Buddy Gott and Melissa Lummis have a new show on YouTube called Sunday Night Fiction Club (“SUNDAY NIGHT FICTION CLUB: Good And Bad Movie Adaptations Of Books”), where they were discussing movies based on books. It sparked a memory I have of a book based on a movie.
Novelisations are generally pretty bad. They’re written quickly to cash in on a movie’s popularity. In much the same way as video games based on movies tend to be terrible, novelisations tend to be almost unreadable.
In the Eighties, I never saw Midnight Run. When browsing for books in the remainders section of my local book store, however, I came across a copy of Midnight Run by Paul Monette. I read it cover-to-cover in a matter of a day.
I read it again a couple of months later and then again. I had to sell my copy in order to buy more books a couple of years later. I always hate doing that, but back then I had no money for more books otherwise. Now, it’s out of print. However, I just might order a second-hand copy. I remember it being an excellent book.
When I saw the movie, I was deeply disappointed. Even though everyone loved the movie, it wasn’t a patch on the book. The novel “Midnight Run” proved to me that a novelisation didn’t have to be bad, in fact it could be sublime. I’m curious to see if it’s just as good as I remember it being.
This being the age of the Internet, I could now look up the author, Paul Monette.
Unfortunately, he died nearly twenty years ago from AIDS. Which is a little bit of a twinge of sadness for me. Even though I only read the one book he ever wrote, books are special things for me. They’re a connection to an author and hearing that the author has died is like losing a friend you never met.
EDIT: I just ordered a second-hand copy. I’ll let you know how re-reading it goes.
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