These award-winning series tie-ins on Showmax have given fresh appeal to the books that had us smitten, but there is no contender to the way reading helps our imaginations soar.
YOU WATCHED: Devilsdorp
The four-part series that profiled how a money-hungry cult took the lives of 11 innocent people in Krugersdorp had us glued to our screens. It felt like something out of a movie – how could one person manipulate a group of six people into committing murder for the “greater good”?
In the book, The Krugersdorp Cult Killings: Inside Cecilia Steyn’s Reign of Terror, Jana Marx attempts to answer the public’s questions and provide a view of the inner workings of such a cult through interviews with those in the inner circle, evidence given in court and police files covering a period of four years. It’s a spine-chilling must-read.
YOU WATCHED: The Handmaid’s Tale
NOW READ: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Starring Elisabeth Moss, the series – now in its fourth season – brings to life the harrowing experiences of our handmaids living in the repressive state of Gilead. Forced to breed or face imminent death, the women struggle for some sense of hope that their plot might improve.
The series is a powerful visual representation of this timeless book that took the world by storm when it was published in 1985. Brilliantly conceived and executed, this evocation of twenty-first century America gives full rein to Margaret Atwood's devastating irony, wit and astute perception.
The long-awaited follow-up to The Handmaid’s Tale, The Testaments, was an instant bestseller and winner of the 2019 Booker Prize.
YOU WATCHED: Big Little Lies
NOW READ: Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
This gripping TV tie-in switches between the night a murder took place at a school event, the impressions left by potential suspects on the other people there, and the events leading up to it. Coupled with a heavyweight cast, including Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman, and a beautiful setting, makes for positively addictive viewing.
Equally compelling is the book from the author of Truly Madly Guilty and The Husband's Secret, Liane Moriarty. In the perfect world of a group of moms in the idyllic coastal town of Pirriwee, all is not what it seems as the façade begins to crack, slowly revealing the vicious truths beneath, and the dangerous little lies being told just to survive. Filled with glitz, glamour, and dark humour, the book is a tense read till the very last page.
YOU WATCHED: Noughts + Crosses
NOW READ: Noughts + Crosses by Marjorie Blackman
The beautifully produced TV tie-in of Noughts + Crosses was shot in South Africa with mostly South African crew, including award-winning cinematographers Jamie Ramsay and Giulio Biccari, and production designer Shane Bunce.
Sephy is a Cross: she lives a life of privilege and power. Callum is a nought: he's considered to be less than nothing, there to serve Crosses. Noughts and Crosses are fated to be bitter enemies, but despite living in a world that is fiercely against them, these star-crossed lovers choose each other. But this is love story that will lead both of them into terrible danger... and which will have shocking repercussions for generations to come. It’s an exciting and fast-paced read.
YOU WATCHED: The Magicians
NOW READ: Lev Grossman’s Magicians Series
Now in season five, all four previous seasons of The Magicians have been nominated for Best Fantasy TV Series by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films, and the fifth, and final, season of The Magicians has a 100% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
The trilogy of books follows Quentin Coldwater from his first discovery of Brakebills Preparatory College of Magic, a secret college for modern-day sorcerers, to his rise to King of the bizarre and wonderful land of Fillory. But while he enjoys the privilege, freedom and power of his new world, it also comes with a side much darker than he ever imagined. A grand voyage into the dark, glittering heart of magic, The Magicians series is the ideal in escapism read.
YOU WATCHED: The Plot Against America
NOW READ: The Plot Against America by Philip Roth
The timely six-part series tie-in adapted by The Wire writers, David Simon and Ed Burns, stars Winona Ryder and John Turturro. It brings Roth’s 1940s America to life, yet speaks to modern-day politics when a fascist leader wins the 1940 presidential election on the slogan of 'America First'.
Roth’s writing in the novel is both accessible and insightful. With this book, he draws on his own experience of growing up in the predominantly Jewish ghetto of Newark, caught in the stranglehold of fear and uncertainty in the days leading up to WWII. It’s a breath-taking and frighteningly realistic must-read.
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