When a movie is made based on a novel, the source material is give automatic and unquestioned respect, often bordering on reverential. But when the process is reversed—when a novel is written based on a movie and its original screenplay—it is a very different story.
Novelizations are sometimes derided as some sub-mutant form of literature—not real novels and a lowly form of writing. Well, anyone who holds this snobbish, elitist viewpoint has never written a novelization—and probably never read one either.
The ratio of good to suck among novelizations is the same as all fictional works; most are forgettable, some are terrible, many are good, and a small percentage are outstanding works of art. As far as the mechanics of writing are concerned, it is actually much harder to write a novelization than an original novel from scratch. Turning an original screenplay into novel that remains faithful to the vision of the script writer and film-makers and yet adds something unique to the experience is a challenging craft to master. Here is a list of the best ten novelizations ever—books that succeed as a stand-alone literary experience on their own while still paying proper homage to the cinematic source material that spawned them.