Just bringing this discussion over to ning...

What books are you reading right now that don't have a narrative driven by images as well as words?

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I don't recall ever reading a novel based on a TV show. The closest I had, was  The Cheers Bartending Guide back in junior high, and I wish I still had it. The main characters had their own chapter. Like, there was a chapter by "Norm" on beer.

Right now I'm reading Hell's Belle by Jane Holleman. I noticed shes from the Dallas area, so decided to look her up. All I found was that she wrote the novels, and I found one interview from 1997. Besides that I've found nothing. Not, that I spent a ton of time on it.

This is about Detective Rachel Collazo, a Dallas police detective who thinks some suicides and accidental deaths were actually caused by a murderous nurse. Her new partner, Chaz Diablo, was initially skeptical but is now on board. The problem is the nurse's crimes are so perfect they can't find a way she committed them. The most unbelievable part of this story? How often she has it snowing in Dallas,

I also read the Fermenting Guide & Recipe Book, so now I'm making my first batch of sauerkraut.

The Ipcress Files by Len Deighton. I saw the movie recently and found a copy of the source novel through my local library. If not for the title, I don't think I would have known that the movie was based on the book so great are the differences between the two.

According to IMDB there were budget constraints that required a couple of major sections of the novel to be changed or eliminated. The IMDB Trivia notes also mention that the director hated the original screenplay so much that he burned a copy of the script in front of the cast on the first day of shooting. I guess that explains the changes wrought.

I've started The Rainbow Stories by cult author William T. Vollmann and I just picked up Beth Macy's non-fic Dopesick from the library (we watched the adaptation over the holidays).

I finished Joan Didion's Blue Nights, which I have owned for awhile and finally got into after her passing. It's a heartbreaker about the death of her adopted daughter, and a lot of reflection on growing old: the most personal thing of hers that I have read. Started John Brunner's classic sci-fi novel Stand on Zanzibar, which I've also owned for awhile but never got to. It is batshit crazy!  Not sure if I'll finish it, but I'll give it some more time. It is amazing how contemporary it feels (and not in a good way).

KUNG FU 1: THE WAY OF THE TIGER, THE SIGN OF THE DRAGON: The same year Planet of the Apes debuted on CBS, Kung Fu debuted on ABC. I suspect the majority of viewers tuned in for the martial arts action (I know I did), but what I took away from it most was the philosophy. Several years ago, I found the first four TV tie-ins at HPB and snatched them up, but I haven't been in the mood to read any of them until now. I suppose the full title of the series is "Kwai Chang Caine, Master of Kung Fu," 

TV tie-ins fall into two broad categories: adaptations of episodes and original stories. As a child of the '70s, I appreciate the need for adaptations, but at this far remove, I question their value, OTOH, in the case of Kung Fu, if the primary purpose of the TV show is to showcase martial arts action, the primary purpose of the novelization is to highlight the philosophy. 

Several years ago, Tracy and I watched all three seasons on DVD (my choice). She didn't care for it much, and I attempted a second viewing once when she was out of town but I got only partially through season one before she returned. I do tend to overreact to daily life sometimes (or do I?), but the TV show changes my demeanor in the sort term, if only while I am watching it. While casting about (in my younger years) for a philosophy to follow (I haven't found one yet), I now realize that the ones that the ones that suit me best (the Vulcan neck pinch and Star Wars' "Force" are derivative of Shaolin practices), Buddhism probably suits me best (although, admittedly, I am far too set in my ways to commit to such a radical change). 

"The same year Planet of the Apes debuted on CBS, Kung Fu debuted on ABC."

Actually, Kung Fu debuted the year before. I probably won't read the other three tie-ins I have at this time (although I may watch some of the TV episodes), but I did want to mention the writing (all four adapted by Howard Lee) is a notch above what one might expect from the typical novelization.

The makes sense to me, since depictions of martial arts moves work better in a live-action medium, whereas philosophy is better seved by the written word.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

OTOH, in the case of Kung Fu, if the primary purpose of the TV show is to showcase martial arts action, the primary purpose of the novelization is to highlight the philosophy. 

Too obvious? 

Actually, I don't know whether or not the primary purpose of the novelizations was to highlight the philosophy, but it's a lot easier to reference. Given a second chance I'd probably rework that sentence. 

THE INCREDIBLE HULK: Skip ahead a couple of years from Kung Fu, and The Incredible Hulk debuts on CBS on Friday nights. Despite the Hulk being my "first favorite character," I never saw a single episode of the television show first run except the one that reunited Bill Bixby with Brandon Cruz, his co-star from The Courtship of Eddie's Father. (As I feel about the Marvel Cinematic Universe of today, I thought the movies/TV shows were/are for those who don't read the comics.) There weren't any tie-in novelizations (that I know of), but there was a comic strip. 

My paper carried it and I read it from the beginning, but after some 30 years I had pretty much forgotten it. I lamented the fact that there wasn't a collected edition on the board one day, and Tim told me he had two paperback collections (volumes #1 and #3) that he was willing to trade. We quickly came to terms, and those were the first two of a suitcase full of paperbacks we traded that day. Under normal circumstances I wouldn't post about comic strip collections on this thread, but they are TV tie-ins and I am just about the the end of the different ones I'm going to cover before I loop back and read additional volumes of those I have already covered. 

This is the David Banner vagabond/fugitive from the TV show, and the stories are pretty forgettable. (I've already forgotten them even though it's been only 10 or 12 years since I read them.) They are drawn by Larry Lieber and very probably written by Stan Lee (his name is on them, but I don't know if he did plot or script or what). Although he described the series as "virtually endless," that turned out not to be the case. 

Years after the show was off the air, I joined the CBS VHS Club for the TV show but I soon dropped out because the episodes were assembled in random order. I did see the TV "movies" (the ones with "Daredevil" and "Thor" and The Death of the Incredible Hulk) first run, but... well, like I said: these aren't for the people who read the comics. 

I am currently reading The Psychopath by Mary Turner Thomson. The is follow-up the her earlier book The Bigamist, all true stories. The author is a brit who was married to an American. In 2006 she found out he was already married. Let me tell you this guy is a real peach. He is a bigamist, conman, convicted pedophile, and other terrible things rolled into one.

How many women he has actually conned and fathered children with is still unknown. He even fathered two children with the nanny of his first British wife.

This book so far goes into what happened after she found out what happened, and digging deeper into what makes this kind of person work. How she dealt with everything with her children. Her meetings with some of his other victims.

Inspired by the Get Back doc, I am reading Mark Lewisohn's The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions. And when he says complete, he means complete. I am loving all the minutiae but I would only recommend the book to hard core fans.

Likewise inspired by the Get Back documentary, I am reading Steve Turner's The Beatles: A Hard Day's Write (but I'm not reading it in order; I'm just skipping around). 

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