The Book Group is a British comedy drama that was broadcast on Channel 4 between 2002 and 2003 and ran for two seasons. It was written and directed by the American-born, Glasgow resident Annie Griffin, who also wrote and directed Festival. It was the winner of two BAFTA Scotland awards.

The Book Group
The cast of The Book Group
Created byAnnie Griffin
StarringAnne Dudek
Michelle Gomez
James Lance
Rory McCann
Saskia Mulder
Bonnie Engstrom
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of series2
No. of episodes12
Running timeapprox 23 minutes
Original release
NetworkChannel 4
Release12 April 2002 (2002-04-12) –
28 February 2003 (2003-02-28)

In January 2006, it was announced that screenwriter Andrew Davies would make a feature film adaptation of The Book Group for Film 4,[1] but the project was never started.



The Book Group revolved around the life of American Clare Pettengill (Anne Dudek) who at the start of the series had recently moved from Cincinnati, Ohio to Glasgow, Scotland. She starts a book club to try find friends with similar interests. Those she encounters are not what she expected; a drug-addled, egotistical postgraduate student (and subsequently his neurotic and ever-worrying brother), an easy-going disabled man who aims to be a writer, three discontented footballers' wives, and a straggler who hides his homosexuality with an obsession for football. All of the members are brought together not so much by the books that they read (if they read them at all) but their own longings for companionship, and ambitions to better their lives. Some episodes are titled for the book that is discussed in the group.

Critical reception


Reviewing The Book Group for The Guardian, Gareth McLean stated "the acting is as cracking as the script and the production values" and described the show as "a genuine ensemble drama in which everyone plays a vital part".[2]







Season one

  1. "On The Road"
  2. "The Alchemist"
  3. "Magical Realism"
  4. "Bedtime Stories"
  5. "Dark Alley"
  6. "A Little More Living"

Season two

  1. "Sueños"
  2. "Hunger"
  3. "You Must Change Your Life"
  4. "Drowning"
  5. "Research"
  6. "A'salaam Insha'lah"


  1. ^ "Davies to write Book Group film". The Guardian. 31 January 2006.
  2. ^ McLean, Gareth (27 April 2002). "Literally Dazzling". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 March 2013.