach by Alex Garland and also Thomas Harris Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal after I saw the films. The books were much better!
And that is another question for discussion – does all literature translate well into the visual media? For me the answer is yes and no. Yes some books are made into very good films and the Hunger Games are a perfect example but it all depends on how the film production team visualise the story. Stories are for our imaginations and how we imagine a scene may not be the same as how someone else imagines it so it can be a difficult task for any film production team. No also as there are a lot of films that completely miss the subtle undertones of a good story and character development. Stephen King is said to have been unhappy with the final film version of his book The Shining as it missed some of the aspects that were in the book and as a reader of his books I can see what he is talking about. Also there are those films based on books that are just badly made, e.g. in my opinion The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown was a disappointing film.
There are so many films based on books at the moment – Hunger Games, The Hobbit, Gone Girl and I am sure there are more to come in the future and it’s great in some aspects because a much wider audience is reached and more people read the books. But for me it doesn’t always work. This is also true of the comic book industry where Marvel and DC comics have created a massive industry for action hero films. I’m not a comic fan and cannot comment on how true the films are to the original comic stories, but I do like these films.
What do you think?
Stuck in a bookshop
My idea of a unique experience as a book lover – being stuck in a bookshop! Well for a little while anyway as I would find it so relaxing and have lots of time to browse all the books. For one lucky or unlucky guy he got locked in a Waterstones book shop for a few hours after they closed. Not sure how he managed it but I’m sure it was an interesting experience. So you may have heard that Waterstones have been very creative after this news story made headlines and ran a competition for some lucky winners to have a chance to spend the night at one of their shops in London on Friday 24 October. I must admit I am a little jealous but I hope the people who get to do this have a great time.
That’s it for October Book Bag Bundles, but do you have any other news from the book world?
Also there will be a special Halloween Book Bag Bundles next week so please check back for that.