AbeBooks' Reading Copy » TV http://www.abebooks.com/blog AbeBooks book blog Wed, 20 Aug 2014 21:23:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 HBO’s True Detective Series Revives Interest in 120 Year Old Book http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2014/02/24/hbos-true-detective-series-revives-interest-in-120-year-old-book/ http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2014/02/24/hbos-true-detective-series-revives-interest-in-120-year-old-book/#comments Mon, 24 Feb 2014 19:39:19 +0000 http://www.abebooks.com/blog/?p=20724 the-king-in-yellow-chambers

HBO’s True Detective crime series, starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, has sparked interest in a rather forgotten collection of short horror stories published in 1895, reports the Daily Telegraph.

The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers is one the hottest titles in North America right now, thanks to several obscure literary references in the series that tells the story of a 17-year hunt for a serial killer in Louisiana.

The King in Yellow is a collection of short stories, several of which incorporate the recurring motif of a fictional play, also called The King in Yellow, which will supposedly send any reader who gets past the first act into insanity.

Last month TV viewers in the US picked up on the subtle references in episode two of the eight-part series – quotations in a murder victim’s diary, recurring black star and spiral symbols that appear as tattoos and doodles, references to a mysterious character known only as ‘The Yellow King’, and an unknown place called Carcosa.

The first four stories in the book are macabre, including supernatural elements, and are forerunners of HP Lovecraft’s Weird Fiction genre. The most expensive copy on AbeBooks is a first edition, complete with a dust jacket, priced at $3,746. With the exception of connisseurs of the history of horror, The King in Yellow is not widely remembered.

Chambers (1865-1933) also wrote romance, adventure, historical fiction, and war stories, and was highly successfully during this career. His work sold well, frequently achieving best-seller status, and was often serialized in magazines. His 1911 novel The Common Law inspired three films, in 1916, 1923, and 1931, and his 1906 novel The Tracer of Lost Persons was adapted into a radio crime drama that ran from 1937-54. More recently, one of the stories from The King in Yellow, The Yellow Sign, inspired a film of the same name in 2001.

More from Robert W. Chambers:

The Crimson Tide
The Slayer of Souls
In the Quarter
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Look out BBC TV: Here Comes Rowling’s Casual Vacancy http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2012/12/04/look-out-bbc-tv-here-comes-rowling-casual-vacancy/ http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2012/12/04/look-out-bbc-tv-here-comes-rowling-casual-vacancy/#comments Tue, 04 Dec 2012 22:09:50 +0000 http://www.abebooks.com/blog/?p=17908 The boy wizard might be grown and gone now, but Harry Potter’s creator is showing no sign of fading into obscurity any time soon. As reported yesterday by the BBC, J.K. Rowling’s latest novel (this one written for adults) The Casual Vacancy is set to become a BBC television drama.

The novel tells the story of Pagford, a quintessential English small town with a cobbled market square and historic abbey. But life is anything but peaceful behind the hanging baskets and manicured lawns. An empty seat appears on the town council when Barry Fairweather dies unexpectedly and the subsequent election sparks conflict and turmoil amongst the townspeople. Sounds like it could make for riveting English television.

No word yet on number or length of the episodes, but the series is expected to air on BBC One in 2014.

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Neil Gaiman to join The Simpsons http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2011/11/18/neil-gaiman-to-join-the-simpsons/ http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2011/11/18/neil-gaiman-to-join-the-simpsons/#comments Fri, 18 Nov 2011 17:12:41 +0000 http://www.abebooks.com/blog/?p=14392 This Sunday’s episode of The Simpsons will feature Neil Gaiman himself as a character.

Apparently Neil and Homer team up to group-write the latest tween lit hit and, of course, shenanigans ensue.

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American Gods coming to the small screen http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2011/08/23/american-gods-coming-to-the-small-screen/ http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2011/08/23/american-gods-coming-to-the-small-screen/#comments Tue, 23 Aug 2011 15:23:15 +0000 http://www.abebooks.com/blog/?p=13416 Neil Gaiman is to adapt his novel American Gods into TV series for HBO.

Speaking at Edinburgh international book festival, he said: “I got the email yesterday saying that the final contractual tos and fros have been sorted out and I should be free within a couple of weeks to start writing.” The Guardian has the full story.

American Gods was the second Gaiman book that I read after Anansi Boys. I’m sure it will make good TV.

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Terry Pratchett starts process to end his own life http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2011/06/13/terry-pratchett-starts-process-to-end-his-own-life/ http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2011/06/13/terry-pratchett-starts-process-to-end-his-own-life/#comments Mon, 13 Jun 2011 17:38:42 +0000 http://www.abebooks.com/blog/?p=12822 Sir Terry Pratchett was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2008 and is now been reporting that he has started the formal process which could lead to his assisted suicide at a clinic in Switzerland. He has been sent the consent forms requesting a suicide by the clinic, and claims that he planned to sign them imminently.

The Guardian reports that Pratchett “decided to start the process after making the film Terry Pratchett: Choosing to Die, which shows the moment of death of a motor neurone sufferer, millionaire hotel owner Peter Smedley, in the presence of his wife.” Pratchett goes on to say that “the only thing stopping me [signing them] is that I have made this film and I have a bloody book to finish”

Pratchett’s film will be shown tonight on BBC2

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End of the Oprah era http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2011/05/25/end-of-the-oprah-era/ http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2011/05/25/end-of-the-oprah-era/#comments Wed, 25 May 2011 15:32:50 +0000 http://www.abebooks.com/blog/?p=12687 The publishing world is mourning the end of the Oprah TV show – the final episode is broadcast today. The NY Times reports. I went to college in 1986 and can remember the Oprah show quickly becoming an established part of day-time TV, especially for a bunch of lazy students with nothing better to do. From The Secret to The Story of Edgar Sawtelle to James Frey and Eckhart Tolle, the Oprah has been a bookselling phenomenon. Love her or loathe her, she put books in front of millions of people.

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South Riding by Winifred Holtby gets second life with BBC series http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2011/02/28/south-riding-by-winifred-holtby-gets-second-life-with-bbc-series/ http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2011/02/28/south-riding-by-winifred-holtby-gets-second-life-with-bbc-series/#comments Mon, 28 Feb 2011 19:13:35 +0000 http://www.abebooks.com/blog/?p=11967 South Riding by Winifred Holtby was first published, posthumously, in 1936. The story is about a young headmistress living in a fictional Yorkshire neighbourhood; and the book itself has lived a fairly innocuous life in the midlist for over half a century until last week when Andrew Davies three part mini-series began to air on BBC One.

Sales of the book have spiked in a serious way, the novel was the bestselling book on AbeBooks.co.uk last week (on the heels of the first BBC episode) and it looks as if it will be one of our bestsellers on AbeBooks.co.uk in February.

This was not the first adaptation in the books history. The novel was first adapted for the big screen in 1938 starring Edna Best as Sarah Burton (the headmistress), Ralph Richardson as Robert Carne (a man tormented by his marriage) and Edmund Gwenn as Alfred Huggins (the sanctimonious hypocrite). Then in 1974 it was adapted for television by Yorkshire Television. BBC Radio 4 has done a radio version starring Sarah Lancashire and Philip Glenister in 1999.

With the success of South Riding The Guardian chose 10 more neglected literary classics for the Beeb to revive

Neglected English Reads:
south-riding-by-winifred-holtby1. The Real Charlotte by Somerville and Ross
2. The Vet’s Daughter by Barbara Comyns
3. The Rector’s Daughter by F.M. Mayor
4. School for Love by Olivia Manning
5. The Wife by Meg Wolitzer
6. A Way of Life, Like Any Other by Darcy O’Brien
7. The Odd Woman by George Gissing
8. The Blank Wall by Elisabeth Sanxay Holding
9. Ann Veronica by H.G. Wells
10. The Victorian Chaise-Longue by Marghanita Laski

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Lisa Simpson Book Club http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2011/02/09/lisa-simpson-book-club/ http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2011/02/09/lisa-simpson-book-club/#comments Wed, 09 Feb 2011 16:46:42 +0000 http://www.abebooks.com/blog/?p=11866 I recommend visiting the Lisa Simpson Book Club and catching up on all those literary references and gags from The Simpsons.

“Well, I think we should invest in a set of The Great Books Of Western Civilization. Look at this ad from The New Republic For Kids: Each month, a new classic will be delivered to our door. Paradise Regained, Martin Cheselwitt or Herman Melville’s twin-classics Omoo and Typee.”

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The Strongest Link: Anne Robinson’s new book show http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2011/01/24/the-strongest-link-anne-robinsons-new-book-show/ http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2011/01/24/the-strongest-link-anne-robinsons-new-book-show/#comments Mon, 24 Jan 2011 17:15:05 +0000 http://www.abebooks.com/blog/?p=11757 memoirs-of-an-unfit-motherAnne Robinson, the mistress of the killer put-down and one of Fleet Street’s most famous reformed drunks, is to front the BBC’s new flagship book show. Famous for presenting The Weakest Link, her new bookish chatshow will be a bit like Desert Island Discs (note to non-Brits, a famous person turns up and picks their favourite records, or in this case books, while chatting about their life). Guests will include the likes of PD James and the last surviving Mitford sister. The show begins in February.

Three years ago, I read Robinson’s autobiography and there is a lot more to her than The Weakest Link. The book is called Memoirs of an Unfit Mother and the title is very apt.

It’s great to see another book show coming into the fray. I always loved Desert Island Discs so I’m sure this format will work.

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Portlandia: Did you read? http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2011/01/21/portlandia-did-you-read/ http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2011/01/21/portlandia-did-you-read/#comments Fri, 21 Jan 2011 16:55:54 +0000 http://www.abebooks.com/blog/?p=11748 Lots of buzz about the latest sitcom in the US – Portlandia, which rips apart Oregon’s haven for liberal, eco-friendly, coffee-loving, vegan, do-gooding, left-wing types. NPR toured Portland and gave its impression of the city. I believe the two main characters run a feminist bookstore but aren’t interested in selling books – sounds like Black Books to me.

Do you know anyone like these Portland folks? Who knew reading was a competitive sport?

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