Top Ten Tuesday- Top Book vs TV

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

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This week is a freebie!

I love books and TV shows based on books. If I find out my favourite book has been filmed for TV I have to watch it and vice versa much to the annoyance of the people watching TV with me. 

I always assume that I will love the book more but is that always the case?

So here is my top book vs TV show and let’s see whether books trump TV shows!

Game of Thrones by G.R.R Martin

This is a controversial one. I watched the TV show after my other half told me how great it was and of course I then had to read the book. I found myself reading book after book in this series, gasping with the audacious plot twists and shocks. I continued watching the TV show especially when I realised this might be the only end to the story. But somehow I didn’t feel the same thrill of the books despite how beautiful the show looked. My other half was bemused when Daenerys turned into an autocratic dictator but this was no real surprise if you had read the books- GRRM had planted the seeds early on. The ultimate clincher in the books have the terrifying Lady Stoneheart!

Verdict: The Books win even though the ending is still not in sight and not just because I love Lady Stoneheart.

Shadow and Bone/ Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Burdugo 

The TV show combines the characters in Shadow and Bone as well as The Crooked Kingdom and the result was surprisingly interesting. The TV show changed the normal and boring Alina to a more feisty half- Shu who is of course beautiful. I did prefer the ordinary Alina from the books. The irritating Mal from the books is transformed and with this Mal, I could understand why Alina was devoted to him. The characters from the Crooked Kingdom felt a little out of place and it felt their story was just about to start.

Verdict: A tie, I love the books and the TV show for different reasons

Read my review here

The Vampire Diaries by LJ Ross

This is a classic vampire story with a young, beautiful teenage girl and two handsome vampires who love her. The TV show is so dark with twists and shocks thrown in every episode. It doesn’t hurt that the fact that the actors who play Damien, Elena and Stefan were gorgeous and talented especially when playing the evil versions of themselves. The secondary characters like Bonnie and Caroline are much more developed and interesting. The books are a much tamer affair.

Verdict: TV show wins over the book in my view.

The Magicians by Lev Grossman

I didn’t warm to Quentin, a grown-up Harry Potter in Narnia when I read the first book but returned to the series after watching the TV show. The TV show shows Quentin’s depression and how he overcomes this to make him a more relatable character. The TV show’s diverse cast and writing bring alive the many characters in the books to create some unforgettable characters. The show has a strong sense of humour that is missing from the books.

Verdict: TV show wins though the books are well worth reading.

Read my review here

The Witcher by Andrzej Sapkowski

When I think of The Witcher, I think of the start of Covid. I enjoyed watching the first few episodes of the TV show. When it become evident that shops would be closed as part of the lockdown including bookshops, I panicked and took a risk- I bought all the books in The Witcher series without reading the first book from my local bookshop. I’m glad I did. The series is so well written with an overall story arc running through all the books and neatly resolved by the last book. Geralt of Rivia is a strong, interesting and grumpy character Yennefer’s story obsession with having a child makes more sense when you read the books and I loved her equally tetchy character in the books.

Verdict: It’s a tie- I can’t wait for the next season of The Witcher even though I have finished all the books.

The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher

Harry Dresden is my favourite urban wizard- funny, brave, maverick, sarcastic and I have loved reading his journey from single,carefreeish wizard to a major player in the Chicago magic scene. His friendship with Karrin the equally brave, single, detective is a highlight of the books. Unfortunately, the show managed to lose everything that made Dresden special and why did they change Karrin?

Verdict: Book wins without a doubt

read my review here

The Colorado Kid by Stephen Kid ( TV show Haven)

Haven is one of my favourite tv series. Haven is a small town in Maine beset by Supernatural troubles and needs FBI agent Audrey Parker who has the gift to ease these troubles. The underlying mystery to the show is the Colorado Kid and who killed him. I finally found a copy of the Colorado Kid and was surprised to see that there is absolutely nothing in common between the book and TV show except for the grumpy newspapermen and the dead Colorado kid. The book is an old-fashioned story of a dead man with no supernatural elements and the mystery is disappointing never solved.

Verdict: TV show beats the book

The Expanse by S.A Corey

I came to these books via the TV show and this is probably my favourite science fiction series. The books are an epic combination of space politics, intrigues, battles and aliens with a diverse range of characters including one of my favourites the foul-mouthed politician Avarsala. Understandably, so much of the books can’t be transferred across to the TV show.

Verdict: Books win by a tiny bit over the TV show- I can’t wait for the final instalment!

Read my review here

The One by John Mars

The book by John Mars is based on the premise that the concept of the soulmate or is based on biology and people can be tested to find ‘ The One. The author does a great job in describing the complete fallout on relationships when this is made public. The book also has one of the best twists I have read.

The TV show is still based on this premise but introduces a completed mystery and backstory that isn’t half as good as the underlying deceit in the book. The emotional fallout on ordinary couples is ignored and of course, the main characters matches are all photogenically gorgeous.

Verdict: Book wins over the TV show  

Well, I guess I prefer books over TV 

What are your favourite books vs TV?

12 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday- Top Book vs TV

  1. I’ve read the first 3 books in the Game of Thrones series and only watched the first season with my husband. He watched them all and loved it!

    I’ve enjoyed A Discovery of Witches and still need to get to the Witcher and now you are making it difficult for me, because I can’t decide if I want to read the book first or start with the show!

    Happy Halloween and here’s my Ten Pets you can get at Stephen King’s Pet Shop


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