Stanley Kubrick: Master Adapter {Guest Post + Giveaway! by Rathan Krueger}

Today I welcome Rathan Krueger to Guiltless Reading. He shares his inspiration for his new book and his writing... the great Stanley Kubrick. Kubrick is known for his film adaptation of the sc-fi hit and favourite 2001: A Space Odyssey.  

Rathan Krueger is also giving away 5 copies of the e-book of Lie to 5 lucky winners, open international. Check out the giveaway at the end!

Stanley Kubrick: Master Adapter
by Rathan Krueger

Stanley Kubrick was one of the greatest page-to-screen adapters. It may be strange to hear, one of cinema's most original voices having a filmography that you could read in a library. But it's the truth. Only a fraction of the films he made were inspired internally. Three of his most famous adaptations, 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Shining, and A Clockwork Orange, have some of the most interesting inceptions in film history. Although "2001" takes place in the same year, it begins at the dawn of man. I can't think of a better film to start with.

Stanley Kubrick on the set of Barry Lyndon
Image c/o Wikipedia
The time when Kubrick was about to make "2001" saw lots of science-fiction in theatres. Bad ones, good ones, and those in between. This was before The Matrix and "A New Hope", so you can imagine their quality. Kubrick, being a fan of science and sci-fi, decided that he was going to make The Ultimate Sci-Fi Film. So he began reading novels and short stories. All thoroughly unsatisfying until he came across The Sentinel by Arthur C. Clarke. A short story he felt had room to expand and develop into a film. He contacted Clarke and the two began planning. Soon after, both felt that they could tell the same story in different mediums, so Kubrick started working on "2001" the film and Clarke worked on "2001" the novel. Kubrick kept a close eye on Clarke, however, making sure that the novel didn't stray too far or too close to the film. Both had a pleasant time with each other post-"2001": the same can't at all be said for Stephen King post-The Shining.

Horror films were popular in the late-70s, and Kubrick was looking to stake his claim. He was also looking to recover some monetary glory after his last film, Barry Lyndon, wasn't appreciated by the public. Luckily, horror films make money easily. He asked his secretary to get him horror novels and he'd read them in his office. Once in a while, she'd hear the thump of an unfinished novel being thrown at a wall in disgust. This went on for a very long time until, one day, the thumps stopped. Months later, The Shining film adaptation was shown to the novel's author. Stephen King was, the long and short of it, not pleased. He felt that there was a lot lost in translation, to the point where he re-adapted it in the late-90s into a TV miniseries. This was the only time an author had abandoned Kubrick, but there was an occasion where an author felt Kubrick abandoned him.

 A Clockwork Orange came from Kubrick wanting to make his film about youth culture when cinema was filled with films about youth culture. Anthony Burgess was contacted by Kubrick and was asked if he wanted to help adapt his novel for film. He did, but Kubrick eventually felt that he could do a better job and let Burgess go. The Rolling Stones were interested at one point in being in the film, not the only time a band wanted to make a film with Kubrick. The Beatles wanted to make "Lord of the Rings" with him in the 60s, but Peter Jackson eventually beat them to it. Kubrick made A Clockwork Orange with Malcolm McDowell, feeling that he was the only person who could play Alex after watching "If...." The ultraviolence was a bit too much for the obsessed and oppressed of the UK, and it was pulled from theatres until after Kubrick's death. Until then, groups complained and complained to Burgess about the happenings in the film, with no support from Kubrick.

There are other stories of adaptations and Kubrick. Traumnovelle being a book Kubrick kept coming back to until he made it decades later as Eyes Wide Shut. Having an author rewrite the long-forgotten Barry Lyndon while he wrote the film. Kubrick deciding that his adaptation of Red Alert should switch from drama to comedy, then making Dr. Strangelove, Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. And on and on.

About Rathan Krueger

I'm an all-around artist who's taking his first step into the world with being a novelist. I love films and they're my biggest inspiration when it comes to writing. Not so much about referencing films, although there's some of that in Lie. Someone once told me that my writing style is like reading a film, which made me all sorts of proud. I try to create stories that are real with bouts of surrealism. I'll get better with age and I hope you stick around to watch me gray.

Connect with Rathan on Twitter.


Rathan Krueger is giving away 5 e-books of Lie!

About Lie by Rathan Krueger: On the surface, "Lie" is about a group of four women who go on a getaway to a cottage to help one of their own through a life-changing problem.

Underneath the bridge, "Lie" is an attack on bland female characters in modern fiction.

Wherever you look, it'll be a lot of fun.

In alphabetical order... Quinevere Ainsworth is the one with the problem. Under normal circumstances, she's quiet but with the right accident, this white-haired comic book geek can be quite the companion. Fantine Karoly is quiet under pretty much all circumstances. In her defense, she's a rather shy teen. She'd much prefer to watch films or let her mind drift to faerie folk. Her aunt, however, wants her out of her shell and feels that this getaway will do her a world of great.

Veronique Karoly is a middle-aged woman with no regrets. Save for how her niece acts sometimes. She's done it all in life, and sometimes twice. The only thing she loves more than Fantine is being a woman. Idette Rudelle has known Quinevere for most of her almost-30 years being alive. Although she's younger, she's the protector of the two. A bit like those tiny dogs that are cuddly with the ones they like, and insanely... chompy around everyone else. Except she's obviously not a dog and I've never seen a ginger pooch.


  1. I've never actually watched Kubrick's adaptations of The Shining or A Clockwork Orange, but I loved the books. I'm a little scared to check them out, actually!

    1. I haven't watched or read either of those books/movies. I am scared period. :) But I did watch Eyes Wide Shut and found that pretty disturbing. It's interesting what books inspired Kubrick though ...!

  2. Dr. Strangelove is probably my favourite Kubrick movie, with A Clockwork Orange being the next, although it is not for everyone.

    1. I need to step out of my comfort zone, William :)


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