26 Books that have Been Adapted into Movies Releasing in 2013 [Part Two]

John Dies at the End

by David Wong

John Dies at the EndI saw John Dies at the End at the Toronto Film Festival in 2012 and it was the only film at the fest I didn't review. In all honesty, I didn't really know how to review it. Perhaps if I had liked it a little more or if it inspired some conversation outside of simply being a weird film where door knobs turn into large dildos I would have had something to say. I've heard David Wong's books is interesting and I wonder if it brings more to the table than the movie did. If I had to make a suggestion, I'd actually consider reading the book before seeing the movie.

Here's the Publisher's Weekly blurb on the book:

In this reissue of an Internet phenomenon originally slapped between two covers in 2007 by indie Permutus Press, Wong--Cracked.com editor Jason Pargin's alter ego--adroitly spoofs the horror genre while simultaneously offering up a genuinely horrifying story. The terror is rooted in a substance known as soy sauce, a paranormal psychoactive that opens video store clerk Wong's--and his penis-obsessed friend John's--minds to higher levels of consciousness. Or is it just hell seeping into the unnamed Midwestern town where Wong and the others live? Meat monsters, wig-wearing scorpion aberrations and wingless white flies that burrow into human skin threaten to kill Wong and his crew before infesting the rest of the world. A multidimensional plot unfolds as the unlikely heroes drink lots of beer and battle the paradoxes of time and space, as well as the clichés of first-person-shooter video games and fantasy gore films. Sure to please the Fangoria set while appealing to a wider audience, the book's smart take on fear manages to tap into readers' existential dread on one page, then have them laughing the next.


Jurassic Park

by Michael Crichton

What the hell? Why not include a re-release title? Jurassic Park will be re-released in 3D on April 5 giving you more than enough time to bone up on your dino DNA knowledge.


City of Bones

by Cassandra Clare

City of Bones"City of Bones" is the first book in Cassandra Clare's "Mortal Instruments" series, which was adapted into The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones for release in August. It's referred to as something akin to "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and will certainly be something you're going to hear about all year as it's a title movie bloggers will use to drive pageviews from fans of the book.

Here's the book synopsis:

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder--much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing--not even a smear of blood--to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know.


DIGITAL DEAL: "City of Bones" is almost $3 cheaper for the Kindle. Buy it here.

EXTRA: You can buy all four of the first installments in the series -- City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass and City of Fallen Angels -- for $26.36 by clicking here.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

by L. Frank Baum

Sam Raimi's Oz: The Great and Powerful is adapted from L. Frank Baum's "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz", though it is set before the events of the book itself, focusing on Oscar Diggs (James Franco), a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, is hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant Land of Oz. The film will show you how the great Wizard of Oz came to be, but why not read the book to relive what he eventually becomes?


The Sea of Monsters

by Rick Riordan

The Sea of MonstersPercy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief wasn't exactly a box-office succcess, banking $226.4 million worldwide on a $95 million budget, but Fox is giving Percy (Logan Lerman) a second chance with Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters as they bring Rick Riordan's world back to life yet again. Percy, the demigod son of Poseidon, is once again up to a series of adventures that take him out of the classroom and into the fantastical.

Here's the book synopsis:

After a summer spent trying to prevent a catastrophic war among the Greek gods, Percy Jackson finds his seventh-grade school year unnervingly quiet. His biggest problem is dealing with his new friend, Tyson--a six-foot-three, mentally challenged homeless kid who follows Percy everywhere, making it hard for Percy to have any "normal" friends.

But things don't stay quiet for long. Percy soon discovers there is trouble at Camp Half-Blood: the magical borders which protect Half-Blood Hill have been poisoned by a mysterious enemy, and the only safe haven for demigods is on the verge of being overrun by mythological monsters. To save the camp, Percy needs the help of his best friend, Grover, who has been taken prisoner by the Cyclops Polyphemus on an island somewhere in the Sea of Monsters, the dangerous waters Greek heroes have sailed for millennia--only today, the Sea of Monsters goes by a new name...the Bermuda Triangle.

Now Percy and his friends--Grover, Annabeth, and Tyson--must retrieve the Golden Fleece from the Island of the Cyclopes by the end of the summer or Camp Half-Blood will be destroyed. But first, Percy will learn a stunning new secret about his family--one that makes him question whether being claimed as Poseidon's son is an honor or simply a cruel joke.


DIGITAL DEAL: "The Sea of Monsters" is almost $4 cheaper for the Kindle. Buy it here.

The Reluctant Fundamentalist

by Mohsin Hamid

The Reluctant FundamentalistMira Nair's adaptation of Mohsin Hamid's The Reluctant Fundamentalist stars Kate Hudson and Liev Schreiber and it opened the Venice Film Festival last year and is now set for an April 2013 release. It didn't exactly receive stellar reviews so perhaps reading this national bestseller would be a better alternative.

At a café table in Lahore, a bearded Pakistani man converses with an uneasy American stranger. As dusk deepens to night, he begins the tale that has brought them to this fateful encounter...

Changez is living an immigrant's dream of America. At the top of his class at Princeton, he is snapped up by the elite valuation firm of Underwood Samson. He thrives on the energy of New York, and his budding romance with elegant, beautiful Erica promises entry into Manhattan society at the same exalted level once occupied by his own family back in Lahore.

But in the wake of September 11, Changez finds his position in his adopted city suddenly overturned, and his budding relationship with Erica eclipsed by the reawakened ghosts of her past. And Changez's own identity is in seismic shift as well, unearthing allegiances more fundamental than money, power, and maybe even love.


DIGITAL DEAL: "The Reluctant Fundamentalist" is almost $2 cheaper for the Kindle. Buy it here.

Safe Haven

by Nicholas Sparks

Safe HavenI'm not a Nicholas Sparks fan, but the guy doesn't keep selling books and getting those books adapted into movies because no one likes him. Clearly he has a devoted following and Safe Haven starring Josh Duhamel and Julianne Hough will give that following yet another chance to go on a love swept journey.

When a mysterious young woman named Katie appears in the small North Carolina town of Southport, her sudden arrival raises questions about her past. Beautiful yet self-effacing, Katie seems determined to avoid forming personal ties until a series of events draws her into two reluctant relationships: one with Alex, a widowed store owner with a kind heart and two young children; and another with her plainspoken single neighbor, Jo. Despite her reservations, Katie slowly begins to let down her guard, putting down roots in the close-knit community and becoming increasingly attached to Alex and his family.

But even as Katie begins to fall in love, she struggles with the dark secret that still haunts and terrifies her... a past that set her on a fearful, shattering journey across the country, to the sheltered oasis of Southport. With Jo's empathic and stubborn support, Katie eventually realizes that she must choose between a life of transient safety and one of riskier rewards . . . and that in the darkest hour, love is the only true safe haven.


DIGITAL DEAL: "Safe Haven" is almost $6 cheaper for the Kindle. Buy it here.

  • Con

    Liam Neeson is starring in an adaptation of Lawrence Block's, A Walk Among the Tombstones

  • Jake17

    Interesting list. I've only read The Great Gatsby, which is my favorite book, and Catching Fire, a book I was rather disappointed with when I read it. I'll be sure to check out Serena, The Wolf On Wall Street, and Warm Bodies, as all three sound excellent. By the way, Brad, when can we expect your most anticipated of 2013 list?

    • Jake17

      Brad, I also agree that the second half of Catching Fire is far too much like The Hunger Games. It's one of the reasons I didn't care for that book.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/AS/ AS

    I'm most excited about The Wolf of Wall Street.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/MrPA/ Mr. P.A.


    John Dies At the End is an interesting novel and very different from the movie, which I caught at SIFF this year, excited as could be. As it is one of my favorite books, for reasons I cannot comprehend (In line with 1984, Catcher in the Rye, The Great Gatsby, As I Lay Dying...), I was greatly disappointed by the movie that turned it into some obscure slapstick mess.

    There isn't a ton of depth to the novel, but it packs in a lot more psychological horror than expected and the movie glosses over that aspect entirely. It was the first story of any kind in maybe ten years that genuinely frightened me. The movie also combines two female leads, Jennifer and Amy, into one undeveloped character who fails to resonate within the film.

    One of the main problems with the film, however, is that there are three separate narrative plots in David Wong's book, and while including all of them might make for a complicated film, or a poorly written one in many people's eyes, the last of the three is definitely climatic and superior to the other two, but the movie only covers the first. The second "Act" is short and doesn't add a ton to the story, except to develop some villains/beings more thoroughly, but the third changes basically everything about the first two. I believe they combined the final climatic elements of the third into the plot of the movie (but May was a long time ago), versus having the true end of the first act, but it still lacks the explanation of creatures and events that the book covers.

    There is a growth in the book from being these two guys who stumble upon "Soy Sauce" to two men who, after years of dealing with these side effects, embrace their roles and fight these beings regularly and willingly. They become the go-to experts in the field, which is why Arnie is interviewing David and why they are able to face the challenges in the end, but they appear to be novices throughout the plot of the film, characters who just stumble into the right answer or are saved by magical guys who know what they are doing and just happen to show up at the right moment. This makes for a poorly written tale about things you just don't care about, with tons of jokes and ridiculous events.

    Now, if you will excuse me, I have to go to work, haha.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

      Thanks for that Mr. P.A., I may have to check that book out one of these days.

      • http://www.twitter.com/GregDinskisk GregDinskisk

        It's an incredible book, one of my favorites. I'd vouch for it, but that probably doesn't mean anything... You never reviewed the film, did you?

  • The Moth

    I really liked "World War Z" (the audio book is also very good) but after the trailer it seems as if they were trying to make the film as different as possible to the book.

    A good way would have been an HBO-mini series/"documentary".

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Exxdee/ Geoffrey De Leon

    What about Jason Reitman's adaptation (Juno, Up in the Air) of Joyce Maynard's Labor Day? It starts Josh Brolin and Kate Winslet. It seems intriguing to me.

  • Harrison

    I'm disappointed that Winter's Tale was not included in this list. Because the story is so sprawling and derives most of its strength from its prose, the film could very well collapse under first-time director Akiva Goldsman. But it's a great book, and I'm very curious to see how it is adapted.

  • Dale

    "The Great Gatsby" is one of my favorite books and I'm very concerned about the eccentric Baz Luhrman getting his hands on it. I've read that he's using a rock score. Please, God!

    • Jake17

      Even better: Jay-Z is scoring it. Prepare for the utter destruction of a timeless classic.

  • adu

    I am originally from the city of Lahore, and not to be biased or anything but I seriously recommend The Reluctant Fundamentalist. It is a great story indeed and breezy read from what I remember.

  • Joe Shefte

    Action-thriller and New York Times bestseller "Falcon Seven" by James W. Huston is also being adapted by Craig Fronk and Jim Edwards. A great story especially relevant based on our current military engagements.