Five Great Book-To-Film Gifts

In Features by Paula Hammond - Features Editor

Christmas is almost here … And what could be better than curling up with a good book? Fortunately, if you’re a film fan, the Folio Society have you covered…From old school crime capers, to spy novels, sci-fi, war tales, and stories to chill the blood… here’s our pick of five of the best books-to-films for the gift-giving season.

Murder On The Orient Express by Agatha Christie
Illustrated by Andrew Davidson

A curious group of passengers is assembled on the Istanbul–Calais coach of the Simplon Orient Express. They include a Russian princess, an Italian salesman, an English colonel – and Hercule Poirot. The morning after the train is stopped dead by a deep snowdrift, American millionaire Mr Ratchett is found stabbed to death, his compartment bolted on the inside. It is clear that the murderer must be one of his fellow passengers – and must still be on the train. One of Christie’s most famous novels, Murder on the Orient Express boasts a truly audacious solution.

Image shows cover, bound in buckram, blocked with a design by Andrew Davidson.

The Spy Who Came In From The Cold by John le Carré
Introduced by the author
Illustrated by Matt Taylor

In 1963, a bored British intelligence officer in communist East Germany finished work on a book that would not only re-invent the spy novel, but would change the face of the modern thriller. This is the first illustrated edition of John Le Carré’s masterpiece The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, his nerve-shattering account of deception upon deception at the height of the Cold War, and a man caught in a game between East and West where the only rule is to win … no matter the cost.

Alec Leamas knows that there is only one moral law in intelligence work, ‘it is justified by results’. Under orders from his spymaster, Control, he must willingly turn his back on everything he knows, and defect behind the Iron Curtain to corner a ruthless spy killer. But as the entrance to the rabbit hole begins to close behind him, can he be sure there is a way back? Ideology, friendship and love must be set aside as Leamas battles to find a way back in from the cold.

Image shows cover, quarter-bound in blocked cloth with blocked raw board sides.

The Man In The High Castle by Philip K. Dick
Introduced by Ursula K. Le Guin
Illustrated by Shotopop

In 1962 Philip K. Dick conjured a new vision of our world – a twisted simulacrum in which the Axis Powers have won the Second World War. America is now divided: the eastern United States is the puppet of a maniacal German Reich, while the western Pacific seaboard is governed by a militaristic, yet spiritual, Japanese dictatorship. Amongst the complexities of this new existence, a group of unremarkable people – an American- Jewish craftsman, a judo instructor, a Japanese diplomat – play out their everyday lives, each striving to uncover a remnant of goodness in the shadow of a gathering evil. As their narratives intersect, Dick poses larger metaphysical questions concerning the authentication of history, perception and the building blocks of destiny.

Image shows cover, three-quarter-bound in cloth with a Modigliani paper side, printed and blocked with a design by Shotopop.

The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty
Illustrated by Jeremy Caniglia

Few novels have shocked the world like The Exorcist. Inspired by the real-life exorcism of a child in the 1940s, William Peter Blatty’s gripping tale of a young girl thought possessed, and the small group of determined individuals who race against time to save her, is as iconic as it is horrifying. Yet beneath the notoriety of the novel, and the gruesome scenes stamped into the public consciousness by William Friedkin’s 1973 film adaptation, lies a satisfyingly complex exploration of Catholic notions of suffering, guilt and redemption. With illustrations from acclaimed artist Jeremy Caniglia, this Folio edition is a fitting tribute to an unforgettable work of psychological horror.

Image shows cover, bound in clot, set in Warnock.

The Dam Busters by Paul Brickhill
Introduced by Mary Stopes-Roe

The story of the ‘dam busters’ remains one of the classics of Second World War literature, and is the subject of a highly successful 1954 film of the same name. As Marshal of the RAF, Lord Tedder wrote in his original foreword, ‘The story which is told in this book cannot but make its readers feel humble in the face of such devotion, such self-sacrifice, and such courage.

This edition is illustrated with contemporary black-and-white photographs, including trials of the bouncing bomb, and portraits of notable figures including Wing Commander Guy Gibson and Barnes Wallis. Pictorial endpapers show Wallis’s sketched designs from his original proposal to the Ministry for War, and a fascinating introduction by his daughter, Mary Stopes-Roe, recalls her father trialling his invention in the garden with catapults and marbles over the old tin washtub.

Image shows cover quarter bound in cloth with cloth sides, blocked with a design by Richard Sweeney.

For more information visit: