When a film comes out–especially one that is based on a book–audiences sometimes read the book before seeing the film, if they have not already delved into the original text. In other cases, film iterations of literary works inspire individuals to pursue the initial text, offering additional details, scenes, and characters that film plots may leave out. As is the case for many books-turned-films, there is only so much material that can make it into the film, often due to the constraints of running times.
In But Have You Read the Book? by Kristen Lopez, Lopez examines 52 literary works that went on to inspire films, citing numerous differences from page to picture. Lopez explores creative decisions and studio limitations that shaped many film versions of literary works. Ranging from the classic to the contemporary, Lopez succeeds in offering a delightful overview of films spanning multiple genres. There is something for everyone to enjoy in this book.
Her book is ideal for film and literature fans who may wish to undertake a weekly journey viewing the various films she discusses and consider reading the initial literary works. Lopez’s prose is conversational and engaging, with each chapter offering thorough contextual information pertaining to the books and films. If one has not read all of the books mentioned in But Have You Read the Book? or viewed all the films, this is by no means a drawback; Lopez explains the books and films in each chapter and her work serves as a fine introduction to all 52 books and films covered.