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Best and Worst Fictional Books based on Soaps


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The new novel made me think about all the novels we've had based on soaps (in some form or another). I don't mean novels set ON a soap but ones that are based in the soaps' universe...

I've only read a handful... From AMC Erica Kane's Having it All, and Kendall Hart's romance novel Charm (it was 2 bucks, I swear I wouldn't have bothered otherwise), and from OLTL Patrick Thorne's Diary and Marcie Walsh's The Killing Club.

Quick takes--Having it All is cute but about 15 mins of reading--the kind of book you read in the bathroom (my mom found it hysterical though). Charm is, I'd say, awful and not very AMC connected (didn't Kendall write it while mourning for Zack in the hole?) That said I read it, back when I was recovering from hospital last year, in one night--prob about 3 or 4 hours and I didn't ever want to NOT stop reading it. I've never read romance fiction before, so I dunno how it compares.

Patrick's Diary is kinda interesting (my used copy didn't come with the tape of him reading his fave poems, sadly). The poetry selection is obvious, but good, and it was kinda cool to re-read in prose format the storyline between him and Marty, as I hadn't seen any of it since I was 14. The Killing Club actually is the best of the lot, even though again it has no real connection to the show (by the time the murder mystery on OLTL based on it started happening--and Dena Higley was writing--it had even less to do with the novel as it barely follows it...). Michael Malone is an award winning mysterious novelist, and although he gives full story outline credit in the book to Josh Griffith, he prob could have written this in his sleep. I actually lent it to my mom, my grandma, and my brother, who all read murder mysteries, and they thought it was a slightly above average take on the genre.

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Well, I haven't read it, but Robin's Diary was very powerful to a lot of people.

http://serialdrama.typepad.com/serial_drama/2009/01/vintage-suds-the-robins-diary-book-club.html

http://serialdrama.typepad.com/serial_drama/2009/01/the-robins-diary-book-club.html

I have read more of the UK fictional books than the US ones -- I read Bianca's Secret Diary, from around the time she was sleeping with her mother's fiance. And I read some of the Coronation Street books set in WWI and WWII. I didn't finish the WWII one but the WWI was very good, it painted a picture of the jubilation turned to fear, of those the main characters knew and loved who never came back from the front, and the book didn't shy away from xenophobia, mob violence, and bleakness. Yet it was mainly a character study to let readers know about the early years of Ena Sharples, and in that area it truly succeeds.

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The best i have read is Loralie's Guiding Light by Beth Chamberlin, who i think wrote it as a back story? It was very good. I could see how it connected to the show, but it also stands on its own very well.

Finola Hughes' Soap Suds is a great fun read.

I also have read The Killing Club, Oakdale Conditionals, Jonathon Story (GL), Having It All, Robin's Diary, and quite a few others. They are ok, for what they are.

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I think they called it "Charm" b/c it was the one thing Kendall's book did not have. ;-)

As a rule, I avoid soap-based fictional books. They always sound horribly plotted, and written by someone who has no clue about the "voice" of the show or the characters involved.

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I wish I had kept Robin's Diary for my daughter, but then again the reality of AIDS at that time is not the reality of AIDS now….. interesting of much can change in so short a time.

Okay - I'm needing to know if I'm crazy or these did exist. Was there a series or even a few paperback books in the 80's about Days? I know there were packs of trivia playing cards for a number of soaps because I still have my Days one of those.

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Yes remos, there was a time when practically every soap on the air had those serialized paperbacks. We were at an amusement park back in the late '80s and in one of the gift shops there was a kiosk full of them. We talked about this a couple of years ago and someone was saying that they pop up on ebay quite often.

I've only read Having It All which we picked up at the mall when it came out. Not exactly Ellen Holly's One Life. :P It's passable fluff, but I really wish Agnes Nixon had written it herself. :D Just like Khan said, I feel that the (ghost)writer didn't capture the "voice" (in this case, Erica Kane's!) and it often "sounded" like vapid parody/fanfic.

Anyone read Felicia Gallant's/Linda Dano's novel, Dreamweaver or something like that?

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Yes remos, there was a time when practically every soap on the air had those serialized paperbacks. We were at an amusement park back in the late '80s and in one of the gift shops there was a kiosk full of them. We talked about this a couple of years ago and someone was saying that they pop up on ebay quite often.

Yup, they're always on eBay. Guiding Light has a bunch from the 80's too.

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Yes remos, there was a time when practically every soap on the air had those serialized paperbacks. We were at an amusement park back in the late '80s and in one of the gift shops there was a kiosk full of them. We talked about this a couple of years ago and someone was saying that they pop up on ebay quite often.

I've only read Having It All which we picked up at the mall when it came out. Not exactly Ellen Holly's One Life. :P It's passable fluff, but I really wish Agnes Nixon had written it herself. :D Just like Khan said, I feel that the (ghost)writer didn't capture the "voice" (in this case, Erica Kane's!) and it often "sounded" like vapid parody/fanfic.

Anyone read Felicia Gallant's/Linda Dano's novel, Dreamweaver or something like that?

I read Dreamweaver on a plane. It was the perfect junky potboiler for a flight from LA to NY. I found it on Amazon, years ago, for pennies.

I really liked Having It All because it was a product that had been done with some level of attention to detail. It was very much in line with other celeb autobiographies from the mid 90s like Fran Drescher's Enter Whining...there were a few years where it seemed like EVERYONE had a book out. It was fun stuff and very fluffy.

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I wish I had kept Robin's Diary for my daughter, but then again the reality of AIDS at that time is not the reality of AIDS now….. interesting of much can change in so short a time.

Okay - I'm needing to know if I'm crazy or these did exist. Was there a series or even a few paperback books in the 80's about Days? I know there were packs of trivia playing cards for a number of soaps because I still have my Days one of those.

Yep I have a few I found in a Salvation Army

Three AMC ones published early 80s and they literally retell the old storylines--I believe one is titled Erica Kane, one Yougn Lovers and one Tara and Phil or something. They're nice ot have but are written worse than I imagine most romance novels are, so I keep them on the shelf. Then I have a "double book" (which just means it's 400 some pages from what I can tell) on One Life to Live from the mid 80s. This was part of a series by a romance publisher that included books based on Days, Another World, Knots Landing and I think Dallas it says in the back

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