“A book commits suicide every time you watch a reality show” – IOTW Report

“A book commits suicide every time you watch a reality show”

h/t Merry Poppet
Is there a reality show worth watching?
Is there a book you enjoy that you think can be made into a TV show or a movie?



45 Comments on “A book commits suicide every time you watch a reality show”

  1. I would love to see the adaptation of _We Speak No Treason_ by Rosemary Hawley Jarman. It’s about Richard III from the POV of three different people whose paths crossed his. There actually are four sections, but the first and last are the same person, though it could be said they are different people, given events in the maid’s life that changes her destiny and in such a cruel manner.

    It’s really hard to say who I like best: the maid, the man of keen sight, the fool or the nun – that’s how well represented these characters are. Some don’t enjoy Jarman’s writing style, which I can understand, but if one is able to get past that to absorb the stories, they will find magnificence. I especially love how you realize you are seeing some same scenes, but from a different POV and get a glimpse here and there of another storyteller, even though the scene this time is so different.

    Another would be almost anything about Harold Godwinson, provided it is truthful about that blasted Bastard from Normandy.

  2. @Lisl ~ the ‘Dunkirk’ movie was done that way, w/ different POV’s … worked very well
    I’m a big Bernard Cornwell fan & would love to see his ‘Azincourt’ brought to the Simple Screen … big battles are easy to do these days w/ CGI

    btw, I did watch a lot of ‘Deadliest Catch’ & still get a visceral pleasure out of ‘Pawn Stars’ … not for the silliness w/ the family, but to see how much people will part w/ historical treasures.
    (Rick: “I know it’s an authentic copy of the Declaration of Independence, but I have to invest in cleaning it, displaying it. It’s gonna sit on the shelf for months … I gotta make a profit … I’ll give ya $100 bucks”)

  3. Almost anything by Ken Follett. His trilogy on the Twentieth Century might be too difficult to pull off, unless broken down to five or six part.

    Of them all, to pick just one, I’d go with Pillars of the Earth.

  4. “A Foot Soldier for Patton: the story of a “Red Diamond” infantryman with the U.S. Third Army.”

    One of the best first-hand accounts of the war in Europe that I have read, told by a German-American fluent in German. This guy’s exploits are epic. I know there are a shitload of WWII movies, but one more, in the right director’s hands, would be okay with me.

  5. @MJA, I have an extra copy I can send if you’re interested. It’s really a perfectly-told tale, and very haunting. It will stay with you.

    @ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ, I **love** that movie! Also, I aim to read some Cornwell this year as well – I’ve been hearing so much about him for so long.

  6. To counteract the decades of mythology about the so-called “McCarthy Era”, I’d like to see a series that chronicles the investigation by the House UnAmerican Activities Committee (HUAC) and the testimony by Whitaker Chambers regarding communist activity within the gov’t. A sort of “West Wing” for the new century. That would be riveting. It would be a mash up of books, especially by M. Stanton (Stan) Evans. Love his writing! Wish he’d lived long enough to see POTUS Trump elected.

  7. Thanks Lisl,I put that on my list to order. You write an excellent review,Now I have to read it. I have never seen a reality show from start to finish and never will.

  8. The Wright Brothers by David McCullough would be a great movie.

    Did you know that the first powered flight fatality occurred In Arlington va with an army guy as passenger of Orville? Orville was gravely injured and one of his legs was over an inch shorter after that.

    It’s a great book.

  9. Here are reviews of two items mentioned here for those interested in looking more into either:

    https://beforethesecondsleep.wordpress.com/2013/02/04/book-review-we-speak-no-treason-by-rosemary-hawley-jarman/ (It’s a tad long as I was so emotionally invested; my reviews are not usually that long and for 2018 I resolved to shorten them even more.)


    I have a copy of _Pillars of the Earth_ a friend loaned, saying I absolutely have to read. I presume I should be pushing it to the top of my pile?

  10. Make a movie from Dale Brown’s book, “The Flight of the Old Dog”. From that book, one could do an entire series from the sequels to that book.

  11. “MiG Pilot”
    A commie fighter pilot defects to Japan in a borrowed MiG 25 back in ’76. He ends up in the States and is enlightened by capitalism.
    (True story)

  12. I don’t think any of Martha Grime’s mystery books have been made into movies. It’s not so much the murder/crime, but the goofy pack of friends and a relative who meet at the Jack and Hammer. So much meat there. Could be so good, IF true to the story line.

  13. There is an obscure novella by Daphne du Maurier titled “No Motive” which,I think, would make an absolutely thrilling film.She wrote “Birds” by the way, which was made into the film by Hitchcock.

  14. As long as people are discussing Cornwell, I would suggest his King Arthur trilogy (Winter King, Enemy of God, Enemy of God, Excalibur). Cornell sets the tale in the Sixth Century and bases the story more on the Welsh tales than Mallory’s 12th century version. It’s not really a search for a Holy Grail, but the story of a British warlord trying to keep the Saxons at bay.

  15. Two by Erik Larson:
    In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin & Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania.

  16. Follet’s Pillars of the Earth was made into a multi-part mini-series, although the book is richer in character development. The Last Kingdom is likewise a series based upon Cornwell’s Last Kingdom series based on Alfred the Great and the books are terrific.

    (As you can probably tell, Cornwell is one of my favorite authors).

  17. I’d watch a movie or TV series based on the John Ross book, Unintended Consequences. Though I didn’t much like a few scenes combining sex and extreme violence. Except for the things done to the character that clearly imitated Chuck Schumer.

    The anti-freedom anti-gun crowd might have epileptic seizures when its release is announced.

  18. @Blink, I really liked a couple of books by Dalrymple, though it’s been ages (_City of Djinns_ is one of them). I’ll have to check out his newer titles. Also, you may like _Days and Nights on the Grand Trunk Road_ by Anthony Weller. I recall liking it a lot when I read it some years ago.

  19. @Wyatt ~ Cornwell’s one of my favorites too. I devour practically everything he writes (except the Sharpe series; can’t seem to wrap my head around those). No one writes a better, brutal battle scene better than Cornwell.

    btw, there is a sequel book to ‘Pillars of the Earth’ … it’s called “World Without End”

  20. @Lisl – I’ve read a half dozen or so Dalrymple books. Thanks for the heads up on the Anthony Weller book. I like travel narrative books. Like the books by Paul Theroux, though he often seems somewhat of a curmudgeon. I like many of the Traveler’s Tales books or books of that type. A favorite is, How to Eat Around the World, by Richard Sterling.

    Last fall I read, Walking the Nile, by Levison Wood. I have not read his book, Walking The Himalayas. Both have already been made into a TV series in the UK. Clips can be found on YouTube. An the full show has also been uploaded on YT, but by some muzzie, who put in the description, Islam is the only Solution for all Humanity, and he cut out the bits he didn’t like, such as praise for the Indian Army, or anything showing the negative side of muzzie culture.

    The Places in Between, by Rory Steward, would make be a good film. It’s about his solo walk across Afghanistan in 2002.

    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/95643.The_Places_in_Between .

  21. Pillars of the Earth? Really?! Ugh! One of the worst books I have ever read… but so many people told me I should, it became a dare to finish all 1,000+ pages. I did. But sooo predictable, and so badly written as just a list of what happened and then what happened next that I figured it would work better on film so, eagerly tuned in to the miniseries… which I endured until I saw the ‘beautiful’ statue. Really? Worse than the writing.

  22. @Blink, MANY thanks! I’ve added those to my “want to read” on Goodreads. Let me know if you would like to touch bases on GR. (I’m always up for keeping contact with dedicated readers.) BTW I also LOVE travel narrative and haven’t read a cracking one (or any one) in a good while.

  23. @LisL, pleased to read those books caught your interest. Thank you for the kind invitation, but sorry, I am not a member of GR or any similar site. I am more old school. When I wonder the back country of the forest I do it with paper map and magnetic compass, not with a GPS and digital map. I have my own brain. Why not use it instead of one someone else designed and made into a “smart gadget” of some sort?

  24. @Blink ~ Heh, I don’t know how to use a digital map. Ah, well, I earn part of my gravy remotely, using a computer, but I’ve seen the way education (in uni as well as school district) pushes computers, so while I get the advantages, I’m also allergic to slavery. So I have a sort of middle of the road approach. I actually used to record my reads in a logbook (I know there’s a “normal” word for it, but not sure what it is), but somehow GR seemed better once I found it (maybe for the search function). I’m certainly open to persuasion away from it (I already shun groups: the people are ok, I just can’t keep up with the ridiculous amount of notifications).

    Feel free to send more recommendations at any time, even old school way; as I say I love to connect with people who like books.

  25. Gold Rush is an interesting reality show, sort of an anti-Kardashian show, all about hard work and risk.
    I don’t really like good books being made into mediocre shows or movies; I prefer to savor good writing. For that, in the true story department, there’s anything by Geoffrey Wolff or Simon Winchester. Confederacy of Silence by Richard Ruin was great and I’ve got The Last of the Doughboys by him waiting on me to find the time. Provenance by Laney Salisbury and Aly Sujo is a great art forgery true story.

  26. Sophia House by Catholic Canadian author Michael D. O’Brien is the story of a young Jewish boy who is taken in by a Polish man and hidden from the Nazi’s during World War 2 in the Warsaw ghettoes. It is an incredible book full of faith and hope and I would highly recommend anything by Michael D. O’Brien including The Father’s Tale (a very long book of well over 1000 pages but worth reading) a modern day retelling of The Prodigal Son and The Good Samaritan. Also I’m partial to Moonshiners on the Discovery Channel, don’t ask me why I just am. It’s like watching a train wreck sometimes with all the redneck moonshiners especially the 2 idiots Chico and Josh who can’t do anything right.

  27. How does a book commit suicide? Does it read a copy of Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury and spontaneously combust itself? Or does it die because of boredom because no one bothers to pick it up and read it. Sort of like when I read The Last Puritan by George Santayana a few years ago which I had borrowed from the library and I was probably the first one who had checked that book out and read it in at least 40+ years. I was surprised they even had an older copy of it available.

  28. “Man is Wolf to Man”
    “Harvest of Sorrow”
    “The Great Terror”
    “The Black Book of Communism”
    “To the Last Man: Spring 1918”
    “Faust” (to add some light humorous fiction)

    Television is a waste of time; “reality” television is the death of time.

    izlamo delenda est …

  29. I was thrilled when I heard that “First They Killed My Father ” was being made into a movie. Was disappointed to hear it was being directed by Angelia Jolie, my disappointment was largely justified as the movie while good was nothing epic. Still anything, even a checkout line at a ghetto Walmart, is better than “reality” TV.

  30. “No better Friend” the true story of the only dog in history to be granted POW status and his owner trainer, would make an excellent movie with the right cast and director.

Comments are closed.