I am currently wrapping up reading Charles Webb's The Graduate, published in 1963. It was a free Kindle read---so I figured, what they heck? But reading it, I was struck by how closely the film followed the book. I mean almost line by line and quote by quote. It's impossible to read the line: "Benjamin, is that what you want? Do you want me to seduce you?" without hearing Anne Bancroft's growly cougar voice.
Of course, Webb's writing is so sparse, it could have served as a script. So sparse that one wondered how it got published---this is Heminway sparse, with little to no description. And perhaps its sparsity is part of its brilliance. The novel's humor isn't slowed in any way...instead there is satiric setup and delivery with the commentary coming in the white spaces.
Webb is an interesting individual, and an author who never really capitalized on a chance to make it big in the literary world. While most people have read seen the film, relatively few who enjoyed that experience read the supposedly semi-autobiographical novel. Not that The Graduate wasn't a best seller in 1963, but it could have opened so many doors to the eccentric Mr. Webb, who has written several other novels.
In 2006, Mr.Webb wrote the sequel to The Graduate. The book, which many approached skeptically, detailed life for Benjamin and Elaine Braddock some twenty years after the end of the first novel. According to the description for Homeschool, the story once again involves Mrs. Robinson, who moves in with the couple in their upstate New York abode after the death of Mr. Robinson. She digs in and the couple contrive to drive her out by bringing in a counter-culture family of homeschoolers. Admittedly the premise sounds weak; it probably wouldn't have passed as a pilot on Fox, but many who have read the book have given it mild acceptance.