Plenty of books have evolved from bestseller to blockbuster, albeit with varying amounts of success. Here are three titles from our shelves that have captured the hearts of readers and moviegoers alike – and spawned many arguments about which medium really did it better.
Take a look into the cutthroat world of boiler rooms, stock trading and how it can all go very, very wrong in the name of greed and profit. Jordan Belfort has done it all, quite literally, and lived the life to prove it, going from multimillionaire to wanted criminal.
Belfort’s memoir details his rise and fall as a stockbroker and symbol of American entrepreneurship. The child of accountants, he went from selling meat and seafood to stockbroking and founding his own company. His investment firm, Stratton Oakmont, specialised in pump-and-dump schemes that involved buying up cheap stock, inflating prices with false positive news, and then selling them for a massive profit (and dire losses to the consecutive buyers). Decadence and debauchery is the order of the day as he splurges on yachts, helicopters, drugs and sex before finally falling from grace.
The Wolf of Wall Street received the screen treatment in 2013, with Martin Scorsese as director and the talents of Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Riza Aziz, Matthew McConaughey and a host of others. This black comedy was nominated for five Academy Awards, and DiCaprio’s performance would net him that a Golden Globe for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy.
The adults and young adults out there are the generation raised on Harry Potter, hoping for our letters from owls and a way into a world where magic is real, dragons live on more than paper, and everyone bonded around fantasy books which grew from slim volumes to the size of our own heads. (We’ll assume that everyone has caught up already with HBP, but just in case, we promise no spoilers in this review. Not very large ones, anyway.)
In the sixth and penultimate novel of Harry’s wizarding adventures, he returns to Hogwarts and finds it a darker place – especially with Severus Snape teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts, Voldemort gaining strength and influence, and the beginnings of the physical war against He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. Harry must prepare for the final battle while also juggling his academic responsibilities, made easier by the notes in his second-hand Potions textbook from a student calling himself the ‘Half-Blood Prince’. Over the course of the year, Harry and Professor Dumbledore set out to discover and destroy more of Voldemort’s weaknesses, but that quest exacts a price that shakes the very core of Hogwarts, and directs him to make a fateful decision.
Half Blood Prince looks into the past of Voldemort as well as that of lesser antagonist Snape, studying the things that shaped both men into what they are. Harry, Ron and Hermione are growing up, and are forced to mature even faster by the war brewing around them. Romance grows and emotions run high, and if readers haven’t realised by now that the Boy Who Lived is very much a teenager with the associated emotional intensity and everyday troubles, it’s definitely clear by the end of the book. The final pages leave us with a grim yet clear vision of what must come, and set the stage for one final conflict…but that’s a tale for its sequel, The Deathly Hallows.
The book benefited from an initial print run of 10.8 million copies, and some additional drama as some books were mistakenly sold before the official launch. Its film adaptation grossed over USD934 million, the second-highest grossing film worldwide of 2009 and 15th-highest of all time, and was nominated for Best Cinematography at the Academy Awards.
If it wasn’t for a little dustbin diving, Stephen King’s first novel published may never have seen the light of day. He had attempted to write a short story concerning women (and a certain, pivotal gym shower scene does make it into the finished book), but gave up a few pages in. His wife Tabitha found the disposed manuscript and encouraged him to continue. The result is the violently chilling Carrie, the tale of a young girl for whom the only way out is revenge of the bloodiest order.
Carrietta “Carrie” N. White has led her sheltered, miserable life mocked by her friends and abused by a manically religious mother. Things appear like they might look up when she begins developing telekinetic powers and has a chance to go to her high school’s prom, but her peers have other plans, with deadly consequences.
Carrie portrays the power of young femininity, the terrible impact of bullying and abuse, and the many cruelties and kindnesses inherent in teen minds. Revenge and resentment appear on full display here as Carrie’s full powers manifest for the first time, making for a gripping, powerful read for horror and thriller fans of all stripes.
The book has been adapted for film not once, but three times between 1976 and 2013, and that’s not counting the 1990s ‘sequel’ to the book’s story.
Ready to add these titles to your bookshelf? Check them out at our Amcorp Mall and fahrenheit88 stores, and remember to grab your popcorn and your bookmarks!