Sunday, May 30, 2010

Vook You!!!??

That's my chair. My One Enormous Chair. You know the one, "Oh wouldn't it be loverly," chair. It kinda symbolizes how I like to read. I'm not always in that chair. Sometimes I'm in a pile of pillows on the bed, or on the sofa, or my new swoop chaise, or in a deck chair on a cruise...with a book, cosy and comfortable. When people have discussions about whether they like to read the book or see the movie first, some don't care one way or another. Some prefer the movie first. I prefer the book. The book lets me paint the scenes in my head, and usually gives me a more complete story. Sometimes the movie makes clear the things I didn't understand until I got to the last page of the book. You know when you get to the last page of a Toni Morrison novel, and you think, "OOOOH, so that's what that was about." The movie can save me from having to read that book again. I still have it on my list to read "Paradise" again. I don't see a movie forthcoming.

I'm a geek at heart, but I still love to feel the pages of a book. I'm starting to wrap my brain around the idea of an ebook. I don't have an eReader yet, but I'm working on it. (Kindle: hint! hint!) Bear with me, I'm working up to the vook thing.

When I first learned that my favorite author, Tananarive Due, and her husband, screen-writer Steven Barnes were collaborating with one of my all-time favorite hotties, Blair Underwood on a mystery book, I thought it would be a great idea. It took me a while to get on-board and buy "Casanegra," and by then they had published the second book in the series, "In the Night of the Heat." After reading, "Heat" I became a true fan, and bought Casanegra as well. They are both page-turners, but I liked "Heat" more. There was less of the "Die Hard" (You know how Bruce Willis is so beat up by the end of the movie, you wonder if he will live.) and more of the Walter Mosley, "Easy Rawlins' transported to the twenty-first Century. The third book in the Tennyson Hardwick series, "From Cape Town with Love" just hit the stores in May. I bought it and convinced my book club to make it our selection for the next meeting.

Since I'm a Facebook fan of (I "like") Blair Underwood, I get his promotional messages on my Facebook home page. He is now promoting the VOOK for the latest Tennyson Hardwick book. That's Vook as in Video-Book. I went to, clicked on the link for Blair Underwood, and got the sneak peek. I don't know if I want this. OK, it's enough that Blair is on the cover of the novels (" Blair Underwood Presents"), as the character Tennyson Hardwick. I'm OK with that. I have Blair in my head as Tennyson. But I had already visualized Chela and April and Dad in "Heat," only to add a different layer in Casanegra, so that in my mind April looked like Tananarive Due, not Taraji P. I'm not ready to see the movie at the same time that I'm reading the book. I feel like you're messing with my head, and even making casting decisions that may be changed when (not if) the book makes it to the big screen.

I'm all about expanding your audience, but it feels like dumbing down a good novel by adding video. And it raises the question of what is Blair's role in the collaboration. The copyright says "Copyright (c) 2010 by Trabajando, Inc., Tananarive Due and Steven Barnes." Is it Blair's role to get the book to the silver screen?


Rachel said...

Hello Saraphen,

You raised some really interesting questions about the role of a Vook in terms of reader's imagination. If you're a huge fan of Tananarvie, I'm sure you have been reading her blog--she's written some really fascinating stuff about the making of the Vook. []

I hope you decide to check out the Vook after you've finished reading the book. If you're a big fan of Blair--you might enjoy it--as a different experience than reading a novel.


Rachel at Vook

saraphen said...

@Rachel...Tananarive has too many blogs to keep up with. I did read the one on Wordpress. I'm trying to keep an open mind about the Vook.

The geek in me says, "Cool Beans." The retiree has to consider my dwindling discretionary funds. And the reader, who has been in me for 60 years now, is shaking her head.

Harold of Scaggsville said...

Vooks? I had no idea.