Just 11 Netflix TV shows you didn’t realise were all based on books
You’re telling me there are 30+ chapters of Joe Goldberg I can read? Get them in my basket x
If there’s one thing about a really good TV show, it’s that it is probably based on a really good book. However, some TV shows can be so juicy and wild you wouldn’t possibly think someone actually wrote it as a book first. In most cases, you are probably incorrect. From rollercoaster thrillers to spicy dramas, here are just 11 of Netflix original shows based on books, you probably had know idea about:
One TV show that’ll rock you when you realise it was based on a book is Netflix’s You. The Netflix original was adapted from the thriller novel of the same name by Caroline Kepnes, originally published in 2014. The first book follows the first season of the Netflix show and Kepnes published two sequels in 2016 and 2021 called Hidden Bodies and You Love Me. The second and third season of You is loosely adapted from Hidden Bodies but her third book does not follow what Netflix have in store for the upcoming You season in 2023.
2. The Witcher
Unless you are a Witcher superfan, all you could probably associate the Netflix series with is Henry Cavill and no one can blame you. The Witcher is based on a book series of the same name by Andrzej Sapkowski. The Witcher series is comprised of six fantasy novels and 15 short stories. The first season of the Netflix series was based on The Last Wish and Sword of Destiny which are collections of short stories which come before the main Witcher saga.
3. The Haunting of Hill House
Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House is actually based on the 1959 gothic horror novel by Shirley Jackson. The Netflix series was not the first time Jackson’s book had been adapted as it had been made into two feature films and a play. The Netflix show changed a few elements from the novel with the main figure being the Hill House staying the same.
4. The Haunting of Bly Manor
The next Haunting Netflix series was set in Bly Manor, and it was loosely based on the 1898 horror novella The Turn of the Screw by Henry James. The Turn of the Screw had been adapted multiple times for television, film and theatre before the Netflix series.
5. A Series of Unfortunate Events
If you went to school in the 2000s, Lemony Snicket’s books were all your primary school library was ever filled with. A Series of Unfortunate Events is a series of thirteen books by Daniel Handler, who used the pen name Lemony Snicket. Before the Netflix series, the books had been adapted into a film in 2004 with Jim Carrey taking on the role of Count Olaf. The first season of the Netflix adaptation is based on the first four books of the series, the second season is based on books five to nine and the third and final season was based on the last four books of the series.
Everyone is well aware Bridgerton is based on the Julia Quinn novels of the same name and most of all, fans are impressed with much it gets right. The first season follows the love story of Daphne and The Duke, and it is based on Quinn’s first book of the Bridgerton series, The Duke and I.
The second season is based on the second instalment of the Bridgerton book series, The Viscount Who Loved Me. The upcoming third season of Bridgerton will follow the love story of Penelope Featherington and Colin Bridgerton which is actually the fourth book in the series called Romancing Mr Bridgerton.
7. The Queen’s Gambit
The Netflix historical drama The Queen’s Gambit is based on the 1983 novel of the same name by Walter Tevis. The miniseries, led by Anya Taylor-Joy, follows the life of Bethan Harmon, a fictional chess prodigy who is struggling with drug and alcohol problems. Prior to Netflix’s series in 2020, many tried and failed to get the rights to the book.
8. Anne with an E
Anne with an E is loosely based on the book Anne of Green Gables, a children’s novel by Lucy Maud Montgomery. The characters of Anne with an E come straight out of Montgomery’s book but the plot is very different.
9. 13 Reasons Why
Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why is based on a young adult novel of the same name by Jay Asher. The series follows the same plotline as the book and Hannah Baker is said to be based on the author’s relative who attempted to take their own life. One key change in the television series is how Clay listens to the tapes. In the book, Clay listens to Hannah’s tapes in one night but in the Netflix series, he listens to them over several days.
10. Shadow and Bone
Shadow and Bone is a young adult fantasy novel series by Leigh Bardugo. The first novel was released in 2012 and the rest followed in 2013 and 2014. In 2019, Netflix ordered an eight episode series and 2021 eight episodes were released, based on the Grisha Trilogy and the Six of Crows duology.
11. Orange Is the New Black
One of Netflix’s first major series was Orange Is the New Black. The comedy-drama series is based on the 2010 memoir Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison by Piper Kerman. The memoir tells the story of Piper and her money laundering and drug trafficking conviction and the year she spent in prison. The show’s creator, Jenji Kohan, read Kerman’s memoir and decided to set up a meeting with her to pitch her on a TV adaptation. The show went on to become Netflix’s most-watched and longest-running original series.
All of these series are available to stream on Netflix now. For all the latest Netflix news, drops, quizzes and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook.