The books that bridge the gap from page to screen

With ready-made plots, zeitgeisty characters and lauded creators, it’s little wonder literature has inspired Hollywood from the first days of filmmaking

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Ever since George Méliès’ Trip to the Moon way back in 1902, Hollywood executives have sought their inspiration from the world of literature. It’s showing no signs of slowing up either, with over 40 books adapted for the big screen in 2015. And while some will argue the relative merits of book and big screen versions, each will have their own passionate fanbase.

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If you’re interested in exploring the relationship between the two, you should try  the beautiful editions available from The Folio Society. Each volume presents a visually stunning version of the source material, complete with all sorts of additional information, while never deviating from the original words.

Hollywood classics

A great example of page-to-screen adaptation is 1961’s iconic Breakfast At Tiffany’s. There are few people, notably the book’s author, who can picture anyone other than the fawn-like Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly. But while Capote’s vision of his friend Marilyn Monroe as Holly never made it to the silver screen, other parts of the novella were also left lithely reclining between the book’s covers.

The ambiguous ending was replaced by a romantic denouement for the aspiring New York writer and Holly, whose relationship with rich, older men has a more sinister undertone in Capote’s breezy narrative.

In the Folio Society’s version, you’ll find the grit and glamour of the era brought to life by fashion illustrator Karen Klassen’s shimmering images, adding an extra level of detail to Capote’s thrilling narrative.

While film adaptations can be a fantastic way to bring an underappreciated novel to the public’s attention, there can be a downside too – namely when the film overshadows the source material.

Just think of The Great Escape. Imagining 600 British POWs tunneling under Stalag Luft III without the film’s unmistakable theme music, Steve McQueen’s rocketing motorcycle and some very conspicuous American assistance must seem peculiar to some.

But there’s really no better way to experience this staggering feat of organisation, subterfuge and bravery than in The Folio Society’s first-hand account by one of the brave POWs, Paul Brickhill, complete with newly researched images from the National Archives and Imperial War Museums.

The case of the disappearing plot

To true fans of the books, movies are too often guilty of the cardinal sin of screen adaptations  – leaving out vital details. Pride and Prejudice and The Wind in the Willows have made their way to cinemas countless times over the years, most recently with Joe Wright’s 2005 version of Jane Austen’s masterpiece.

In the British director’s otherwise faultless version, as in all adaptations, periphery characters come and go, endings are shortened and complicated worlds are often smothered.

Folio editions keep the length, depth and genius of the originals, complemented by multi-award-winning illustrations from the likes of Anna and Elena Balbusso and Charles van Sandwyk.

Folio Society editions are ideal for both book lovers and movie-goers alike, with a range that holds something for everyone.

From the glamour of Capote’s Manhattan to the summer whimsy of The Wind in the Willows, immerse yourself in a sumptuous Folio production to experience classic works as if for the first time. Their production quality and stunning artwork makes them a truly special gift to be treasured and read for generations to come.

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You can read more about The Folio Society here.

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