The Book Was Better
By Jessica McLeod, Luke Milton
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The Book Was Better is an exploration of the ridiculous, hilarious, crass and sublime world of movie novelizations. Each episode, Jessica McLeod and Luke Milton tear apart "the book of the film" for your listening pleasure.
||ExplicitEpisode 186: Underworld (with guest host Sabrina!)||This week we struggle through the ridiculously long novelization of Kate Beckinsale in leather epic Underworld! And joining me is guest host Sabrina as we try to work out a) what is even going on, and b) where vampires or werewolves are more to our||5/2/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 185: Rugrats in Paris! (with guest host Paris)||This week is a grown ups only foray into the problematic baby world of pseudo Paris/Tokyo when we read the novelization of the conceptual nightmare that is Rugrats in Paris. And joining me is Paris expert Paris! Let's get to the (diaper-clad) bottom||4/25/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 184: Highlander (with guest host Jacinta)||This week our pulses are QUICKENING while we're GATHERING up the strength to win the ultimate PRIZE and... ahhh forget it, we read Highlander. Guest host Jacinta and I finally catch up on both the book and film that everyone has been losing their he||4/18/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 183: Goldeneye! (with guest host Courtney)||This week the Bond is better when we read the gruelling novelization of movie/N64 game Goldeneye! And joining me is the Oddjob to my Jaws, Courtney Coulson, who has done all the hard work in prepping this epic extra length podcast! Will we get to th||4/4/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 182: The Ghost and the Darkness (with guest host Jacinta)||This week we're not lyin' when we read the surpisingly great novelization of man-eaters gone wild movie The Ghost and the Darkness! Joining me is incredibly familiar guest host Jacinta as we learn all about the actions of these fearsome beasts! It's||3/21/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 181: Beethoven's 2nd (with guest host Lauren)||This week we are immersed in one of the hottest pop culture romances ever when we read the bafflingly long novelization of Beethoven's 2nd. And joining me - with a U.S. perspective - is my horrified guest host Lauren. It's about a dog, who is in lov||3/14/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 180: Tomb Raider (with guest host Edward)||This week we get all deep in them tombs when we read the ridiculously and unnecessarily long novelization of the very simple Tomb Raider. And joining me via the skypernet is first time guest host Edward as we go exploring for hidden meaning an||3/7/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 179: The Last Starfighter (with guest host Hector!)||This week we are recruited for greater things when we read the very padded novelization of much-ripped off cult classic The Last Starfighter. Joining me in the cockpit is co-pilot Hector Weenis as we face the shocking realisation that all our fond c||2/28/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 178: Basic Instinct (with guest host Lizzy!)||This week things take a dark turn when we read the thigh-opening crime thriller novelization of Basic Instinct. Listen as guest host Lizzy and I shudder with horror at Detective Nick Curran, one of the most disgusting crapbag characters ever created||2/21/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 177: Rambo First Blood Part II||This week we take another shot at Vietnam, when we read the oily, pumped up and surprisingly graphic novelization of Rambo: First Blood II. And joining me from afar is irrepressible co-host Xavier, as we milk the most out of the brand new mixing des||2/14/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 176: Bee Movie!||Book Was Better is back, baby! Or is it Book Was BEEter? And what BEEtter way than to kick off a new era than with the novelization of Jerry Seinfeld's brain fart Bee Movie! Joining me is BEE-utiful co-host Paris as we find out all about honey,||2/7/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 175: Star Trek Nemesis (with guest host Courtney!)||The Book Was Better returns from hiatus with a brand new episode thanks to the labours of far-more-motivated-than-I-am co-host Courtney Coulson! We review the overwritten novelization of the much-maligned Star Trek Nemesis which confirms for me||1/9/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 174: Serenity (with guest host Lizzy Unpronounceable!)||This week we get all sparkly for you gold-ram brownpants when we read the novelization of the movie of the TV series: Serenity. But don't panic, I am lucky enough to have Firefly expert Lizzy Unpronounceable as co-pilot to help me navigate||8/9/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 173: The World Is Not Enough (with guest host Courtney!)||This week it's a case of the Bond Was Better when we read our first 007 novelization, The World is Not Enough! Guest host Agent Coulson has done plenty of interesting research, and I do plenty of puerile derailing, in this epic-sized episode where w||7/26/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 172: Ratatouille (with guest host Jacinta!)||This week we learn that ANYONE can cook when we read the novelization of Pixar's rat-on-chef's-head classic: Ratatouille! Joining me on this sojourn to Paris is guest host Jacinta, as we learn all about French, soup, and pulling your hair to tell yo||7/19/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 171: Back to the Future Part III (with guest host Zach!)||This week we go back in time and finish off a BWB trilogy when we read the (confusing) novelization of Back to the Future Part III. Joining me is fellow cowboy Zach as we figure out a whole lot of unsolved mysteries, involving hills/valleys, the tru||7/12/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 170: Antz (with guest host Paris)||This week we dig to new depths when we burrow into the novelization of ugly-as-all-get-out animated feature Antz! Doing it for the colony is guest host Paris, as we confront a muddy, violent, dystopian tiny nightmare where Woody Allen is even more t||7/5/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 169: Blade (with guest host Courtney Coulson!)||We're finally back, this time delving into the blood-splattered novelization of mofos-ice skating-up-hill movie Blade! And helping me learn how Snipes earned his stripes is fabled vampirologist Courtney Coulson! We solve all the great mysteries like||6/21/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 168: Clueless (with guest host Sabrina)||This week we're buggin and going postal when we read the Betty and Baldwin filled novelization of Clueless! Reminiscing about 20 years ago is guest host Sabrina as we go jeepin' and get brutally loqued. Or something. I'm Audi! Download here! (click||5/31/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 167: Return of Swamp Thing (with guest host Hector!)||This week we trudge through the swampy mess that is the turd-polishing novelization of low-budget muck-man sequel Return of Swamp Thing! Bringing the comic knowledge is guest host Hector Weenis as we learn all about potatoes, cucumber intimacy, stil||5/24/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 166: Mars Attacks! (with guest host Emily)||This week we read the large, unwieldy, audaciously padded novelization of Tim Burton's martians attack movie, Mars Attacks! Fending off the invaders is guest host Emily, as we try to wrap our heads around the unnecessary backstories of the ridiculou||5/10/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 165: Universal Soldier (with guest host Paris!)||This week we endure a decade spanning grudge match when we read the novelization of the 100% charisma free Universal Solider! Luckily, bringing the charisma is guest host Paris, as we get to the bottom of the Unisol program, Pepsi, and Jean Claude's||5/3/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 164: Tron Legacy (with guest host Courtney!)||This week we upload onto the grid when we read the audaciously truncated novelization of Tron Legacy! Fighting for the user is special guest host Courtney Coulson as we decipher all the complicated bits and bites. 01100110011101010110001101101011001||4/26/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 163: Inside Out (with guest host Sabrina!)||This week we take a daring journey into the human mind when we read the junior novelization of Pixar's brilliant Inside Out! Joining me for all the feels is guest host Sabrina, as we share our joy, sadness, anger, fear, and filthy hawt disgust! Keep||4/19/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 162: Clash of the Titans (with guest host Hector!)||This week we travel back to 1981 to read the turgid novelization of MGM's classic Clash of the Titans! And in the spirit of things guest host Hector Weenis and I clash like two titans of obscure, niche podcasting! Learn all about mythology, nipples,||4/12/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
I discovered this one a little late, but it has become my go-to podcast when I want to listen to something a little lighter. It's fun to learn about these novelizations without having to read them, and the incidental discussion is consistently amusing as well.
A long running podcast with a great concept: discussions of novelizations of movies.
You would be amazed how different the book versions of movies are- and the secrets they reveal: Gremlins are aliens! Terminator was filled with hot, graphic sex! ET hated Elliot!
The host, Luke, is a well oiled podcasting machine, and the revolving stable of cohosts always bring a different feel to each episode, keeping things fresh.
Kick your feet up, crack open a hamburger, and give it a go!
Comedy and insight
I've been listening to "The Book Was Better" for a little over two years and have gotten a huge amount of pleasure from the show. It's changed and evolved a bit over that time, but the core concept has remained the same: the hosts review and crack wise about the novelization of movie. The movies are diverse -- good and bad, old and new, popular and obscure -- and the novelizations are similarly varied, ranging from quick cash-grabs targeted at pre-teens to proper adult novels (sometimes even a bit too adult, so to speak), with prose ranging from the cringeworthy to the surprisingly evocative. So though the format is similar to what one gets with any "bad movie" podcast, there's a lot more variety in the objects of scrutiny than you might expect. It also helps that, unlike movie podcasts that might only occasionally intersperse a couple of clips or trailers of the film they're discussing into the episode, "The Book Was Better" is able to read quite a few selected passages and unintentionally hilarious sentences from the books and give you a much more direct feel for what the book is actually like, which means you can get a lot out of any episode even if you haven't read the novelization (which, of course, you probably haven't), or even if you haven't seen the movie. Luke Milton and his guest hosts are very funny, but they also bring some genuine analysis to these books and actually engage with them -- it's a comedy podcast, but it genuinely delivers on its premise rather than just using it as an excuse to do improv. Indeed, the first thirty or so episodes almost work as a course in the stock techniques and devices of novelization writers. Later episodes don't focus quite as much on hashing out the craft of novelization, since the rules get pretty well sorted out in that first year of episodes, but you still get regular insights into the tropes of characterization and cultural stereotypes as well as the novelization genre's eternal need for padding, padding, and more padding.
If you're interested in writing, interested in film, interested in pop culture, and if you like your comedy mixed with a dose of cultural criticism (or vice versa), I highly recommend "The Book Was Better."