Books to read before they hit the screen
Want to get ahead of the critics? Be a trailblazer and pick up these exciting page turners before they get the live action treatment.
Maybe you just never had the time or perhaps the book just completely passed you by. Whatever the reason, an impending screen adaptation is always a great nudge to you get you picking up the original page-turner. News has reached us of two unmissable shows in the works. And to ramp up the anticipation even more why not read the juicy bestsellers they are based on before they get the big screen treatment?
The Water Dancer
A powerhouse team of Oprah Winfrey and Brad Pitt is behind the film adaptation of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ The Water Dancer. If you regularly frequent the bookshops (well, when they were open) you’ll have seen that beautifully designed book cover with the blue abstract drawing. But if you’re not au fait with the story, it’s time to get up to speed. It follows a young boy Hiram Walker, a slave born in Virginia, who has a special power that one day saves his life. This unique capability of teleportation, he realises, can be harnessed to help others in bondage.
The film is yet to start production but MGM's film chair Michael De Luca and group president Pamela Abdy said in a press statement: "Ta-Nehisi’s debut fiction novel has at its heart a beautiful character in Hiram Walker, whose personal odyssey weaves the supernatural and spiritual, with the terrible reality of the forced separations endured by enslaved people and their families for centuries."
We’ll be keeping a keen eye on this one!
If there’s ever been a book that’s ripe for live action adaption, it’s Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams. One of the major book successes of recent years, everything about the novel hit the sweet spots becoming a huge commercial and critical sensation. From its subject matter about a young black woman in south London, working in media, and navigating love and millennial life, to the glorious book cover which came in different neon colours – and not forgetting the author herself, who’s become a superstar herself. She also added the incredible accolade of being the first black woman ever to win the Book of the Year prize at the British Book Awards.
Not much info has been released about the TV show, which is being adapted by Channel 4 but Candice has made it clear that Covid won’t be featuring in any of it. “I’ve decided, quite resolutely, that the virus will not feature in any of the episodes I’m writing. For those who have read Queenie will know that any adaptation will rely on physical touching. A lot of touching,” she wrote in her Guardian column. “But it’s not just that; it’s thinking about whether or not I want Covid-19 to be part of the narrative I’ve been working on for years. And I truly don’t. As much as this time has been notable, and I am deeply sad for the ones we’ve lost, it’s not something I want to preserve in my work. This shocking time might live with us for the foreseeable future, but let us take a screen break.”