10+ Movies And Shows That Were Actually Way Better Than The Books

I consider myself a bit of a bibliophile, which is a nerdy way of saying I like to read — a lot. I also tend to be a bit of a purist or as some would say — a snob.

But sometimes movies and TV shows have the ability to take a great book and make it exceptional. See what I mean and check out these 10+ movies and shows that were actually way better than the books.



Westworld is one of the more visually stunning shows of the decade.

Seeing it brought to life through dazzling special effects communicates the story in a much more visceral manner than the screenplay could ever hope to achieve.

*The Shawshank Redemption*

A lot of people may be surprised to learn that The Shawshank Redemption is actually based on a short story written by the master of horror, Stephen King.

Currently, Shawshank occupies the #1 spot on IMDb's Top Movies of All Time list.

*Masters Of Sex*

The show is actually inspired by the autobiography of doctors William Masters and Virginia Johnson, written by Thomas Maier.

Through groundbreaking research and innovations, these two pioneers helped build and provide the modern foundations of sex education.

*The Godfather*

This isn't meant to be a criticism of Mario Puzo's novel, but the film version of The Godfather is considered by many to be the greatest movie of all time.

Puzo is a fine author, but he's no Hemmingway.

*Orange Is The New Black*

Orange Is the New Black series not only conceptualized the characters better, but it also gave them depth and range.

Piper Kerman's memoir was met with mixed reviews, at best. Whereas the show is one of the most-watched shows on Netflix.


The film version of Jaws has something that will always set it apart from Peter Benchley's classic novel — a score written by the great John Williams.

That's where all the suspense comes from!


Bones the TV series is based on the Temperance Brennan novels, written by Kathy Reichs.

While there's no denying the books are pageturners, it lacks the magnetic chemistry effortlessly exuded by David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel.

*The Silence Of The Lambs*

Every single second that Anthony Hopkins is on screen in The Silence of the Lambs he commands your attention.

His performance is mesmerizing, terrifying, and career-defining. So much so that he took home the Oscar at the 1992 Academy Awards for Best Actor.


The first season of Dexter follows the novel "Darkly Dreaming Dexter" to a 'T'.

I myself own the book. And while I will attest that Lindsay is a vivid storyteller, his technical skills make it difficult to truly immerse yourself in his writing.

*Fight Club*

Chuck Palahniuk is one of the great writers of the last half-century. He's the closest thing we have to Hunter S. Thompon and he should be revered and celebrated.

But Fight Club is one of the defining films of the '90s. It simultaneously propelled Edward Norton and Brad Pitt into superstardom.

*Boardwalk Empire*


For a long time, if you asked me what the greatest television show of all time was, I'd have probably said The Sopranos.

But after watching Steve Buscemi as the ruthlessly ambitious Nucky Thompson, I'm not so sure.

*One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest*

Both the book and the film versions of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest are timeless and fantastic.

But there's just something about seeing the character of Randle McMurphy brought to life through the eyes of Jack Nicholson. It's practically transcendent.

*Forrest Gump*

The novel and the movie versions of Forrest Gump couldn't be more different. The former serves as inspiration for the latter, but barely.

Every time I watch Tom Hanks say to Robin Wright "Why don't you love me, Jenny?" I'm reduced to a puddle on the floor.

*Beauty And The Beast*

Have you read the original version of Beauty and the Beast? It's one dark and slightly disturbing fairytale, to say the least.

I much prefer Disney's adaptation. A lot less tragedy and a lot more singing and dancing.

*The Handmaid's Tale*

I've read the Margaret Atwood novel and I can assure you that it's an incredible read. Its inclusion on this list is really just a statement of how good The Handmaid's Tale series is.

That, and the fact that Elisabeth Moss is absolutely electric.