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Fancy seeing that new film adaptation of a book that’s coming out? You’re probably better off just reading the book, new YouGov research finds

Released last month, The Girl on the Train is just the latest in a long line of films adapted from books that have disappointed critics and audiences alike. Whenever a book adaptation makes it to the silver screen, the expectation is always that the film will not be as good as the book until proven otherwise - not least amongst fans of the book. As it turns out, people have good reason to be suspicious.

A new YouGov survey of people who have both read certain books as well as having watched their film adaptations finds that the majority of the time the book is preferred – and by a wide margin. Of the 19 book/film combinations we surveyed, for just three did people think that the film was better than the book. The remaining 16 all saw the book preferred over the film by double-digits margins.

Douglas Adam’s The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is by far the book more preferred than its film adaptation. Almost eight in ten people (79%) say that the book is better than the film, with just 8% saying that the film is better.

Other books that were far more popular than their film incarnations include Fifty Shades of Grey (67% vs 11%), Girl on the Train (62% vs 12%) and The Da Vinci Code (64% vs 14%).

The three film/book combinations on list where the film was preferred were Fight Club, Shawshank Redemption and Bridget Jones’s Diary. Of these, the film adaptation of Bridget Jones’s Diary was only narrowly preferred (40% vs 34%), whilst the Fight Club and Shawshank Redemption films racked up big preferences over the original books (58% vs 25% and 54% vs 26% respectively).

Photo: PA

See the full results here

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