- File Size: 22994 KB
- Print Length: 428 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: BearManor Media (October 26, 2016)
- Publication Date: October 26, 2016
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01MG5VKHV
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #891,161 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$28.00|
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Columbo Under Glass Kindle Edition
|Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled||Page Flip: Enabled|
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That's what this book is like. The author treats the episodes like jigsaw puzzles, breaking them apart and then comparing and contrasting the pieces in all sorts of ways. For example, he finds all of the pieces that have Columbo's dog on them.Then he subdivides those into pieces that have Dog finding clues and pieces that have Dog providing comic relief. Then he subdivides them again by some other scheme. And the author does this not just with Dog, but with every other topic he can think of: types of clues, types of murders, types of murderers, types of relationships between the murderers and Columbo, mentions of Mrs Columbo, guest stars, Columbo's cigars, Columbo's personality quirks, and so on and on and on. Thus a typical chapter will start by defining the category (say, "First Clue, type 1") then go for many paragraphs briefly describing all of the clues of that type, and commenting on whether or not each episode did a good job with it, or mentioning ways in which a specific instance deviates from the type, or ways in which the author thinks it could have been done better.
I found it tiring, and before long started skipping through, searching for occasional bits of trivia that were interesting. There is a minimal amount of information regarding the making of the show: the history, the actors, the writers, etc. which, I guess, is what I really wanted. If that's what you are looking for, you will probably be disappointed.
The book could also have used another review by an editor. Even just skipping through I noticed the author repeating himself; moreover, there were some sentences that were just badly written, or gave the impression of a rough draft. And the extremely frequent use of parenthetical remarks along side of parenthetical citations was often confusing.
Still, the author obviously loves Columbo, and has spent a lot of time thinking about the show. If you like this sort of analysis, this may be the book for you.
The writer is commendably critical of each episode - even so of my favourites, and gives the reasons why some rate poorly. You may not agree but you may also re-watch the episodes to evaluate them again. And if you don't agree with him, it doesn't matter. We all have opinions and the author backs his up with great credibility. He also gos much deeper in the characterizations, plotting, construction of the episodes and so on, as well as an overview of COLUMBO in other media.
It's not a 'making of' book, it's a study of how a series is written and acted, as seen by a fan who has gone into detail like you won't have seen before. And if Mark Dawidziak thinks it's good (he wrote the Foreword), then that should be good enough for anyone.