TTT: Film and TV

TTTThis was actually a lot harder than I thought it would be. I love books, and I love films and TV shows, so imagining some of my favourite books in that media should be loads of fun. Right? Except it wasn’t so much. It’s not that it wasn’t fun, it’s just that, actually, there are a lot of books i’ve read that I don’t think would translate well to the screen. That a lot of the things I loved about the books would be lost. Some subtly, or a character’s inner conflict, or the underlying meaning of the entire book. So, it ended up being quite difficult to choose 10 books, to be honest.

This entire list also comes with a proviso: I would want to see these books made into films or TV shows that I would have creative control over. I would want them on the screen like they are in my head. I would get to decide what parts got left out and any details that would be changed. So often film adaptations let me down, but if this is my top ten—it’s my top ten.

American Gods – This is already getting a pilot for a TV series, but as far as i’m aware there is no cast, no date, and no guarantee of a full series. But yes, i’d have a lot of fun making this into a TV show. Actually seeing Wednesday and his merry band of ancient gods.

The Night Circus – The rights have been bought to adapt this into a film, but it doesn’t appear to be moving anywhere. I would be more than happy to be brought on as director. The visuals in this book are extraordinary, and I can imagine them working for the screen incredibly well.

The Girl with all the Gifts – This kind of plot is exactly what the horror/zombie film genre needs. Also that ending. Yes. It’s not even this specific book that i’d (necessarily) love to see on the big screen, but a film that takes the well-worn genre and adds some twists, approaches it from a new angle and generally does something different.

Apathy and Other Small Victories – Although this adaptation would need a voice over, I wouldn’t mind, because it would be hilarious. I’d even allow the narrator to break the fourth wall and address the audience directly. It would be cliché, but clichéd perfection.

The Vesuvius Club – Considering Mark Gatiss has written for both film and TV, it’s not a big surprise to find his book on this list. It’s just… perfectly set up to be a film (film series, even, with the two sequels). Imagine an Edwardian debonair James Bond-esque character with questionable morals and an even more questionable sexuality. Add hijinks, a sex club and an potential apocalypse.

All Fun and Games Until Somebody Loses an Eye – I picked this book because it’s my favourite, but really, any Brookmyre book. He has about 18 of them, you could close your eyes and blindly grasp at them and you’d snag a good one. The characters, the action, the plot… it’s all so larger than life, it’s so easy to image watching it on screen.

Tiny Deaths – I’d love to see these short stories adapted into a series of TV programmes. They all focus on death as the subject, but are so wide-ranging and interesting. It’s also something I can see going beyond the book, with more writers and more stories.

It – Okay, this has already been adapted into a film. Both the book and the film were a huge part of my childhood. And guess what? I’ve always preferred the book. There is something in the book that the film just fails to capture (as most book-to-film adaptations do). From my youth i’ve always wanted to write a screenplay for a new adaptation, ergo, it makes my list.

Plugged – This book in another that I can so easily see working well as a film. It’s not got a huge amount of depth to it, it’s a more typical action-driven story with some real characters and some interesting details and settings along the way. A classic action comedy.

Apartment 16 – Really now, I love the horror. This book has some great and varied aspects that could work so well on screen. Such creepy, subtle shiver down the spine moments, as well as some more straightforward gruesome creatures. And an apartment building setting; corridor after corridor, door after door, a slow creaking lift… it’s just perfect.

TTT: Freebies

TTT So, i have this thing. I tend to take things rather literally. If an answer or interpretation is needed, i will more often than not give a literal response. An example of this was a prompt in a 30 day writing meme that said to write about a time where someone puts their foot in their mouth. No, i did not write about some one literally putting their foot in their mouth–only because my partner preempted me, and forbid me to write that… he knows me so well.

To that end, when presented with this week’s top ten Tuesday of “Freebie” i had but one idea: Top ten books i got for free.

The Night Circus. A birthday (or christmas, i forget) gift several years ago from my parents.

Write. Borrowed from the library.

A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian. Caught via BookCrossing and read, before releasing back into the wild.

Weird Lies. Won through a Goodreads giveaway.

Creature. A hand-me-down book that my mum no longer wanted.

Carter Beats the Devil. Recommended by and borrowed from my partner.

Endless Night. Informal book swapping shelf in Spain (so many years ago it hurts to remember).

The Godfather. A just-because gift from a friend.

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves. A book swap with What Hannah Read.

The Alchemist’s Revenge. Free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I love free books! How, where and why do you get free books? Am i missing any freebie opportunities?

The Night Circus

The Night Circus UKTitle: The Night Circus.

Author: Erin Morgenstern.

Summary: In 1886, a mysterious travelling circus becomes an international sensation. Open only at night, constructed entirely in black and white, Le Cirque des Rêves delights all who wander its circular paths and warm themselves at its bonfire.
Although there are acrobats, fortune-tellers and contortionists, the Circus of Dreams is no conventional spectacle. Some tents contain clouds, some ice. The circus seems almost to cast a spell over its aficionados, who who call themselves the rêveurs—the dreamers. At the heart of the story is the tangled relationship between two young magicians, Celia, the enchanter’s daughter, and Marco, the sorcerer’s apprentice. At the behest of their shadowy mastersm they find themselves locked in a deadly contest, forced to test the very limits of the imagination, and of their love…

Rating: ★★★★☆ 4/5

Review: I found this book randomly on amazon about a year ago. I just thought it sounded like the perfect book to get lost it. A magical circus full of extraordinary things, beautifully told. I added it to my wishlist, and got if for my birthday. It sat on myself for many months, because it is a hardback copy, and with so many paperbacks to read, i always put it off. Now i have finally got around to reading it.

I am not usually a fan of too much or overly detailed description. I can find it dull, dragging the story along with insignificant details about how many buttons are on someone’s very specifically tailored coat or the exact layout and style of a room of no importance that half a page of story takes place in. I find it unnecessary. With The Night Circus, the vivid and in-depth descriptions are the whole point of the book. They were not insignificant or pointless, they created the entire atmosphere of the book. The plots were weaved between the world created, rather than elbowing useless details of a world into an intricate plot. And it worked. It could see it, i could feel it, i could smell it.

The plot itself was interesting enough, but only alongside the vividly created world in which it was set. A world where anyone can learn ‘magic’, but so few chose to even acknowledge the possibility of it. The world focused on is, as the title states, The Night Circus. Where ‘magic’ is flaunted and used to create incredible interactive spectacles. Within the circus a game is being played between two illusionists, except they don’t know the rules. The circus itself is the venue for their game, the attractions they create their most important pieces, while the inhabitants and guests are the pawns.

Weaved through the main plot, there are others that slowly cross paths until they all join up at the end. There is Bailey, stuck on his father’s farm waiting for the circus to return. There is Poppet and Widget, born on the circus’ opening night with stage abilities they need help to understand. As well as numerous lives of people involved with and affected by the circus, in positive and negative ways. Nothing can be taken or read in isolation, all these stories impact on each other. Small lines in an intricate drawing with incredible detail.

Without the world detailed in such rich description and specifics, the plots would be much more mundane and less thrilling. Even the characters would seem lackluster without the backdrop of the interesting, enthralling and mysterious Circus of Dreams. It really is a story to get lost in.