Books I wish they would make into TV shows:
The Count of Monte Cristo
The movie with Jim Caviezel and Guy Pearce is pretty good. It’s great fun and most of the major plot points are there. What I really want is a 6 or 8-hour special (think Pride & Prejudice with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle) so the amazing side stories and tangents can be explored. The book is about 1100 pages long but I loved it so much I still wanted more when I was finished.
The Road to En-Dor
I haven’t read this book yet (it’s on order), but I heard the completely true story about British prisoners of war who managed to convince the guards they were psychic and could help them uncover buried treasure. They kept up the ruse for three years, during which time they planned their escape. You can listen to the story on Futility Closet.
There was talk of a film being in the works, but it seems that has fallen by the wayside. In theses days of high-end TV productions, I hope they will reconsider and get this one to the screen.
A Gentleman in Moscow
I just finished reading this tender and lovely book. Bringing the Metropol to the screen, with all of the amazing characters, would be wonderful. And it needs more than 90 minutes to tell the story. It would be perfect for a television special. I can see it in the Joe Wright-style of Atonement and Anna Karenina.
Thursday Next (series)
If you haven’t read the wacky literary adventures by Jasper Fforde, stop what you are doing and go read them immediately. Full of bookish puns, absurdist plots and high-minded adventure, Thursday next would be sure to bring in the ratings.
Plus who doesn’t want there to be more roles for dodo birds? They are so underrepresented in the media.
This book is quick-witted, with a dash of steampunk adventure. I know I would watch a fun adaptation of it. The characters, costumes, set design and dialogue would be over-the-top, and a visual feast. Get to it, BBC.
The Blake and Avery books
I just can’t help myself around a good Victorian novel. M.J. Carter is about to release the third book in the Blake and Avery series. The first two are set in the early Victorian era. One explores the complicated history of the colonization of India. The second returns to the tough streets of London and the cutthroat business of publishing.
My review of The Strangler Vine (Book #1)
Or basically anything that Lyndsey Faye writes. When I heard about the premise of Jane Steele, I was afraid it would be something like “…and Zombies.” Fun in their way, but not my thing. Fear not. This book stands completely on its own as a great Gothic novel with a strong female lead character. References to the Bronte classic are simply winks that are entirely welcome.
TV execs are always looking for a female character to give to audiences, and this swashbuckling heroine should do the trick.
It’s been nearly 200 years since the publication of Mary Shelley’s seminal work and still, no one has made a faithful adaptation of the work. Box office attempts go for the monster and the gore. No one visits it with a discerning eye and put nuanced characters on the screen. Perhaps with no need for a blockbuster opening weekend, a director could bring the creature to life with gentleness and humility.
The above is also true for “Beowulf.” It’s a story that has lasted thousands of years. It has thrilled and inspired countless generations. So why do film companies have to mess with it? Just tell the story that has captivated us since the Vikings.
With the popularity of Game of Thrones and the fantasy genre in general, it shouldn’t be a hard sell to make a faithful adaptation of “Beowulf.”
Duel with the Devil
This nonfiction book recounts a murder investigation in the early days of New York City. The trial is conducted by none other than Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr. On the same side.
With Hamilton as popular as he will ever be, and the added weirdness of working with Burr, I don’t see how it can miss.