The Wasp Factory
I remember reading this book when I was around 15 years old. It was a book on my dad’s bookshelf and so naturally it was something I was desperate to read growing up. When he let me borrow it one summer – I loved it. This is a novel about Frank, who’s a very disturbed, sadistic, young man living in rural Scotland. He’s not registered with the authorities, he doesn’t have a birth certificate, he doesn’t go to school – he just lives with his dad on a remote island. To fill his days, Frank has daily rituals of animal torture, abuse and murder. It’s a very dark and macabre story and Frank is an extremely problematic character but I really remember absolutely devouring this and really loving each turn and unveiled secret. In retrospect, I can really draw similarities between The Wasp Factory and the Netflix series Bates Motel. I think Frank and Norman are very similar characters and I think Ian Banks writes enough suspense into the Wasp Factory that it would make a really good, dark, series. Filmed well and with a good script this could pack the same atmospheric, gritty, thriller punch that I enjoy so much in Bates Motel .
A Series of Unfortunate Events
This next pick is a bit of a cheat, I’ll admit but I’m including it non-the-less because I’m sure this particular selection of books is going to make a brilliant TV series when it comes out on Netflix next year! My second pick is A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket. These books are so so nostalgic for me. You know how rich and amazing the imagery from books you used to love when you were younger is, and how magical they are even into adulthood, it’s almost as though I’ve already seen a screen adaptation of this story. However, I CAN’T wait to see what Netflix does with this. The film version of these books I really feel didn’t do them justice so I’m fingers and toes crossed.
All the Birds Singing
The next pick I’ve included in this list is All The Birds Singing by Evie Wylde, and probably mostly because the setting, descriptions and the metaphors in this novel are so rich and atmospheric, they’d translate fantastically onscreen. I think the reverse chronology of the narrative would lend itself really well to a TV series and the flashback element would keep it really interesting and mysterious, though I do think the plot
would need ironing out a little so that it felt more conclusive. I also really think the themes in this are very relevant to some current discussions in gender and mental health so I’d be very excited if this ever came to screen.
In a word, The Seamstress made this list for how rich its plot is. This is such a multifaceted novel, with so many complex characters and sub-plots and twists and surprises. I really feel like this would make a brilliant, tense, ‘what’s going to happen next’,’who can she trust series’. Also, this is first in Madrid, Morocco, then Lisbon, and it features espionage and gunrunning and, love interests and friendships. ALSO, It’s set in the 1930’s so the costume design and set and general aesthetic for this as a TV series could be an absolute treat.
For my last pick I’m imagining a slightly different sort of TV series, in the sense that I imaging that this book would make a fantastic documentary series or one off. This book is a nonfiction that deals with a Balinese prison and some of the complexities and struggles of Prison life and corruption and drugs. In my mind, this would make a perfect Louis Theroux style, documentary.
So that’s all for my T5W for this week. I’ll see you next week for another!