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The 10 best book-to-film adaptations have been revealed

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When a great work of literature is brought to life on the silver screen, it comes with a huge amount of expectation from bookworms.

Which is why you so often hear the phrase “well, the book was better,” being uttered by well-read cinemagoers.

Despite this, there are some novels which translate beautifully to the world of cinema.


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From stories laden in imagery and rich descriptive language, such as Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, to characters so real you feel as if you’d known them all your life (we’re thinking Forrest Gump), here are the UK’s top 10 book-to-film adaptations.

The 10 best book-to-film adaptations

1. The Harry Potter series (JK Rowling)
2. A Christmas Carol (Charles Dickens)
3. The Shawshank Redemption (Stephen King)
4. The Lord of the Rings saga (JRR Tolkien)
5. James Bond series (Ian Fleming)
6. The Bourne series (Robert Ludlum)
7. The Green Mile (Stephen King)
8. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Roald Dahl)
9. The Hobbit (JRR Tolkien)
10. Forrest Gump (Winston Groom)

It’s a pretty eclectic list, featuring everything from children’s literature, to page-turning thrillers from Stephen King.

However all of the books on the list have one thing in common; they are beloved, both as books and as movies.

So much so that, in some cases, many feel like entirely separate entities; the Harry Potter films feel just as momentous as the books that they are based on.

Likewise, James Bond has leapt from the page (clutching a shaken martini and a license to kill) and created a new life for himself on the silver screen.


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It's worth pointing out that there are more great book-to-film adaptations out there.

Bridget Jones’ Diary, by Helen Fielding, and Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park were just shy of making it onto the Top 10 list, although they were named the 11th and 12th best book-to-film adaptations respectively.

Strangely, neither Twilight nor Fifty Shades of Grey made it onto the list; make of that what you will.

You can read the Top 20 best book-to-film adaptations list in full on The Guardian.

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