Nick interviews Alex as he reviews Michael Mann’s new novel, Heat 2. The guys then talk about the movie-related books Alex has read since COVID began, and their respective film adaptions.
Titles include: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, A Clockwork Orange, books based on Goodfellas, Casino, and The Irishman, Bret Easton Ellis novels, Stephen King novellas, and The Exorcist (which Nick has not read).
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Watch Alex's films at http://alexwithrow.com/
Watch Nick's films at https://www.nicholasdostal.com/
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Hey, everyone. Welcome to. What are you reading? I'm Nick Dostal, and I'm joined by my best friend, Alex Withrow. How are you doing there? Frederick Chilton. You did it, round of applause. You did it. You got it. I'm so proud of you, Fred. He hit his tongue. What shithead he is? That's a good one. I didn't know you're going to say. Damn right. We're doing things a little differently today because we're going to be talking about a lot of books. We'll be talking about movies, too, but a lot of books. So thank you for that lovely introduction there. I've been reading you know, I've been reading a lot. We reference it a lot on the podcast. I do or we? I do. I just alluded to conversations. Yes, you do. But I used to read a lot as a kid. My mom always encouraged me to read because she knew I loved to write. And she goes, You're reading is only going to make your writing better. So just read, read, read, read wherever the hell you want. So she'd always encourage me to go to the classics. A habit I departed with very, very quickly. And I'm starting to pick that back up, too. But there is one book, and this is one of the books we're going to talk about today. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, written by Quentin Tarantino. And I'm like, I have to read this. Like I bought it. You know, he released it in paperback first and only like a beach paperback. You got you sent me a copy. I read it like immediately. I digested it so fast and it's long. And then something that I've discovered I never done this before is that I got into audiobooks because, like, I love podcasts. I'm listening to podcasts all the time. I'm trying to listen to some to make hours better, you know, see what everyone's talking about. I don't just listen to a movie podcast, so. And what I found was I'm like occasionally getting to the end of my podcast. Q And then listening to shit that I don't even care about. Like this isn't it doesn't really like, matter to me. I'm not interested in this topic. And then I go, Why have you never experimented with audiobooks like yes upfront? It is not the same as reading. I fully admit that. Absolutely. Especially if you're reading fiction and you haven't read that actual novel, someone else is dictating tone there. You know, I get I hear all of those arguments and I agree. But but I am receiving the information. I am getting the story, I'm receiving it. And I suppose at this point in my life, I'm not really concerned, especially with a lot of the books we're going to talk about today, like with sitting down and reading that text, because I have time for audiobooks, I do a lot of random shit. I use them when I work out. So I have time for that because I'm always doing something else, something, you know, driving, whatever it is. A novel is different. That's what makes reading an actual book so damn cool because you are all encompassed in it. You can't be doing anything else. Maybe you can like be walking slowly on a treadmill. I don't know how people do that, but usually that book has you. So some of what we're going to talk about today, I've read the book for like Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. I read that text and then I listen to the audiobook because Jennifer, Jason Leigh does it and it's a really good listen. So for some of these books, I've done both. I've just I've read the novel and then listen to the audiobook. Some are just audiobooks, some are just books. But once I listened to Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, not read it, but listen to it, I went, Oh, what if I went and just either listened to or read a lot of the books that my favorite movies are based on? So that's what we're talking about today. Every book we're going to reference was either adapted into a movie or it was adapted from a movie in some very rare circumstances, like novelizations, like Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, for instance, that movie came first, and then he turned it into a novelization. So we're going to talk about some of those. And in the case of Heat two, which is probably the first thing we're in talk about today, that is an incredibly rare it's a novel sequel based on a movie because there's no heat book, just eating to the book. And that's, you know, really cool. But yeah, by that's the way to introduce all of this. And I'm going to probably be doing most of the talking because I am nerd and doing a lot of reading. But you've definitely read some of these too. So you're going to chime in because this is something, you know, we've talked a lot about how you like we did our favorite movies based on plays. So we talk about adaptations and stuff, but it's going to be cool to, you know, kind of focus more on the text today as opposed to the movies are based on that's all. And I can't wait to start talking about Heat too, because I love reading. I'm just terrible at it. I get it. It takes me a long time. It is not dyslexia or anything like that or some of like the the anything like attention. It's just it's just very slow. It's just poor reading habits really is what it is. But when I am reading, what I'm getting from that experience is better than any type of movie, almost because you're, you're, you're linked into it. And I also can't go for like too many chapters. And I'm currently funny enough, the book that I'm reading right now is like a 1000 page book, so I just decided to go right into the deep end. It's been taking me a year, but I have not been excited for a book and I can't even tell you how long. So the fact that we're starting out talking about heat to I want to read this book so badly once we did our Heat podcast episode. Yeah. When you told me that there was a book coming out, I was chomping at the bit. So this will be the next book that I read. But tell me why it should or shouldn't be the next book I read. Great way to start the discussion here. And I just want to say up top, like I'm not spoiling any of these books, even if they are based on famous movies that a lot of us have seen. I'm still not. I'm not really going to go into like here's a difference between a book, like a little bit. But I'm not you know, I'm not here to ruin two, which came out like three or four weeks ago. That's, that would be shitty. But he too is written by Michael Mann and Megan Gardner and it is a sequel, direct sequel and a direct prequel to the film Heat. Now long book, but an incredibly easy read. So it's like 480 pages. Half the book is set in 1988 and then half is set. The host the events in the film, and that takes us up to the year 2000 and it jumps back and forth. It's not like part one. You know, the first 240 pages are in 1988. It's not that clear. He's they're very careful about when it cuts back and forth between the two and in the 88 storyline. Again, no spoilers here, but Neil McCauley, who Robert De Niro played, he's featured heavily along with Hanna, who Al Pacino played and other characters that we know from Heat. They're the stories are different. It adds a lot of context for Heat, particularly like why does Neil McCauley fall for Amy Brenneman's character so quickly? That context is in too, which I really appreciated. This first part of Heat two also features. The main villain is a sick fuck who rivals Wayne grow in terms of like Mad Men carnage. Remember Wayne grow from heat neck. Remember that? Oh, you mean Jesse James? Yeah, just the the sequel storyline is the main character of that is Chris Hairless, who Val Kilmer played in the film. And it also features Hannah in a different narrative in 2000. So here's the bottom line. If you love the movie Heat, you will love this book. If you aren't a big reader, but you are listening to this podcast, I would highly encourage you to consider buying the audiobook because it was a really fun listen. Now the narrator definitely puts some character work into it in the way he's speaking, his inflection of the way different characters talk. But it is a really fun listen. I bought it, so I read it first and then listen to it and listen to it second. So I was able to digest it in every single way I could. You know, the book moves. It is not confusing. It absolutely reads like it is written by Michael Mann. It can get very technical, but never in a way that's like never in a way that's isolating. And if what he's saying is true and that he wants to turn this into a movie, it will make for one hell of a movie. Wow. Obviously the biggest issue there is like, how do you he's he just has to like explain to the audience whether on a press tour or beforehand, like, hey, just, you know, this is a Christian hairless and handed detective Hannah's story, but Val Kilmer and Al Pacino can't play those characters that everyone knows that. Right? Like, okay. But I mean, God, it would just make for such a good movie. It has amazing set pieces. That was kind of the challenge, like the shootout. And he everyone who watches that goes, holy shit. It's one of the best shootouts, one of the best action scenes in any movie ever. Can that be as effective or one half as effective in written form? And he actually does a good job of like describing the robbery in Heat two. But then he has other set pieces that are like thrilling and Heat two that you get. You can you're there like you can envision it, you can see it. It's really, really cool. So again, just highly recommend Heat two either in book form or audiobook form because it if you're a fan of the movie, it's just it's everything I could have possibly wanted in all the characters. Like, it's so good to see all them again. It's so good. Do you think that with something like the technology that Scorsese used in The Irishman, they could do something like that with Heat two? I thought about that you had to use different actors because Val, I mean, you know, if you saw Top Gun Maverick like Val Kilmer camping out, using guns and stuff, neither can Al Pacino. Like, you know what he had to do, what Al Pacino had to do in The Irishman as Jimmy Hoffa. He wasn't out there like running around with semi-automatic weapons, trying to chase bad guys. There's a physicality to it that these guys just don't have. Now, whether or not the technology is there and they get like, you know, Chris Hemsworth to play Chris Hairless, but they do stuff to his face to make him look like Val Kilmer like. Sure. I don't know. The thing, though, this is not this will not be a cheap movie at all if he does both parts, it'd be cool as shit to see like the Heat prequel and then the Heat sequel. So we have three movies. I mean, that would be awesome. But it I was reading this going, holy shit, like this would not be cheap. But you know, that's we're going to talk about a lot of movies that were based on books and you have to cut stuff out for cost reasons for any number of reasons. So yeah, that's a just a brief capsule review of Heat two. You know, Michael Mann's been going on some podcasts, doing a bit of a press tour, and it really shows his strength as an author too, because it was just a really, really fun read. So if you know, he's not directing as many movies now, he's in production on his Ferrari movie, which is awesome. But I hope that if he isn't, you know, directing movies at this fast of a clip that he's he considers writing more writing more novels or. Speaking of sequels, this is one that I can't wait to hear you talk about. Yes. Tracy Flick Can't Win by Tom Perrotta. This is sequel to the book Election. I do not know if a movie is going to be made about this, but I had never read Election and I heard that this book was coming out. So I read Election very quickly, also written by Tom Perrotta. That is what the book that is what the movie Alexander Payne's movie is based on election is a very fun book and Tracy Flick can't win matches it perfectly. 272 pages breezes by I read it in two sittings and it was reading Election Day and then this. It just made for a few great days of vacation reading. That's what I was doing. There are things in election, in the book and in the movie that were taken as a joke at the time. And the you talk about they don't age well like they do not. Yeah, well, what Reese Witherspoon's character has gone through with a teacher and this sequel acknowledges that openly. This sequel was written in the era of MeToo. And I liked that a lot, a whole lot. And that Tracy Flick can't win. It has a great ending, like makes everything really, really worth it. So yeah, the first few ones we're talking about here are kind of novel sequels either like this, like Heat two is it's based on a movie. So that's just a really weird circumstance. Tracy Flick Can't Win is based on the book election and the next one we're going to talk about is also one that has not been adapted into a movie, but it's based on it's a sequel to a movie. And tell me what that is because I do not know what this show of evil is. It's a show of evil written by William Dell in 1995, is a sequel to his book Primal Fear, which is turned into a movie starring Edward Norton and Richard Gere. And I'm definitely not going to say a lot about this because Primal Fear, first of all, I just like put on Primal Fear one night because I hadn't seen in a while. And that movie is just amazing. Like, I love that movie so much. Like, Laura Linney is just smoking everywhere. It's so nice. One of my favorite, Richard Gears. But if you've seen Primal Fear, you remember the way it ends. And that's all I'm going to say. And I had no idea. I saw in the credits it said it was based on a book and I was like, Oh, that's interesting. I'll read that. And then when I researching the book, I go, Oh, he made a trilogy. I haven't read the third one, but I was like, Oh, there's a trilogy of, Okay, this is cool. So I read Show of Evil and it's not. I just wanted to see where the characters went, that's all based on the end of Primal Fear, not the best book. But it felt worth mentioning here because maybe some people don't know that that story does continue after the movie Primal Fear is over. Those characters go other places, at least according to this author. So that's just kind of cool. That's cool. Hard book to find, though. The next one a lot of people are going to be familiar with. Including myself. Yes, this is this is I read this book when I was a kid. So that will show you what I was watching and reading when I was a child. And that is The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris. Yes. And I started with Red Dragon slash Manhunter. I did that first like that. The book in the movie, I watched both because that's another thing when I'm done, you know, I've seen Silence Lambs so many times, but it's a lot of fun to read the book and then immediately go watch the movie. And I've been doing that a lot just as my fun movie. Rewatches So I mean, what Michael Mann did with Manhunter Slash Red Dragon is really cool because it's a completely like, it's so cool to see two different directors like Michael Mann and Jonathan de Me handle the same author because those are two very stylistically different, you know, movies. But I mean, Silence of Lambs just it's a very entertaining book. I was. So it again, this probably isn't surprising to a lot of people, but I was so happy by how quickly it read it read so easily. I don't know if it would have been good. You know, I saw that movie as a kid, but reading it as a kid was, like terrified you because you you stay with a book a lot longer than a movie, you know, movies, YouTubers. Yeah. And the thing I had seen the movie, so I knew what the content was that helps. So but there were things that I remember having to put the book down and just being like, Okay, all right, I'll have to pick this up in a little bit. But I had the context of it, so it didn't bother me in that way. Right? Yeah. You you receive that imagery in such a specific way when you're reading it as opposed to seeing it on a screen. Yeah. And what's cool about like starting with Red Dragon, the book, you know, he's you see which characters he's barely referencing in like Silence of the Lambs, like characters who were also in Red Dragon. I like that. And then some of them become like side characters, and Red Dragon are now much more prominent in Silence of the Lambs, like Jack Crawford, the FBI director and all that. I just I love that stuff. But yeah, this these books are very easy to read. And it seems they seemed very ripe just to be adapted into very thrilling movies, which they both were. So that's cool. So those were my, those were my novel sequels. Those are like the, the very rarest type, like K2. It's just very rare book sequel from a movie. But now we're going to go into another rare type of adaptation. And that's when that's when the movie comes first. And then a book is written based on that. Now, a few that I have here are cheats because they were written a long kind of with the filmmaker at the exact same time as the movie. But like Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is the best example here of, yeah, a director going, I'm going to turn my own movie into a novel so that everything I wanted to say in the movie, but, you know, I didn't want to make a four hour movie. So here it all is in the novel and it was great. But before we get into that, like novelizations are very popular with science fiction, like alien, Braveheart, almost every Star Wars movie, almost famous. Cameron Crowe wrote a novelization of it after the movie. I haven't read that, but just to give you a little context, be a once upon a time in Hollywood. I know you haven't read it yet. And again, no spoilers here. I'm not going to do it. But I know you're curious to read this one. I mean, yeah, I mean, this is this is my second favorite movie of all time. So I guess the question that I have about it is for being such a fan of the movie, knowing it framed for frame to beat. For Beat, what is the book going to? Is that going to enhance my experience with the movie or is it going to can I separate? Well, it depends what you're looking for. Like there's definitely a separation there, but you are going to here's how I like to say it damn near anything. Angle question you have about the content of the movie you will have an answer to when you read the book. And that's not in a way where like it leaves you because it gives you everything. It leaves you with nothing. It's not that at all. It's just you get to know so much more about who Cliff Booth is as a person, because in the movie, you know, Cliff is he's running kind of second to Rick Dalton. You know, Brad Pitt wins best supporting actor in the book. They're like even characters like Rick Dalton and Cliff Booth are even. And it's so cool. That was the might. The most fun part of it for me was Cliff Booth, like, you learn that he's a huge movie buff and you I learned later that this is just like Tarantino being having it excused, like write reviews for European cinema because he's writing them through Cliff and I got a big kick out of that. That's awesome. Yeah. If you're a fan of the Tarantino monologue, there are some great ones in here. There's just great stories. And this most importantly, this book is not a transcription of the movie. Certain scenes are out of order. There's way more depth to the novel because he has more space to do it. It deviates from the movie in a few critical areas, and I enjoyed all of them because you have the movie. Yeah, I'm almost always going to like the movie more because that's just how I'm wired. There's few circumstances when I'm going to prefer the book, but I still prefer this movie. Like I'm going to enjoy watching the movie more than I'm going to enjoy, you know, rereading the book whenever I have time to do that. But and again, this is just a great audio book to Jennifer. Jason Leigh So it deviates and adds context to the movie and all the ways that you didn't even know you wanted. Way more info about Brandy the dog like it's cool. It's very, very cool. All right. Maybe that's an audio book. Maybe. I mean, it's so funny because she puts so much work into it. Yeah, it's just a lot of fun. Like, if you're listening to as many podcasts as I do and if you come to the end of your podcast, you like I was finding myself in COVID, like I was able to listen more podcasts and COVID and making the switch to audiobooks. Now my podcast queue like backs up and I like that sometimes some days also have, you know, podcast days and it's fun, but a lot of days I just have audiobook days. So move on to this next one, which we covered this movie in and a lot of depth in our Stanley Kubrick episode. So but we got to talk about the novelization of 2001 A Space Odyssey. We're going to talk about a few Kubrick films today. I haven't read all the books that his movies are based on, but yeah, the main reason I want to bring up 2001 is that he wrote this. Arthur C Clarke wrote this at the same time that they were writing the movie and he's credited on the movie. This is just a really quick read, 256 pages and a lot of fun if you love the movies as much as we do, because I do like the ambiguity of the movie a little better, which isn't to say the book like spells everything out, but it's fun to see the pure cinema of Kubrick's vision realized with just words on the page. And it definitely does add a little more context to the movie, which I appreciate. So it's just a fun read. I mean, you know, it took me decades to finally read it, and I've always wanted to. So just trying to nudge people, they've always wanted to and haven't checked it out. And then another one I'm going to mention really quickly is Nicholas pledges Casino Britain in 1995 and he was writing this, he was kind of racing to get this done before the movie, like he was writing the screenplay with Scorsese at the same time. And I really loved this book because for legal reasons, the movie had to purposely change a lot of details. Like I think they say the gangsters are from Kansas City and that's not where they were from in real life. So it's cool to get all those facts. You see those in print and all the names are legit in the book. So that's just cool. I mean, it's a long movie, it's a long book, but it's really a very sweeping account about how the mob came to run Las Vegas. And I love that shit. So yeah, it's really good at Casino. So my biggest question I have with all of these movies in particular is like once the novelization comes because obviously the book carries so much more. Does your relationship with just the movie change? Because now that, you know, this information is it's in you like you can't unlearn it, you can't not know it. Does that enhance the movie or is there something that you would like? You know what? I wish I didn't know that. Yeah, this is a this is a really good question, a fair one. I've never had that experience yet. I've been a little fearful to where like, oh, no book has ruined a movie for me. That's never happened in all my reading. So I'm able to separate and go. I get why Tarantino left some things obscure, but why? What? Why he wants to talk about them in the novel. I still look at the movie as what it is. For instance, like I'm not going around if people have just seen Once Upon a time in Hollywood, I'm not going around describing things from the book because that's not that person's experience. Like you get, you got to stay with the movie. 2001 explains a lot more than the movie does about the Monoliths, about where things are coming from, and I'm still able to separate and go. That's why I said like, I like the ambiguity of the movie more. So it's cool for me. I like to take that vision and we're going to talk about one in particular that some of these, as we go into that are like the movies are just completely different reads or the director is just like, I like this one little kernel of this book, but I'm going in my own vision and you have to separate those. That's where some of these movies have gotten into trouble because people are just glued to the book and they want a young book. And sometimes directors and writers just use a book as a kernel of an idea and they run with it. I think this isn't even one of my lists, but like The Shining is a great example of that where Stephen King was like, Fuck you, dude. Like, what do you do into my book? And that's just clearly something Kubrick wanted to do. And again, I haven't even read that book, so that's like a bad example. That's one that's on my list to read, but I'm really curious to read that one for that reason, to know that King wasn't a fan of it, of the movie. I've read The Shining, and yeah, there is. If you want a very clear depiction of the Stephen King book, then you need look no further than the miniseries or the made for TV movie with Stephen Weber, because that was a beat for beat writer representation. And I remember that when I. Got my issue would see I love Stephen King, but I always kind of feel that his movies always take a little bit of a departure from where they originally set out to be. I love his short. And we're going to talk about a few down the line. Oh, no. His short stories have been those. I mean, you can make an argument that like his novellas, that's been the best movies have been produced from those novellas. Shawshank Stand By Me. Yeah, yeah, yeah. All right. So now I know you've talked to me about this book, so I'm very excited to kind of bring this up because this is arguably the greatest movie ever made. So how does the book of The Godfather hold up with the movie? And, you know, again, it's like taking me decades to get to this point to read it. But I have also heard that it's I mean, you know, it's based on one of the most popular movies ever made. So it's like I just got to get to this and this is going to bring us into our are adaptations that kind of what you were just asking, like books that help give more context, help to add context to the movie. And I like that. So I did reference The Godfather, the book by Mario Puzo on I think that was episode 40 when we were talking about John Cazale and Broken Down and how I mean, the book is definitely more salacious than the film, a lot more. There's a lot of pages dedicated to Fritos, Las Vegas lifestyle, which is full of debauchery. There's a lot dedicated to Johnny Fontane and Lucy Mancini, who's the bridesmaid that Sonny sleeps with in the beginning of the movie. A lot of that is very, I would say, salacious. And I think those are things that Coppola, wisely, in my opinion, chose to withheld. And that's like reading that stuff. I just kind of laugh and I'm like, Oh boy, this is okay. I appreciate the cuts that were made here. The biggest difference that I found in the book that was really jarring and made me really, really happy that I had seen the movie first is that Puzo introduces critical information in very different ways than the movie. For instance, the best example I can think of is that in the book, Michael and Kaye are walking on the street and they spot a newspaper headline that says Vito Corleone has been shot. And then in the book we go to the murder attempt. In the movie, the murder attempt happens first, and then we see them discover the newspaper. That is what I'm talking about. Like it's all just a difference in style that happens a few times. I don't want to say every every way it happens, but I found that to be very interesting that that's one of like this grand two year experiment I've been on about reading all these books is I like spotting those differences and I like going I like reading The Godfather and thinking of Coppola just pouring over it and like dedicating so much of himself to it and making these cuts and then going, okay, we just we got to get rid of his entire background. And I mean, two years later, putting that in Godfather Part two, like it's really I love seeing the editor there. Now sometimes we'll get to some down the line. They make edits, the filmmaker does that. I just don't understand. And I'm like, how the hell did not include that? That's silly. But The Godfather is definitely like a more like a paperback pulp book than the movie set out to be. The movie is far more acclaimed than the novel, but that's fine to him. Yeah, that's cool. All right. So now we're moving on to a movie that I can't even watch because it upsets me so much. It's a tough movie reference. This one in our John Cassavetes episode, because the movie stars John Cassavetes. So talk to me about Rosemary's Baby. Yeah. Ira Levin. Rosemary's Baby, written in 1967. I cannot imagine people reading this without a movie existing. Like it must have been terrifying. Like, in some ways, the book the book actually is more disturbing than the movie because you're creating your own vision for it. Like when they're describing when you get to that end, which is really, really effective in the book, like it's creepier than it is in the movie. And Polanski handled it really well in the movies, iconic for a lot of the ways he did handle it. But, you know, books like this made me really wish that almost like in a, you know, sub universe that I hadn't seen the movie because the whole time I'm reading the book, I just have nothing like the theme from the movie. But yeah. This is a problem that I have. Yeah, same. With The Godfather. But I don't. I don't let it bother me. But you again, like, I know what I'm doing here. I know that I've seen all of these movies. I very intentionally it doesn't bother me to have someone else's, you know, vision in there. And again, it's always really it's always really fun to see. You know, characters are often like the character types are a lot different in novels than they are in the in the movies for whatever casting reasons, like Sonny in The Godfather is has a different physical build than James Caan does. And I just I just love I always love that stuff. Yeah. Rosemary's Baby, if you like the movie, it is an incredibly effective read, I promise. And I read that one because of Bret Easton Ellis, because he recommends Ira Levin a lot on his podcast. So that's why I went to him. What else is I 11 done? I haven't read another Ira Levin book yet, but he did like a kiss before dying. So great film noir did. He wrote Stepford Wives, the Boys from Brazil. Oh, R.C. Hunter movie. Yeah. And then he wrote Son of Rosemary, which is apparently a sequel to Rosemary's Baby. Yes, which I am. That makes. Sense. Yeah, son, it's a terrible title. Yeah, I think could have done better, but I'm excited for this next one. This is very exciting because I've always wanted to read this book because I'm such a fan of the movie and we're talking about Anthony Burgess is A Clockwork Orange and purely just for the language that the movie captures, to be able to read this, it must be an unbelievable experience. It's a very quick read. It's 176 pages, but that is the most difficult part. Like if I hadn't seen this movie, I don't know if I would have known what the hell they were saying. I wouldn't have had Yeah. Text for that slang and you know, maybe a lot of people didn't. And then the movie came out and they're like, Oh, okay, I get it now. And all that slang is there and it's kind of genius that Kubrick decided to leave all that in. And you asked me a question before, like, could it like, could a book ruin a movie or movie ruin a book or something? This is the best example of it because I promise I'm not going to spoil anything. But we spent a large part of Episode 35, our Stanley Kubrick episode a large part of Our Clockwork Orange remarks, debating what the end of this movie means. Now, if you want to know what Burgess meant by that ending, you can read the book, because I didn't know this. But there is a final chapter, chapter 21, that Kubrick omitted entirely. While Kubrick the book where the book ends at chapter 20, that's the end of Kubrick's film. And Kubrick did not very obviously very intentionally did not include Chapter 21. And I am glad because it makes and makes for a far more interesting film, but it's cool to see how that story played out. Now, with all that said, because I know Anthony Burgess conclusion to A Clockwork Orange, that doesn't mean that it is Stanley Kubrick's conclusion to A Clockwork Orange, and I am able to separate the two. So if I had read the book and you hadn't, and we were recording our Kubrick episode, and you're like, Man, what is that ending mean? What does that ending mean? I would not go, Oh, here's what it means. I wouldn't say that because Burgess wrote it. I would go, Yeah, I don't know. The way that he ended it makes it so ambiguous and that's what makes it so cool. I get that that, you know, can it can ruin some stuff for people. But one of the very first times I did this that I saw a movie I loved and I didn't really understand all of it. And I realized it was based on a book. So I scurried to the book to try to understand it. That was American Psycho, because the way that movie is, I'm like, Where's the ambiguity in this? And you go read the book this isn't a spoiler alert, but it's more ambiguous. So I was like, Yeah. Yeah. It's like I thought I was going to get some conclusion and there is no catharsis. This is not an exit. So that was one of the reasons I wanted to go back to A Clockwork Orange to see any context that's added in. You know, the violence is definitely more brutal in the book. Violence is usually more brutal. That's certainly true of the next few books I'm going to talk about here. But yeah, great read. It goes very fast. 176 pages is a insanely quick read. Yeah, that's very fast. I could do that. All right. So we talk a little bit about this movie in our podcast leading up to the Oscars this past year, because this is a movie that we both weren't really a big fans of the remake, but bigger fans of the original. So this is based off of a book from 1946 Nightmare Alley. Nightmare Alley. Yeah. Well, first, let's start with that aspect because I was hanging out with my dad all day yesterday. We actually saw Giant on the big screen, 3 hours and 26 minutes. George Stevens presents Giant. Great to see James Dean on the big screen. Anyhow, we were talking about Nightmare Alley because this is my dad's favorite movie of 2021. Like, he loved it. And for me, he's well, for me, the whole that movie clicked into place in a far better way for me, seeing it in black and white black. And when he released that black and white version, I mean, I just thought that was great. But but going back to the novel, like there are things in the novel in chapter two that you cannot put in a 1947 movie, you just there's no way it's a it's a far more sexually explicit book. And even Guillermo del Toro didn't put some of the Franco's stuff from the book in his movie, but his movie is definitely a more loyal adaptation of the book. That's that's just true, because you can do more on film in 2021 that you could. There are certain things about that 2021 movie that just like, like we talked about the reveal the big scheme at the end with Rooney Mara and Richard Jenkins, that the way that he pulled that off, I really didn't think it worked as effectively as the original movie and certainly not in the book. That's something that's like almost better in a book because it's you're kind of watching the movie and you're like, is this guy really that deluded? Or He thinks he's like seeing the ghost of like his daughter or something, like, is this like real? But in the book, they can really convince you a little a little better, but I am a huge fan of that original movie. So that's, that was one of the reasons why I wanted to go back tonight. Murali But you know, I read this book shortly after like two weeks after I saw Jeremy del Toro's remake in the theater. And I just had a nightmare really like month I would like became obsessed with the original for a little bit. Saw Del Toro's version twice in color than in black and white. Read the book. All that shit, you know, was fun. All right, so we'll move on to a movie that we cannot express our love enough for. We this is one of our favorite movies of 2018 of You Were Never Really Here by Jonathan Ames, who I love Jonathan Ames. Yeah. And I, I can't believe with his the way that I know Jonathan Ames. I was shocked to find out that he wrote this because he comes from a world of comedy. Right? I've read his short stories. I've read one of his novels, and I'm a giant fan of Bored to Death, which is the show that he had on HBO. So I love that show. It's Hot Lava. It's a great show to. The the MIT. The mission statement of that show is that incest is okay. Oh, that brother and incest is okay. That's so funny. I heard it's I can't see you let him air that like it's it's what you say. It's the mission statement of this show. It's just. Yeah, it's something that happens in it. Yeah. Okay. Yeah, that's. I'll give you that statement. All right. Keep going. This is a weird show. It's a funny. Yes, it's a weird, very funny show. It yes, it goes in that. But he's a weird fucking guy. He is a very. Yes. So so that leads us. So what is it like reading this book? So everything you just said was my experience as well, like Bored to Death was my introduction to him and I knew him as a comedy guy. I didn't even realize this was like the same Jonathan Ames. I mean, when I saw the movie, like, we saw the movie together and I saw it, I'm like that same guy. So this is one where it was just wanted to read it because it's less than 100 pages. So this thing is lean, lean, lean. Like how the movie, you know, 90 minutes long and Lynne Ramsay is like cut and cut and cut. And those really quick cuts, this is one, you know, again, we're still in this like added context section. That's why I wanted to read this because, you know, you see, you were never really here and you see Joaquin Phenix for like what, like 20 frames in an FBI hat. You're like, What the fuck was that? And a lot of the fun of that movie is figuring it out for yourself and the puzzle pieces together. And the book is not like, you know, in 100 pages, he's he's being very sparse, but you definitely get a little more context into why this why Joe is the way he is into that horrific childhood that you're just seeing glimpses of. It's really cool. It's I mean, this is I read this in like you can read, you know, it was like 90 minutes. It just cruised by. It's a very, very quick read. How I mean, I really, really suggest it but yeah definitely a strange do. Jonathan Ames but, a very good writer. So this is a good question. Like, which do you prefer? Oh, the I'm a district. This particular example I know you said you were a movie. Yeah, no. But I'm almost always going to say the movie. I actually don't even know if there's one example here where I could, because when we're talking about the movie, we get that Jonny Greenwood score. So now I have. Yeah. Yeah. Very, very fuck with re editing where she's like messing with this like can you track this yet? Jonny Greenwood Score and then you get walking. Phenix is like performance where he's gained all this weight and you're like, Holy shit, this dude can kick ass. And Yeah, I mean, that's my favorite movie of 2018. Like I, you know, I actually am due for a rewatch of that. I really, really loved that movie. It was just really cool. This is one of the best like quick read that I've done in the past few years, being able to have more context so I feel more complete now having read the book. But it doesn't it really doesn't take away from the movie I get. If anything, I'm like, All right, I get why you are doing that quick cutting. I get it. But it's just cool to see it explained a little more, you know? Yeah, which is true of the next movie which was leaving Las Vegas by John O'Brien. And this was written in 1990. This is just one of my absolute favorite movies released in 1995 starring Nicolas Cage and Elisabeth Shue, which we've talked about a lot on this podcast, including our favorite films of 1995. And this is an interesting book because the narrative is split between Sarah and Ben, and the book is almost Sarah's book. And it kind of led me to view the movie in a different way. And I'm like, This kind of is Sarah's movie. Like, she's in the therapist's office talking like, Oh, so it helped kind of recontextualize the movie for me in a way. And it was. Yeah, it's really good. It's, um, you know, John O'Brien died by suicide shortly after shortly after this book is released. So it's his dad said the book was like his suicide note, essentially. So it's kind of, you know, you're reading it and with all that going on, too. Yeah. Yeah. It's good, though. Do you think that Nicholas, like how much how much do you feel like without knowing too much of, like that Nicolas Cage process that Nicolas Cage took from the book or just created himself with that performance? I have to imagine he treated the book in part like a Bible because there's so many similarities to it. And again, if you just want that added context, like an actor not reading that source book, I would really think you'd want to maybe some make the actor decision to not to. But yeah, you get to know Ben Sanderson better in the book, so I bet he was poring over it. All right. So now we're moving on to a book that is one of my all time favorite movies, Hunter Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. It's all right there in that Texas. Yes, lean, lean book. And I really I had read this before, but I was younger and it's a lot of fun. This might be one that I like more than the movie almost, because I think, oh. See, this is why yeah. I think this thing just cruises along and I do think the movie can lose. I mean, to keep up that steam throughout like it's a lot. It's a lot to it to like digest as a movie. But I also think I know this is one that people tried for years to do, and I don't think there's anyone else but Terry Gilliam who could have done this. And I think Johnny Depp, Benicio Del Toro, I mean, coming together, it's like they really it took that long. You're like 25 years for all that to come together for this book to be realized into a crazy movie. But this is something that I like as much as the movie. I think this book is fantastic. If I had read this book first, this would have been a life changing thing, I think because what I fell in love with, with the movie was the language was the the complete absurdity of everything and these characters. And so to see them put on screen in that way, all I could see reading the book is the movie because. Yeah. It had been laid out for me in such a way where I'm like, Why am I even reading this? When I could just be watching it and getting the exact thing? Because it is a beat for beat like transcription of the movie of the book. But there is that one sequence in there where you just hear the ramblings of the tape recorder. Yeah, it goes on for like four pages. It's so funny. And that's something that you just can't put on film really. Like, too. Much. It'd be too much. Too much. But that, I think, is the most effective thing coming from the perspective of being so attached to the movie. That's the one part of the book that I think is actually the coolest thing is that that part. One of the things that makes Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, the movie work but makes the Rum Diary not work, is that, oh, you're loathing Las Vegas. You retain the language you have under his tongue. Brilliant language. The book in the movie start the exact same way. Yeah. We in bars just over the edge of the desert with the drugs we had to take hold. Like, if you have that good of language, just stick with it. Stick with the language. Stick to Thompson's language to perfect. The Rum Diary was such a mistake. Everything about that movie was just. Oh, I agree. I just missed it completely. And they even left out the best part of the book. And that's the opening monologue of. Of him getting to Puerto Rico. Yeah. Oh, God. Exactly. Exactly. And that's those are the things I don't understand when I'm watching the movie and I'm like, But why you got the rights to it? You got Johnny Depp back. Like, why not include blank or I don't know, it's. The best part of the book. Even. Oh, yeah, no. The next movie is the movie is all an exercise in what not to include. Yes, but this is a great I'm so excited to talk about this because this is in my top ten favorite movies of all time and it is my number one favorite book of all time. It's an ingenious book. We're talking about. Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho. Yes, release too much controversy. In 1991, it was dropped by his first publisher, picked up by another publisher, widely misunderstood book when it came out. I think it is aged. Let me be careful here. Yeah, be careful. The intention of it is aged very well, because what he was going after is it's much more clearly communicated now that even some things in the book have like happened in real life at all. The references to Trump all the time. But the whole time you're reading it and of course, I saw the movie first because of, you know, my age. And but people must have been like how the fuck are you ever going to turn this into a movie? How is this going to be possible? Let's just look at it in that he's just talking about people suits and what they're eating and what they're wearing and what drugs are in their system so much. I mean, there's a long chapter. One of the most entertaining chapters of the book is Patrick Bateman on the phone with a few of his friends arguing about where they're going to eat at dinner. And they argue so long, it's so much that reservations are just done. Like it's like 1030 11. It's time for letter, baby. Like you argued for 4 hours that you just the moment has passed and how are you going to put that on screen? There's that. And then, of course, what are you going to do with all this violence? This is so intense. But like I always say, the violence is very explicit in the book, as is his sexuality. There is a not as much of it as people like to remember. They're just quite simply isn't. And the way that he writes his sex and violence was so relevant worry because he puts no emotion into it. He just describes action. That's it. So like when a knife goes in here or a coat hanger goes in there or whatever it is, it's just action. It's just literally it's like a court transcription. That's how it reads. And taking that emotion out of it is what makes it work. It's what makes it so memorable. So, Mary Herron, like turning this into a movie, it's it's such a masterful movie adaptation. Yes. Based on what she couldn't include. And what I always like to tell people, because if people haven't read the book, I'm like, you know, that phone call he makes to his lawyer at the end of the movie? Yeah. Oh, that shit's in the book. So if you want, you know, they eat some of their braids, it's just all there. But also the book is like, so I'm in a cool journey right now, a cool path. I'm rereading all of his novels and I just finished this literally two days ago, started. I'm doing it my own way. I started with less than zero, but then I immediately jumped to that sequel, Imperial Bedrooms, which was a great way to do it. And now, like, I've gone back and I'm doing them all in order. So I've done Rules of Attraction, done American Psycho, and now I'm reading, rereading the Informers and, you know, going to take it all the way to the end. And he's I know he's our favorite author and he's definitely my favorite author because he helped he helped me realize that I wanted to be a writer. And the way that he writes and communicates, I think is so fucking funny. And just the disconnect that the characters are in this, the way everyone gets everyone's names wrong all the time, which is real so well in the movie I bought this book like a week after I saw the movie, hoping to get some more context and nope. And it was just it was a lot of fun rereading it. Now, the older that I am, I get so many more of the references that I just didn't get before. And I'm like, Oh, I know what that is now. This is such a good movie adaptation and such a good book. It was so fun to reread. It, and it does for me, the complete opposite of what Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas does, where all I'm seeing in my head when I'm reading the book is the movie. But when I'm reading American Psycho because there's just so much more to it. Yeah, I do see Christian Bale in my head when I was reading it. Yes, I did have him. But there's so much more going on in the book that I was able just to imaginatively place him in these situations and it comes alive. And then because it's in such a different order, when we're seeing scenes that we know from the movie, it's just it's refreshing. It's not it's not a carbon. It's a it's a fucking great adaptation, though. It might be my favorite adaptation from a book to a movie ever, because Mary Harron got everything about the book that you want to get and left out the things that you don't need. But when you read the book, it just enhances everything so much better. Yeah, got the humor of it. It was really smart to latch onto the humor and not make it really overt. But like you said when you saw it, it like Hollywood Forever Cemetery and people are laughing along. It's like, yeah, the intention of the book and the intention of the film is satire. That is the whole point. It is a dark satire and it goes dark places, but it is all a reflection of just who these people are and the culture that Ellis himself was just like. And at the time, with these stockbrokers and Wall Street guys, it's so funny reading the book and all that stuff with like Huey Lewis, Whitney Houston, you know, Phil Collins, all those long chapters, you're like, How could you possibly put that in a movie? And the way they put those organically in the movie is like, perfect. It's one of the things that makes it so funny. That's her. Mary Harron Really getting the humor of it is not funny in the novel. You have to make the choice to laugh. I imagine a lot of people are like wiser 20 pages on like Huey Lewis and the News here. What the fuck is this? But then, yeah, I mean, in the movie it's so funny the way that in this circumstance it's done in. But yes, very, very good. One of my favorite, you know, adaptations as well, certainly in. One of my favorite adaptations is a book that I've read more than any other book I think that we're going to talk about. And that's The Exorcist. You've never read this fucking book, you fucking liar. Such an asshole. I could tell. Set me up. Only seen the movie once recently, shithead. Great book. I read. The book on the steps. Yeah take you long time It's kind of big. William Peter Blatty, you know, he won an Oscar for adapting it into a movie, which is really, really cool. The movie is great, as everyone knows, and now we're kind of venturing into a different section of like the most loyal movies to the book, the ones that really feel like you could have just plucked this out and put it right on here, which isn't to speak poor of the book or the movie, but it just means that like the way everything out, they really seem like pretty close transcriptions. And The Exorcist is just, you know, it's kind of like The Godfather here. There are probably a lot of people listening to this who have read The Exorcist and like, you know, it's a good book. Like, yes, of course it is. But it was just fun for me to finally get to it, that's all. It's creepier than shit and yeah, really well done. And I love them, you know, Father Kerrison, that it's just I love that character so much. I loved the way he played him. So it's a lot of fun to, you know, have deeper dives into that as well. And this next book I've read, No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy. And the thing that I love the most about the book that the movie gets right is in the book, you don't really know the names of these three characters. You get to know them. But the movie the book is sectioned off. So there'll be these breaks, not chapter breaks, but just breaks in the page where it'll just pick up. There won't be any clue really to whose story we're reading. Yeah. Until enough of the actions that they are they have done. Let us know. Oh we must be talking about sugar because. Yes. Something happens that only he would do. And that's such a unique way of a visceral and primal way of getting us in touch with character. Well, that is my biggest issue with a lot of novels or just book fiction. Nonfiction that I read is a lack of form because a lot of stuff, especially a lot of millennial authors, it's just, you know, third person narrative and they're describing everything. The author, the narrator, narrator has free reign to describe whatever they want. And there's there's not a lot of style or form in that. And yeah, a lot of character names all the time. Cormac McCarthy is just one of best stylists of the form, and that is one thing that makes it so cool when you're reading it because you're like, Oh, who my with now? Yeah, you have to like actively follow along all that being said, the book goes, I mean, almost scene for scene like in the order of the movie and it's just so cool. I mean, Scott RUDIN, movie producer, he bought the film rights to this, I think. I don't even know if McCarthy had finished writing yet. It might have been like in galleys, like not even it definitely was not in print yet because by August 2005, the Coens had already agreed to write and direct it. And you know, they went screenplay director picture because of this adaptation. And it's a great, great movie and everything decided to omit is perfect because the book, you get a lot more dialog from sugar and a lot more explanation as to not necessarily why he's doing it, but like his reasoning for it, you know, just that those great Cormac McCarthy philosophical diatribes where they're just going on and on and I like that Javier Bardem really doesn't speak much in the movie. And that's just, you know, that's great. But every little cut, you know, there's just like a hitchhiker in the book that they leave out of the movie. That's it's all good, but it's just it's a very fast read to, like, the Road or Blood Meridian or more challenging McCarthy novels, but no control men. It just reads like you're reading a screenplay. Jenny does. Yeah. This next one's really interesting for a really specific reason. And this is a continuing our love for Bret Easton Ellis. I need to reread this one because every time I see them a bookshelf, I'm like, Oh, if I get a pull for it. And that's the rules of attraction. Ellis's novel Crazy Thing to Do was like 24 when he was writing this. When he wrote it. It's just absolutely insane. It's worth mentioning this one because this is Ellis's favorite movie adaptation of his work. He thinks the rules of attraction got closest to his tone, his style. And again, I haven't had time to rewatch American Psycho, but I finished Rules of Attraction. Then watch the movie right after. And I love this movie. I love Roger Avery did with it. And that Viktor sequence of Kip Purdue just roaming around Europe is one of the best things Bret Easton Ellis has ever written. Very interesting. It happened so early in the novel, really, really early on. But where it's timed is perfect for the movie. One thing that makes this book so fun that the movie captured so well is how people are often mishearing each other, you know, like a case of beer. CALZADILLA, that type of stuff. And how like you see Paul like falling in love with Sean Bateman in the movie and in the book, like, and they're spending all this time together and doing all this stuff and they, they spent this weekend together. And then you go to Sean's chapter, and Sean was just like smoking pot all weekend. He wasn't hanging out with Paul. So, like, who's telling the truth here? Yeah, I love those unreliable narrators. Ellis is like the king of the unreliable narrator to me, and I love that they're everyone just perpetually full of shit. And the way scenes of extreme circumstance when he will go from first person to third person. So like he does this in American Psycho when like he when Patrick Bateman is committing and there are a few instances, it's like a horrific act of violence. In the same sentence, he'll go and I pull up the knife and then Patrick brings the knife down, like into his back, you know? Yeah. Disassociation happening where he's cutting to third person. I love that form. It elicits like he's obsessed with style and form. He cares more about that than story. And that's why he's my favorite author to read. But yeah, great, great adaptation. Just a really fun, easy read. All right. So now we're going into what we were talking about a little bit earlier with Stephen King. So you got three books here that you want to talk about. Let's go. One of the most loyal adaptations of his work, without question, is The Mist. And this is a movie that I have a soft spot for. I really like just the carnage and the pessimism in the Yeah, God damn it, all nice of the movie. And that's all in the book. It's like it's really it's a really, really good read and short novella and I really think that's a great adaptation of his work as his misery, which I've reference on this podcast before. That's a really, really good book. Interesting that he spends really long chapters in the Misery storyline and like the book that the James Caan character is writing, that kind of stuff where it's like, so good to omit that from the movie. You imagine that movie cutting to like these kind of invasions of what he's writing would be so lame. They don't need to. So that's that's all stuff that, you know, kind of breeze over when you're reading. But that's a great one. And then I don't know why. I just wanted to pick a random one, not one that was like crazy popular both in movie and book form. But I went with Dolores Claiborne. I brought this up on some podcast we were talking about because I really like the movie. I like David Stratton in it, and this is cool because the whole novel is just one long police confession and it's the character that Kathy Bates would play in the in the movie. But that's it's really interesting. You know, King has his a way of writing, as I'm learning, that can be very digestible. Like just one woman giving a police confession is a is a very succinct way to tell a story. You're like putting yourself in this nice little narrative box and which so other than The Shining, what have you read? I've read more by King as well. Like Stephen King is probably the author that I've read the most. I was reading Stephen King because my mom was such a big Stephen King fan. So I was reading Stephen King when I was a kid. Again, books that I probably shouldn't be reading. Yeah, I love it. I think I read the stand that was that was crazy to read because I didn't I think I've read that an age where I didn't really understand a lot of certain things about that. Yeah, I got to read them. I've always felt that his short stories are some of his best work. There's how, man, I'll have to. I'll have to find it. There's a compilation that I have because he's got a bunch. So because the man writes more than any other author. I think, Oh God, he never. Talks about it. He says that he basically his whole entire goal is he writes six pages a day. Doesn't matter like what they are, but they're six pages a day. And but he's like, but that's every single day. And he goes, If you do six pages a day, you do that for like three months. All of a sudden you've got a book. But I don't know what he accounts into like redraft, like, you know, second drafts and all that. But anyways, there's this one short story you would really love. It's only like 20 pages long. It's all about this guy who was just in an accident. And he's been pronounced. He's been pronounced dead. But he's alive. But he can't move. So they're putting him on the gurney in the ambulance. They're putting the body bag unzipping him. But he's having all these thoughts and he's trying to, like, get people to know that he's alive and then it's a cult. I can't I it's in the compilation of the series that I'm talking about here. Let me see if I can. Yeah, he's got a compilation, different seasons I, I've read and it's like after pupils on their Rita Hayworth and The Shawshank Redemption, which The Shawshank Redemption is based on and the body which was turned into Stand By Me. That's those are fun reads. Yeah. What's the one you're talking about? So this is off of a compilation of short stories called Everything's Eventual. This is actually got the short story of 1408 with the oh, yeah. The great John Cusack. The short story is called Autopsy Room four. It's just crazy, man. Like, it's I love it. I'm going to listen to it. The dude is just got such a vivid imagination. And what's great is that as horrifying as it is, it's not just shock value, right? There are certain authors that just write things to be extreme. This is not one of them. This it's great. It's only like 20 pages. I found a PDF and it's on my audiobook app read by Oliver Platt, which is kind of cool. Oh, I love Oliver Platt. We'll get on to one of our final segments here. So this is the section. These are your favorite memoirs slash biographies. It's you know, it's fun to see occasionally a memoir or biography turn to do a movie. Sometimes it does not go well, but like just a lot. I wanted additional context too. So I read Like Wiseguy by Nicholas Pileggi, which was turned into Goodfellas. Donnybrook go by Joseph Stone with the turn that was like that gave a lot of context for the movie, which helped a lot. I've read. That. Oh, you have? Yeah. It's really, really good. I love Martin Scorsese's The Irishman. I love that movie so much. I've watched it so many times. I heard you paint houses gave oh my God. It helped me understand just so much really about like the mob union labor movement thing, how the mob came to control the unions. It's a really really cool read if you're interested in that part of history, which I am. I always thought that that would have been a way better title than the Irishman. They wouldn't let him do it, which is why. That's why in the beginning of the Irishman. He has this title card. Yeah, I heard you paint houses because it's kind of like a fuck you to Netflix. Like, it's it's a much better title, especially because an Al Pacino would have put it in context right there. Erdman houses next one is not a joyful book 12 Years a Slave, written in 1853 by Solomon Northup as told to David Wilson. Just want to it's interesting where McQueen chose to end his film, I'll put it that way, because the book doesn't end there. And, you know, it's it's just pretty widely considered that he was captured, again, perhaps by the people who had him in captivity and then killed because he was only free again for like four years. And I'm glad the movie ends where it ends. But yeah, it's it's not a it's not a happy ending. The disaster artist I wanted to read that because of the movie it's based on. And I heard that like I was really interested in hearing Greg Sestero talk about the making of the room. That's what I was more interested in anything. And seeing that, like just hearing, I mean, that just sounds crazy. The movie did like a decent job of it, and Franco did a decent job, but this is like, it's a fucking nuts book and how this dude, like, no idea where all this money came from. I don't know. It's a very quick but entertaining read. Certainly next two are really, really intense, if you like. The Wire by David Simon. The HBO show. The early genesis of that was like a six episode miniseries called The Corner, which David Simon wrote with Ed Burns, who also helped out on The Wire. That is an intense book. It is very long, but it is about how the drug war is not winning in Baltimore and how the drug war is, in fact damaging Baltimore instead of doing any good. An offshoot of that several decades later is we own this city, which I've talked about, because HBO adapted that into a fantastic and horrifying miniseries that came out very recently, the book by Justin Fenton. It's a really, really good book. I cannot believe it's true. I cannot believe these fucking cops just got away with this for so long. Molly's game. We both like that movie, so I wanted to go back and read the book. Oh, yeah, very good. There's. That book's better than the movie, actually. Wow, that's a good example. There is. There's a little to when I read the book, I went, Oh, there's like a lot of Sorkin isms in that movie. Like, a lot that maybe don't need to be there. I mean, there's just he put a lot of himself into it, but she's not going that in-depth about, like, her skiing accident and like when he falls at this angle at all, that's all. SORKIN So I like that book, but I like that movie, but I think I probably like the book. And then one that I just I've been wanting I've been so curious about was The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean, but just turned to the adaptation. I was just so curious, like, what is this book actually like? And it's just about, you know, the flowers and John LaRoche and stuff. It has nothing to do with Charlie Kaufman and his fake twin brother. Oh, my God. But reading that book, I'm like, I read that that it visited Charlie Kaufman reading this is going like just flipping out how Nicolas Cage does in the movie, you know, like so nervous about it. I can't believe that that all worked and made this profoundly strange movie from this pretty typical, ordinary book. You know, it makes so cool. It makes the title of adaptation seem a lot cooler now because it oh, yeah, he adapted it from it's like, here's this kind of like relatively boring book and here's my adaptation of it. I just want it to be about flowers. So good. The movie's way better. Oh, sure. And that rounds out our memoirs and biographies. I like those books some more than others. But speaking of books that are better, we have to talk about a movie that we championed for all of 2021 being very facetious fucker. When we're. Talking about the power of the dog. This book is way, way better than the movie to me. I wasn't biggest fan of the movie. There's very, very little homosexuality suggested in the novel. So interesting to see that be, some might say exploited, some might say just realize. But whatever word you want to use in the movie, but it's not as big of a part of the book as it is of the movie. But yeah, I wanted to put that here because reading this book, I read it after I saw the movie. It actually made me like the movie. Less so. Here we go. Well, this is one we've been looking for. Like, did it deluded? It did it maybe because the book is so much clearer about things. And the movie just made so many leaps in like convenience that I went and made perfect sense in the book. I don't think that was communicated clearly in the movie, at least not to me. It was, Oh, sorry. And then the next one, because we've talked about one author in particular a lot on this podcast I wanted to talk about to the supremely poor adapted sessions of his work based on very, very good books. Yes. And I have not seen What's the informers? What's the movie? Best 2009 Mickey Rourke, Kim Basinger or Brad Renfro? It's terrible. Oh, God, I don't even know it. Yeah, we'll talk. First off, we'll start with the 1985 Bret Easton Ellis first book, Less than Zero, which was a huge movie. And the thing is, is like I actually find value in the movie, but if you are looking for the source material and what that really is, you have to read the book because the book is it couldn't really be more different than the movie. The book is just a much better experience. Yeah, it's a one sitting read to me. Less than zero is just like a seminal book. I love it. I can't. It's insane to think he wrote it at the age he was in college. Like 19, 20, 21 year old. The movie doesn't work for a few reasons. One, they everyone, the producers, the studio got nervous about it and made it. There's not even a line of dialog or script from the novel. In the movie it has the same title, somewhat loosely, the same circumstance, but they are nothing alike. There is some value to be found in the movie. Robert Downey Jr. As Julian is a good performance, but it is nothing like the Julian from the novel. They're just they just had the same name. Ed Lachman shot less than zero. It looks great. The colors of it are gorgeous. So there is value to be found in the movie, but it is completely separate from the book. There is still a book I'm on now, which is a collection of short stories, interconnected short stories, the informers. And, you know, it's I totally forgot that in The Informers, one of the main characters is Tim Price, who is played by Justin Theroux in American Psycho. The movie and I Forgot. And he's a big part of the book, too. And I forgot. Like, it's so cool to read all of his books in order like this because he does repeat a lot of the same characters. I mean. The biggest example this is Sean Bateman is the main character of Rules of Attraction. And then his older brother Patrick is the main character of American Psycho. That's the clearest connection. Yes, that crystal clear, but it's always fun. But The Informers is a great collection of short stories that just made for a dog shit movie. And it was just talked about this a lot on his podcast that they were trying, and the director just did not get the sensibility of it in the movie. I saw this movie once, the only year I went to Sundance and I it was the first movie I saw at Sundance. I was so fucking excited because it was like, I don't even have the list in front of me. But a mickey Rourke, Billy Bob Thornton, Kim Basinger, Brad Renfro, a young Amber heard, really young. It has like a good, influential cast and the movie sucks. It just does not work. And I was so excited and then I was so let down, like, it's Sundance going to suck. And that was that was one of the only one of the few poor movies I saw that, you know, long weekend. But yeah, not a good movie. Definitely. Skippable movie. Do not skip that book. That book rocks. It's in between American Psycho and Glamor Ammo, which is my next A-list book. And I'm so excited to reread because it's as long as I've ever read it. And I only read it once. Yeah, I've read it. But that was, I think my first book that I read from him and I wasn't ready. It's so if fucking goes there, it's really long. And then the main character of that is Victor from Rules of Attraction. So, you know, again, that synchronicity, he's keeping it all together. But I had a few more that I didn't really know where to place. Have you ever read Fight Club Jury that. I can't stand? Chuck Palahniuk. Oh wow. I didn't expect reaction. I can't even. I didn't know you were going to go there. No, I don't like him either. I don't like his writing style. It is baffling to me that he's compared to Bret Easton. I don't get it. No, I didn't. That book did not do it for me. And I've read a number of his things. I've given like a lot of chances because I wanted to hop on plane and get it and fight club kind of cemented like this isn't for me like the movie is for me. Absolutely, but this isn't for me. Yeah, that's so. I did not expect you to say that. I thought. I was going to have to stand on this bridge all by myself, but. Yeah. Oh, no, I, I was hesitant when I was talking about the Stephen King autopsy number four, because the author I was avoiding talking about in my reference to shock value was Chuck Palahniuk. It's two shock value it you go it's like I don't need okay dude I get it. Bret Easton Ellis Someone could probably make the argument that that's what he's going for too. I emphatically disagree. And I'm. Happy to have that covered. Yes, I'm happy to have that conversation. Just like gas bar and away. Don't you know, sometimes he's going for shock. By and large, he's not. He has intention. Yeah. Okay. So that was one that I read for the first time in like the last year and was like, okay, crash that, that based on the David Cronenberg movie, which is very, you know, salacious. I was really interested to read that and I did. And that that was something that was written in 1973 by J.G. Ballard. That's a hell of a book. Um, well, Psycho, I never read that written by Robert Bloch in 1959. Obviously turned into my favorite Hitchcock film, Psycho. Definitely prefer the movie there, but it was cool to read, you know, the the reveal at the end was still kept. That's what I wanted to see. Like, how's this author going to hide this reveal from us? Did it really cool? Like just, you know, you know, in that basement, it was it was very well done. And then my last book that I really finished before my Bret Easton Ellis binge here is One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, never read it and absolutely loved it. And that that's a huge kind of deviation because that huge book, as many people may know, is from the point of view of chief who's a character, an important character in the movie. But that's really cool that it's just about him. And then it was a slim read, like it went by really fast, and I thought that was a very good adaptation of it, you know, just like Brokeback Mountain. Like that's a very short story thing. Cruises by and the way they built that out to that movie is like breathtaking. It's really, really good the way they added stuff. You know, usually movies have to chip away, take stuff out, but there's a few where they have to add stuff and that's always fun when done well. There's also a play version of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest that is also vastly different, not vastly, but like different enough to where I look at those three and I'm like, there's wild differences among all three of those things. Okay, so since we started in a funny way, we're going to end in a funny way, we're going to go with What are you reading? So it sounds like we're both reading things. You're taking like a two and a half years to read your book. Fucking a. You don't have to like go back and start from the beginning. You're like laugh yourself. But yeah, let's go pretty much right now. Like even though it is, it's taken me a long, long time to read it. I'm reading Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead. What do you think of it? Because I have not read this. It's amazing. I was told by an acting teacher that one day this book is going to come into my life and it's going to mean something. And I remember I was at Barnes and Noble. This is pre-pandemic, and I was flipping through books and all of a sudden The Fountainhead was like three books behind. Wherever I was reading, I just remembered thinking, and my acting teacher is like, This book is going to find you one day. And I just immediately I looked and I go, Well, there's no bigger sign than this because it showed up in a place it wasn't supposed to be. So that was the book that I bought. Took me a year to start it, very, very like me to do that. And then I started it. And yes, it's taken me a long time to get where I'm at. I'm almost done and I've enjoyed every page of this book. It's incredible. Awesome. I've heard that review from a lot of people that it is. It can be like this life changing thing. So that's really cool. I should. Yeah. You know, I got to sit down and do that. I've kind of already been talking about what I am reading, which is the informers, and then I'm going to move Glenn Rama and then Lunar Park, which I've only read once, and I love that Bret Snell's book, so I don't want to harp on any of those. But the next like big, thick novel, I'm going to read is that my dad and I just saw Giant yesterday and they were giving out programs. And on October 16th on Sunday, that theater is playing a place in the sun. And it has a Q&A after with George Stevens, his son, who's going to be there? George Stevens Jr. So we're going to that. So I was like, all right, that's a month and a half for me to read. Theodore Dreiser is an American tragedy, which is what that movie's based on. But this is a long fucking book we're near. It's like 900 pages. So if I want to get started, I got to start now. I got to burn through these list books. I might have to honestly switch to an American tragedy, but that's going to be the next one I jump into, and I've wanted to read the book that got adapted into A Place in the Sun. Yeah, I bet I finish an American tragedy before you finish it. 100%. Cleared for Emmett Sullivan fun. Would you just given that. Quickly and there's just there's no way. We talked about a lot today and these were just like at random things that I've read over the past two years. This is certainly not like every book we've ever read that got turned into a movie. But I always want to know yours. We want to know what's what are some of your favorite books that got I don't know, turned into bad movies or decent books that got turned into great movies. Engage with us on Twitter at W AIW underscore. But as always, thanks for listening and happy reading nerds. Hey, everyone, thanks again for listening. You can watch my films and read my movie blog at Alex Withrow dot com Nicholas Dose Tor.com is where you can find all of Nick's film work. Send us mailbag questions at What are you watching podcast at gmail.com or find us on Twitter at W AIW Underscore Podcast. Next time we're going to shine a light on. Our favorite films directed by women that are about women, some great female driven stories here. Stay tuned.