Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I'd Like To See As Miniseries

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly linkup of book bloggers hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl! I've done a little twist on the topic this week...we're supposed to be talking about TV shows we're excited to see start new seasons now that it's fall. Not to be one of those people, but I don't actually watch a ton of TV lately. So instead, I'm talking about books that could be turned into prestige miniseries that I would watch the crap out of!

The Secret History: This would work well as a movie, too, but a miniseries would give it room to breathe and really get the atmospherics right. It starts off in medias res with a murder (like Big Little Lies!), so there's your hook, and then into the dark and twisty story.

The Interestings: This lifetime-spanning story of a group of friends who meet at a summer camp for creative kids and continue to interact as they grow up and find themselves and settle down could really explore the shifts in their dynamics over time if it was given several hours in which to tell its tale.

Vanity Fair: This book ends up feeling rushed as a movie because there's a lot of plot there (it's long, y'all), but Becky Sharp is a rare compelling female antihero and her scheming and machinations deserve multiple episodes.

The Queen of the Night: The framing device of this book is that an opera singer is offered the opportunity to be the first to sing a new role...only to find out that the opera is based on her truly insane life story (there's too much there for just a movie). Only a handful of people could have done so, and cutting between her attempts to find the source and the actual events would work perfectly onscreen!

Helter Skelter: I know there's allegedly a Tarantino movie on the Manson murders coming, but I'd like to see Ryan Murphy's American Crime Story series take on this case using this book, written by the prosecutor who put Manson away, as the source material.

The Corrections: This has been bandied about for a series adaptation before, if I recall correctly, and I'm not sure why it never went anywhere, but I think the high drama of this family dysfunction story would work well given the room to sprawl out over several episodes.

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay: This book about cousins who create a best-selling comic-book hero series in World War II era New York has a lot of flashbacks and a lot of intricate storytelling and cutting any of it would be a travesty so a miniseries is the way to go.

Possession: They did make a movie out of this (which I haven't seen), but it's so textually rich that I can't imagine it did justice to it in less than 2 hours. The dual storylines of a modern-day set of academics studying fairly obscure Victorian-era poets who discover a hidden bond between them really needs several hours to do justice to both of them.

Middlesex: A truly epic family saga stretching from the conflicts between Greece and Turkey in the 1920s to modern-day Detroit and an intersex person's journey of self-discovery has a lot of story to tell, and would be an engrossing show.

The Lords of Discipline: Pat Conroy's military school drama could probably be squished down into a movie, but why do that when you can go full Southern Gothic and let the story sink in slowly?


  1. But there IS a Vanity Fair mini-series! It just started this week in the UK and I'm loving it so far! (although opinion on twitter has been divided...) Not sure when you'll get it in the US though. Think there's a bbc version from the nineties too?

    My TTT: https://whenitdoes.blogspot.com/2018/09/top-ten-tuesday-favourite-binge-worthy.html

    1. I did not know that re Vanity Fair, but now I am VERY interested in seeing it!

  2. The secret History sounds like it would be great! And I remember when The Interestings came out- I can see that being a good miniseries too.

    1. I think books that follow characters over long stretches of time make for perfect series material...otherwise you get weird aging makeup on actors instead of just casting an older person to play the older version of the character!

  3. I don’t watch a lot of TV, either, but I’d definitely watch a Secret History miniseries. I need that in my life.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

    1. I'm very surprised it's never been adapted, given how popular it is!