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

Serena: A Novel

by Ron Rash

SerenaIf Jennifer Lawrence doesn't win the Oscar for Best Actress this year for Silver Linings Playbook, you better believe early speculation for the 2014 Oscars will have people predicting her for the win as she once again teams with her Silver Linings co-star Bradley Cooper for Serena, directed by Susanne Bier (In a Better World).

Adapted from Ron Rash's New York Times notable book of the year and 2009 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction finalist, this is a book described as a "gothic tale of greed, corruption, and revenge with a ruthless, powerful, and unforgettable woman at its heart, set amid the wilds of 1930s North Carolina and against the backdrop of America's burgeoning environmental movement."

From what I can tell, this might be the book to read on this list. Here's the full synopsis:

The year is 1929, and newlyweds George and Serena Pemberton travel from Boston to the North Carolina mountains where they plan to create a timber empire. Although George has already lived in the camp long enough to father an illegitimate child, Serena is new to the mountains--but she soon shows herself to be the equal of any man, overseeing crews, hunting rattle-snakes, even saving her husband's life in the wilderness. Together this lord and lady of the woodlands ruthlessly kill or vanquish all who fall out of favor. Yet when Serena learns that she will never bear a child, she sets out to murder the son George fathered without her. Mother and child begin a struggle for their lives, and when Serena suspects George is protecting his illegitimate family, the Pembertons' intense, passionate marriage starts to unravel as the story moves toward its shocking reckoning.


DIGITAL DEAL: "Serena" is only $2.99 on the Kindle. Buy it here.

The Last Apprentice (Revenge of the Witch)

by Joseph Delaney

Yup, another young adult novel is getting adapted and this one is based on Joseph Delaney's "The Last Apprentice" series. The film will star Jeff Bridges as Old Gregory, Julianne Moore as Mother Malkin and Ben Barnes as the titular apprentice, Thomas Ward.

The film will be titled The Seventh Son and will hit theaters on October 18. Check out the book synopsis below.

For years, Old Gregory has been the Spook for the county, ridding the local villages of evil. Now his time is coming to an end. But who will take over for him? Twenty-nine apprentices have tried--some floundered, some fled, some failed to stay alive.

Only Thomas Ward is left. He's the last hope, the last apprentice.


DIGITAL DEAL: "The Last Apprentice (Revenge of the Witch)" is only $1.99 on the Kindle. Buy it here.

Warm Bodies: A Novel

by Isaac Marion

Warm BodiesI've already written a lot about this one as Summit has been doing everything in their power to raise awareness of the film, which is directed by Jonathan Levine (50/50) and stars Nicholas Hoult and Teresa Palmer. Problem is, once you start pushing a movie this hard, you start to wonder what's wrong with it.

I've heard, however, the books is quite good so who knows what we're going to get with this one.

R is having a no-life crisis--he is a zombie. He has no memories, no identity, and no pulse, but he is a little different from his fellow Dead. He may occasionally eat people, but he'd rather be riding abandoned airport escalators, listening to Sinatra in the cozy 747 he calls home, or collecting souvenirs from the ruins of civilization.

And then he meets a girl.

First as his captive, then his reluctant house guest, Julie is a blast of living color in R's gray landscape, and something inside him begins to bloom. He doesn't want to eat this girl--although she looks delicious--he wants to protect her. But their unlikely bond will cause ripples they can't imagine, and their hopeless world won't change without a fight.


DIGITAL DEAL: "Warm Bodies" is almost $3 cheaper for the Kindle. Buy it here.

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War

by Max Brooks

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie WarFrom a zombie rom-com to an all-out zombie war, we go to Max Brooks' "World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War" and its filmed adaptation, which has suffered problem after problem. Starring Brad Pitt and directed by Marc Forster (Quantum of Solace), World War Z was originally set to hit theaters on December 21, 2012 when it was moved to June 21, 2013. The delay was due to seven weeks of reshoots and a third act rewrite and for anyone that has read this book, you already know there's no chance they could make it as it was and get away with making it at a studio.

"The end was near." --Voices from the Zombie War

The Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched first-hand experiences of the survivors from those apocalyptic years, traveled across the United States of America and throughout the world, from decimated cities that once teemed with upwards of thirty million souls to the most remote and inhospitable areas of the planet. He recorded the testimony of men, women, and sometimes children who came face-to-face with the living, or at least the undead, hell of that dreadful time. World War Z is the result. Never before have we had access to a document that so powerfully conveys the depth of fear and horror, and also the ineradicable spirit of resistance, that gripped human society through the plague years.

Ranging from the now infamous village of New Dachang in the United Federation of China, where the epidemiological trail began with the twelve-year-old Patient Zero, to the unnamed northern forests where untold numbers sought a terrible and temporary refuge in the cold, to the United States of Southern Africa, where the Redeker Plan provided hope for humanity at an unspeakable price, to the west-of-the-Rockies redoubt where the North American tide finally started to turn, this invaluable chronicle reflects the full scope and duration of the Zombie War.

Most of all, the book captures with haunting immediacy the human dimension of this epochal event. Facing the often raw and vivid nature of these personal accounts requires a degree of courage on the part of the reader, but the effort is invaluable because, as Mr. Brooks says in his introduction, "By excluding the human factor, aren't we risking the kind of personal detachment from history that may, heaven forbid, lead us one day to repeat it? And in the end, isn't the human factor the only true difference between us and the enemy we now refer to as 'the living dead'?"

How it will all turn out we'll soon see, but I've included the first trailer below for those that may be interested.


The Wolf of Wall Street

by Jordan Belfort

The Wolf of Wall StreetFinally we come to Martin Scorsese's new film as he once again teams with Leonardo DiCaprio in a role that will surely have many expecting Leo to be at the top of the 2014 Best Actor predictions. The film is based on Jordan Belfort's tell-all autobiography "The Wolf of Wall Street" with an opening plot description that says, "By day he made thousands of dollars a minute. By night he spent it as fast as he could, on drugs, sex, and international globe-trotting." Interested?

Here's the full book description:

By day he made thousands of dollars a minute. By night he spent it as fast as he could, on drugs, sex, and international globe-trotting. From the binge that sank a 170-foot motor yacht, crashed a Gulfstream jet, and ran up a $700,000 hotel tab, to the wife and kids who waited for him at home, and the fast-talking, hard-partying young stockbrokers who called him king and did his bidding, here, in his own inimitable words, is the story of the ill-fated genius they called...

In the 1990s Jordan Belfort, former kingpin of the notorious investment firm Stratton Oakmont, became one of the most infamous names in American finance: a brilliant, conniving stock-chopper who led his merry mob on a wild ride out of the canyons of Wall Street and into a massive office on Long Island. Now, in this astounding and hilarious tell-all autobiography, Belfort narrates a story of greed, power, and excess no one could invent.

Reputedly the prototype for the film Boiler Room, Stratton Oakmont turned microcap investing into a wickedly lucrative game as Belfort's hyped-up, coked-out brokers browbeat clients into stock buys that were guaranteed to earn obscene profits–for the house. But an insatiable appetite for debauchery, questionable tactics, and a fateful partnership with a breakout shoe designer named Steve Madden would land Belfort on both sides of the law and into a harrowing darkness all his own.

From the stormy relationship Belfort shared with his model-wife as they ran a madcap household that included two young children, a full-time staff of twenty-two, a pair of bodyguards, and hidden cameras everywhere--even as the SEC and FBI zeroed in on them--to the unbridled hedonism of his office life, here is the extraordinary story of an ordinary guy who went from hustling Italian ices at sixteen to making hundreds of millions. Until it all came crashing down...


And that does it for this preview. If you missed yesterday's preview taking a look at the comic books, graphic novels, plays and news articles that were being adapted into movies this year click here and have fun reading!

  • 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.