Next time you're at the video store, be sure to look for these classic films--all based on great books.

A - M | N - Z

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency
by Alexander McCall Smith

A 2009 HBO original series from The Weinstein Company/New Africa Films, starring Jill Scott (as Precious Ramotswe), Anika Noni Rose (as Grace Makutsi), Lucian Msamati (JLB Matekoni), Idris Elba, and John Kani. Directed by Anthony Minghella from a screenplay by Richard Curtis and Minghella. Produced by Minghella and Sidney Pollack. Visit the official movie site at


No Country for Old Men
by Cormac McCarthy

Academy Award Winner: Best Picture, Directing, Adapted Screenplay, Supporting Actor (Javier Bardem)

In No Country for Old Men, Cormac McCarthy simultaneously strips down the American crime novel and broadens its concerns to encompass themes as ancient as the Bible and as bloodily contemporary as this morning's headlines.

A 2007 film from Miramax Films, starring Tommy Lee Jones, Javier bardem, Josh Brolin, Woody Harrelson, Kelly MacDonald, and Garret Dillahunt. Written for the screen and directed by Joel Coen and Ethan Coen (O Brother, Where Art Thou). Visit the official movie site at


Nobody's Fool
by Richard Russo

Set in a deadbeat town in upstate New York, this slyly funny and moving novel follows the life of one of the unlucky, Sully, who has been doing the wrong thing triumphantly for fifty years.

A 1994 film directed by Robert Benton, starring Paul Newman, Jessica Tandy, Melanie Griffith, Bruce Willis, and Dylan Walsh.


Once Were Warriors
by Alan Duff

A masterpiece of unblinking realism, irresistible energy, and great sorrow, Once Were Warriors is the story of Beth Heke, a Maori woman struggling to keep her family from falling apart, despite the squalor of the housing projects in which they live.

A 1995 film directed by Lee Tamahori, starring Rena Owen, Temuera Morrison, and Mamaengaroa Kerr-Bell.


Oscar and Lucinda
by Peter Carey

Set in nineteenth century Australia, this sweeping, irrepressibly inventive novel is about the romance between a nervous Anglican minister who gambles on the instruction from the Divine and a teenage heiress who buys a glassworks to help liberate her sex.

A 1997 film directed by Gillian Armstrong, starring Ralph Fiennes, Cate Blanchett, Ciaran Hinds, Tom Wilkinson, Richard Roxburgh, Clive Russell, and Billie Brown.


Out of Africa
by Isak Dinesen

With classic simplicity and a painter's feeling for atmosphere and detail, Isak Dinesen tells of the years she spent from 1914 to 1931 managing a coffee plantation in Kenya.

A 1985 film directed by Sydney Pollack, starring Robert Redford, Meryl Streep, and Klaus Maria Brandauer.


The Painted Veil
by W. Somerset Maugham

When Kitty Fane's husband discovers her adulterous affair, he forces her to accompany him to the heart of a cholera epidemic in China. There she is forced to confront her conscience and reassess her life.

A 2006 Warner Independent Pictures film, starring Naomi Watts, Edward Norton, and Liev Schreiber, and directed by John Curran (We Don't Live Here Anymore). Visit the official movie site.


by Patrick Süskind

An acclaimed bestseller and international sensation, Patrick Süskind's classic novel provokes a terrifying examination of what happens when one man's indulgence in his greatest passion--his sense of smell--leads to murder.

A 2006 DreamWorks film, starring Ben Winshaw, Dustin Hoffman, and Alan Rickman, and directed by Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run). Visit the official movie site.


by Kent Haruf

"Ambitious, but never seeming so, Kent Haruf reveals a whole community as he interweaves the stories of a pregnant high school girl, a lonely teacher, a pair of boys abandoned by their mother, and a couple of crusty bachelor farmers. From simple elements, Haruf achieves a novel of wisdom and grace--a narrative that builds in strength and feeling until, as in a choral chant, the voices in the book surround, transport, and lift the reader off the ground." --from the citation for the National Book Award

A 2004 Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation on CBS starring Rachel Griffiths, Aidan Quinn, and America Ferrera, and directed by Richard Pearce (ABC's South Pacific).


Physics of the Impossible
by A. S. Byatt

A Scientific Exploration into the World of Phasers, Force Fields, Teleportation, and Time Travel
by Michio Kaku

Inspired by the fantastic worlds of Star Trek, Star Wars, and Back to the Future, renowned theoretical physicist Michio Kaku takes an informed, serious, and often surprising look at what our current understanding of the universe's physical laws may permit in the near and distant future.

The basis for the Science Channel (The Discovery Network) 10-part TV mini-series hosted by Michio Kaku. The series premieres December 1 at 10 pm on the Science Channel, followed by the remaining 30-minute episodes at the same time every Tuesday.

Watch a trailer for the series.


by A. S. Byatt

A. S. byatt's modern classic is at once a literary mystery and a triumphant love story. As a pair of young scholars researching the lives of two Victorian poets uncover their letters, journals, and poems, and trace their movements from London to Yorkshire--and from spiritualist seances to the fairy-haunted far west of Brittany--an extraordinary counterpoint of passions and ideas emerges.

A 2002 film from USA Films/Warner Bros., starring Gwyneth Paltrow (Shakespeare in Love) and Aaron Eckhart (Your Friends and Neighbors) and directed by Neil LaBute (The Company of Men, Nurse Betty).


Based on the Novel PUSH

by Sapphire

Precious Jones--illiterate, sixteen years old, and pregnant with a second child by her father--embarks on a journey of self-discovery and transformation when she meets a determined and highly radical teacher who refuses to give up on her.

Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry present Precious—a Lee Daniels film from Lionsgate, starring Mo'Nique, Paula Patton, Mariah Carey, Lenny Kravitz, and Gabourey Sidibe. Directed by Lee Daniels from a screenplay by Geoffrey Fletcher.

Visit the official movie site at


The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate
by Nancy Mitford

Nancy Mitford's famous novels satirize British aristocracy in the 1920s and 30s through the adventures of the Radletts, and exuberantly unconventional family closely modelled on Mitford's own.

A 2002 BBC miniseries broadcast on PBS as a Masterpiece Theatre Presentation, starring Alan Bates and filmed in the original Mitford country house.


A Raisin in the Sun
by Lorraine Hansberry

When it was first produced in 1959, A Raisin in the Sun was awarded the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for that season and hailed as a watershed in American drama. A pioneering work by an African-American playwright, the play was a radically new representation of black life. "A play that changed American theater forever."--The New York Times

A 2008 ABC-TV movie starring Sean Combs, Phylicia Rashad, Audra McDonald, and Sanaa Lathan (the main cast of the acclaimed 2004 Broadway revival). Originally aired February 25, 2008.


The Rape of Europa
The Fate of Europe's Treasures in the Third Reich and the Second World War

by Lynn H. Nicholas

Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award
From the Nazi purges of "Degenerate Art" to the perilous journey of the Mona Lisa from Paris, The Rape of Europa is a sweeping narrative of greed, philistinism, and heroism that combines superlative scholarship with a compelling drama.

A feature documentary from Menemsha Films, narrated by Joan Allen. Visit the official documentary site.


The Reader
by Bernhard Schlink

Hailed for its coiled eroticism and the moral claims it makes upon the reader, this mesmerizing novel is a story of love and secrets, horror and compassion, unfolding against the haunted landscape of postwar Germany.

A 2008 film from The Weinstein Company starring Kate Winslet and Ralph Fiennes. Directed by Stephen Daldry from David Hare's adaptation. Visit the official movie site at


The Red Riding Trilogy
by Bernhard Schlink

Sure to be one of the cinematic events of the year, RED RIDING is a mesmerizing neo-noir epic based on factual events and adapted for the screen by Tony Grisoni (FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS) from David Peace's electrifying series of novels. An official selection of the Telluride, New York, Chicago and AFI Festivals, and acclaimed by critics an eminent accomplishment, the trilogy follows several characters in intertwining storylines united by the horror wrought by the "Yorkshire Ripper," a serial killer who terrorized northwest England in the 1970s and '80s.
(Courtesy IFC Films)

Now a major motion picture from Channel Four Film. Now playing in New York and Los Angeles, with an expansion throughout the spring.

Visit the official movie site at


The Remains of the Day
by Kazuo Ishiguro

Set in postwar England, a perfect English butler looks back over his three decades of service at Darlington Hall to reassure himself that he has served humanity by serving a "great gentleman."

A 1993 film directed by James Ivory, starring Anthony Hopkins, Emma Thompson, Christopher Reeve, Tom Pigott Smith, James Fox, Peter Vaughan, and Hugh Grant.


Reservation Road
by John Burnham Schwartz

An unforeseeable tragedy sets two men--one wracked by an obsession for revenge, the other wrestling with guilt and obligation--on a collision course that threatens to destroy their lives.

A 2007 film from Random House Films and Focus Features, starring Joaquin Phoenix, Mark Ruffalo, Jennifer Connolly, and Mira Sorvino, and directed by Terry George (Hotel Rwanda).


Revolutionary Road
by Richard Yates

A young couple moves to the suburbs to pursue the American dream, but they find themselves wondering if they haven't betrayed themselves in the process.

A 2008 film from DreamWorks/BBC Films. Starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, directed by Sam Mendes. Visit the official movie site at


Ripley's Game
by Patricia Highsmith

Connoisseur of art, harpsichord aficionado, gardener extraordinaire, and genius of improvisational murder, the inimitable Tom Ripley finds his complacency shaken when he is scorned at a posh gala. While an ordinary psychopath might repay the insult with some mild act of retribution, what Ripley has in mind is far more subtle, and infinitely more sinister.

A 2003 film from Fine Line Features, starring John Malkovich, Dougray Scott, Lena Headley, Chiara Caselli, and Ray Winstone, and directed by Liliana cavani (The Night Porter).


The Road
by Cormac McCarthy

A father and his son walk alone through burned America, heading for the coast but unsure what awaits them. The Road is both the profoundly moving story of their journey and an unflinching meditation on the best and worst that humanity is capable of.

Now a major motion picture from Dimension Films/The Weinstein Company, starring Viggo Mortensen, Charlize Theron, and Guy Pearce, and directed by John Hillcoat from a screenplay by Joe Penhall.

Visit the official movie site at


A Room with a View
by E. M. Forster

Lucy Honeychurch is torn between the British expatriate that she loves and the well-connected boor that her claustrophobic British guardians want her to pursue. However, Lucy takes control of her own fate and finds love with a man whose free spirit reminds her of a "room with a view."

A 1986 film starring Helena Bonham-Carter, Maggie Smith, Daniel Day Lewis, Denholm Elliott, Julian Sands, and Judi Dench.


The Ruins
by Scott Smith

A group of young tourists ventures to the site of an ancient Mayan temple, but what started out as a day trip soon spiralsinto a nightmare as they discover a terrifying presence.

A 2008 film from DreamWorks Pictures, starring Jonathan Tucker, Jena Malone, Laura Ramsey, Shawn Ashmore, Joe Anderson, Sergio Calderón, Dimitri Baveas, and directed by Carter Smith. Screenplay by Scott Smith. Visit the official movie site at


The Rules of Attraction
by Bret Easton Ellis

Bret Easton Ellis trains his incisive gaze on the three students at a self-consciously bohemian Camden College and treats their sexual posturings and agonies with a mixture of acrid hilarity and compassion while exposing the moral vacuum at the center of their lives.

A 2002 film from Lions Gate Films starring James Van Der Beek, Ian Somerhalder, Shannyn Sossamon, Jessica Biel, Clifton Collins, Jr., Faye Dunaway, Swoosie Kurtz, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Kip Pardue, Fred Savage, Eric Stoltz, Colin Bain, Jay Baruchel, Claire Kramer, and Joel Michaely, and directed by Roger Avary (Killing Zoe).


A Scanner Darkly
by Philip K. Dick

Bob Arctor is a dealer of the lethally addictive drug Substance D. Fred is the police agent assigned to tail and eventually bust him. To do so, Fred takes on the identity of a drug dealer named Bob Arctor. And since Substance D--which Arctor takes in massive doses--gradually splits the user's brain into two distinct, combative entities, Fred doesn't realize he is narcing on himself.

A 2006 film from Warner Independent Pictures film starring Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder, Robert Downey Jr., Woody Harrelson, and Rory Cochran, and directed by Richard Linklater (School of Rock). Visit the official movie site.


Short Cuts
by Raymond Carver

These now-classic stories (nine stories and one poem) when read together, form a searing and indelible portrait of American innocence.

A 1993 film directed by Robert Altman, starring Tim Robbins, Julianne Moore, Anne Archer, Matthew Modine, Madeleine Stow, Buck Henry, Lily Tomlin, Lori Singer, Jack Lemmon, and Lyle Lovett.


by Alessandro Baricco

The year is 1861. While traveling through Japan on business, a young French silk merchant encounters a mysterious woman and is immediately possessed, the memory of her lingering in his mind long after his return home.

A 2007 film from Picturehouse Entertainment starring Koji Yakusho, Alfred Molina, Michael Pitt, and Keira Knightley, and directed by François Girard (Red Violin). Visit the official movie site.


by Sam Shepard

Sam Shepard's Simpatico launches us into the world of horse racing, where high society meets the low life and the line between winners and losers is as treacherously thin as a razor blade.

A 1999 film directed by Matthew Warchus and starring Nick Nolte, Jeff Bridges, and Sharon Stone.


Six Degrees of Separation
by John Guare

A rare work that captures both the supercharged pulse of our present era and the deepest and the most mysterious movements of the human heart, Six Degrees of Separtation is a soaring, deeply provocative tragicomedy of race, class, and manners.

A 1993 film directed by Fred Schepsi, starring Stockard Channing, Donald Sutherland, Will Smith, Mary Beth Hurt, Bruce Davidson, Anthony Michael Hall, and Ian McKellen.


Snow Falling on Cedars
by David Guterson

Set in the aftermath of WWII, Snow Falling on Cedars traces the events of a murder trial that rocks the small community of San Piedro Island to its very core.

A 1999 film directed by Scott Hicks (Shine) and starring Ethan Hawke.


Song of the Lark
by Willa Cather

In this powerful portrait of he self-making of an artist, Willa Cather created one of her most extraordinary heroines. In a remarkable journey, a young woman whose exceptional talents lead her far from the security of home and family comes face to face with her dreams and desires, finding the courage and passion to seize her future.

The third of nine films in Exxon Mobil Masterpiece Theatre's AMERICAN COLLECTION series. Alison Elliot, Arliss Howard, and Maximillian Schell star.


Sophie's Choice
by William Styron

In William Styron's most complex and ambitious novel, Stingo, a southerner who moves up north in 1947 to become a writer, beomes infatuated with his neighbors: the demonically brilliant Jew, Nathan, and his Polish lover, Sophie, a beautiful woman with a number tattooed on her arm and an unbearable secret in her past.

A 1982 film directed by Alan J. Pakula starring Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, Peter MacNicol, and Rita Karin.


by Patrick McGrath

Spider is gaunt, threadbare, unnerved by everything from his landlady to the smell of gas. He tells us his story in a storm of beautiful language that slowly reveals itself as a fiendishly layered construction of truth and illusion--a tale of horror and madness that lays bare the deepest layers of terror.

A 2003 film from Artists Independent Network, CBL Production, and Sony Pictures Classics, starring Ralph Fiennes, Gabriel Byrne, Miranda Richardson, Lynn Redgrave, and John Neville, and directed by David Cronenberg (The Fly).


Taking Lives
by Michael Pye

Martin Arkenhout found his true calling on a lonely Florida highway--with a sharp rock to the skull of an injured friend. He didn't just take the boy's life--he went on to live it. When that life became too risky he found another one, and another, until he makes a fatal mistake that promises to be murder.

A 2004 film from Warner Brothers, starring Ethan Hawke and Angelina Jolie, and directed by D. J. Caruso.


The Talented Mr. Ripley
by Patricia Highsmith

In a chilling literary hall of mirrors, Patricia Highsmith introduces the alarmingly suave, yet utterly amoral, Tom Ripley--a man who will stop at nothing to accomplish his goals.

A 1999 film by Academy Award-winning director Anthony Minghella (The English Patient), starring Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law, and Cate Blanchett.


by W. Somerset Maugham

In Theatre, W. Somerset Maugham--the author of the classic novels Of Human Bondage and Up at the Villa--introduces us to Julia Lambert, a woman of breathtaking poise and talent whose looks have stood by her forty-six years. She is one of the greatest actresses England--so good, in fact, that perhaps she never stops acting.

The basis for the 2004 major motion picture Being Julia from Sony Pictures Classics starring Annette Bening (Academy Award Nominee), Jeremy Irons, and Michael Gambon, and directed by István Szabó.


by Walter Kirn

Meet Justin Cobb, "the King Kong of oral obsessives" (as his dentist dubs him) and the most appealingly bright and screwed-up fictional adolescent since Holden Caulfield donned his hunter's cap. Searching for a cure for his thumbsucking habit, he only succeeds in replacing it with other problems, finally discovering that the only "cure" for the adolescent condition is time and distance.

A 2005 major motion picture from Bull's Eye Entertainment and Sony Pictures Classics starring Lou Taylor Pucci, Tilda Swinton, Vince Vaughn, Vincent D'Onofrio, and Keanu Reeves, and directed by Mike Mills. Visit the official Web site.


Truman Capote
by George Plimpton

He was the most social of writers, and at the height of his career, he was the very nexus of the glamorous worlds of the arts, politics and society, a position best exemplified by his still legendary Black and White Ball. Truman truly knew everyone, and now the people who knew him best tell his remarkable story to bestselling author and literary lion, George Plimpton. Using his trademark oral-biography style, George Plimpton has blended the voices of Capote's friends, lovers, and colleagues into a captivating and narrative.

The basis for the 2006 major motion picture Infamous from Warner Independent Pictures, starring Toby Jones, Sandra Bullock, Daniel Craig, Gwyneth Paltrow, Sigourney Weaver, Jeff Daniels, Isabella Rossellini, and Hope Davis, and directed by Doug McGrath (Emma, Nicolas Nickleby). Visit the official movie site.


An Unfinished Life
by Mark Spragg

When Jean Gilkyson and her ten-year-old daughter Griff have nowhere left to go, they head back to Wyoming, where Jean's father-in-law, Einar, still blames her for the death of his son. Though Einar isn't glad to see either of them, Griff paves a path to healing as she fets to know her estranged grandfather.

A 2005 major motion picture from Miramax Films starring Robert Redford, Jennifer Lopez, and Morgan Freeman, and directed by Lasse Hallström (Cider House Rules, Chocolat). Visit the official Web site.


Up In the Air
by Walter Kirn

Ryan Bingham's job as a Career Transition Counselor has kept him airborne for years. He hates his job, but the lure of the sky keeps him in pursuit of his Holy Grail: one million frequent flier miles.

Now a major motion picture from Paramount Pictures, starring George Clooney, Anna Kendrick, and Jason Bateman, and directed by Jason Reitman (Juno) from a screenplay by Sheldon Turner. In theaters December 4, with a release to 2,000 screens by the end of December.

Visit the official movie site at .

by Langston Hughes

A 2009 series on Masterpiece MYSTERY!™ on PBS®, starring Kenneth Branagh as Kurt Wallander. Three 90-minute episodes based on bestselling novels of Henning Mankell: Sidetracked, Firewall, and One Step Behind. Visit the official movie site.


The Ways of White Folks
by Langston Hughes

Includes the short story "Cora Unashamed," which tells the story of the bond between an African American maid and the young daughter of her white employers. Transcending the prevolent prejudice and tragedy during the Great Depression, their relationship is one of unique triumph.

A 2000 Exxon Mobil Masterpiece Theatre AMERICAN COLLECTION presentation titled Cora Unashamed starring Regina Taylor and Cherry Jones.


We Don't Live Here Anymore
Three Novellas

by Andre Dubus

In these three stories--two of which form the basis of the award-winning film We Don't Live Here Anymore--literary master Andre Dubus traces the lives of two couples who married too young, and who are intricately entwined by love and friendship, jealousy and understanding.

A 2004 Warner Independent Pictures film, starring Mark Ruffalo, Naomi Watts, Laura Dern, and Peter Krause, and directed by John Curran.


Where I'm Calling From
Selected Stories

by Andre Dubus

By the time of his early death in 1988, Raymond Carver had established himself as one of the great practitioners of the American short story. The 37 stories in this collection give us a superb overview of Carver's life work and show us why he was so widely imitated but never equaled.

Includes the short story "So Much Water So Close to Home" (also included in What We Talk About When We Talk About Love)the basis for the Sony Pictures Classics motion picture Jindabyne. Starring Laura Linney and Gabriel Byrne, and directed by Ray Lawrence. Visit the official movie site.




Copyright © 1999, Random House, Inc.