From Books to the Screen: 6 TV Shows Based on Novels

Book adaptations have always been a successful formula. Stories based on literature give fans the opportunity to watch their favorite novels in the screens and get to know the caracthers beyond their imagination. In movies, this technique is being used since the beginning of the 20th century - Frankenstein became a movie in 1910.

With the boost of TV shows, was logical to do the same. Sex and The City, for example,  premiered in the 90’s. Since then, Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars, The Vampire Diaries and many other book sequences developed from pages to screens - the biggest hit being Game Of Thrones, of course.  

Considering all that, we should talk about some recent TV shows based on novels that you maybe not know that was inspired in books at all. Perhaps you can add this in your list of books-to-read. Here we go!


The Handmaid’s Tale

Before being the newest and biggest Emmy Award winner, The Handmaid’s Tale is also a novel, written in 1985 by Margaret Atwood. The dystopia is set in the Republic of Gilead, former US, where a authoritarian, theocratic regime took place and moves quickly to consolidate its power and reorganize society along a new militarized, hierarchical model of the biblical Old Testament.

In this society, women's rights are limited: they are forbidden to read or write and are categorized according to their duties. The story is told by Offred, a Handmaid - class of women kept for reproductive purposes by the ruling class in an age of declining births due to sterility from pollution and sexually transmitted diseases.

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Big Little Lies

Big Little Lies was written by Liane Moriarty in 2014 and follow the story of three women: Madeline, Celeste and Jane, the youngest of them. The trio are mothers and their kids goes to the same school. But while Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realizes that some of their secrets can affect the children.

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Anne With an “E”

Anne of Green Gables was published in 1908 but only became a serie in 2017. The book, written by Lucy Maud Montgomery, tells the story of a skinny, red-haired, and freckled orphan girl who’s mistakenly sent to live on the north shore of Canada's Prince Edward Island with Matthew, an elderly bachelor, and Marilla, his spinster sister. The Cuthbert siblings had asked to adopt a young boy who could work on the family farm, but the imaginative and rambunctious Anne Shirley arrives instead, and becomes the center of a series of entertaining adventures.

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13 Reasons Why

The Netflix hit, 13 Reasons Why, is a novel by Jay Asher and was published first in 2007. It it the story of Hannah, a high school student, as she descends into despair brought on by betrayal and bullying, culminating with her suicide. She details the thirteen reasons why in cassette tapes and send them to every person that had part in her death. The story is told by Clay, Hannah’s friend and crush, and begins when he receives the tapes.

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Orange is the New Black

Yes, Orange is the New Black was inspired in real life! Piper Kerman published the book about her time in women’s prison in 2010. She was sentenced to fifteen months at federal correctional facility in Danbury, Connecticut, a decade after she got mixed up with drug runners and delivered a suitcase of drug money. In prison, she’s just one of the millions of people who disappear “down the rabbit hole” of the American penal system.

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The TV show Outlander is based on the serie of historical novels by Diana Gabaldon. The story focus on nurse Claire Randall, who travels through time to 18th century Scotland and finds adventure and romance with the dashing Jamie Fraser.

The serie is composed by Outlander (1991), Dragonfly in Amber (1992), Voyager (1993), Drums of Autumn (1996), The Fiery Cross (2001), A Breath of Snow and Ashes (2005), An Echo in the Bone (2009), Written in My Own Heart's Blood (2014). The ninth book, Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone, has no release date yet.

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