Doc Martin: Practice Makes Perfect Paperback – 29 Aug 2013
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The first novelisation of the popular TV series featuring Martin Clunes
About the Author
Sam North is the author of eight novels, including The Automatic Man which won the Somerset Maugham Award, and The Unnumbered, which was long-listed for the Man Booker Prize.
Sam is also a screenwriter, and has worked as talent agent and script developer. He currently lectures in creative writing at the University of Exeter and lives in Devon.
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I read the whole book in two days and can't wait for the next book to be available.
But Hawksmoor has taken this odd, hybrid approach. Rather than representing any of the first-season episodes fully, he kind of cherry picks among scenes and threads that (I assume) seem to him worth greater emphasis, and dropping others, at once weaving a sensitively idyllic, anecdotal tapestry of Portwenn and its characters, and representing them fairly accurately (I say "fairly" because his internalization — his portraiture of their inner lives — is exhaustive and perforce subject to being filtered through his own interpretive sensibility); but not providing the full literary equivalent of the show's pace, tone and comedy-drama plotting. Taking the novel on its own terms, I'm not sure that a reader who was not wholly familiar with DOC MARTIN would feel properly indoctrinated into the storytelling universe; and while a TV tie-in novel is certainly, primarily meant to appeal to a show's fans, I'd argue that it misses a beat if it doesn't also serve as an inducement for the newbie to watch; in particular a first season book dealing with the "origin myth" and the start of relationships. In a weird way, this makes the novel not quite an adaptation in the strict sense, and not quite an original, but a misty conflation of the two. In simpler language, I found myself very aware of the author's effort to create a work of literature, where he might more effectively have simply adapted the scripts straight on, if a little more economically. He's clearly a very gifted wordsmith, and the teleplays don't need structural help, nor benefit from being represented incompletely. Style and substance would easily have taken care of themselves.
That said: in a day and age where you can pretty much watch any TV show anytime and own sets of the episodes to boot, novelizations seem a lot less necessary. Far nicer — if sanctioned by Buffalo Pictures, who produce the show — would have been an entirely original story. (For a stellar example of that, check out the four original LIFE ON MARS novels by Graham Thomas, writing as "Tom Graham.") As a tie-in aficionado (and, briefly, writer) I'm very happy to have the books; but I'm not surprised that the "test run" of two did not yield more. DOC MARTIN might well have been a thriving book series, as opposed to a pair of limited-scope companion volumes.
I only ever read in bed and was finding myself wanting to go to bed at 9.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed the T.V. series, it's beautifully written.
I have read both Doc Martin l and 2 - please write another one Sam North.
1...2...3.... I thought so, pretty much all of you.
Now raise your hand if you have watched a tv series only for that series to be adapted, sorry 'relived' as the synopsis tells us, as a book.
Hmm, as I thought. Not nearly as many.
As far as I can remember the first time I've come across a book that came after the adaptation. Whilst I'm open to the fact that it could work, in my opinion it didn't here.
Perhaps too big a fan of the series. Try as I might
I simply couldn't get Martin Clunes as ITV's Doc Martin out of my head and I'm afraid the Doc Martin on the page though quintessentially Doc Martin was, at the same time, quite different. Not something that can easily be explained but not nearly as, well, as gruff, as socially awkward, as lovable as the Doc Martin on the screen, I suppose I'd sum Sam North's version up as being a slightly tampered version.
Not the only thing to have suffered. Having reconciled myself to the fact that not only weren't the characters exactly like they were on the screen but, rather oddly, on paper the author somehow failed to bring them fully to life (perhaps due to their tv personas being so good?). A cold, miserable day in what is my corner of England (despite it being summer) I was at least hoping to capture some sense of Cornwall but alas this sense of place was to be denied me as well.
I guess an OK read. Probably a better one if you haven't seen the tv production. However if like me you have, be prepared to see the characters in a slightly different light whilst essentially reliving the incidents that occurred in the first series.
Copyright: Tracy Terry @ Pen and Paper
occured in the series were "skimped" a little in the telling but that's a minor criticism. Overall, good value for money.
The book has taken me two weeks to read, and its only 350 pages. It's not all down to the book (its been a busy few weeks) but I didn't find myself rushing to pick it up. The stories in it are exactly the same as the television programme and it was all a bit repetitive.
I did enjoy some of the description, which you don't get on the TV but it wasn't my favourite. I think you'd enjoy it more if you hadn't seen the programme. A bit disappointing.
I wasn't disappointed, the book was faithful to the show, giving a little more depth to the characters especially to Martin and Louisa.
The descriptions of Cornwall are beautiful and it left me feeling like I'd had a holiday down there.
Can't wait to read the next one!
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