I 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.