To write a book and have it picked up and adapted to the silver screen by the big wigs in Hollywood – that, surely, is the dream of many hopeful writers and even established authors the world over. As an audience, we benefit too – we’re set to see an increasing number of original tales in cinemas this year, so why not read the book the first? Beat ’em to the big screen:
The Girl on the Train
First published in 2015, The Girl on the Train is a psychological thriller written in a similar vein to Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl. Debuting in the top spot on The New York Times Fiction Best Sellers last year, more than three million copies were sold in the US alone by August. DreamWorks bought the rights to the story, which follows 32-year-old alcoholic Rachel Watson, who – during one of her regular train commutes – sees something shocking. She has only a minute before the train moves on, but it’s enough to change everything. The film adaptation will hit cinemas around October.
Random House, RRP $22.99
Jeanne Marie Laskas
True story: when Dr Bennet Omalu, a young forensic pathologist, performed an autopsy on legendary American footballer Mike Webster, he discovered something that would change his life. Indeed, it would ultimately change the world, or at least the world of sports wherein players are repeatedly subjected to head trauma. What Dr Omalu found was that Webster – who had treated his own back pain with a Taser, and his rotting teeth with superglue – had developed psychosis as a result of trauma. Knowing it would damage and kill many more sportsmen, Dr Omalu set out to inform the NFL and prevent further tragedies. Instead, the NFL – considered America’s most powerful corporation – tried to sweep him under the carpet. The motion picture version is in cinemas now.
Penguin Books Australia, RRP $24.99
The Taliban Shuffle – Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan
Comedic, The Taliban Shuffle – Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan has been described as a real-life Catch 22. Written by Kim Barker, one of the region’s longest-serving American foreign correspondents, the story is about her awkward early experiences in the role. Candid and self-deprecating, Barker offers an inside view of the war-torn countries, chronicling the years after America’s initial attempts to destroy the Taliban. The film adaptation is titled Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, starring Tina Fey as Barker. It will release around March.
Penguin Books Australia, RRP $32.99
The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon
A non-fiction title published in 2009, The Lost City of Z depicts a time when much of the world remained a mystery, especially for British explorer Percy Fawcett, who, along with his son, became lost in the Amazon jungle in the 1920s in search of an ancient and, as it turns out, mythical city. Fawcett never returned. His story has been touched on directly or indirectly by the likes of Mark Twain, Arthur Conan Doyle, Ian Fleming and more. With a New York Times critic describing the book as one of the ten best of the year, The Lost City of Z wasn’t long after picked up by Paramount Pictures and Plan B Entertainment, which is owned by Brad Pitt. Set for release around November, the biographical adventure film will star Charlie Hunnam, Sienna Miller and Robert Pattinson.
Double Day, RRP $29.00 (online)
Keep an eye on the Competition section of The Retiree online – we’ll be running double pass giveaways for these films as they are released throughout the year!