You are a series that has been generating a lot of comments since your Netflix debut. Based on the eponymous book by Caroline Kepnes, the plot features Joe and his obsessive crush on Beck, which leads him to commit absurd acts.
As is usual with this type of adaptation, the series has some modifications compared to the book. While maintaining the core essence and being faithful at almost all times, there are some more considerable changes.
See the main changes between the series and the book:
*** Warning, contains following spoilers ***
Initially, who worked in the bookstore was Curtis, a young man who ends up being fired after giving Joe’s address to Beck without his permission. The problem with this action is that the girl appeared by surprise in the apartment, without giving Joe time to hide all the objects that stole from her that were scattered around the room.
Instead, the bookstore employee is Ethan, who enters the book after his resignation. It is he who delivers the address in the series, but does not have the same fate as Curtis.
2The changes in Benji
Benji is an jerk in all versions, but there are some changes in the series. In the original work he does not attempt to maintain any kind of relationship with Beck, he would never even apologize for one of his actions. She’s the one who always chases the guy, who takes advantage of her being available for something casual, and usually violent. Beck even buys a reputable book, which he completely ignores.
The question of his killing a colleague, shown through a video featured in the series, does not exist in the book. He’s just an addict, no murder.
Another thing that is presented in the book and not in the series is Benji’s deposit. He was kleptomaniac and rented one to leave all the items he stole. He hands Joe the key in an attempt to buy his freedom, but he just ends up using it to store his ashes.
Alias, it’s Curtis who is behind Joe’s attack, a revenge for his resignation, not a confrontation with Ron (Paco’s stepfather in the series).
3Paco doesn’t exist in the book
Paco and the whole issue of abusive stepfather does not exist in the book. Obviously, Ron and Claudia don’t exist either. Karen, the sister who dates Joe, does exist and is a girlfriend of his, but of course, unrelated to his family and far from his neighbor. They know each other on public transportation.
4Everything is wrong at the Charles Dickens Festival
The Charles Dickens festival is very important for the development of several issues, which are well addressed in the series, but has several modifications.
For starters, it is made on a boat. And you can’t get in without fancy, so Joe gets one last minute, always complaining about the extra expense of clothes and hotel stays.
Beck doesn’t see him at the festival, Joe even suspects of being seen, but it’s just paranoia. In fact, she never saw him at any time when he was chasing her.
So she doesn’t tell her father when they meet, but when they come back and she decides to confess everything to Joe. Oh, Nancy’s pregnancy doesn’t exist either.
5Mooney is not as disturbed (or as invalid)
Joe comments a lot about Mooney in the book, making it clear that the bookstore owner was a kind of father figure. But it is unclear if he ever took care of him, only that the bookstore job was a relief to the young man’s head.
However, the series explores this and puts it as if Mooney had adopted Joe when his parents abandoned him. The innumerable times he has arrested Joe in the cage has been exaggerated, and the only one cited in the book is when Joe picks up a rare issue from there to read and allows it to be stolen when dropped at the store counter.
Mooney doesn’t suffer a stroke in the book either, he just got tired and retired. It’s old, but that’s all.
6Peach- slightly- more sociable
Peach also has an obsession with Beck, she doesn’t like her friends and always wants all the attention for her. When she marks something, she doesn’t want the company of her other friends, making excuses to dissuade them, unlike how the series presents, with social moments between them all.
The issue of nose surgery and Peach’s video about Annika are also inventions of adaptation. Another invention is all that agent stuff, Roger Steven, that Peach gets. Nothing like this ever happened in the book, and this character doesn’t exist. Raj and the story of going to Paris are also featured only in the series.
Finally, she never had a gun or even directly confronted Joe in a moment of life or death. When she ran, she wasn’t wearing headphones for safety, which is what saves her when Joe attacks her the first time, someone listens to the music and finds it in time to take her to the hospital. Already the second time, he attacks her from behind on the beach and throws her into the sea with stones in his pocket so that her body is lost.
By the way, when Joe suffers the accident on his way home from the beach, he even goes to the hospital in the book, without the excuse of being married to a doctor.
7The modified therapy
Since the beginning of the book, Peach has been in therapy with Dr. Nick. Joe gets into her before they actually start dating when she disappears and he thinks there’s something going on between them.
And indeed something was going on. Through the audios the therapist kept, he discovers that they were flirting madly, and this time when Joe is dating Beck, they start an affair. Joe tries to kill him, but is interrupted by a call from Beck and ends up deciding it’s not worth it. This whole story of him being blamed for Beck’s murder is a total invention of the series, she didn’t even write a book.
It’s Nick who gives the Macbook to Beck, who actually used an old computer for most of the book. Interestingly, when Nick decides to separate from his wife and face the fear of losing their children to start having something serious with Beck, she decides that the case is not worth it and wants to keep dating Joe.
Speaking of cases, Joe never had one while he was with Karen and there’s nothing proven about Beck’s cases with teachers.
8The big changes involving Candace
These are the most important changes in the series. In the book, Joe did kill Candace, just as he did Peach. There was no proven case, but she was strange to him and intended to end it all. He killed his brother, who opposed dating as soon as he met her.
No one knew about her, in the book there is not all this fuss where Beck tries to find her at all costs, let alone mutual friends.
9Beck has a more dramatic death
When Joe arrests Beck, he desperately tries to link them. For this, he reads with her The DaVinci Code, the first book she gave him. She then takes advantage of his confidence and, in a provocative moment, manages to lure him and then try to escape. Just to find the main door locked and get caught before getting help.
So she ends up giving up and when she confesses her psychological problems to Joe, he freaks out and hangs her, barely realizing it. She dies on the bookstore floor behind the counter.
Do you know the Nirvana T-shirt that Beck always wears when he stays at Joe’s? She actually belonged to his mother and he actually dressed her occasionally until Beck got hold of her.
And that romantic getaway that Joe plans with Beck, which is eventually forgotten why Peach calls her, is actually a reference to their first date. In it, Joe takes her to the carriage and then to a very fancy bar, but they are interrupted by Peach.