Good fun or just cheap profits on dime novel-esque fiction? Brian and I were walking through Target when we saw a book “Heat Wave” written by Richard Castle. We both did a double take, picked it up, and laughed. Castle is a TV show about a fictional writer shadowing a NYPD female officer for “inspiration”. Castle is played by Nathan Fallion, (none other than Mal from Firefly for fellow nerds out there) and it’s a cute show, the Keefers have the first two season and Brian and I watch episodes here or there over dinner. The crimes aren’t super tricky to figure out, and it’s not like CSI where the forensics are detailed extensively, or Law and Order where the actual court proceedings come in to play. Instead, most of the pull is between Beckett (the cop) and Castle, with some fun side stories with supporting characters like Castle’s daughter and his mom. A fun show, a “clean” show as far as criminal shows go, more humor than horror, it’s an enjoyable watch. (Can I use “watch” like I’d use an enjoyable “read”?)
Anywho, ABC decided to take it one step further, and hired a ghostwriter to write the Nikki Heat books (the ones Castle writes in the show based off of Beckett). Richard Castle is listed as the writer, a picture of Nathan Fallion is inside the cover, and Nathan Fallion-as Castle-goes to the book signings. Fun? Weird? The books don’t seem like anything extraordinary, but the idea of pulling a character on a show further into reality through another form of media…I just don’t know how I feel about it. Part of me thinks it’s hilarious, part of me thinks the books are probably not very good and it’s just a marketing scheme (it is a good marketing scheme, gotta give ABC that much). What if Harry Potter began writing his own books “Outcast and Hero, an autobiography) and Daniel Radcliff went to book signings as Harry Potter? Is the blurring betwen fiction and reality all in good fun or does our society really need another dose of false reality?
I don’t have any other coherent thoughts, I don’t feel like the books mark the end of good liturature or anything like that (lets face it, Dan Brown beat everybody to that punch), but it was a thought provoking find. I’ll be honest, I’m not a huge murder mystery type of reader (except for classic childrens books like Sherlock Holmes and The Happy Hollisters). I find most of the popular adult murder mystery genre contrived, the writing stilted, and the characters shallow and stagnant, but I kind of wanted to read a few chapters of “Heat Wave” just to see how “Richard Castle” books read.