Saturday, January 14, 2006

Miscellaneous: Read More About It

I went to see the Brothers Goldberg, Lee and Tod, at the Seattle Mystery Bookshop a while back and had a fine time. Among my haul that afternoon was THE PAST TENSE, Lee’s latest novel featuring characters from the Dick Van Dyke TV series Diagnosis Murder. I intend it as a high compliment when I say that although much of it is set in 1962, at no point did I picture Rob Petrie as Dr. Mark Sloan. Although I did see Mary Tyler Moore as his wife. Go figure.

For years, tie-ins were the bulk of my reading diet. Not by choice; they were all that Pat’s Pharmacy, the only place that sold books in my neighborhood, carried. I would get weirdly put out when novelizations veered from what was in the movie, like when all the characters in GREASE the book worried about ‘using protection.’ I didn’t remember any numbers about that. But hey. If you want strict accuracy, buy a Fotonovel.

I have few regrets in life. One is that I never took Rosemarie to see Florida’s Neil Diamond Bobby Palermo at the Ramada Inn in Clearwater. The other is that I didn’t buy the novelization of The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai when I had the chance. By all accounts, the film’s writer Earl Mac Rauch used the book as an opportunity to flesh out the world he created. Some fans like it more than the movie.

Plenty of top novelists have toiled in the tie-in field. A partial list can be found at the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers website. Co-founder Max Allan Collins has had his own work adapted for the big screen with THE ROAD TO PERDITION. He’s also penned dozens of tie-ins. In this interview, he explains how you novelize a movie that you don’t like.

Magazine: The New Yorker, 1/16 issue

Eric Konigsberg’s article on the life and death of a child prodigy isn’t available online, but it’s worth buying the magazine for. It’s one of those classic New Yorker pieces that uses the prism of a small story to look at whole swaths of the world.

TV: 24

The great Peter Weller joins the show later this season. I eagerly await his first scene with Kiefer Sutherland. Those two voices combined should trip every seismograph on the West Coast.