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13 Books that inspired series and films

13 Books that inspired series and films

Great stories need to be told to a big audience, right? That is one of the reasons cinema, TV and streaming companies have been investing a lot in creating stories originated from books which made an enormous success throughout the past years. I picked up 15 books which inspired 15 great and acclaimed series and movies. Have a look at the list below:

1. Unorthodox

The story which inspired the Netflix series nominated for the Emmy this year is about a young Hasidic Jewish girl who seeks to find herself in the world. She lives under rough traditional and conservative codes, that control everything about her life, from the things she wears to the books she is allowed to read.

Esty realises herself as a prisoner of her culture and inside a dysfunctional and unwished marriage, with a man she barely knows, without any pleasure or liberty. Then, she decides to run away and, she starts her journey seeking her real identity and freedom in an exciting adventure.

2. The Handmaid’s tale

The story occurs in a dystopian future in a place called the Republic of Gilead where newspapers, magazines, books and movies don’t exist anymore. The universities and colleges were banished. There are also no lawyers because there is no civil rights defence. The criminals are killed and hanged in the streets to show everyone what would happen to someone who dares to go against the Government laws. To have this tragic destiny, it doesn’t require a lot, for instance, someone who sings a song which has any forbidden word for the totalitarian Government such as ‘Freedom’ could be punished.

 In this totalitarian and theocratic State, women are the main victims. The Handmaid’s Tale explores themes of subjugated women in a patriarchal society and the various means by which these women resist and attempt to gain individuality and independence. 

3. Anne with an E

The Netflix series Anne with An E is based on the story of Anne Shirley, a young redheaded girl who has a strong personality and fertile imagination. Orphaned, she was mistakenly adopted by a couple of brothers who were waiting for a boy to help with the farm’s manual labour.

Anne grows up, meets several people, gets into trouble and runs after her fantastic dreams!

4. Love, Simon

Simon’s passionate story that gained thousands of readers and viewers, speaks naturally and with good humour to the affirmation and dilemmas of a gay teenager.

Simon Spier is sixteen and gay, but he doesn’t talk to anyone about it. He sees no problems in his sexual orientation, but rejects the idea of ​​having to explain things to people – after all, why do only gays have to introduce themselves to the world?

While exchanging emails with a mysterious boy who identifies himself as Blue, Simon will have to face, in addition to his doubts and insecurities, to unexpected blackmail.

5. Orange is the new Black

One of the greatest success series of recent times and responsible for promoting Netflix as a giant of streaming, the book tells the story of Piper Kerman, who wanted to live new experiences, meet different people and discover what to do with the newly acquired degree from the prestigious Smith College.

Years later, with a good job and about to get married, she receives an unexpected visit: the police. Piper was being summoned to answer for involvement in international drug trafficking. After a painful odyssey by the American judicial system, Piper is sentenced to fifteen months in prison in a women’s prison in the middle of nowhere – away from friends, family and everything she knew.

6. Big Little Lies

The HBO series is based on the book written by Liane Moriarty and tells the story of five women who became embroiled in a murder investigation. Moriarty created just one book, however somehow the series creator David E. Kelley has managed to turn one book into, so far, two marvellous seasons. With a novel consisting of jealousy, pettiness, greed, and drama you truly don’t need to change much.

The casting is full of stars such as Reese WitherspoonNicole KidmanShailene WoodleyLaura DernZoë Kravitz, and the second series cast the well-known actress Meryl Streep.

7. The boys

Prime Video’s great success, was inspired by this very successful comic that shows a world in which uniformed heroes cut through the skies and masked vigilantes lurk at night, someone has to see to it that these “supers” don’t get out of line. Billy, Hughie, Maternal Milk, The French and The Female are The Boys: a CIA team made up of very dangerous people, each dedicated to the fight against the super beings on Earth who exceed the limits of the law.

8. Enola Holmes

The recently launched series on Netflix Enola Holmes is a story about Sherlock Holmes’s sister who discovers on her 14th birthday that her mother has disappeared. Because of this discovery, she embarks on a trip to London to find her disappeared mother. But nothing could prepare Enola for what awaits her in the big city.

Upon arriving, she finds herself involved in the kidnapping of a young marquis. Also, she is forced to flee from murderous villains and try to dodge her cunning older brothers – all while gathering clues about her mother.

9. Mind Hunter

The series has garnered a legion of fans by showing in frightening detail, behind the scenes of some of the FBI’s most terrifying, fascinating and challenging cases. The book comes with an account of more than two decades, when Special Agent John Douglas served in the FBI and became a legendary figure, with a fantastic ability to put himself in the victim’s and the criminal’s place.

Douglas analyses each crime scene, reliving the actions of the murderers, defining their profiles, describing their habits and, above all, predicting their next steps.

10. The Haunting of Hill House

This scary show was adapted from author Shirly Jackson’s novel of the same name. The TV show does not quite follow the book, it created somewhat of its own narrative based on a couple of the characters.

The Hill House TV show follows a family with several small children who are haunted by the house, whereas the book follows a doctor on a quest to discover paranormal activity in a home many believe is haunted. Nonetheless, both are a great read and the series makes for a chilling watch.

11.The witcher

The witcher is a fantasy series which the plot is focused on a hunter of monster and his conclusion that people may be worse than the hideous monsters he fights.

The show is inspired by a collection of fantasy novels and short stories that told several tales that included some of the characters we can see in the Netflix streaming show. The books were written by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski. The last book was written in 2013 and, since then they have been kept on going through graphic novels.

12. Villanelle / Killing Eve

The British series Killing Eve emerges from the book Villanelle, a spy drama, unlike anything you have ever seen. The book shows us Villanelle, one of the most skilled killers in the world, who is a hedonistic psychopath specialising in killing the richest and most powerful people in the world. Also, it presents Eve Polastri, a former British Secret Service employee, now hired by the national security agency for a peculiar task: identifying and capturing the responsible killer.

13. 13 reasons why

Upon returning from school, Clay Jensen finds a mysterious package of cassette tapes narrated by a classmate, in which she explains why she committed suicide. He needs to hear everything to find out how he contributed to this tragic event.

Do you like the list? Let me know your opinion about it!

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I am a script and creative writer, journalist, producer, and marketing content developer with over 9 years of experience in Media (TV / Film Production), Communication, Journalism and Marketing. I worked for companies such as MTV, Animal Planet, Band, Discovery and, Fremantle Media. I am from Brazil, but I've been living in Dublin, Ireland, since 2017. I am also maniac for entertainment and pop culture.
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