From Page to Screen

The Time Traveler's Wife

There's an inherently magical quality to debut novels, an urgency that permeates their earnest prose in ways not often felt in an author's later works. While the novels that follow may well prove superior in any number of ways, a writer's first work bears the full weight of their aspirations and as yet untapped potential. This isn't to say that every debut stands out as such—many a career has been born of an inauspicious beginning—but for some, so much of the burgeoning writer is poured into that initial foray into the literary world that it truly dazzles, unexpectedly, surprisingly, life-alteringly. Few have so forcefully seized the opportunity that the debut novel presents as Audrey Niffenegger did in 2003, with The Time Traveler's Wife...

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Fight Club                                           

Fight Club is the rare sort of novel that is so perfectly entrenched in the times in which it was written, it seems absurd to suggest that Palahniuk had anything but the most direct of intentions, seeking to address the oft-ignored problems inherent to our society’s corporate, consumerist nature. However, in a twist befitting the author’s own style, the novel actually began as a project of spite. After rejecting his first effort himself, Palahniuk submitted Invisible Monsters for publication, only to be rejected by the publisher due to the book’s disturbing content. The author began crafting a short story, born of his own reticence regarding a weekend brawl, meant to disturb the publisher even more than his rejected novel. Eventually, this story was expanded and, to the author’s surprise, accepted for publication. Fight Club was published in August of 1996...

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Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions

In John Ford’s classic 1962 film The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, journalist Maxwell Scott delivered the oft-quoted line “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.” The statement is one of resignation to the power of myth over the minds of men, regarding a fictional account which has irrevocably usurped the truth on which it had been based. In his 1998 novel Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions, Daniel Wallace deftly explores the premise of Scott’s statement, by recounting the mythological story of Edward Bloom, and his son William’s struggle to peer through the veil of his ailing father’s legend and find the truth of the man at its core...

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Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: a Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream

Misunderstood by many at the time of its initial publication, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas has long since been heralded as a masterpiece of Thompson’s own unique style of writing, dubbed “Gonzo Journalism” by The Boston Globe editor Bill Cordoso. Purely and intentionally devoid of the objective purview—and sometimes deviating from the factual truth—required by the ethics of journalism, Thompson’s work helped to introduce a postmodern perspective, in which the reporter himself became the story. A twisted, debauched tale of self-destruction and depravity in pursuit of the warped post-‘60s rendition of the American Dream, Thompson’s novel was once considered impossible to film. Famed animator Ralph Bakshi insisted that “a live-action [adaptation] would look like a bad cartoon”, and given the incidents of drug-induced hallucination as a lens through which the garishness of Las Vegas itself was perceived, one might have been hard pressed to disagree...

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