We’re not surprised TV is kicking cinema in the pants right now. Long form storytelling spread out across multiple episodes allows creators to get under the skin of their characters and explore much more nuanced plotlines.
What goes even deeper than TV? Books. That’s why we’ve put together a reading list of suggested titles along similar lines so you can get stuck into some riveting page-turners once you’ve finished devouring these much-loved series.
House of Cards
With series four of the Netflix political skulduggery drama about to land as the house of Underwood implodes, bone up on the Michael Dobbs novels that form the loose source material, then wait with bated breath until the April release of The Killing Season Uncut. An even more in-depth take on ABC journalist Sarah Ferguson’s forensic examination of Labor’s brutal saga that tore down both Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and his successor Julia Gillard, then the party itself, it promises to be juicy.
What’s better than checking in with Don Draper, Peggy Olson, Joan Harris and co over a cut-glass tumbler of whisky? Now that the meticulously detailed period show has checked out of our lives, why not try reading the seminal advertising book penned by a godfather of the industry that heavily influenced the series, David Ogilvy’s Confessions of an Advertising Man?
One of the number one reasons to sign up for Stan, Amazon Studio’s Transparent, the Golden Globe-winning series starring Jeffrey Tambor as trans woman Maura is TV how it should be done. With series three dropping later this year, plug the gap with Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City, featuring iconic trans character Anna Madrigal.
Making a Murderer
The Netflix documentary series had everyone talking about Steven Avery and the perceived miscarriage of justice he endured at the hands of Manitowoc County. While we await the real world outcome of this bizarre murder case, why not indulge your fascination with the macabre by picking up lost Aussie outback horror Fear is the Rider? Written in 1982 by Kenneth Cook, the author of Wake In Fright, which was adapted by Ted Kocheff into the classic 1971 movie, the gripping serial killer yarn was only recently discovered in the deceased author’s papers.
Orange is the New Black
Ok, so you should totally read Piper Kerman’s memoir, the basis of OITNB executive producer Jenji Kohan’s smash hit Netflix female prison drama series, but also pick up Australian author Charlotte Wood’s disturbing dystopia The Natural Way of Things. The novel sees a group of women locked up in the middle of nowhere after being judged to be of ill-repute by shady misogynist terrorists. Gripping stuff.
We love Marvel’s street-level take on this beer-swilling ex-superhero and suggest you check out her original series Alias, by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos after watching the Netflix series. Then check out Marc Andreyko’s Manhunter Vol. 1: Street Justice over at DC Comics. It features frustrated lawyer Kate Spencer who’s so sick of killer creeps walking free from court she takes to late night vigilantism, smacking them down with a boot to the face and a snappy quip.
Game of Thrones
Book lovers who came to the George R.R. Martin novels first can no longer gloat about knowing what comes next, with the series about to overtake the infamously stalled novels when it returns in April. If you like the political intrigue married with sauciness, try Melbourne author CS Pacat’s Captive Prince trilogy.
Forget The Walking Dead or American Horror Story, the ABC brought genre back to Australian screens big time last year with this suspenseful series examining what would happen if our deceased loved ones suddenly came back. While you wait anxiously for series two, try reading Stephen King’s classic horror novel Pet Sematary for a quick lesson in being careful what you wish for.