No, The Novelization of “Men In Black” Does Not Count as a Book

Uhhh….

I was peacefully enjoying a nice cup of tea today when I happened to glance across the room. There sat a man reading.

This is not unusual. In fact, I see people reading almost every day. If you didn’t know better, you would think these people had no TV or something. They’re probably just there to make me feel bad about myself, rubbing in how well read they are.

What was unusual, though, was the exact material this man had chosen to read. In a world with Hemingway and Poe, Twain and Fitzgerald, this man was fully engrossed in a novelization of the TV show “Dexter.” Actually, to be more exact, he was reading Double Dexter which I assume is like a regular novelization of “Dexter” but with twice the amount of bodies being eaten up by acid in barrels.

I began to question. Could this man call himself well read? In a world full of Angry Birds, he has shirked those electronic demons for the written word. This is undoubtedly noble. He is, however, reading something that is essentially a script for a TV show. Sure, many of the great literary works such as “Romeo and Juliet” were scripts, but Dexter is not exactly Shakespeare.

Maybe somewhere there is a book club that only reads novelizations of movies and TV shows. They all get together to discuss Murder She Wrote: A Fatal Feast. Then next month they’ll move on to something more action packed like AVP: Alien vs. Predator: The Movie Novelization. (Lest you think that I am being creative, these are actual books. Everyone, log into Amazon now! You know you want them!)

Of course there might be a more practical reason for reading this particular book. Perhaps this man was antisocial like me. If I were to sit in a public place, the last thing I want is for a stranger to sit next to me and start talking. Correction: the last think I want is for a stranger to on me and start talking. The second-to-last thing I want is for a stranger to sit next to me and start talking. Then I would have to pretend to be interested in what they say and focus on not zoning out mid-sentence. It would be a terrible ordeal for both of us.

To save us the trouble, though, I could come across as an unapproachable weirdo. By reading a book that is a novelization of a TV show about serial killers, I am saying that I love serial killers so much, I can’t leave home without a bit of Dexter with me. The only thing that would scare off strangers more would be carrying around a human skull, but I would assume those are very difficult to get your hands on.

Is there a section in the library for these books? “Oh, you need the Batman: Forever Movie Novelization? That would be in the “Not a real book” section.” Maybe Netflix should start offering these books. Then when I’m in the middle of an episode, I could just read how it ends.

(Batman: Forever Movie Novelization is also real, FYI.)

I guess this is the one way to keep people from saying the book is way better than the movie. No one is ever going to pick the novelization over the actual thing.

Well, maybe in the case of “Batman: Forever.” Anything has to be better than that movie.

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16 thoughts on “No, The Novelization of “Men In Black” Does Not Count as a Book

  1. Whatever gets ‘em reading, I say! I am certainly no connoisseur of Nietzsche or Voltaire, or even Hemingway… I more sway towards Clive Cussler, Vince Flynn, James Patterson, Matthew Reilly… Would your opinion be the same if said gent were to be reading, say, Skyfall? A novelisation of a movie. Ian Fleming started out writing the James Bond series, but I must say that in more recent times, often they are merely a script written not by Ian Fleming. So does that make Casino Royale a good read, yet Skyfall worthless trash, book wise? Hmmmm. Like I said, whatever gets them reading. :)

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  2. Thank you! I didn’t even feel bad when I threw the MIB book in the garbage after a few pages. :) It’s taken me 37 years to figure out that just because a book has been published, doesn’t mean it’s worth reading.

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  3. I found a copy of the novelization of Star Wars once. Needless to say, that shouldn’t be done. Theater transfers to the solely written word far better than television or film.

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    • Well played. My apologies.

      Also, wouldn’t it be weird if you had actually said that? I would love for someone to spout off a url in conversation like that.

      Now if you find out the author of Men In Black wrote his book first, I will redact the entire post…

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