Literature has long inspired filmmakers and screenwriters, who often labor to bring novelists' words, characters, and settings to the big screen. From such silent epics as Birth of a Nation to contemporary masterpieces such as The Lord of the Rings, the film industry has consistently looked to literature as its muse. The Encyclopedia of Novels into Film, Second Edition provides a comprehensive, in-depth look at more than 300 American and foreign novels and their film adaptations. Enhanced by more than 100 photographs and line art illustrations, entries have been revised and updated throughout, and more than 30 new articles have been added to highlight the most recent adaptations.
Tibbetts and Welsh have edited other works for Facts On File either as a team (The Encyclopedia of Stage Plays into Film) or individually, and this latest collaboration updates their earlier (1999) examination of the adaptation from novel into celluloid. The 300-plus brief, scholarly entries (including 60 new titles) are arranged alphabetically by novel title and range from pulp to serious fiction; each includes the novel's title, a plot summary, a critique of the adaptation, and a short secondary bibliography. Featured are many significant films released since 1999, including The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hours, as well as major works absent from the original edition, including Ethan Frome and Forrest Gump. An index, more than 100 black-and-white stills and sketches, and a selected bibliography are included. Given the multitude of critics here, a wide variation in style and quality is to be expected, although devoting one page each to The Blue Angel and The Graduate but eight-and-a-half to the Rings trilogy seems a bit unbalanced. Also, coverage of each adaptation can be scanty-sometimes just a short paragraph-with emphasis seemingly placed on more contemporary versions (e.g., Great Expectations). Bottom Line Film scholars will probably be a bit disappointed by the selections and lack of detail, but this volume is geared toward a more general audience, who should find the work useful. Recommended for all public and academic film collections, along with such theoretical works as George Bluestone's Novels into Film and Bruce Morrissette's Novel and Film.-Anthony J. Adam, Prairie View A&M Univ. Lib., TX Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
With contributions from several dozen academics covering adaptations from Henry Fielding to Stephen King, this reference work is full of promise. The entries are organized by book titles (cross-referenced from films with changed titles) and contain short essays on the book and its various screen incarnations. But there are a number of deficiencies, starting with the mysterious selection process, which is not explained by Tibbitts (His Majesty the American: The Cinema of Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., Oak Tree, 1977) and Welsh, editor of the Literature Film Quarterly. It would have helped if all the novels had been synopsized, allowing the contributor to make a direct comparison to what is contained in the film. Short biographies of the novelists are confusing; some works mentioned are covered in the book, while others are not. Not a necessary purchase.Thomas J. Wiener, editor, "Satellite DIRECT," Vienna, Va.
School Library Journal
YA-A wonderful resource for everyone with silver halide running through their veins. The authors, with the help of 75 scholars and writers, have culled the universe of novels produced into film and presented them in a coherent mix. The first section is alphabetically arranged by book title. For each entry, equal weight is given to an analysis of the novel and the film. Anecdotes about author's motives, writing style, plot development, and synopsis are also included. The entries highlight the novels' metamorphosis into film. Many of the entries are accompanied by a black-and-white movie still and there are pictures of some of the authors. An appendix gives selected bibliographical sketches of well-known authors. Most of the novels selected are classics, making this book especially appealing to those who want to explore how classic literature has been turned into cinematographic art.-John Kiefman, Fairfax County Public Library, VA Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Provides the common reader with basic information about screen adaptations of novels. Entries for some 300 films provide information concerning the date of release, the production and releasing companies, and the director and screenwriter. Discussions of the films cover the plot, the importance of the novel adapted, the problems and technical aspects of adaptation, and modifications to the original story. The authors includes numerous b&w stills as well as line drawings of novelists. Name index only. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.