15 Novels You Should Read Before the Film Adaptation Comes Out
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8. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
Author: John Le Carré
Synopsis: George Smiley, a British spy, comes out of retirement to hunt a Soviet double agent at the top of the British secret service. Smiley begins to realize that the his target is one of his fellow hunters.
Why You Should Read It: Most of the experiences in the novel are based off of Le Carré’s own experiences. There’s a sense of realism and urgency in the writing that makes it extremely vital to solve the mystery before the pages run out. You’re given plenty of chances to become part of the investigation, making it a very exciting caper.
7. The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Author: Stephen Chbosky
Synopsis: A lonely teenager who uses “Charlie” as an alias writes letters to someone he does not know as a form of therapy. His best friend recently committed suicide and he feels lost and alienated.
Why You Should Read It: Chbosky has stated that he was heavily influenced by J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, the cornerstone of teen-angst novels. In Perks, we see a modern day version of what it’s like to feel alienated. There’s also a vast amount of references to pop-culture, such as other novels to read, lists of great songs and films that are a must-watch.
6. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Author: Stieg Larsson
Synopsis: A disgraced journalist named Blomkvist is offered a freelance job that turns him into a private investigator. Over the course of the novel he meets a girl named Lisbeth who helps with the investigation of a mysterious death.
Why You Should Read It: It’s an enthralling thriller that mixes genres flawlessly. There are twists and turns around every page that keep you on your toes.
5. The Bell Jar
Author: Sylvia Plath
Synopsis: A semi-autographical book about a woman’s descent into mental illness. It includes doctors trying to “fix” Esther as well as multiple attempts of her trying to “fix” herself.
Why You Should Read It: For anyone feeling down about themselves, Plath does not dance around those feelings. This novel shows the dark side of what life was like to be a woman and mentally unstable in the 1960s. Plath took her own life months after the first publication of Bell Jar.
4. On the Road
Author: Jack Kerouac
Synopsis: A carefree group of friends head across America’s highways and discover what life is about and their own part in it.
Why You Should Read It: So much of the current indie sub-culture can be directly tied to Kerouac and the Beat Generation. While other novels glorify how life was, On the Road was instantly praised for its authenticity, which will bring you right back into the heart of the 1950s.
3. The Hobbit
Author: J.R.R. Tolkien
Synopsis: Bilbo Baggins is an innocent hobbit who goes on an epic journey that sets in motion the even more epic journey that unfolds in Lord of the Rings.
Why You Should Read It: Sure, it may be classified as a children’s novel, but it’s so intricately written that the detail will bring you right into the world of Middle-Earth. You’ll get to experience the journey to where ever there is and back again along with Bilbo.
2. The Great Gatsby
Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald
Synopsis: We see the elite world of New York socialites through the eyes of wide-eyed Nick. His relationship with his cousin and the enigmatic Jay Gatsby takes many twist and turns over the course of a summer.
Why You Should Read It: Sure, the pacing is slow and you may not have fully appreciated it back in high school, but now you’ll find excitement in parties, drinking in excess, sex and even death. It’s a novel where symbolism is abundant, making you sound more intelligent when you bring up that pesky green light.
1. Fahrenheit 451
Author: Ray Bradbury
Synopsis: Sometime in the future reading is banned and “firefighters” burn books. Guy Montag meets a young, sprited girl who intrigues him and makes him re-evaluate everything.
Why You Should Read It: 451 is a great sci-fi novel that explores the censorship that was so prevalent in the mid-20th century, as well as about finding oneself. Though it was written almost 60 years ago, the themes are still relevant, especially since we’ve all become so reliable on technology.