‘Love, Nina’ to be on TV

Love, Nina: despatches from family lifeNina Stibbe’s prize-winning book ‘Love, Nina’ is being turned into a five part drama of thirty minute episodes to be shown on BBC One. It won the non-fiction Book of the Year award at the Specsavers National Book Awards 2014.

Nick Hornby will adapt it, his first drama for TV. He said: “Love, Nina has already attained the status of a modern classic, and I am so happy that I’ve been given the opportunity to adapt it. We want to make a series that is as charming, funny and delightful as Nina Stibbe’s glorious book.”

Love, Nina: despatches from family life by Nina Stibbe – In the 1980s Nina Stibbe wrote letters home to her sister in Leicester describing her trials and triumphs as a nanny to a London family. There’s a cat nobody likes, a visiting dog called Ted Hughes (Ted for short) and suppertime visits from a local playwright. Not to mention the two boys, their favourite football teams, and rude words, a very broad-minded mother and assorted nice chairs. From the mystery of the unpaid milk bill and the avoidance of nuclear war to mealtime discussions on pie filler, the greats of English literature, swearing in German and sexually transmitted diseases, ‘Love, Nina’ is a wonderful celebration of bad food, good company and the relative merits of Thomas Hardy and Enid Blyton.

 

Write like the Wind – Not

Game of thronesIf you’re waiting for G. R. R. Martin to finish ‘The Winds of Winter,’ Book 6 of the “A Song of Ice and Fire” novels — it won’t be published in 2015.  Just  some  “prequel novellas” based in Westeros which are expected later this year.  His publisher says: “These are increasingly complex books, and require immense amounts of concentration to write. Fans really ought to appreciate that the length of these monsters is equivalent to two or three novels by other writers.”

Season 5 of Game of Thrones is back on Sky Atlantic on 13th April, based on Book 4, A Feast for Crows, and parts of Book 5, A Dance With Dragons. Game of Thrones has large number of teenage actors who are growing up fast so HBO intend to end the show with Season 7 in 2017.

Two more novels were announced nearly a decade ago – The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring. At the speed G. R. R. Martin writes, plus the length of the novels, it could be a long time before the last one is published.

Martin has said the TV show is like a “freight train” barrelling down on him, as he tries to lay track in front of it. The YouTube song imploring him to finish books six and seven, “Write Like the Wind,” is now nearly 3 years old.

He insists he’ll be done when he’s done – he may even expand the series to eight or nine books if he feels like it — it wouldn’t be the first time the number of books has grown. So the screen version may beat the book it was based on for the first time in history! Martin told show producers key plot points years ago to cover that eventuality. So he can, if he wants to, write prequels before he finishes the series …..

The final word goes to the author. At the 2013 Comic-Con event w00tstock., the musicians behind “Write Like the Wind,” began to sing their urgent instruction to Martin — who unexpectedly emerged on stage to destroy their guitars.

Poldark returns

Jacket Image

Anyone remember Poldark? Set in 18th century Cornwall with a dashing hero….You do have to be over a certain age to remember it, as it was first on telly 1975-1977.

Well it’s coming back to BBC1 as a brand new eight part series. It will be based on the novels “Poldark” and “Demelza,”the first two in the Poldark series. The novels were written by author Winston Graham, and Pan Books are reissuing them to tie in with the series. The new editions are on order and many of Winston Graham’s other novels are in stock.

Pan Macmillan will also publish a new edition of “Poldark’s Cornwall”, in which Graham talks about the area that inspired his books. This new edition will be published in hardback on 23rd April 2015.

Robin Ellis played Poldark in the 70s series. This time Aidan Turner has been cast in the role. He played Kíli in the Hobbit, John Mitchell in Being Human and Dante Gabriel Rossetti in Desperate Romantics.

 

J K Rowling’s Cormoran Strike to be adapted for BBC1

The cuckoo's callingJ.K. Rowling’s Cormoran Strike crime novels, which were written under the pen name of Robert Galbraith are to adapted for BBC1. Cormoran Strike, a former army officer turned private investigator will feature in the first book of the series to be adapted.

 “The Cuckoo’s Calling,” sees Strike look into the supposed suicide of a model, who plunges to her death from a balcony in London’s Mayfair.

 The series will be produced by Bronte Film and TV, which is run by Rowling and Neil Blair. Bronte also produced the adaptation of Rowling’s “The Casual Vacancy,” which was commissioned by the BBC and HBO, and airs on BBC One in February.

 Rowling revealed the news about the Cormoran Strike series herself, tweeting: “My friend @RGalbraith’s first novel is going to be a TV drama on @BBCOne. He’s very excited, but expressing it with characteristic silence.”  She added: “I am exactly as excited as he is.”  

She will advise on the project, “with the number and length of episodes to be decided once the creative adaptation process has formally begun,” the BBC said. Casting is underway.

 

 

 

New TV version of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall will be true to the book

Bring up the bodiesBBC2’s six-part adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s Tudor novels Wolf Hall  and Bring up the Bodies has been filmed and the BBC is convinced that the drama is going to be a hit.

The production stars Damian Lewis as Henry VIII and Mark Rylance as his wily chief minister Thomas Cromwell

Hilary Mantel recently said at the Cheltenham Literature Festival that she hoped the series would not reflect the “nonsense” of previous inaccurate historical dramas- ‘As soon as you decide this is too complicated for the viewer, or history is an inconvenient shape and can’t we just tidy it up a bit, then you fall into a cascade of errors which ends in nonsense.’

Referring to The Tudors TV series, broadcast on the BBC in 2007,  she accused its creators of dumbing-down, saying: ‘At some point, someone had decided that it was too complex for Henry VIII to have two sisters, so they rolled them into one. ‘Then they had to find a fictitious king for her to marry, so I think they invented a king from Portugal unknown to history. It’s so shaming, and it stems from not trusting the intelligence of the viewer. I think the problem was that there would be too many Marys in the story. But what do I do? Every second man in Henry VIII’s England is called Thomas.’

She added: ‘At any one time, there are five Thomases on the page, all shouting at each other. The only thing to do is let the reader in on it. Admit the difficulty. No one ever pretended historical fiction was easy and we should share that difficulty.’

Damian Lewis shas aid: “I think she was quite rightly concerned that her books might be abused in some way. But she needn’t worry because of the people who are involved in this particular project. Peter Kosminsky (the director) is known for his attention to detail and his love of politics. This is really a political book, they’re not presented as roister-doistering Tudor romps, that’s not what she wrote and that’s not what we’ve filmed.”

 

 

Is TV drama more mind-expanding than contemporary fiction?

As librarians, we don’t agree with this but The Daily Mash has an article saying ‘Some leading intellectuals believe that the quality of televised entertainment has increased in inverse proportion to that of books, which are now all about footballers, celebrities and vampires.’

English literature professor Roy Hobbs has said: “Book shops used to be havens of the mind, now they are full of bondage-busters and lilac-coloured paperbacks about sassy single women juggling a harem of hot men. And I can’t enthuse my students about the printed word when last Friday’s Justified kicked the sh*t out of anything by Hanif Kureishi.”

Readers are increasingly ostracised for their perverse lowbrow interests, with most office water cooler congregations now segregated into television sophisticates, non-spoilers, and bottomfeeders.

Legal manager Julian Cook said: “My boss asked what I’d done with my weekend and replied that I’d been rereading Joyce’s Ulysses. To my surprise, he sneered and said ‘Well, I suppose if you don’t want to stretch yourself,’ and turned away to discuss allegorical themes in The Good Wife with the work experience kid. ”