another reversal??

Victor Steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Wed Oct 10 07:39:25 UTC 2012

One can play the same game with "Blade Runner", "2001", "Shawshank
Redemption" and a lot of other films based on short stories or novellas.
The issue remains throughout--in each case, the billing is for
screenplay being "based on" the respective piece of literature. I do not
recall the on-screen credits referring to an "adaptation" or "adapted
from". But it's not something that would easily stick in memory and may
need to be closer verified. To make matters more complicated, there is
usually a full novel version written from the screenplay, leaving the
question of adaptation wide open.

Again, I am not disputing AZ's statement concerning existence of "book
adapted from essay", but our Google search results vary wildly. I looked
for "book adapted from" and got 898K raw ghits, with less than 500
actual hits (although the raw number went up on successive pages)

But what's missing among all those hits are any that include a book
adapted from a paper/essay/article. The closest was "Jungle Book:
Adapted from Mowgli Stories" and a couple of children's books adopted
from a poem, a "traditional X fairy tale" or a "classic X folktale", and
from a song (e.g. Bob Marley's One Love or Bob Dylan's Forever Young),
essentially amounting to retelling the short-form piece in pictures,
with potentially some language simplification that's deemed
age-appropriate. These hardly qualify as "expansion". Other hits
included adaptations from a specific movie/film, screenplay/script,
dissertation, course/lecture, "ASM handbooks", musical/play, "A. A.
Milne's original tales", "Kipling stories", "real events", "popular
Bible studies series", TV series and cartoons, and "materials developed
by/for X". Majority of examples are for books adapted from other books,
from translations (e.g. "from Voltaire" or "from the Italian") and from
collections of plays.

A couple more interesting hits include "Boomerang is a /book adapted
from/ Lewis' articles in Vanity Fair," and Julie & Julia, "The movie --
adapted from the book, adapted from the blog -- is the story of parallel
kitchen projects." Another pair refer to "a book adopted from bog
posts". Another oddity is deliberate: "A comic book adapted from a movie
adapted from a comic book, The Punisher has changed considerably in

In the entire list, I found one item that matches my original post.
> His most recent book,/Trailblazer: An Intimate Biography of Sarah
> Palin/, was published in 2009 and was released in paperback in the
> summer of 2010 with a new forward. /The Washington Post/ called
> /Trailblazer/ "A revealing personal look" at the former vice
> presidential candidate. The book, adapted from a /People/ magazine
> cover story that garnered Benet a prestigious award from the Los
> Angeles Press Club, and broke new ground on the controversial former
> Alaskan governor, was featured in the /Washington Post/,,
> the /Today Show/, /CNN,/, /MSNBC/, /Extra/ and /The Insider/.

This is the only one where the "adapted" form can be considered to be
broader than the original form. If we consider cinematic representation
or drama to be long-form, while children's books, poems and songs to be
short-form, These are the only two examples that show long-form
"adapted" from "short-form". All the rest are either spurious,
equivalent (e.g., long-form to long-form) or long-form to short-form.


On 10/9/2012 10:56 PM, Joel S. Berson wrote:
> At 10/9/2012 09:52 PM, Victor Steinbok wrote:
>> Funny you should say that--film, no; screenplay, perhaps.
> In fact the film certainly is adapted from the short story.  But I
> decided not to add my personal opinion that it was *very* loosely adapted
> -- the short story is small and sordid; the film is large and
> glorious.
> Then there's the film "The Iron Giant", adapted from the late
> poet laureate Ted Hughes's children's story "The Iron
> Man". The story is insipid, the writing ... um, prosaic; the
> film is rich and exciting. IMO.
> Joel

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