Sometimes, a great book is put to shame with a horrible film. Here are 10 such books I recommend you read instead of watch, accompanied by their Rotten Tomatoes film score and Good Reads book score. No film received a score over 55 percent, and no book received less than 3.5 out of 5.
The Queen of the Damned
This movie was bad and was unfortunately Aaliyah's last role. The soundtrack was incredible, but the performances were mediocre, the story was flimsy and the TRL aesthetic was campy. The book by author Anne Rice is, however, phenomenal.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 17 percent
Good Reads Score: 3.83 out of 5
On the Road
Jack Kerouac's seminal beatnik book 'On the Road' perfectly captured the soul of a generation. The film, while being absolutely gorgeous and featuring a topless Kristen Stewart, lacks the inspiration of its source.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 43 percent
Good Reads Score: 3.66 out of 5
Christopher Paolini shook the literary world when he wrote the fantasy epic 'Eragon' at the age of 16. The film adaptation was not so groundbreaking. In fact, it was so bad, plans to turn the entire 'Inheritance Cycle' series into a film franchise were shelved.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 16 percent
Good Reads Score: 3.8 out of 5
Gulliver's Travels' the novel is a biting satire on humanity and our vain, selfish behavior. 'Gulliver's Travels' the film is Jack Black making childish jokes. Ironically, it's an unintentionally biting satire of the film industry.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 21 percent
Good Reads Score: 3.74
The Cat in the Hat
I could have easily populated this list with bad Dr. Seuss adaptations, but I limited it to one book per author, and 'The Cat in the Hat' is the biggest affront to the rhyming genius of our childhoods.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 10 percent
Good Reads Score: 4.39 out of 5
The Scarlet Letter
Even if you haven't seen the film, but have read the book, you can take one look at that poster for 'The Scarlet Letter' and tell they missed the point entirely. But believe it or not, it's even worse. Insultingly obvious symbolism and entirely too serious performances make 'The Scarlet Letter' a better comedy than drama.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 14 percent
Good Reads Score: 3.6
After the success of 'Fight Club,' it was a race to adapt the next Chuck Palahniuk book. Sadly, Clark Gregg (of Agent Coulson fame) got there first with his adaptation of Palahniuk's 'Choke.' While it's not a particularly bad film, it just missed the vulgar, black heart and soul of the novel. And when it comes to Palahniuk's work, if you miss that, you miss everything.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 54 percent
Good Reads Score: 3.68 out of 5
This modern take on the Charles Dickens classic spent so much time focusing on making a pretty and stylish film, that it forgot that characters and plot need depth to them. The saddest part is all of that was readily available in the source material.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 36 percent
Good Reads Score: 3.7 out of 5
Michael Crichton is another one of those authors whose novels Hollywood tried to milk for awhile. After the successes of 'The Andromeda Strain,' 'The Great Train Robbery' and 'Jurassic Park,' it seemed his work was ripe for the picking. Then came 'Congo' and its horrible, gimmicky gorilla suits and villain.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 22 percent
Good Reads Score: 3.5 out of 5
The Island of Dr. Moreau
If there were a definitive example of a fantastic book turned into a horrible film, 'The Island of Dr. Moreau' would be it, in no small part thanks to the extremely uncooperative and controlling input of the film's star, Marlon Brando. It's amazing this adaptation of the H.G. Wells classic was finished at all considering how nightmarish the production process was.
Rotten Tomatoes score: 23 percent
Good Reads Score: 3.7 out of 5