Following on from Welshy’s list of books he would like to see given the big screen treatment (read it here), I have been thinking of all the books I have read down the years and here are 5 books that I would love to see made into a film (or TV series).
1. Bad Luck and Trouble (Lee Child, 2007)
Jack Reacher, Book 11
Yes, I am fully aware of the fact that my favourite series has already been turned into a film, with 5″6 Tom Cruise in the role of the 6″6 man mountain that is Jack Reacher, despite the height differential and that Cruise was completely wrong for the role, I actually enjoyed the film.
Bad Luck and Trouble is one of my favourite books in the series, as it harks back to Reacher’s life as an Major in the Military Police.
The book opens with a man being thrown from a helicopter to his death. It just so happens that this man was, like Reacher, a former Military Police Officer and once a member of an elite team of special investigators, led by Reacher. Contacted by another colleague, Reacher finds out that 5 of his old team have been killed and he teams up with the surviving members to seek revenge.
I loved this because it shows Reacher working as part of a team, with people on his level. These books are very cinematic anyway, but Reacher teaming with Neagly, O’Donnell and Dixon, opens it out to having wider cast and broader appeal.
2. Ice Station (Matthew Reilly, 1998)
Shane ‘Scarecrow’ Schofield, Book 1
I happened across this in a book shop in Rhodes in 2002 and have never read anything like it. It is the most unputdownable book I have ever read.
After a diving team searching Wilkes Ice Station is killed, a distress call is sent to a team of US Recon Marines, led by the enigmatic Shane ‘Scarecrow’ Schofield. Upon arrival, the Marines find that they are not the only military force there and find themselves in fight for their lives, as they attempt to discover the secrets held deep within the base.
I am amazed that none of Matthew Reilly’s books have been adapted already, they are ripe for adaptation. In Schofield, we have a thoroughly engaging and amazingly heroic leading man, and Gena ‘Mother’ Newman was have the ultimate bad ass sidekick. I loved every page of this, it does go a bit mental and pushes the boundaries of even 90s excess. You might have to suspend belief, just a little, but a great read if you are off to the beach and would make a brilliant summer blockbuster.
3. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay (Michael Chabon, 2000)
This is one of my all time favourite books, it is one I recommend every time anyone is stuck for something to read.
The book follows a pair of Jewish cousins and is set before, during and after WWII. Joe Kavalier is a Czech artist and Sam Clay is an American writer. Through out the course of the novel they become leading figures in the comic industry as it moves into its Golden Age, with their anti-facisit hero The Escapist.
Based on the experiences of actual comic book writers such as Jack Kirby, Bob Kane, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, this is a wonderful read, as a comic book fan, it was great to have a window into what it was like when Superman and the rest of these iconic characters were getting started.
This has been in development hell for the better part of 15 years now, with Director Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot, The Reader) doing his best to get it made. I really hope he succeeds.
4. One Fine Day In The Middle of The Night (Christopher Brookmyre, 1999)
Christopher Brookmyre is probably my favourite author (its him or Dennis Lehane), he mixes crime, noir and the blackest of comedy in his books and he is very, very Scottish.
This is my favourite. A high school class gather for their 15 year reunion on a converted oil rig, which is now the hottest of UK holiday destination. However, as this collection of egos gather, little do they know a group of bargain basement mercenaries are en route for some blackmail action.
A riot from start to finish, one critic described it as ‘Die Hard wi a Kilt on’, and that is pretty accurate. The characters are well written and most people who read this will see one of the class mates as ‘just like someone I went to school with’.
Brookmyre has an extensive back catalogue of blacky comic crime fiction and there has been one disastrous attempt to bring his work to the small screen, with the risible James Nesbitt playing Brookmyre’s recurring hero Jack Parlabane.
His work is crying out for a real adaptation and One Fine Day would be my choice.
5. Florida Roadkill (Tim Dorsey, 1999)
Serge Storms, Book 1
Set in and around the 1997 world series, in which the Florida Marlins stunned The Cleveland Indians. We meet Serge Storms, a criminal and sociopath as he goes on a crime spree with heartless stripper and a brainless drug addict. There is a hilarious sub plot concerning a trio of bikeless bikers, who have been banned from every biker gang in the state.
Irreverent and hilarious, this is similar in tone to the recent adaptation of Inherent Vice, but slightly more accessible.
Storms is despicable, but you cant help but like him. A cult franchise in the making for sure.
Well, hope you enjoyed this and if nothing else, it will give you something new to read on your holidays this year.
Thanks for reading x