The Stranger: 8 differences between the book and Netflix adaptation

If you’re asking who to approach if you want your book to become a series, Harlan Coben is the guy for you. This man has flawlessly mastered the art of turning pages into episodes and chapters into seasons. Corben’s 2015 novel The Stranger has been the recent craze of Netflix as it is one of the more recent adaptations of the streaming platform. For Corben, this is his third original series with the streaming giant after the likes of Sage and The Five.

Over a successful string of eight episodes, audiences have expressed their sympathy to a once-happy Adam Price whose world just flipped upside down after “The Stranger” told him about his wife’s unpleasant past. Though the show digs deep on the story, there are some interesting plot holes brought about if you’ve read the book. Locations, genders, and “existing characters” even––these are but certain elements of the book that the streaming platform has put a twist on.

Here are a couple of example for your enjoyment but disclaimer––there are a lot and I mean A LOT of spoilers here. So tread lightly, my friend.

1. “The Stranger” in the book is actually a man

In the book, Chris Taylor played the part of the titular role of The Stranger. Hannah John-Kamen played the role in the series, but this is only because Harlan Coben absolutely loved her audition.

2. From the UK to the US

If you’re a hardcore Corben fan, you’d know that his novels are strictly set in the United States and frankly The Stranger isn’t at all different. New Jersey, Ohio and Pennsylvania are the locations of choice in the book. However, the series is set in Greater Manchester, England.

3. Edward Price? More like Edward Priced.

Adam Price’s father, Edward Price, is nowhere to be found in the novel. He actually died of a heart attack when Adam was just 16. So consider yourself lucky if you’re particularly loving the story with Edward in it because the novel sure doesn’t.

4. DC Wesley Ross is a very VERY special character

To be frank, DC Wesley Ross is a character made JUST for Netflix. In the novel, Detective Joanna’s sidekick is Norbert Prendergast. I agree Ross’ name is much cooler and is brought into the series as the Robin to Joanna’s Batman, as well as a brotherly figure.

5. The fabled ending

In the series, the final episode saw Johanna Griffin following Adam and Tripp and eventually wiping the gun and removing Adam’s fingerprints and putting it in The Stranger’s apartment. Since this is Katz’ own weapon, he’s now linked to Tripp’s death.

In the novel, though, we saw Johanna testify what she heard while Tripp was confessing. In the end, the evidence of Adam shooting him in self-defense was falsified and Tripp’s family gets a pretty amount of life insurance payout.

6. The teenagers have their own story!

Adam Price’s sons are clearly not helping the situation in the series, most specifically with their mother’s other life. But in the novel, Corben had to work another night shift just to come up with another story involving the teenagers.

And so, he did just that. With the likes of his daughter, Charlotte Corben, helping out in the 5th episode that focused on Mike, Thomas, and Daisy, stories are about to get more fun than usual––maybe even stranger.

7. The Life of Patrick Katz

In the novel, Katz dedicates himself to his three sons especially one of which who has bone cancer. His job is doing some really mysterious security work just to pay for his son Robby’s treatments alongside working for Larry Powell, a powerful businessman.

In the series, though, Katz has Olivia, his sole daughter who also attends the same school as Adam’s sons. By the time she’s very sick in the series, they try to visit her at the Katz residence but to no avail because her mother prevents them from seeing her. Eventually, they get to the bottom of everything and reveal that the mother suffers from Munchausen By Proxy, and has been slowly poisoning Olivia with rat poison.

8. Who is Martin Killane?

Lieutenant Colonel Michael Rinsky as the novel would call Martin Killane. Rinsky is a retired police officer who is now taking care of his ill wife who suffers from dementia––preferring to stay in the house and be around a familiar environment.

In the series, Killane is a totally different character––killing his wife because she threatened him that she would leave him and then storing her body inside the walls of his house. This is why Killane doesn’t want Edward Price to tear down the house.

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