Vintage Classics Book Giveaway

'A Brief History of Montmaray' Vintage Classic edition

A Brief History of Montmaray is being re-published as a Vintage Classic Children’s book next month. This new edition has a lovely illustrated cover by Samantha Battersby and features the original illustrated introduction page by Zoë Sadokierski:

'A Brief History of Montmaray' illustrated introduction page

And there are some added extras – historical background information, reading group discussion questions and information about some of Sophie’s own favourite classics. It goes on sale in Australia and New Zealand on the first of August, but I’m also giving away three copies here. For all those North American readers who were curious about the original text of A Brief History of Montmaray before it was edited for American readers – here it is! And for Australian and New Zealand readers who already have the Australian edition – um . . . oh look, pretty cover! And cute sketches of puffins and teapots and cats inside the covers! (Note: if an Australian or New Zealander wins a book and would actually prefer a copy of the North American paperback, I’ll send them that instead.)

Usually, when I hold a book giveaway on my blog, I ask people for book recommendations, but I thought I’d do something a bit different this time. To enter this book giveaway, leave a comment below about your favourite film (or television series) adapted from a book you’ve loved. I’ll start you off with some of my favourites.

1. Brideshead Revisited, 1981 television series. One of those rare examples of a television series being better than the book, in my opinion. All those pompous sermons in the final section of the novel were turned into poignant monologues or the sort of dialogue that real people might actually speak. Special mention must go to Jeremy Irons for transforming snobby, wife-abandoning Charles into a sympathetic character. And the bear who played Aloysius did a pretty good job, too. (Let’s just ignore that 2008 film version, shall we?)

2. Cold Comfort Farm, 1995 film. This has a dream cast – Ian McKellen, Eileen Atkins, Miriam Margolyes, Rufus Sewell (in unbuttoned shirt), Stephen Fry, Joanna Lumley and Kate Beckinsale. The film’s almost as funny as the book, and that’s high praise.

3. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, 2005 film. I think this was my favourite Harry Potter film. The Yule Ball! Draco as a ferret! Hedges that eat people! A Voldemort who was even scarier than in the book! (They shouldn’t have killed the dragon, though – that was just mean.)

4. The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, 1981 television series. Admittedly, it’s been a long time since I watched it and I’m sure today’s teenagers would scoff at the low-tech special effects, but I really loved this series. It probably helped that quite a few of the cast members had been part of the original radio series, but I can’t imagine a better Arthur Dent than Simon Jones. (And no, I haven’t seen the 2005 film version.)

5. Careful, He Might Hear You, 1983 film. A lovely film with a stellar Australian cast (including Robyn Nevin, Wendy Hughes and Geraldine Turner), based on Sumner Locke Elliott’s beloved novel.

So, what is your favourite film or television series, adapted from a book you’ve loved? Comment below for a chance to win one of three signed copies of the new Vintage Classics edition of A Brief History of Montmaray.

Conditions of entry:

1. This is an international giveaway. Anyone can enter.
2. Make sure the e-mail address you enter on the comment form is a valid one, so I can contact you if you win (no one will be able to see your e-mail address except me, and I won’t show it to anyone else). Please don’t include your real residential or postal address anywhere in the comment. However, it would be nice if you mentioned which country you live in, because I’m curious about who reads this blog.
3. The three winners will be chosen at random, unless there are three or fewer comments – in which case, it won’t be random and all will win prizes.
4. This contest and/or promotion is not sponsored or authorised by Random House Australia. Random House Australia bears no legal liability in connection with this contest and/or promotion. (My Australian publishers say I have to put this bit in. This is the first time I’ve ever given away any of my Australian books on my blog.)
5. Entries close on the 1st of August, 2012, when the Vintage Classics edition of A Brief History of Montmaray goes on sale in Australia. The winners will be e-mailed then, and I will send off the winners’ books as soon as possible after that.

Note: This book giveaway is now closed. Click here to see the names of the lucky book winners.

41 thoughts on “Vintage Classics Book Giveaway”

  1. Game of Thrones. I thought the books were amazing and no way could the series live upto them, but after watching the first episode, i was in awe. I love how the actors bring the characters from the book to life (John Snow, you amazing person you)

  2. Wow, this edition looks gorgeous! I’m in Washington DC, so count me in as one of those North American readers interested in the Australian editions. 😀

    Favorite film from a book? Definitely “The Scarlet Pimpernel” (1982) with Anthony Andrews, Jane Seymour and Ian McKellen. Not the most faithful scene-wise, but I think its the one that is the most faithful to the spirit of the books, and that’s really what makes me love this one. Actually, some of the characters seemed over the top in the book but were made totally believable in this adaptation. I love the crazy costumes–both Percy’s disguises and the actual costumes in the show. And the scene in the prison where Marguerite comes to see Percy? Gets me every time. I love it.

  3. North American reader here! I don’t think I’ve ever referred to myself that way. 🙂

    This is edition is . . . oh sorry I was drooling (lol).

    Favorite movie/tv show book adaption? This is tough.
    BBC’s mini series Cranford Even though they took many liberties with the original story, it was okay because it only made it better! I would highly recommend both the book (actually any of Elizabeth Gaskell’s books) and the mini series. I’ve yet to watch the second series Return to Cranford, but I’ve heard it is good too.

  4. I’m another one of those North American readers who would love to see the an Australian edition.

    One of my favorite adaptations of a book is the Anne of Green Gables tv movies from the late 1980s. Megan Follows as Anne and Jonathan Crombie as Gilbert were *perfect*! Everytime I see it on tv, I have to stop and watch it. I highly recommend if you see it. 🙂

  5. Lovely cover. Count me in! Oh, My favorite book series made into a movie was :”Anne of Green Gables”. Wonder works did a good job with it, at least for the first one. I think the casting was spot on! They did change a few details (don’t they always?) so that you’re always thinking: “It didn’t happen that way in the book!” but all in all, lovely.

  6. Count me in as another North American reader who would love an Australian edition! Love the art in this version!

    Your question made me think of all the favorite books I’d like to see turned into movies, but I suppose if those movies don’t exist yet, they don’t count! 😉

    Since I don’t think anyone has mentioned it, I think I’ll pick The Lord of the Rings. 🙂

  7. This vintage edition looks absolutely fantastic! And favourite book to screen adaptation…hmmm…there are so many…
    Road to Avonlea- a series that is an adaptation of “The Story Girl” by L.M Montgomery
    The Help- this was an absolutely amazing book and the movie was just as awesome…
    I do enjoy an occasional Poirot movie(a whole collection of movies based on Agatha Christie’s mystery novels)…
    and lastly, of course, the Harry Potter books and movies…they were absolutely amazing…Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2 was simply heartbreaking…

  8. I think my favorite would have to be North and South. I saw the movie before I read the book. The movie and the acting were so good it made me want to read the book. Second would have to be Wives and Daughters. Elizabeth Gaskell died before she could finish the book so the movie makers had to come up with their own ending. I think they did a really good job in the love professing scene, no public kissing, which fits more for that time period.

  9. Don’t enter me. I’ve already won a book from you and it wouldn’t be fair. But OOOOHHHH this edition is GORGEOUS! Even though I’m not trying to enter, I couldn’t not comment to gush over the illustrations.

    Anyway, my answer was Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movies, but that’s a boring answer because everyone says that (“everyone” besides you and the six people who responded before me, of course). Mary Poppins is my other favorite book adaption, but I didn’t love the book so much (no Julie Andrews, no song, no actual plot arc. Sorry. No comparison). OH, we’re going with TV adaptions, too, so I guess we’ll throw in the BBC’s 1996 Pride and Prejudice. This extremely selfless friend of mine in college spontaneously mailed me her copy of that (on VHS!) one summer just because she never liked to have too much STUFF and she thought, of everyone she knew, I would most appreciate having that. It was an amazingly nice surprise that I have never forgotten, and I will always keep those tapes even if our VCR finally dies!

    (Also, comment I feel compelled to point out: people tend to diss the 2005 movie of Hitchhiker’s Guide, but I can never allow that to happen without emphatically yelling about the Absolute Perfection of Arthur Dent, but this is mostly because I’m unhealthily obsessed with Martin Freeman and am pretty sure we’re actually married in an alternate universe. He IS perfect, though, so there).

    But still, I’m not entering, I’m just gushing.

  10. North American (from USA) reader here!

    I had my favorite adaptation all settled in my mind until I started reading the other comments. Then I said “Ooh! Yes of course, The Scarlet Pimpernel. No wait, Anne of Green Gables. No, Road to Avonlea. No, Pride and Prejudice!” I am apparently too easily influenced. But I think in the end I’ll stick with my original thought and say, Wives and Daughters, by Elizabeth Gaskell. I love both the book and the miniseries equally, and that’s saying something.

    And this edition of your book looks AMAZING!

  11. “The Princess Bride” – usually, when comparing a book and a film, I like both, but really prefer one. Not these. They are both inconceivably good.

  12. Harry Potter – Because i’m head over heels in love with Harry Potter and The Other Boleyn Girl. The Philippa Gregory. The book and the movie were beyond amazing. Natalie Portman was the perfect Anne Boleyn

    Also, stardust, pride and prejudice and bridget jones diary (colin firth <3)

  13. (North American reader! The illustration is simply lovely. And I’m even more interested to read the original version of the book.)

    1. Game of Thrones – the series is really well done. I’m only on the first book now, but I’m surprised by how exactly the show follows it. Such great child actors too, wow.

    2. The Hunger Games – I loved that the movie was able to expand on characters and add scenes in a way the book couldn’t and still stayed true to the story.

    Then of course there’s classics like To Kill a Mockingbird and The Shining, which I’ve always loved.

  14. I’m a Norwegian reader. The new edition looks really beautiful! I have read the North American edition and I would love to read the Australian as well.

    My favourite film adapted from a book I love is The Hours (2002), based on the book by Michael Cunningham. Nicole Kidman’s portrayal of Virginia Woolf is really good. And the soundtrack is amazing!

  15. I’m usually in the camp of the book is ALWAYS way, way better, and the movie can never live up to it, but a chance to win that gorgeous edition of A Brief History of Montmaray led to me thinking long and hard about adaptations…

    And I came up with Band of Brothers by Stephen Ambrose/ the HBO mini-series. Both the book and the mini-series are great in their own right, and while there are some deviations, they complement each other really well. The book, as always, gives more detail and background, but the mini-series makes it so much easier to understand the action sequences and war stuff, and to put faces to the many, many characters’ names. And I think the fact that it was a mini-series helped, too– movies are usually too short to do a book and its characters justice, while TV series have the potential to last so long that they are usually forced to deviate from the book. Mini-series have a finite number of episodes, but enough time to develop characters and plot.

    So can we hope for a Montmaray mini-series? 🙂

  16. The Hunger Games – such an enthralling book, I couldn’t put it down and counted down the minutes until my lunchbreak or until I could leave work so I could read it on the train! Any moment I could spare I was reading them! The movie was great, obviously they couldn’t fit everything in, but a valliant effort nonetheless! :o)

  17. Another North American reader here.

    My favorite book inspired movie has to be the 1994 version of Little Women. It has a great Coast, and the acting is superb. While it diverges from the book in some ways, it still keeps the warm-hearted feeling; I could never tire of watching it.

  18. Another North American reader in NYC.

    My favorite book inspired TV series was Brideshead Revisited – the original 1981 version with Jeremy Irons as Charles Ryder and Anthony Andrews, who was perfection as Sebastion Flyte. I still watch the DVR and read the book every once in a while.

  19. Canadian here.

    What a fabulous (and difficult question). I guess I have to go with a classic: The 1995 version of Pride and Prejudice. An amazing adaptation of an amazing work; I still get goosebumps when the theme music starts playing. And as much as I love the chemistry between Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth as Elizabeth and Darcy, those supporting players are amazing, particularly Anna Chancellor as Miss Bingley and David Bamber as Mr. Collins.

  20. Southeast Asian reader here! I’m from Indonesia.

    My favorite book inspired movie is Forrest Gump, I got the book from a vintage bookstore, I really love Hanks’ portrayal as Forrest. But the ending of the movie is slightly different from the book.

  21. I’m a North American reader, and I’d love to see the original Australian text. I think my favorite TV adaption of a book is the recent BBC series Sherlock. I had read and enjoyed the Sherlock Holmes books before, and it got me interested in them again. It modernizes the stories effortlessly, and it has wonderful little details from the original series thrown in. Plus, Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman are wonderful as Holmes and Watson!

  22. North America

    North & South by Elizabeth Gaskell and also her Wives and Daughters. In both cases I saw the mini series before I read the books.
    Also, most of the Agatha Christie adaptions of Poirot and the older Miss Marples.
    And the I Capture The Castle adaption, that was good.
    Most of what I am coming up with are from BBC and ITV in England.

  23. I am a North American reader. I love “Pride and Prejudice,” the version with Kiera Knightly and Matthew Macfayden. And of course Donald Southerland who is just amazing as Mr. Bennet. Judi Dench is also very good. I love the score too… that sweet kind of aching pianoforte. I think it is just a very well put together production.

  24. I’m a reader from Australia, particularly South Australia.

    My favourite adaptation was/is The Twilight Series. I actually bought the Twilight DVD to exercise to and loved it so much I went out and bought the entire book series that weekend, and read them prior to the next movie coming out. I love a good romance, and this just added another dimension for me – and the books and movies have mirrored fairly well.

  25. Game of Thrones. Addictive book that keeps you up reading chapter after chapter…and the tv series is even better!

  26. I’m from North America!
    I love animated movies and my favorite is Howl’s Moving Castle – which was based on the book by Diana Wynne Jones (great author!). I loved the movie because of how well it was based off of the book – yet it seemed like a whole new story. The characters are very well developed, the voices are wonderful, and I love Studio Ghibli’s animation (although Howl looks like a girl :-P), which totally fit with the book and really added to the entire experience. Howl’s Moving Castle is both a book and a movie that I love to revisit again and again.

  27. Hey everyone, I’m from Canada and I just really want to read the original text. I have to entertain myself while I wait for the North American release of “The FitzOsbornes at War” (four more months!)

    There are so many good book-movie adaptations that it is impossible to pick just one. So first off…

    Wuthering Heights (1939)- I just adore old movies and naturally have to watch everything with Laurence Olivier in it. While I did not originally care for the book, thinking it just too sad, depressing and full of hate this is one of the most beautiful and romantic movies I have ever seen. After seeing it I reread the book and found that I had a better understanding of the characters from watching the movie. While it is a difficult movie to find I highly recommend it, Olivier’s performance of Heathcliff is truly heartbreaking and Merle Oberon is simply beautiful.

    Never Let Me Go (2010)- This is one of the saddest books I have ever read and I honestly cried for 20 minutes after finishing the movie. Kazuo Ishiguro wrote a magnificent novel that truly makes one question our own humanity and ponder how we would react if placed in a similar situation. The movie is beautiful and incredibly true to the book, I honestly can’t think of anything negative to say about either other than they are way too depressing. (but we’ll forgive that since the story is so marvellous.

    Easy Virtue (2008)- adapted from Noel Coward’s original play, this is quite honestly one of the funniest movies I have ever seen, words cannot describe the true greatness of this movie. Staring Colin Firth, Jessica Biel and Ben Barnes. Actually I’m not going to describe it any further, JUST GO WATCH IT!

    Some other incredible adaptations include: The Game of Thrones, The Phantom of the Opera, Atonement, The Taming of the Shrew (1967) and Rebecca (1940).

    Finally some movie adaptations that have not yet been released but I am dying to see are Anna Karenina (with Keira Knightly and Jude Law), Les Miserables (Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway), The Bell Jar (Julia Stiles) and The Great Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan) I honestly cannot wait for The Great Gatsby!

  28. Definitely Never Let Me Go. I actually enjoyed it far more than the book. And by “enjoyed” I mean I cried a lot more during the film than while reading the book. Plus, you had Alex Garland writing the screenplay so it had to be awesome.

    I’m from the U.S. and I cannot wait for The FitzOsbornes at War to be released!

  29. I have four all-time favorites, is that too many?

    1. Pride and Prejudice (1995). Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle — and the best Caroline Bingley EVER.

    2. Persuasion (1995). Ciaran Hinds pierces my soul.

    3. Bleak House (2005). Just brilliant, sprawling novel with amazing characters and great performances. Gillian Anderson is heartbreaking. Turned me into a die-hard Dickens fan.

    4. Game of Thrones (first season). Amazing adaptation of the first book in the series. The second season was good but the first season was much more faithful to the books.

  30. Another North American reader here! I love lots of TV series’ adapted from books. Some of my favorites are the Harry Potter series (but the books are better), the 1995 Pride and Prejudice series (but again, nothing beats the novel), and the Little House on the Prairie series (even though the series was very different from the books, I actually might kind of like the shows better…I love the characters and new story-lines, and love that period in history).
    Thanks for the opportunity to win a non-American-edited lovely version of this lovely novel!

  31. Australian here, so I suppose I don’t really need another copy, but anyway…

    While I’m a fan of the 2005 Bleak House, I watched the first few episodes of that before reading the book, so maybe that doesn’t count? It was a brilliant adaption, with almost all the characters and (as someone else has already said) Gillian Anderson is amazing.

    My favourite is I think the TV series of I, Claudius. There are so many wonderful performances in it and particular Caligula and Livia (why can’t I remember the actors’ names?) are brilliant.

  32. Hello! North American reader here!

    My favourite book-to-movie adaptation would definitely have to be The Accidental Billionaires (Ben Mezrich) to The Social Network (David Fincher). The Accidental Billionaires was unlike any biography I’ve ever read; it really got into the heart and soul of the Facebook founders. And of course The Social Network is fantastic. Everything David Fincher touches turns to gold.

  33. I Capture the Castle. I love both the book and the movie even though they’re not exactly the same.

  34. i’m sorry but i just can’t help it… the harry potter series. my brother made me read the books last year and i love them, then he brought me the movies 🙂 but i also really like a series of unfortunate events and the movie is ok(i really like the clothes that Violet wears)
    if i could have three wishes they would be
    one- like Sophie world peace
    two- meet Woody Allen
    three- have the Montmaray series turned into movies or a telly show. 🙂

    1. Sorry, Genevieve, you just missed out on the book giveaway – but keep your eye on this blog for more giveaways! (And I like your three wishes, especially one and three.)

  35. Hi Michelle!

    I’ve actually had your books on my to-grab list for over a year. When I first saw your book (#1), I was really tempted to get a copy right then and there. But… I want to know– do you know if they’ll be publishing the rest of the series?

    I couldn’t resist the cover for I Capture the Castle and it sounds like something I’d enjoy, so that’s what I went home with. 😛 I’ve had my eye on the Vintage Classics range for a while, though the Childrens range is especially gorgeous. Congrats on making the list! There are really great classics on there, ay?


    1. Hi, Cass. I’m sure you’ll love I Capture the Castle – just about everyone does! And yes, the collection is gorgeous, and I feel very privileged to be a part of it. As far as I know, there aren’t any plans to publish Vintage Classics editions of the second and third Montmaray books, but they’re all available in Australia in lovely matching covers.

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