Five Books that Should be Adapted for Film and TV: Part 2

1.‘War of the Worlds’ by H.G. Wells

There have been several adaptations of this novel (I’m particularly thinking if the Tom Cruise film and a recent BBC adaptation). However, I’d love to see an adaptation that fully embraced the Victorian aesthetic (complete with clockwork-operated spaceships), doesn’t take enormous liberties with the plot and perhaps contained less Hollywood influence. Wells wrote ‘War of the Worlds’ in order to criticise the impact of the British Empire. It would be wonderful to watch an adaptation that stays true to the novel’s original message.

“Yet across the gulf of space, minds that are to our minds as ours are to those of the beasts that perish, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us.”

‘War of the Worlds’, H.G. Wells

2.Ursula le Guin’s ‘Earthsea’ Trilogy

Set in the fictional archipelago of Earthsea, Le Guin’s epic series of novels follows Ged or ‘Sparrowhawk’ who must learn the ways of magic and overcome the threat of a creature that has no name. Elements of this fantasy bildungsroman have been adapted by Studio Ghibli, but I’ve yet to see a full adaptation, start to finish, of this absorbing and thrilling tale.

“In that moment Ged understood the singing of the bird, and the language of the water falling in the basin of the fountain, and the shape of the clouds, and the beginning and end of the wind that stirred the leaves; it seemed to him that he himself was a word spoken by the sunlight.”

Ursula le Guin’s ‘Earthsea’ Trilogy

3.‘The Long Walk’ by Stephen King

‘The Long Walk’ was an extremely early Stephen King novel, published under his pen name ‘Richard Bachman’. It is set in a dystopian future where poverty is rife in America and the national sport consists of watching lottery-selected participants walk, day and night, to survive and finish an endurance trek across the country. Stop and you are shot by race marshals. Along the way, walkers discover each others motives, life stories and reach the realisation that there is a slim chance of survival in King’s brutal critique on the voyeurism of cruelty and capitalism in modern society. 

“Any game looks straight if everyone is being cheated at once.”

‘The Long Walk’, Stephen King

4.‘The Faerie Queene’ by Edmund Spencer

This allegorical epic poem was penned in honour to Queen Elizabeth I. It is split into six volumes with each volume epitomising the virtues of holiness, temperance, chastity, friendship, justice and courtesy. The first three volumes follow the chivalric escapades of the Redcrosse Knight. ‘The Faerie Queene’ contains temptation, derring dos, King Arthur and a lady knight called Britomart.

“For louers heauen must passe by sorrowes hell.”

‘The Faerie Queene’, Edmund Spencer

5.Tamora Pierce’s ‘The Song of the Lioness’ Trilogy

Pierce’s coming of age novels revolve around Alanna: a girl who disguises herself in order to train as a knight. As a young lady who was not so lady-like, I was drawn to the sword on the cover and never looked back. This was a hugely influential book when I was about 10, and I even attended a World Book Day competition dressed as Alanna! I would have loved to watch an adaptation of this in my younger years. I’ve heard whispers that this is being adapted and I sincerely hope that the whispers are true.

“I believe in deeds, not words.”

Tamora Pierce’s ‘The Song of the Lioness’ Trilogy

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