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on May 27, 2017
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on August 1, 2001
As the editor of an Old-Time radio club newsletter, I received a complimentary copy of "The Great Radio Soap Operas" from the publisher. While I was not a fan of radio soap operas, I decided to read and review this book.
Don't let the title keep you from seeking out this book. It is much, much more than a book on radio soap operas. Jim Cox has written a GREAT BOOK, including comprehensive histories of 31 of network radio's most durable soap operas. Don't be disappointed if one of your favorite "soaps" doesn't have its own chapter. Many others are also discussed in this book.
Each of the series covered in depth includes extensive information on casts, writers, production personnel, sponsors, ratings, dates on the air, and time slots. There is biographical information on many actors, producers, directors, & writers. Also, the opening lines for many soap operas are included. You'll also find interesting appendices and an excellent annotated bibliography.
Jim Cox manages to blend facts, entertaining anecdotes, scripting and plotting techniques, plot lines, and a generous portion of Radio history into a highly informative, readable, & enjoyable book. No small feat in deed! This book really captures the vitality of radio soap operas in such a way that the reader feels like the shows are still on the air. Even though the last radio "soap" went off the air over four decades ago, they live on in Jim's book. The love of his subject matter clearly shows through. "The Great Radio Soap Operas" is a book well worth adding to your Old-Time Radio library.
Once I finished reading the book and wrote the review, I turned the book over to the Club's Library. Then I placed an order with the publisher and purchased a copy of "The Great Radio Soap Operas" for my own.
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on April 27, 2002
Sometimes the truly good books are those that cover the aspects of network broadcasting that are not always best remembered. One obscurity is radio soap operas. And to think Jim Cox actually spent the time to compile information about thirty plus radio soap operas is magnificent. True documentation from an author who must love the OTR hobby. Sadly, the only thing going against it is the expensive price (obviously from McFarland who doesn't sell books at low prices for fans, only to University and College Libraries). This book, unlike many McFarland has put out, offers a neat photographic cover. One great thing I can say about this book (and you have to read it to understand what I'm saying), it was such an enjoyable read that I won't part with mine. You'll have to buy one of yoru own.
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on October 24, 2000
Okay. Soap operas on radio is not my strong point. In fact, I have very little in my collection. But I purchased a copy of this book (requested from a bookstore) and it's a must have. Cox is probably one of the best authors we have to document old-time radio and he digs into subjects we disregard. One thing I can really say this book did is make me order various cassettes from my favorite old-time radio dealer to listen to. More soap operas. That's exactly what a book should do. If you don't know much about this subject or want to hear some interesting stories, I recommend you add this to your collection. The cover is hardback trade, but with a glossy cover instead of cloth like most Mcfarland books. I like it.
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on February 11, 2000
This book is invaluable to the student of media as well as those who have memories of these wonderful programs. I have used the information in this book in teaching media classes to generate a better understanding of how entertainment forms came into being. This is also a great read in and of itself and a book to revisit often.
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on February 2, 2000
Jim Cox has done a wonderful job of recalling the most popular soap operas of radio's past. This book would make a great addition to any student's or collector's library of media related books. As an author, I fully appreciate the time and effort that went into this beautifully produced and informative book and congratulate everyone involved in its preparation.
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