"The series comes as near to squaring various circles - popular / academic, 'good read' / 'classic Lit', novel / film of the book as any I know. And at best it goes a fair way towards reshuffling those categories and redrawing the boundaries. With the first volume, I was relieved. After two or three, I was hooked.
The books are invaluable for gathering out-of-the-way or ephemeral comment from TV and radio interviews and the web as well as from literary reviews.
Refreshingly upfront and up-to-date
Given the space, there are remarkably balanced film/novel comparisons of the most well-known examples
An important feature is the fully referenced bibliographies, including reviews and copious website addresses - the latter ranging from fanzines and authors' and publishers' own sites to academic discussion lists and online journals.
In method as in subject matter, these guides move freely on the interface between print culture and multimedia. Highly finished and pleasantly handleable as books in their own right, they gesture accommodatingly to both words and worlds beyond.
Taking the series as a whole, it also confirms two things: that narrative nowadays is generically highly hybrid and increasingly cross-media; and that an understanding of the processes of writing and reading 'contemporary classic' (or at least 'currently famous') fiction cannot be separated - yet must be distinguished - from the processes of making and marketing books and films."
The Times Higher Education Supplement, May 31, 2002
The "Continuum Contemporaries" series is designed to be a source of ideas and inspiration for members of book clubs and reading groups, as well as for literature students at school, college and university. The series aims to give readers accessible and informative introductions to 30 of the most popular, most acclaimed and most influential novels of recent years. A team of contemporary fiction scholars from both sides of the Atlantic has been assembled to provide a thorough and readable analysis of each of the novels in question. The books in the series all follow the same structure, which features: a biography of the novelist, including other works, influences and, in some cases, an interview; a full-length study of the novel, drawing out the important themes and ideas; summaries of how the novel was received upon publication and how it has performed since publication, including film or TV adaptations and literary prizes; a wide range of suggestions for further reading, including websites; and a list of questions for reading groups or students to discuss.
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