Culture

Five Book Adaptations To Check Out

In this post, we delve into the rollercoaster of emotions experienced by avid readers when their beloved books make their way to the big screen

By Oluwajeminipe Fasheun-Motesho

PUBLISHED: January 17, 2024

Five Book Adaptations To Check Out

image-credit

Book lovers go through certain stages when they realise their favourite book is being adapted into a movie. From denial to curiously peeping at the movie or just outright disapproval. Reading a mid-novel is already bad enough, no one wants a mid-adaptation ever. 

Swallow

Written in 2008 and adapted into a movie in 2021, the book follows the story of two ladies connected and disconnected by the dramatic fate of Lagos. Tolani and Rose are portrayed as two young women trying to make ends meet in a city that seeks to kill dreams and hope. The book, however, is not just restricted to these women but also a vivid portrayal of the city during the eighties, all the drama around work, relationship, poverty and crime. In a similar fashion, the story intermittently goes back to the village scene addressing the issue of patriarchy through Tolani’s mother. Overall, the story didn’t mince words in portraying the harsh reality and level of rot in the city. The movie on the other hand wasn’t able to evoke the emotions I had reading the book. The movie might not have generated much reaction, but they put in good work in recreating the scenery as though it was straight out of an eighty's novel. The details were perfected but they could have done better with the casts.

Smart Money Woman

A bit different from normal fiction, the book tackles the issue of financial literacy among young Africans who are always ready to be associated with trends forgetting their account balance. The main character, Zuri, is the typical Lagos big girl “Buying Rosé on a coca-cola budget”. While her income should be enough to prevent her from going broke, unhealthy spending and lack of budgeting gets the most of her. With the focus on Zuri, the writer extends the financial teachings to her inner circle showing different spending habits. The financial journey doesn’t take away the interesting drama in the lives of these ladies as it is in this process that Zuri finally finds a love interest that contributes to her financial freedom. There’s no doubt that the writer addressed a hidden but prominent issue that most people shy away from (Between you and I though, I skipped those lessons). While I found the book a bit overhyped, I did enjoy the movie which was adapted into a short Netflix series. The movie did a good job in bringing the characters to life. 

Chaos Walking

The book is a sci-fi trilogy set in a dystopian world where there is no privacy as to what goes on in the head of another and they can hear each other’s "Noise". Todd Hewitt, the main character, is a young lad who tries to control his “Noise” and is oblivious to existence of humans outside his land. His drab life pattern is turned around when spaceship crashes close to his house, and he meets a female from the second wave who escaped and doesn’t have any Noise coming from her. The story tells the journey of Todd and Violet as they escape the town in search of a safe place and means to communicate with another incoming spaceship. The novel narrates this world in such a manner that is captivating and particularly satisfying to the imagination of being able to read people’s mind. Watching the movie prompted me to search for the novel and I realised that in a bid to cut down the trilogy to fit a 2-hour movie, quite a number of details were lost. I actually wished that the animals communicated in the movie as they did in the novel. It’s only fair to cut them some slack as they were still able to maintain the juice of the story despite length constraint.

The Fault In Our Stars

If you’ve not heard this title, please crawl back into your rock. This emotional story is narrated by 16-year-old Hazel Lancaster who suffers Thyroid cancer. She joins a support group which propels her bond with Augustus Waters, a 17-year-old amputee, and osteosarcoma survivor. Their interests in each other take them to Amsterdam to meet the author of Hazel’s favourite book hoping to get the ending of the story but were otherwise disappointed. The plot developed and deepened from beginning to end and there was never a dull moment. The story stayed high on action and keeps you engaged all through the chapters showing different perspectives to life, death, friendship and love. The movie is very much commendable in capturing the essence of the story and just like the book, it pulls you into the world of Hazel and Gus.

The Tale of Peter Rabbit

This last book is for animation lovers like me. This book is most likely one that you read way back and can’t remember the details so let me help refresh your memory. The Tales of Peter Rabbit centres on Peter who is a mischievous rabbit and his siblings who were warned against going to a particular vegetable garden. This warning is given by their mother to prevent a repeat of what happened to their father but Peter being the mischievous bunny goes wandering into the garden and manages to escape by a hair’s breadth. The story is a short one that takes you back to a place of childhood where I’m pretty sure we all went against adult advice at some point. The animated movie is not an exact replica of the novel although built on the same character of mischievous Peter in the novel. This padded movie might have done too much compared to the simple natured book. Interesting watch but don’t expect a replica of the book, more like a remix.

read more