If you love to read novels about World War 2 and are also a lover of well made cinematic adaptions, then you are in luck. There are quite a few excellent films based on novels set in World War 2. You can go back to the great films such as From Here To Eternity, The Bridge On The River Kwai, or The Caine Mutiny. However, there are also really great modern novels and cinematic adaptions to consider. Below is a list of three excellent novels that have all been turned into award winning films.


This was the World War 2 drama that brought Keira Knightly to worldwide prominence. The novel is about an accusation a young girl makes during a family dinner party. It forever changes the course of two people's lives. The young girl misunderstands what she witnesses between two people, exaggerates it, and the result is that an innocent man is sent to jail. The time jumps to World War 2, and we follow the people affected by the lie: one a nurse (the young girl's sister), one the accused man, now released from jail and fighting at the Battle of Dunkirk.

The English Patient

The English Patient centers on a man suffering from burn injuries who cannot completely remember his past. He is recuperating in a monastery in Italy and being cared for by a young nurse. He has her read to him from an book of Ancient Greek History. Slowly, he begins to recount his tale to the nurse. He was a cartographer working in North Africa during World War 2. He became involved with a married woman. Her husband became incensed and attempted to kill all three, yet he only succeeded in killing himself and severely injuring the wife. The protagonist had to then try to save the wife. Something happened to him during this attempt which left him burned and without memory, but he is able to remember the events towards the end of the novel/film.

Empire Of The Sun

This novel was set in Shanghai and is about a young English boy who is taken and placed into an internment camp by the Japanese. The young boy was played by the actor Christian Bale. The plot centers on Bale's character trying to navigate the internment camp during the events that proceeded Pearl Harbor. The English and other European people who were in Shanghai were rounded up and placed in the Lunghua Civilian Assembly Centre. Towards the end of the novel, the army of Japan begins to collapse, and panic starts to break out. People begin to die of starvation and there are outbreaks of violence.

If you want to read more books on World War 2, check out a writer like Frances Patton Statham.