Hear it all the time -- the book was better than the movie!
And that's usually true. But there are some exceptions. What do you think are the best and worst book to film adaptions? I'll start this off with 3 of each. Keep in mind I'm limited to the books I've read, so should be plenty of opportunity to bring up ones I've never watched and also read.
Fight Club. This is my favorite adaptation and usually my example of what I consider to be a film that outdid the source material. I know others would disagree (and have in person to my face) but I hold firm to this opinion. While the book offers more detail from Chuck in a lot of interesting ways that the film didn't touch, the film brings that story to life and Fincher's style and editing and ability to pull off one of the best twists in a movie add up to being one of my favorite movies, that adds to the book and is not just a video version of the book.
Peaceful Warrior. I love this book. One of my favorites. But there is something to Nick Nolte in the film adaptation that makes the character of Socrates that much more.. interesting to me. I cannot read that book again or even think about it the same way without thinking of Nolte doing and saying everything Socrates does, in that scruffy voice. He is perfect. The book has more trippy elements that didn't get into the low budget film. But the movie does an excellent job still capturing the point of the book and making you think.
High Fidelity. Again the movie doesn't dive into music in the same depth as the book. But John Cusack is so perfectly cast in this movie you would have just assumed that Nick Hornby wrote that book about Cusack. Highly recommend both, and think this is a great example of a movie making a book better. You can read it again, and enjoy just how well both compliment one another.
Honorable mention - Hunger Games. Particularly the first movie. Thought it translated very well. I honestly was hoping for a grittier, more adult version. But aside from that, the casting was perfect. And the tone was as well.
Atlas Shrugged. 1, 2 & 3 were all terrible. One of my favorite books and one of the absolute worst trilogies ever brought to screen.
The Dark Tower. Stephen King said he liked the film adaptation and I rolled my eyes hard. Either he was just being nice, or he has terrible taste in movies. The book is a classic even among classics and the movie is something I almost walked out on in theaters, and really should have.
Ender's Game. It looked slick, but the pacing was terrible. The soul of the story was completely absent and it really confused what the point of the book was all about. Save yourself the trouble of watching the film and just read the book on this one. Or read it and then watch the movie and prepare to be yelling at the screen, wait, why did you leave that part out?!