As part of the Literary Challenge 2017, this time Hillingdon Libraries staff review books that they would like to see on the big screen. Is there any book you want to be made into a film? And what kind of film it would be?
We read and review fiction books on a set time every month, for you.
1. The President’s Hat by Antoine Laurain
This charming little book, translated from French, is set in Paris in the mid-1980s. Daniel is dining alone in an up-market Parisian brasserie when President Francois Mitterand arrives and sits at the adjoining table. When the president leaves he forgets his hat. Daniel picks it up and decides to keep it – immediately he begins to feel somehow different; the hat gives him authority and confidence. He, in turn, loses the hat and it passes to someone else whose life it changes, until it is lost again. The hat continues its journey with each new caretaker experiencing a change in their life. I would love to see this book on screen; it has a very Gallic feel to it and I can almost hear the accordion music in the background as I am reading it!
5 out of 5 stars. Carol – Northwood Library
2. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
There are sections of this book which are so visual, characterful or action-packed that when I remember them back to myself it’s like I’m watching a film. There are also moments when this book feels in good need of an edit, and perhaps turning it into a film would pick out the very best plots, characters and images. I don’t believe the book is always better than the film (‘Lord of the Rings’, ‘The Man Who Fell to Earth’, ‘Don’t Look Now’ to name a few) and as much as I enjoyed ‘The Goldfinch’ as a novel, I can imagine loving it as a film!
4 out of 5 stars. Darren – Uxbridge Library
3. The Summer Book by Tove Jansson
Tove Jansson set ‘The Summer Book’ on the last inhabited island before the open sea in the Finnish archipelago. A wild and unspoiled landscape, a home away from civilization, where a grandmother and her granddaughter live alone. Their daily life follows the rhythm of the holidays: occasional visits, storms, little adventures. This charming book possesses an ironic and light touch, touching on the complexity of living and the cruel impartiality of nature and time. Jansson’s happy childhood emanates from her writing: she conveys the delicate balance between security and risk, the thirst for knowledge, typical of children. Also, the need for loneliness and independence. At the same time, the need for affection. Sofia is a little girl who begins to face life, and her grandmother an older woman who has lived it deeply. They have a lot to learn from each another. I would love to see this book made into a film, a Finnish island as a set and a good script should be enough. And can I have Vanessa Redgrave alongside some talented child actress?
5 out of 5 stars. Federico – Northwood Library
Have you read any of these books? Do you think that your favourite novel could, or should, be made into a film? You can borrow all these books from our catalogue. Thanks for reading!