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Lobby 2. Welcome The Reading Room Reading Challenges 2012 topic #134
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Subject: "Man from U.N.C.L.E. # 1: The Thousand Coffins Affair" Previous topic | Next topic
Mesg #135 "Man from U.N.C.L.E. # 1: The Thousand Coffins Affair"
Author zette     Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author Click to view this author's profile Click to add this author to your buddy list
Author Info Member since Jun 12th 2002
13570 posts
Date Sat Mar-03-12 03:43 PM



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Sometimes I read odd things.

The Man from U.N.C.L.E television series and the books related to it were favorites in the years the show ran. When my husband and I met, we talked about the show from our youth. We made a real effort to collect all the episodes on VHS (and even on Beta), and then, finally, got the gorgeous DVD boxed edition. We have an original poster that they hung on the walls of NBC affiliates. We even have one of the original UNCLE guns (metal, not a plastic replica) from the series.

The books sit on a shelf with a lot of other television-related books. All twenty-three are original stories and not rewritten episodes from the series. They made a lovely addition to the shows and we had collected and re-collected them down through the years. The other day, passing the shelves once again, I thought it might be fun to pull the first one out and read it.

I was right.

While the first book was clearly written before the series got started, it tried to capture the feel. It did not have, among things, the communications system down. There was no "Open Channel D" and contacting Solo in Europe was a tiresome problem. I also felt as though the Illya Kuryakin material might have been added in after the first draft: Oh, we decided to add a new character to the series -- write him in, too. Waverly was very well done, and most of Napoleon Solo rang true. The story was a bit more Bond-ish than the series and later books, but overall, not badly done. Yes, Solo's thoughts often linger on the feminine charms of his companions, but he was a debonair lady's man in the series as well.

Written in the mid 1960's, the feel of the time lingers with material tied to World War II and the Cold War and with some passing references to the Korean War. I had only one true 'plot' problem with the story. Jerry Terry was allowed on the mission because she had a photographic memory, and yet nowhere in the story did that gift ever truly come into use. I suspect that was the author side of me looking for story flaws. Her hatred of the communists also made her easy acceptance of Illya rather unsettling, but I could at least believe that part had been handled 'off stage' so to speak.

This was really just a fun little trip back in time. I plan to read more of them.

~~~~~~Signature's Off~~~~~~


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Zette's 2012 'Read something odd' year [View all] , zette, Sat Mar-03-12 02:59 PM
  Man from U.N.C.L.E. # 1: The Thousand Coffins Affair, zette, Mar 03rd 2012 #1
Man from U.N.C.L.E. #2: The Doomsday Affair, zette, Mar 03rd 2012, #2
Man from U.N.C.L.E. #3: The Copenhagen Affair, zette, Mar 03rd 2012, #3
Man from U.N.C.L.E #4 : The Dagger Affair, zette, Mar 03rd 2012, #4
Man from U.N.C.L.E. # 5: The Mad Scientist Affair, zette, Mar 03rd 2012, #5
Man from U.N.C.L.E. #6: The Vampire Affair, zette, Mar 03rd 2012, #6

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