Best Book to TV Adaptations
I adore a good book to TV adaptation, and I’ve read-watched quite a few. The latest is Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney, now playing on BBC3. I was one of the first people to read and review Conversations with Friends, and I really enjoyed it. Watching the TV show has inspired this post: sharing the best book to TV adaptations.
Best Book to TV Adaptations
Normal People (BBC)
First up is a Sally Rooney adaptation. Whilst Conversations with Friends is okay and I’m enjoying it, I devoured Normal People. It got me through the pandemic and whilst the book is good the TV show is excellent. Well worth watching before reading, or vice versa if that is your preference.
No surprises here, I adore Bridgerton. I hadn’t read the books before watching the TV series, but much like Normal People the TV series has elevated the reading experience. Shonda Rhimes has adapted the series to fit modern-day values and make the storylines less problematic – although not perfect.
War & Peace (BBC)
As someone who wants to read War and Peace but has no idea when watching the TV show was an excellent way to get the gist of the story and make it seem more approachable. It’s basically a romance, with a lot of philosophical messaging. I recommend the newest adaptation created by the BBC with Lily James and James Norton.
If someone had pitched me Outlander before I watched the series I would have thought the book sounded crazy and not bothered. But, once again, the TV show made it an approachable read. The story starts in 1940s Scotland and then a character travels back in time to the 1700s where she becomes embroiled in wars, historical disasters and an epic romance.
Game of Thrones (HBO)
I’m not a high fantasy reader, but I do love a good fantasy TV or Film adaptation done well. And Game of Thrones has really raised the bar since it first started airing ten+ years ago. I only managed to read the first two books in the series, mostly because I couldn’t finish them before the new series started. And, since George R.R. Martin has not yet written the final books in the series it seemed a bit pointless to start a series which may never be finished. But the TV series did – not well, but at least it ended with a bang.
The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)
Margaret Atwood’s classic is a really hard book to adapt, yet the TV series made it look easy. Ever since the first series, it has been addictive yet utterly horrifying. It’s like a car crash – without the negative connotation – you just can’t look away although what you’re watching – the treatment of women, the dystopian world-building – is awful. But a brilliant adaptation.
And finally, a fan favourite. I have tried and failed to read the Sherlock books by Arthur Conan Doyle, I find them dry and the character of Sherlock is irritating and not that clever. But this BBC adaptation is superb. It has the right amount of comedy and drama, with some stunning acting from Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman.
What is your favourite book to TV adaptation? Let me know in the comments below.