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All the Light We Cannot See: 8 must-watch series on Netflix that are based on books

Netflix has a comprehensive collection of compelling shows that are based on acclaimed books, with Shawn Levy’s All the Light We Cannot See being the latest addition

All the Light We Cannot See: 8 must-watch series on Netflix that are based on books

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Last Updated: 12.08 AM, Nov 09, 2023


All the Light We Cannot See is the latest addition to Netflix's ever evolving roster of series that inevitably find their source material in critically-acclaimed and commercially-successful literature. The American war drama series based on Anthony Doerr’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel of the same name features performances from Aria Mia Loberti, Louis Hofmann, Mark Ruffalo, Lars Eidinger, Hugh Laurie, and Marion Bailey. Set during the final days of World War-II, the plot follows Marie-Laure, a blind French teenager, and a German soldier named Werner, whose paths tangle in occupied France as they both attempt to weather the devastation brought about by the war. With the series making it to the Top 10 list of trending Netflix TV shows, let’s take a look at other remarkable Netflix series that are based on books.


Anne With An E

An adaptation of Anne of Green Gables, a classic 1908 work of children’s literature by Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne With An E is a Canadian coming-of-age drama series that follows the adventures of a young orphan girl living in the later years of the 19th century, whose life takes a dramatic shift as she finds an unlikely home with a spinster and her soft-spoken brother. Created by Moira Walley-Beckett, the series stars Amybeth McNulty as the protagonist Anne Shirley, Geraldine James as Marilla Cuthbert, R. H. Thomson as her brother Matthew Cuthbert, Dalila Bela as Diana Barry, and Lucas Jade Zumann who plays the role of Gilbert Blythe.The series tackles and discusses a plethora of issues that range from orphaning to psychological trauma, racism, gender inequality and other societal problems.

Altered Carbon

Serving as an adaptation of the 2002 cyberpunk noir novel of the same name by English author Richard K. Morgan, Altered Carbon does justice to its sleek cyberpunk setting, narrating the tale of a world where consciousness can be separated and transferred to different bodies, and follows Takeshi Kovacs, an ex-soldier turned investigator, who is released from prison to solve a murder. Created by Laeta Kalogridis, the series features performances from Anthony Mackie, Lela Loren, Simone Missick, Chris Conner, Dina Shihabi, and Torben Liebrecht among others.


Being one of the most critically-acclaimed psychological crime thriller shows in the Netflix roster, a lot of the series’ gritty realism and attention to detail can be attributed to its source material which is the 1995 true-crime book Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit by John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker. The series depicts the founding of the Behavioral Science Unit in the FBI and the beginning of criminal profiling to track down and prevent the atrocities caused by serial killers. The series grabbed the attention of true-crime enthusiasts with its realistic depiction of real-life serial killers such as Ed Kemper, who was played by Cameron Britton, David Berkowitz, played by Oliver Cooper, and Charles Manson, who was played by Damon Herriman. Created by Joe Penhall, the show saw acclaimed filmmaker David Fincher serve as an executive producer and also a frequent director of many episodes of the show. The series features performances from Jonathan Groff, Holt McCallany, and Anna Torv in the lead roles.

The Queen's Gambit

Based on the 1983 Walter Tevis novel of the same name, this American coming-of-age period drama series set during the Cold War era that follows Beth Harmon, a fictional orphaned American chess prodigy played by Anya Taylor-Joy, as she battles with drug abuse and alcohol addiction in her quest to become the greatest chess player in the world. Created by Scott Frank and Allan Scott, the show was praised for its brilliant performances and accurate depiction of high-level chess. The critical acclaim also translated into eleven Primetime Emmy Awards and two Golden Globe Awards. The series also features performances from Bill Camp, Marielle Heller, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Moses Ingram, and Harry Melling among others.

Stories by Rabindranath Tagore

Although one of the lesser known titles in the selection, this Hindi series created by filmmaker Anurag Basu beautifully adapts classic short stories of Bengali writer and Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore. Set in 1920s Bengal, Tagore’s tales prove to be progressive in the face of the conformist notions of his time — with confident women often playing headstrong protagonists who defy the prejudices inflicted on them by a rather conservative society. The show features performances from Radhika Apte, Shreya Narayan, Jannat Zubair Rahmani, Bhanu Uday, Tara Alisha Berry, Sumeet Vyas, and Rohan Shah among others.

Sacred Games

Sartaj Singh, a police officer who has found himself in troubled times in Mumbai receives a phone call from the notorious gangster Ganesh Gaitonde who instructs him to save the city, for which he has 25 days before it all crumbles. Sacred Games was one of the early and perhaps, most compelling Indian adaptations made exclusively for streaming. Created by Vikramaditya Motwane, alongside Anurag Kashyap who also served as co-director, the series is an adaptation of Vikram Chandra’s 2006 novel of the same name. With an adapted screenplay by Varun Grover, the series starred an ensemble cast that includes the likes of Saif Ali Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Radhika Apte, Pankaj Tripathi, Kubbra Sait, Surveen Chawla, Rajshri Deshpande, Jeetendra Joshi, and Kalki Koechlin among many others.


Inspired by Stephanie Land’s 2019 memoir Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay and a Mother’s Will to Survive, this American limited drama series focuses on the life of Alex, a single mother who turns to housecleaning to make ends meet as she escapes an abusive relationship and braves the plight of homelessness to create a better life for her daughter, Maddy. Created by Molly Smith Metzler, the series features performances from Margaret Qualley, Andie MacDowell, Nick Robinson, Anika Noni Rose, Tracy Vilar, Billy Burke, and Rylea Nevaeh Whittet.


Scoop follows the real-life story of Mumbai-based crime journalist Jigna Vora who was accused of conspiring in the murder of a tabloid reporter Jyotirmoy Dey in June of 2011. The Hindi crime drama series is created and directed by Hansal Mehta and Mrunmayee Lagoo Waikul. Inspired by Jigna Vora’s memoir Behind Bars in Byculla: My Days in Prison, the series follows Jagruti Pathak, a crime reporter who finds herself in the middle of the action as she is held as the principal suspect in the murder of another journalist. The story follows her tumultuous journey as she struggles to defend her innocence. The tainted journalist hopes to turn public opinion which has been coloured by media reports that attempt to establish her underworld contacts and allude to her affluent lifestyle to drive defamatory insinuations. The series stars Karishma Tanna, Prosenjit Chatterjee, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub, Harman Baweja, Tannishtha Chatterjee, and Deven Bhojani in prominent roles.

Well that's the end of today's episode, and this is your host Nikhil  signing off.

Aaj kya dekhoge OTTplay se poocho.

Written by Sidharth A R

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