5 Great Book-To-TV Adaptations

Game of Thrones

If you’re like me, you can’t resist a good book-to-screen adaptation. One of my favorite things to do is compare what happens in the books to what plays out on the screen; I love the debate it can inspire. The best fodder for this is found with television adaptations, of which there are quite a few that I could go into. But I’ve narrowed it down to just five. Read on and see if you agree with me.

1. BOOK: A Game of Thrones : A Song of Ice and Fire (Book One) | SHOW: Game of Thrones, Season One

I am a hardcore fan of A Song of Ice and Fire, I’ve read every book, I’ve researched every theory, and I am biting my nails waiting for George R. R. Martin to finish his sixth book. Because I’m so into the books, it can be hard for me to really get into the televised take of Game of Thrones sometimes. Don’t get me wrong, I love the show but I find myself constantly comparing what I see happening to what I know happened in the books. The only season I did not find myself doing this for was Season One. The characterization is spot on and the season almost literally plays out as if the book has come to life. For a book purest, it’s a dream come true.


2. BOOK: Bitten | SHOW: Bitten

I have loved Kelley Armstrong since I was teenager and Bitten has been one of my favorite books since the first time I picked it up. I was so excited when it was announced that there would be a TV adaptation and I have to say that after two seasons I am still a happy camper. The show does deviate from the book(s) greatly in some instances. But there is room for that and it enriches the story instead of hindering it as it does in some other book-to-TV adaptations. The characterization is fantastic and almost all major relationships and plot lines are maintained from book to screen.

Orange Is The New Black

3. BOOK: Orange Is The New Black: My Year In Women’s Prison | Show: Orange Is The New Black

When I read this book I found myself laughing and crying and becoming completely enthralled by the story Piper Kerman was telling. I read it in the span of a few hours, and it ranks as one of the best books I have ever consumed. The show, now in its third season, takes Kerman’s initial story and expands on it in turns both humorous and heartbreaking. The writers of Orange Is the New Black definitely take what was best about the original story and breathe vivid life into it, making it just as engaging as its source material.

Hemlock Grove

4. BOOK: Hemlock Grove | SHOW: Hemlock Grove

As much as I enjoy this show, I have to say that between the two I would take the book any day. That doesn’t mean that Eli Roth and company havn’t done a fantastic job of adapting the source material, however. The show takes what was best about the book, the relationship and dynamic between the two main characters Roman and Peter, and elevates it to a new level. As with most of the book-to-TV adaptations on this list, I think the characterization is spot on. I also think that the show expands on the original story and enriches the continuing story line.


5. BOOK: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes | SHOW: Sherlock

Sherlock is of course based off of the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and I think it’s probably my number one book-to-TV adaptation. The show is witty, intelligent, and humorous. What really makes Sherlock a great book-to-TV adaptation is that it keeps to the story lines and themes of the Sherlock Holmes stories, such as A Study In Scarlet, but manages to transition the characters and plot lines seamlessly and make them believable in a modern setting. As a book lover, this show has been a dream to watch.

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