Sunday, August 06, 2006

The Ersatz Tempe Brennan

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"Bones Buried Deep" by Max Allan Colins is an example of what happens when TV networks, such as Fox, get hold of a very successful book series such as Kathy Reichs' and then proceeds to dumb down the main characters and make them almost unrecognizable. Grrrrrrr.

I love Kathy Reichs' books, and will review one next time, but I accidentally acquired "Bones Buried Deep" because it was featured on the Kathy Reichs page of Amazon. com, and I didn't pay enough attention to realize what it really was.

Maybe it's just me, but when I get used to a character, and have a mental picture of him/her, I don't usually like what the Hollywood types do to them in movies and TV. I watched the first episode of "Bones" on Fox, pronounced it lacking, turned it off, and haven't looked back. And, I'm not used to seeing a movie or TV show turned into a book, although it seems to be a lucrative business these days. It just seems backward, somehow.

Collins' version of Tempe Brennan is not much like the Reichs character. And, the book, being written from the television show, instead of the other way around, is trying to reach the widest possible audience, and assumes that audience to be fairly witless, and got on my nerves a bit. I t has a sub-plot of sexual tension between Tempe and the handsome Special Agent Seely Booth, which I guess is deemed necessary by the network, but just comes across as silly and space-wasting, when they should just get on with solving the mystery. For instance, they are tearing around Chicago, discovering ties to the Mafia in their hunt for the killer, and all of a sudden, they decide to stop at Starbucks for a Double Latte, and give Booth a chance to whine to Tempe about how tiring and frustrating his job is, and so she can listen compassionately. Yuck!

I finally decided that if I was going to try and enjoy the book, I had to pretend that it was just a coincidence that the name of the main Character was Tempe Brennan, and take the book at face value. So, I stopped making comparisons and found that the mystery was well-written.

There have been books written from other TV shows and movies - many of them by this same author. Allan wrote the novel, "The Road To Perdition", and has written what are called tie-in novels such as "Air Force One", "Saving Private Ryan", "The Mummy Returns" and "The Scorpion King." It seems to be a trend these days.

One I don't particularly like.


Kell said...

I don't like it either. And I didn't watch Bones, mainly because I kept forgetting when it was on.

Finally, a book I don't have to add to my ever-growing list!

saz said...

The Fox channel doesn't come in good for me - guess I don't miss much. I also wasn't keen on the Robt B Parker "Spenser" TV series - liked the books better.