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The "Saint": A Complete History in Print, Radio, Film and Television of Leslie Charteris' Robin Hood of Modern Crime, Simon Templar, 1928-1992 Paperback – 31 May 2003


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Product details

  • Paperback: 431 pages
  • Publisher: McFarland & Co Inc; New edition edition (31 May 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786416807
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786416806
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 15.2 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 507,597 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Burl Barer is an Edgar Award winner and two time Anthony Award nominee with extensive experience in radio, television, journalism and film. In addition to writing true crime, the new adventures of Leslie Charteris' THE SAINT, mysteries, supernatural thrillers and pop-culture commentary, Barer also hosts the award winning Internet radio show, TRUE CRIME UNCENSORED on outlawradiousa.com. He also is a frequent guest on such television shows as DEADLY SINS, SNAPPED, SCORNED, DEADLY WOMEN, and BEHIND MANSION WALLS. He also is a regular contributor to TRUE CRIMES TV on Hart Fisher's AMERICAN HORRORS channel on filmon.com

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 3 Dec 1998
Format: Hardcover
Leslie Charteris,creator of THE SAINT, wrote "I could not have asked for a more profound and sympathetic appraisal of everything I tried to do with The Saint." Cleverly written, well researched, and featuring many exlusive photos and illustrations, THE SAINT: A COMPLETE HISTORY is an absolute must for anyone who has an interest in (a) THE SAINT (b) popular culture, (c) marketing a franchise, or (d) mystery fiction in general
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had to buy this book and it lived up to all expectations. I'm sure there's more that could have been written - but of course any devoted fan will say that because we fans can always think of more that could be said or want to write extra stuff ourselves to add in! There are some heroes you can write about indefinitely and this is one.

It's not just articles about the Saint, there is the catalogue of the media too. Unputdownable.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Bienzani on 8 Nov 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When writing about a phenomenon like the Saint saga, which shows every sign of continuing indefinitely, it must be difficult to know when to stop. This book mentions "the forthcoming film" frequently, but was published before it was made; frustrating, because I would have loved to have read the author's reaction to this thing which failed to grasp any aspect of the Saint's personality or motivation whatsoever. You do learn from the book that the Saint has been adapted contrary to his creator's intentions many times before.
It's not all bad, though, and this book will be indispensible to any Saint fan, as it seems to cover just about everything (either I'm not a big enough fan to have spotted any omissions, or there were none). It's just a pity the 1997 film didn't make it - it's also a pity that it didn't live up to the high expectations expressed in this book. Personally, I would have preferred the film not to be mentioned at all.
All right, I promise to stop going on about the darn film. I'll just finish by mentioning that the episode synopses at the back of the book (almost half of it, in fact) took up too much space for someone like me who doesn't have the complete collection and doesn't need an index; paradoxically, they were also too short to make entertaining reading in the absence of such a collection.
But I still enjoyed the book, honest. :)
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Format: Paperback
This book is a treasure! Any fan of the Famous Simon Templar will want this incredible compendium of everything Saintly. Granted complete use of the Leslie Charteris Collection at Boston University, Burl Barer brings us a brilliant and insightful analysis of the Saint's complete history -- from Charteris' first books up to (but not including) the Val Kilmer film.

Illustrated with many rare photos, THE SAINT: A COMPLETE HISTORY is everything the name suggests.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 7 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Burl really captures The Saint 8 Oct 1996
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Burl Barer's book on the history of The Saint is "the source" for Saint fans yearning for more information about The Saint.
It is a must-have for Saint fans, and makes for an excellent read, even for those detectivish fans who don't really know much about Simon Templar or Leslie Charteris to start with...
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Phenomenal! 10 Dec 1996
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Even if you aren't a fan of the Saint, you should still buy this book. It's a remarkable, inside account of how a character is translated into books, comics, radio, tv and film. A must-have for anyone thinking of breaking into publishing, tv or film
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
The definitive book on Leslie Charteris and the Saint 21 May 1996
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Burl Barer's examination of Leslie charteris' THE SAINT in books, TV, comics and film, more than deserved the Edgar Award it was given by the Mystery Writers of America. If you are a fan of Simon Templar, you have to buy this book
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
The Brighter Bibliographer, or Archive the Saint 12 Sep 2008
By Andrew S. Rogers - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
As other reviewers have said, this is a remarkable work. Burl Barer has covered a tremendous amount of ground organizing and sifting all the various appearances of the Robin Hood of Modern Crime "in print, radio, film, and television" between the publication of The Saint Meets the Tiger in 1928 and this book's own publication in 1993. Merely sorting out all the different titles under which creator Leslie Charteris' Saint novels were published would be achievement enough, but Barer also gives us a chronology of all printed Saint stories, cast and story synopses of Saintly radio and television dramas, and even -- thorough to the point of ridiculousness -- verbatim production company press releases for six made-for-TV Saint movies in the late 1980s.

But this book is far more than bibliography, impressive thought the bibliography is. What I found far more interesting was Barer's portrait of Charteris himself, and what struck me as his somewhat ambiguous relationship with his creation Simon Templar. On the one hand, he was a spirited defender of Templar's biography, personality, and distinguishing characteristics, keeping a close eye on the way the Saint was portrayed in all his various media incarnations over many decades. As a writer myself, I particularly enjoyed reading his comments to various scriptwriters about the poor job they were doing on plot or characterization.

At the same time, however, Charteris was more than willing to let those other writers do the heavy-lifting of producing new Saint stories for his approval and to be published under his name. If a story, movie, or radio drama ended up being, frankly, not very good then, as Charteris said in reference to those 1989 TV movies, "The old joke about crying all the way to the bank is my only consolation" (p. 230).

There are some things this book is not, and one of them is a character study of the Saint. Although Templar's biography comes through in these pages, Barer does not devote to the novels the same attention he does to the radio plays or movies, which I regret. But that may be a reflection of my own tendency to think of the Saint primarily as a literary character who was then translated, often not very well, to other media. Barer takes a more holistic view, I think, in which the Saint as portrayed by Roger Moore, the extravagantly betrousered Ian Ogilvy, or the "Thomas Magnum by way of Matt Houston" Andrew Clarke (p. 222) is as definitive a part of the Saintly canon as are the novels.

I don't know if I would call this book "essential reading for the Saint fan," simply because it is possible to enjoy the stories without needing to know the information contained here. But for readers interested not only in the stories but in all the Saint's many manifestations and interpretations -- and most valuable, I would think -- a fascinating look at the author behind it all, then Burl Barer's book has stood the test of 15 years and is worth keeping handy today.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Absolutely Complete 8 Aug 2000
By D. Bodenheimer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Burl Barer really captures everything about the Saint in this book. It is a huge source of information, and everytime I read it I find out something new!
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