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Throwing the book at film

Stephen Daldry's "The Hours" typically trips over its source novel. Cinema's relationship to literature is a story of ram-raids, genuflections and bear hugs

By Mark Cousins   March 2003

Woody Allen once said that if he had his life to live over again, he’d want it exactly the same, but without seeing the film version of John Fowles’s novel, ‘The Magus’. Michael Caine thinks it is the worst film he’s been in, which is saying something. Fowles, who himself adapted it for the screen, called it “a disaster all the way down the line.” ‘The Magus’ stands out from cinema’s long line of botched filming of books because of the particularly wrong-headed way in which Fowles tried to shoehorn all the layers of his complex 600-page novel into two…

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