Adapting a beloved novel into a film or TV series is not a task to be envied. On the one hand, the book has to be condensed into a formula that will capture audiences with ever-shortening attention spans. On the other, loyal fans stand ready to heap their disdain on perceived slights to the original story. To honour those who successfully navigated the fraught terrain between page and screen, I've put together a list of the top 10 best book adaptations to film and television...
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne: Psychologically Driven Classic
Rating: 3 stars
Category: Classics, Historical Fiction
Synopsis: Hester Prynne's husband is missing, presumed dead. Most believe he drowned on the voyage from Amsterdam to join her in New England. Yet getting pregnant out of wedlock is still enough to earn Hester a lifelong punishment - wearing the scarlet letter 'A' embroidered on her clothing so her shame can never be forgotten.
Cast to the margins of her Puritan village community, Hester lives in solitude and tries to raise her daughter Pearl away from prying eyes. When a newcomer to the village brings old secrets, she is forced to choose between a life of piety and redemption, or following her perilously taboo passions.
Questioning the Canon: Jane Eyre and Wide Sargasso Sea
Questioning the Canon is a new feature in which I hope to bring to light lesser-known books about a certain issue, which can be read alongside or instead of infamous 'classics'.
People are starting to discuss whether the authors we hold up as cultural icons - Shakespeare, Dickens, Wordsworth - should be accompanied by previously marginalised writers. Our idea of what constitutes 'great literature' is becoming broader.
This can only be a good thing, as it means more diversity and social representation in what we read!
Circe by Madeline Miller: Entrancing, Empowering Adaptation of Ancient Greek Myth
Circe, daughter of Helios, is born with the voice of a mortal without the glow of a god. Shunned by her nymph family, she observes from a distance the gods' cruelty and greed. When a defiant act of compassion leads to island exile, it is here that Circe finds the freedom to shape a self outside of her divinity.
More than a goddess, she is Circe, witch of Aiaia...