"They Compressed Seven Books Into One Movie": 21 Book Adaptations That Seriously Disappointed Fans

    I always forget there was an Eragon movie, and even when I see a photo from it, I'm not convinced.

    No matter how strong or accurate the adaptation of a book is, something always gets lost in the process. Sometimes, what gets lost is...everything that made you like the book in the first place. So there were quite a few passionate responses when redditor u/seederbeast asked r/books, "Which movie or TV adaptation is the biggest letdown for you?" Here are 21 adaptations that enraged, confused, or just plain disappointed people.

    Responses may have been edited for length and/or clarity. 

    1. "The Percy Jackson movie. It's bad enough that the casting and effects were subpar. But changing the story completely after Act 1 really soured my enjoyment. The changes weren't that good either. Hoping the streaming series is better."

    a young man holding a weapon

    2. "I loved the Eoin Colfer book series Artemis Fowl. I even had The Artemis Fowl Files and the comic remake from the first book, so I was very excited to see my favorite antihero main character in a movie adaptation. So yeah, let's not talk about the Artemis Fowl movie... I'll go re-read the books instead."

    characters in the Artemis Fowl movie

    3. "The Dark Tower series by Stephen King. They compressed seven books into one movie. Needless to say, all atmosphere and feel with the characters and story disappeared. I'll go read the books again."

    a man and a boy walking through a city street

    4. "The Eragon movie always comes to mind with this question. Apparently there's a miniseries in the works now, but I'm not very hopeful, really."

    a young man on a dragon

    5. "World War Z. They somehow turned one of the most unique books into the most generic movie possible."

    a battle

    6. "Poor Earthsea. It got two bad adaptations in a short period of time."

    a man riding a horse

    7. "The Goldfinch. It made me question if I even read the book or just skimmed it. So, I reread the book and still loved it. The movie was just boring."

    two boys sitting on a school bus together

    8. "Do comic storylines count? If yes, the monumental Dark Phoenix Saga has been butchered twice by Fox. Like, why?! The thing is the whole arc can't be impeccably delivered in just a single movie. It should have been a trilogy or something."

    Jean Gray

    9. "The Golden Compass film from about 10 years ago. Utter shite."

    a girl standing in front of a bunch of polar bears

    10. "The Time Traveler’s Wife. They took a dark, bittersweet story with two very complex characters and made it a boring, sappy romance. Family is a huge theme in the book, and that isn’t there at all in the movie. Loss and grief are huge in the book, not in the movie. And lots of references to punk culture and the Chicago of the '80s and '90s…not there in the movie."

    a man and a woman sit on a park bench and look at each other

    11. "Timeline. They took my favorite Michael Crichton book and absolutely butchered it so badly that Michael Crichton refused to license any more movies based on his novels."

    people traveling to a castle

    12. "Fahrenheit 451. As someone who knows every word of that book, and who also loves Michael B. Jordan, that movie just hurt. I couldn’t make it 10 minutes."

    Michael B Jordan looking at something with a row of men behind him

    13. "The Giver was terrible."

    a young man carrying a baby and looking distressed

    14. "I Am Legend. I loved the ending of the book so much and was so disappointed by the movie."

    a man holding a gun and lying in an empty bathtub with a dog

    15. "My Sister's Keeper. Changing the ending for the film totally ruined it for me."

    two girls sitting in a park

    16. "Netflix's take on Jane Austen's Persuasion. I endured 10 minutes of it. Then again, it's Netflix's. I did it to myself."

    Dakota Fanning in "Persuasion"

    17. "The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper. They turned it into a movie called The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising. Just blatant commercialization: Give it a catch phrase, make a franchise, and churn out lots of mindless crap. I was sad that Eccleston was in it."

    a young man looking behind him

    18. "The Maze Runner series. The first movie was OK, and the rest were utter nonsense."

    a young man looking at something

    19. "A Series of Unfortunate Events. To be super clear I loved the new Netflix show; it finally did that series some justice, and Neil Patrick Harris was incredible, in my opinion. But the original movie (with Jim Carrey) from my childhood was such a major letdown and probably the first time I felt really betrayed by something like that. Those books were so, so incredibly important to me growing up, and that movie was a travesty. Jim Carrey was an interesting choice, and I feel like he was capable of doing it right, but the whole thing just came off so silly. And combining the first three books into one confusing and sloppy movie... Just like, why? It's like they knew they'd never get the chance to tell the rest of the story, so they just slapped together what they could and said, 'Eff it — we'll do it live.'"

    Jim Carrey as Count Olaf

    20. "Divergent. Fourteen-year-old me never got over the heartbreak that was the movie adaption."

    a young woman standing in front of an audience and playing a game

    21. "The Book Thief. That book made me sob my heart out, and to have such a poor film adaptation was disappointing."

    a girl reading to a man

    Which book adaptations let you down? And which ones did a surprisingly good job? Tell us about them in the comments!

    Note: Responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.