Books Made into TV Mini-Series

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DSC_0113I think you’d have to be living under a rock not to know about the Outlander series playing on Starz. The problem I usually have when they make a book into a movie or series is that they don’t follow the book closely enough. Though it’s been more than a decade since I last read Outlander, the first book in the series, so far it seems to me that they’re following the book fairly closely. And honestly, even if they didn’t, I’d probably still tune in to watch Sam Heughan, who is a much better version of Jamie than I pictured while reading the books.

Watching Outlander has got me thinking about other books that were made into television mini-series. I almost always read the book before watching a movie or television version of it. I stayed up all night when my second child was a newborn so I could read Blackhawk Down before watching the movie. That’s how adamant I am about reading the book first. I drive my kids crazy making them do the same. The BBC mini-series of Pride and Prejudice is one of my favorites. I can’t even count how many times I’ve watched it, and it’s very true to the book. Plus, Colin Firth. Wet shirt. I loved Ken Follett’s book, The Pillars of the Earth, but I was disappointed by the Starz mini-series that aired a few years ago.

I have to confess, there are a few excellent mini-series I’ve watched before reading the book, though I went out and found the books immediately after watching them. Band of Brothers was one, and though the mini-series was very well done, I preferred the book because my imagination isn’t nearly as graphic as the series, which was sometimes difficult to watch. John Jakes’ North and South was another. It released when I was in junior high, and after the first episode, I rushed out and bought all of the books in the series. It was divine to already have Patrick Swayze in my mind so I could picture him as I read.

What about you? Do you read the book(s) before watching a mini-series or movie? Have you ever gone back and read the book after watching?

Trivia Question: Name one of the television mini-series that I watched before reading the book.


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Romance Novelist

VICTORIA VANE is an award-winning author of smart and sexy romance with works ranging from wild comedic romps to emotionally compelling erotic romance. Her books have received more than twenty awards and nominations to include the 2014 RONE Award for Treacherous Temptations and Library Journal Best E-Book romance of 2012 for The Devil DeVere series. She lives the beautiful upstate of South Carolina with her husband, two sons, a little black dog, and an Arabian horse.

14 Responses

    • allybroadfield

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who reads the books first. I remember my parents watching Shogun, but I think I was about eight at the time so it didn’t hold my attention. I do have the book on my TBR list. Maybe I could get a hold of a copy of the mini-series.

    • allybroadfield

      LOL, Collette. I didn’t mean to put you on the spot. 🙂 You should definitely read the books, but it’s a big commitment.

  1. divavixenqueen

    Do try to read the book before the mini-series or tv show.”I’ll Take Manhattan” that starred Valerie Bertinelli and Perry King. Was good but King’s character didn’t get what he deserved like he did in the book.*lol* Scruples, Outlander and Noble House I’ve also read before they came on and they were really good and don’t even get me started on Shogun.

    • allybroadfield

      I’m definitely going to have to look for Scruples and Noble House, and move Shogun to the top of my list.

  2. allybroadfield

    Make sure you enter your answers for the trivia game in the form on the home page. 🙂

  3. Michelle McLean

    LOVING this series so far! I generally read the books first (which is why I’m interested in watching the shows lol). Game of Thrones is one I watched first and then started reading. And The White Queen. For the most part I’ve been happy with the adaptations I’ve watched with the big exception being True Blood. LOVE the books. And season 1 was okay because it stuck to the book pretty well. And then they decided to go off in their own direction and it went way downhill from there. The last season I didn’t even watch despite my deep and abiding love for Alexander Skarsgard lol

    • allybroadfield

      My DH started reading the books after watching Game of Thrones, but I couldn’t get into the show. I purposefully haven’t watched True Blood because I haven’t read the books yet. So many books, so little time!

  4. JoannaM

    The one movie that made me want to go back to reading after a long, long hiatus away from books was Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets. After watching that movie I realized how much I missed the fantasy and mystery that only books provided and because I realized that although the movie was visually astounding it was lacking something I couldn’t point my finger on and I just knew I had to read the book to find out what it was. Sure enough, after I read it, I not only figured it out, but I read the whole series and pretty much devoured book after book that I came across and I haven’t stopped since. I watched the movie P&P first because I haven’t even heard of J.Austen at the time but little did I know that I would have the same epitome as with the Harry Potter books. Now Hist rom is my life!! LOL Nowadays, I prefer to read the books first but if I don’t have the time, I watch the series/movie with hesitance because either way I have a feeling they are not going to do full justice to the book.

    • JoannaM

      Ooh, but watching Outlander and loving it!! … just so you know =D

      • allybroadfield

        Joanna, I wish my kids had your experience with Harry Potter. They came across the movies before the books and now refuse to read them. I haven’t been able to convince them how much better the books are. Glad to hear you’re are loving Outlander. I’m always wary of film adaptations of books I love, but so far I’ve been pleasantly surprised. 🙂