books

The golden age of adaptation

Vanity Fair (Credit: ITV)

"You have to remember what a partisan of the novel I am… and that it had long been one of my ambitions to have my novels defeat all attempts to put them on screen"

-Interview with Jonathan Franzen, New York Times, 26 June 2018

Channel 4 celebrates 100th anniversary of Roald Dahl

Credit: BBC

Roald Dahl’s Most Marvellous Book, hosted by David Walliams, will see Stephen Spielberg, Julie Walters, Richard Curtis and a host of other stars make the case for their favourite Dahl books.

The show will also have a competitive element – after hearing from the celebrities, the public will be called to vote for their favourite Dahl book via Twitter, with the winner announced at the end of the show.

It started with a book...

So, it’s a great story with great atmosphere, a range of colourful characters to whom lots of stuff happens and it's even a major bestseller, such as “The Casual Vacancy”.  Is that it?   Does it follow that  great tv drama will ensue?  

Does an epic novel automatically make for multi-series, unmissable TV? And do the rules change when the material is autobiographical and the author remains part of the process?