Book to Film: the same, but different?

English: Tom Cruise on MTV Live in December 2008

English: Tom Cruise on MTV Live in December 2008 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


I’ve always found book to screen adaptations rather hit and miss. There are some that I’ve loved – The Shawshank Redemption and I am Legend, for example. And those I’ve regretted seeing, like The Runaway Jury.

So, as a fan of Lee Child’s fabulous character Jack Reacher, I had mixed feelings about watching the new JACK REACHER film.

Would it live up to the book (one of my favorite of the series)?

Could Tom Cruise really play the ‘larger-than-life’ character of Reacher?

But I was curious to see the film, and so last night I ventured off to the cinema to view it.

And I liked it.

It was true enough to the book and the character for me to recognise them, the action was slick, and the pace kept moving (and me interested). And it didn’t matter that Tom Cruise’s Reacher didn’t look exactly as I’d pictured Reacher in my mind as I read the books. The character was there, just a bit different. For me it worked.

I wonder if they’ll make another one?

I hope they do.

What’s on your Christmas List?

Pile of gorgeous gifts

Pile of gorgeous gifts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s that time of year when the radio starts playing christmas songs, the shops are full of gift ideas, and you start thinking about what gifts you’ll be getting for your nearest and dearest.

So what’s on your list?

Are you planning on getting your friends and family (or yourself) a bookish gift this year?

Perhaps a book that’s delighted you and kept you reading late into the night, or a pretty eReader cover you just know will be perfect, or a voucher for one of the book shops so your loved one can pick their own books.

What’s your top tip for book lovers gifts?

Daily Ponder: Book spotting on the Train


Kindle (Photo credit: Simply Bike)

In just a few hours I’ll be heading up to London for the Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) hosted panel discussion “Is crime the new literary fiction?” that’s being held at Kings Place.

One of the things I always like to do on the train ride to London and back (and on the tube) is to check out the books my fellow travelers are reading. Are they crime thrillers, romance, science fiction, fantasy, historical or something else? And, more importantly, have I read them, and do they look like the type of thing I’d like to read.

I’ve even had quite a few bookish conversations with fellow commuters, and got some excellent recommendations from them. But, it’s not quite as easy as it used to be. That’s because of eReaders. I just can’t (or not as secretly) take a sneaky peep at the cover of the book being read. Although, that said, if I’m standing on the train, and someone sitting nearby is reading on an eReader (especially if the font size is set to large) it is possible.

But, not to be deterred (and, of course, being of a rather nosy disposition!) I’ll be book spotting on the train as I travel.

I wonder what crime thriller books I’ll glimpse today …

Daily Ponder: Where do you Read?

cats are reading a book

cats reading (Photo credit: Catunes)

I try to read everyday, but finding time can be tough. As a result I’ll read whenever, and wherever, I can grab a few minutes.

At the moment, my reading places include:

  • In bed
  • Curled up on the sofa in front of the log fire
  • On the train (and tube) in London
  • On the station platform (waiting for delayed train)
  • In the car, sat at the level-crossing (the barriers always close for at least five minutes!)
  • In the bath (difficult with a Kindle!)
  • Waiting at supermarket checkout

What about you?

Where and when do you find your time to read?

Daily Ponder: Remembering … Columbo

English: Peter Falk as "Columbo".

English: Peter Falk as “Columbo”. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yesterday I got one of those emails from Amazon telling me about the great deals they’re doing on TV box sets.

Now I have to admit, I watch a lot of box sets, well, box sets and films.  That’s because I don’t watch programmed TV.  In fact, the TV isn’t connected to an aerial at all.  So if I watch a programme it’s on box set, and I’ve bought that box set on a trusted recommendation.

Anyway, the Amazon email was about retro crime series, and the first on the list was the full box set of Columbo (played by Peter Falk).

Wow, that took me back.  I used to love watching Columbo re-runs when I was a kid.  It was out-dated even then, but there was something about the seemingly bumbling, but oh-so-sharp detective that always had me hooked.

With his unassuming manner, he was rather like a less smug version of Poirot.  And his characteristic, ‘one last thing,’ style has inspired many a more recent character.  To name one, I personally think there are quite a few similarities between Columbo and Patrick Jane in The Mentalist.

And, of course, Columbo was a pioneer of the Detective-in-a-Mac look – a personal favourite of mine!

So maybe I might just order that box set.

Have you been inspired to write by any TV characters?