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The Undoing: Key differences between the book and Sky Atlantic drama

The new thriller unravels a dark murder mystery.

Nicole Kidman stars in The Undoing on HBO/Sky Atlantic
Published: Monday, 26th October 2020 at 10:00 pm

Sky Atlantic's latest prestige series is a dark thriller about a seemingly perfect couple who become prime suspects in a murder investigation.


Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant play the affluent Grace and Jonathan Fraser, who are initially thought of as pillars of their elite community and excellent fundraisers for their son's exclusive private school.

But when one of the parents at the academy is found dead, Jonathan quickly falls under suspicion as secrets from his past emerge and explode publicly.

The Undoing is an adaptation of the novel You Should Have Known, written by author Jean Hanff Korelitz, which was first published back in 2014.

As is often the case, some tweaks and changes have been made in the leap from page to screen, which you can discover more about below.

The Undoing: Book to television differences

Readers of Korelitz's novel will notice right away that the team behind The Undoing has tweaked the names of several characters from the book, including the family at the centre of the story.

While Kidman and Grant's roles are billed as Grace and Jonathan Fraser, in the original book their surname is Sachs, while the ill-fated Elena Alves is named Malaga.

An element that hasn't made it into the television series is Grace preparing for the launch of her first book, a hard-hitting self-help book for women about the importance of finding the right man and listening to what he has to say.

The book is to be titled You Should Have Known: Why Women Fail to Hear What the Men in Their Lives Are Telling Them, which becomes ironic when revelations about Grace's own husband hit the headlines.

While the book doesn't feature in the opening episodes of The Undoing, we do see Grace in her job as a relationship therapist, including one scene where she criticises a client's choice of men, alluding to this plot point from Korelitz's story.

Where can I buy The Undoing book?

The novel upon which The Undoing is based is available to purchase on Amazon, with a choice between Kindle edition download or physical paperback.

You Should Have Known received a generally positive reception from critics and was a commercial hit, being translated into 18 languages and sold around the world.


The Undoing premiere on Sky Atlantic on Monday 26th October at 9pm. Jean Hanff Korelitz's novel You Should Have Known is available to purchase on Amazon. Check out what else is on with our TV Guide, or take a look at our new TV shows 2020 page to find out what's airing this autumn and beyond.


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