Eclectic Books

Posted on 22 June 2010. Filed under: Collections, Uncategorized | Tags: , |

I seem to have a collection of eclectic books. Some of them are novelisations of movies while others are spins offs and the rest are just a little strange.

The novelisations of movies are:

The Great Dinosaur Robbery by David Forrest which starred Peter Ustinov, Helen Hayes, Clive Revill, Derek Nimmo, Joan Sims, Bernard Bresslaw, Natasha Pyne, Roy Kinnear, Joss Ackland and Deryck Guyler. It’s set in New York where five British Nannies steal the skeleton of a 200 million-year-old dinosaur, not just any dinosaur skeleton but a brontosaurus skeleton. It’s fabulous fun as were most of the Walt Disney movies made in the 1960s and 70s.

“Don’t Look Now…we’re being shot at!” starring Terry-Thomas and Bourvil.

Monto Carlo or Bust with a cast of stars including Tony Curtis, Terry-Thomas, Bourvil, Walter Chiari, Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, and Eric Sykes. It’s set in the 1920s during the big race to Monto Carlo and there’s a lot riding on this race. There’s reputations, inventions and most of all…money.

The World’s Greatest Athlete starring Tim Conway, Jan-Michael Vincent, John Amos, Roscoe Lee Browne, Dayle Haddon, Billy DeWolfe and Nancy Walker. The coach was having trouble, he was always losing…until one day he brought back a young jungle boy from Africa.

1941 starred Dan Aykroyd, Ned Beatty, John Belushi, Lorraine Gary, Murray Hamilton, Christopher Lee, Tim Matheson, Toshiro Mifune, Warren Oates, Robert Stack, Treat William. The plot, if there is one, six days after Pearl Harbor, a Japanese submarine surfaces off the coast of California. Its mission – to capture Hollywood…the result – total unbridled lunacy!

Jabberwocky was created by some of the Monty Python team and starred too many people to list but included Michael Palen, John Le Mesurier, Warren Mitchell, Annette Badland, Harry H. Corbett and Terry Jones. It is the story of King Bruno the Questionable’s attempt to save a cast of thousands from the threat of the Jabberwocky. I’ve only just found this book so haven’t had time to read it as yet but I suspect it’s as mad as anything done by the Monty Python team.

The original novels based on television series are three books about Maxwell Smart, Agent 86 of Control and I’m sure you all know about him and Captain Nice. Mild, meek, mother’s boy Carter Nash is Captain Nice, the super-human protector of Big Town. With these books anything that can go wrong will go wrong at the funniest possible moment and in the funniest possible way. All four of these books are written by William Johnston.

As for the rest, well they’re a miscelleous bunch of wackiness. We’ve got:

The Trouble with Mobb’s Mob, written by Ray Slattery. It’s set in New Guinea and the Pacific war is raging…somewhere off in the distance. It’s a book about a bunch of Aussies braving the war behind the lines. It’s neither exciting, gripping, bloody, suspenseful or sexy. But it is funny.

Kings Cross Crims by Michael Hunter. Set in Sydney, Australia the mob are being harrassed by Detective Reilly so they decide to build underground and that is where the hilarity ensues as Madam Sadie’s daughter likes the new engineer just a tad too much.

I’ll Plead Insanity by David Cross. I picked this book up from a little shop in a little town somewhere, possibly in Warburton, quite some time ago. I was enchanted by the idea of the plot which seemed rather far fetched and also by the idea of a far-fetched plot set in Australia. A summary of the plot goes a bit like this: Richard is a young widower whose wife, it seems, has fallen over a cliff and been eaten by a shark (except her left leg). He constantly tries to get young women into bed and fails at every turn. There is a policeman investigating in Maigret fashion who gives Richard a cookbook but Richard manages to stuff up the most basic of recipes. So many strange things happen including things that go bump in the night.

Dancing Aztecs by Donald E. Westlake is set in New York. We have a dozen statues one of which is made of solid gold and is worth a million dollars, they all get mixed up and chaos mixed with hilarity ensues.

The very last one has a bitter-sweet story. It’s called Two Lucky People by Tony Kenrick. It’s the story of two people who have the same very rare disease, they’re going to die in one month and they’re both feeling very sorry for themselves and for not having done anything useful in their lives, then they meet Mason Ramsey and decide to help him fulfil his dream of having a concert hall in a poor neighbourhood. Mason was being threatened by Giogios Kolynos. Kolynos was an ex-gangster who had the best of everything: he had the best secretary; the best address; the best apartment and the best staff. Harry and Grace set out to change all of that.

I know I’ve left lots of information out of this article, but the thing that brings them all together is that they’re all quirky and humorous. Some of them have a sad story in them but there’s so much goodness in them that I want to read and reread them over and over again. Others are just totally mad and need to be read many times in order to understand the madness.

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