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"Route 66" The Television Series 1960 - 1964 Paperback – 2007
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A look back at a unique television series where two young men named Tod Stiles and Buz Murdock, travel throughout the country in a corvette sportscar, encountering a variety of fascinating characters and meaningful experiences. Featuring commentary from the series stars, producers and directors, episode summaries, photographs and biographies.
About The Author
James Rosin has also written books on the classic TV series Wagon Train, Naked City, Route 66, Adventures in Paradise, Peyton Place, The Invaders, The Streets of San Francisco, and Quincy M.E. He is also written and produced two sports documentaries: Philly Hoops: The S.P.H.A.S. and Warriors and Philadelphia Athletics 1901-1954 (both released be Alpha Video).
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While Rosin does give us an excellent introductury essay, full of useful background information and utilizing a plethora of quotes from a variety of sources, this term-paper length chapter (along with a very nice photo section) pretty much consists of the sum and parcel of the entire book. There is an epsiode guide with detailed plot summaries for all 116 episodes, but Rosin appears to have copied this verbatim from Columbia/Screen Gems promitional material. Since those original materials were based on shooting scripts and story outlines and not on the actual on-screen results, many contain inaccurate plot details and plot elements unpresent in the actual episode. Rosin acknowledges this when he gives notice ""A conscientious effort was made to ensure that each episode summary was as accurate as possible. However, in some instances, minor plot details and descriptions may have been revised that I was unaware of." Huh? Has Rosin seen all the episodes or not? One would expect an author writing an in-depth study of a television series to do the following: (1) Attentively watch each individual episode of that series, (2) Write their own episode summaries for the book and not just copy them from pre-extant sources, and (3) provide their own observations and critical commentaries on each individual episode. This is what good televsion scholars such as Marc Scott Zicree, Ed Robertson and John Kenneth Muir do with their respective highly-polished and thorough books on various television series. Rosin's book comes out looking very deficient when compared with one of those three authors.
I don't wish to be to terribly negative as I am excited that there is ANY book out there devoted exclusively to this marvelous and unjustly-neglected program. However, I felt it incumbent upon me to point out the relative lack of substance it contains. I've read an as yet unpublished manuscript of a book on the series by another author, and that one does a much better job of analyzing each individual epsiode and the cultural impact of the series as a whole. This particular Route 66 fan can't help but wish that that one had been the manuscript issued between the professionally printed covers instead.
Each one of the shows stars (Milner and Maharis) and several of the guest stars are interviewed and give a good deal of personal insight on what made this series work--and work so well (who would have ever thought that Milner actually broke Lee Marvin's nose!).
I was especially thankful for the complete show-by-show synopsis. This is great for those of us who would like to order copies of our favorite episodes.
If you were a fan of "Route 66," you're going to love this book--its history, its photos, its story-telling. If you never saw the show, get ready, because after reading this little book, you're probably going to become a fan.
Jim Rosin's book contains many interviews with the two stars - Maharis and Milner, guest stars Anne Francis, Nehemiah Pursoff and Nancy Malone, Media Historian Mark Alvey, Production Executive Sam Manners, and Directors Arthus Hiller, James Sheldon and Alvin Ganzer. Their comments are smoothly mixed with text information. I especially enjoyed the photographs and behind-the-scene snapshots.
Rosin certainly did his homework by including a Biography section of all the actors, writers, directors, and production staff highlighted in the text. Some of the other books I have seen on vintage television series may have been a bit more in-depth, but I like the simplicity of this book. Enjoy the ride with Tod and Buz!
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Even if you don't own a Corvette you can reminisce about your favorite TV Series, Route 66 with Jimmy Rosin's new book.Read more