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As Time Goes By: A Novel of Casablanca Hardcover – October 7, 1998

3.2 out of 5 stars 86 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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You know what happens right after Casablanca's Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) walks off with Capt. Louis Renault (Claude Rains) into the mist? This novel. Walsh, a former crime reporter and Time magazine music critic, can't equal the beautiful relationships in the classic film, but he does give us a clever takeoff on the tale, with less romance but much more action. As Time Goes By is both a prequel and a sequel, fleshing out Rick's mysterious life by flashing back to his 1930s New York gangland past and taking us with him, Ilsa, and Sam the piano man as they plot to kill Reinhard Heydrich, the Hangman of Prague. Rick Blaine started out as Yitzik Baline, who learned to shoot in the booze-fueled underworld of Tick-Tock Shapiro and Dion O'Hanlon. A fracas that made Walter Winchell's column explains why Rick wound up in the Casablanca gin joint. Ilsa undertakes to seduce Heydrich--chastely, if at all possible--and set him up for the kill. (He was the only top Nazi the Allies bumped off.)

Filled with real history and deductions from the flick, Walsh's book is much smarter than Scarlett: The Sequel to Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind, but purists will prefer to revisit the 50th-anniversary video edition of the film, or read the excellent making-of book Round Up the Usual Suspects. If you crave more heresy, check out As Time Goes By, a novel by Humphrey Bogart's son. --Tim Appelo

From Library Journal

A former Time music critic, now a journalism professor at Boston University, expands on a film classic.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Warner Books; 1st edition (October 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446519006
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446519007
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,704,276 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Alex Diaz-Granados on August 26, 2003
Format: Hardcover
As Time Goes By: A Novel of Casablanca was ex-Time magazine music critic Michael Walsh's second novel, and it serves as both prequel and sequel to one of the most popular movies of Hollywood's Golden Age. Unlike Scarlett, Alexandra Ripley's sequel to Margaret Mitchell`s Gone With the Wind, As Time Goes By was neither widely praised nor reviled, perhaps because there was not as much media scrutiny for Walsh's exploration of the lives of Ilsa, Rick, Victor Laszlo, Louis Renault, Sam, and all "the usual suspects" after the fade-to-black in Casablanca.
Walsh was no fool when he undertook this project. Indeed, in his afterword, he says. "Everyone knows Casablanca. Everyone loves Casablanca. Therein lies both the challenge and the danger of writing a novel of Casablanca."
Walsh's approach is to treat the movie as a centerpiece sandwiched between the two timelines depicted in the 38 chapters of his novel. His prose is crisp and fast moving, echoing the tone of the Epstein Twins' screenplay while expanding the story both backward to Rick Blaine's past in New York's seedy underworld and to a perilous mission in Victor Laszlo's Nazi-occupied homeland, Czechoslovakia.
Purists -- and I know there are always going to be Casablanca fans who feel this way -- will probably say the movie was fine without a sequel (forgetting or ignoring the two failed TV series based on Casablanca), but this book is a pleasure to read. Particularly worth noting is how Walsh blends Casablanca's fictional characters and historical reality. At the heart of As Time Goes By is Victor Laszlo's involvement in Operation Hangman, the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich, the Nazi "Protector of Moravia and Bohemia" and architect of Hitler's "final solution.
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By A Customer on June 26, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is not "Casablanca".
That's pretty obvious. I am going to be completely honest here: this is a fun novel that is clearly a labour of love by the author. However, it's more to do with action than the bitter romance of the original movie.
This is not a sacreligious text in any way to the movie: it's a fun continuation that is worthy of a read. So long as you don't go into it expecting a perfect novelisation of "Casablanca" you'll enjoy reading this - it's well written, lively and the sly winks to Bogart's character in the movie and Bogart's career are used well to flesh out the story and develop the characters.
Walsh has taken a brave step - he was bound to get into trouble for writing a sequel to "Casablanca". I would agree that a few too many loose ends are tied up in this novel, but on the whole Walsh's grasp of the ambigious past (and future) work well without making Rick an open-book character.
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Format: Hardcover
Every once in a great while, Hollywood produces a movie that is so popular, so beloved, that its many fans clamor for a sequel, wanting to know what happens next to the characters they have gotten to know and care about. And of course, Hollywood is happy to oblige, knowing that certain films which were written as stand-alone projects (Jaws, for instance) have the potential to become cash cows.
Sadly, often the result is a poorly written or directed sequel that is nothing but a pale copy of the original. Many people know, for instance, about Robert Mulligan's elegaic coming of age story, Summer of '42. It's an indelibly beautiful and memorable film. But does anyone recall the sequel, Class of '44?
The Golden Age of Hollywood of the 1930s, '40s and '50s has its share of classics that sparked off some demand for sequels. Gone With the Wind (one of my personal favorite books and movies of the time period) was often cited by those who wanted to know more about Rhett and Scarlett after the indomitable Mrs. O'Hara-Butler utters her famous "Tomorrow is another day" line. However, GWTW author Margaret Mitchell reputedly never wanted to write a literary sequel, and her premature death certainly precluded a change of mind. It was not until much later that the Mitchell estate approved Alexandra Ripley's Scarlett that a sequel was written.
Another favorite from the Golden Era that fans wanted to see more of was Hal B. Wallis' production of Casablanca. This wonderful film, directed by Michael Curtiz and winner of the 1942 Academy Award for Best Picture, surely had many loose plot strands to tie up in a sequel...not all of them centering on the Rick-and-Ilsa love affair, of course, but clearly most fans wanted to see this star-crossed couple reunite on-screen.
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Format: Audio Cassette Verified Purchase
Please do yourselves a favor and LISTEN to this book on tape. I'll guarantee your opinion of As Time Goes By WILL change (and perhaps earn Walsh more well deserved stars). Herrmann and Redgrave do a fantastic job with the characters of this terrific story. They put so much life into the characters of this novel, you'll swear you're watching the rest of the movie. I enjoyed this book very, very much and began listening right after TCMs Christmas showing of Casablanca in Dec. of '04.

Thanks Michael, Edward, Lynn, and the producers of this fantastic book on tape. A job well done!
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