Broadchurch by Erin Kelly and Chris Chibnall

21047994 ScreenHunter_73 Jul. 13 00.38

Broadchurch is a novelization of the British crime drama starring David Tennant and Olivia Colman about a murder in a picturesque  seaside town of Broadchurch. I am a fan of the show which is why I choose to read the book while waiting for the second season of Broadchurch and the American adaptation ‘Gracepoint’. The entire novel basically summarize the entire first season of Broadchurch which made it quite redundant for me. If you haven’t read or seen the show, you can choose to read or watch either one of them.

The strength of Broadchurch itself dependent on the quality of storytelling, the cast and the cinematographers that made the drama work but I felt the absence of the cast and the visual medium itself made the novel somewhat lacking. The storytelling itself depended on stream of consciousness which  was a style applied successfully by the tv but it was painfully dull in written format. Not to mention, the novel basically strip all of the screenplay dialogues which made all forms of interactions between characters in the novel somewhat predictable and unimpressive.

It was hard enough to be a novelization but the novel itself should have work out the plot and ease out the character nuisance. The characters of Broadchurch was more flesh out in the tv drama but bland in the novelization. It is understandable that the charisma and the non-verbal acting from the casts was helped by the production quality itself but the text itself doesn’t give out much of the the characterization you’d expect. Personally, I think it was due to the writing style which skim through the characters and it made everything unsatisfactory. It would have work out better had the novel maintain the usual crime novel narratives of who-dun-it and foreboding and foreshadowing. One of my grips about “stream of consciousness” was that it made the pace fast but it didn’t know where to stop and look at the big picture. You might end up getting unnecessary details that made the story and the characters became oversimplified. The book could have utilize limited dialogues and more expression and it should focus on concise expositions and clarity. I know that the multiple characters can be too much but somehow it was harder to focus on the story from the book’s narrative because there are too many different characters to keep track on. I watch the entire season of Broadchurch again and I notice that while the multiple character interchange was seamless the novel made the characters somewhat just a passing stick figure name labels.

I understand that it was a complicated drama to adapt into but the novelization shouldn’t be just a mere copy from the script but as another interpretative of the drama. Since it was an eight-part tv series, maybe you should invest in watching the show first before reading the novel.

The ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley.


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