Saturday, 14 May 2011

The Prisoner - A Novelisation

    The first novelisation of the Prisoner, and of the same title, was by the American writer Thomas M. Disch in 1969. Disch's novel is loosely based on the 1960's series, but not really that exceptional in my opinion. However, having said that, Disch's novel the Prisoner has been re-printed on numerous occasions over the decades, on both sides of the Atlantic, and on the European continent, namely translated into French.
   I recall David Stimpson telling me once, that when he was young, and after the 1976 screening of the Prisoner in Great Britain, he was left with nothing to remind him of the series, save for his memories. But then in his local library he came across a hardback copy of Thomas M. Disch's the Prisoner. Although not directly linked to the actual series, the book was the only link David had. And so after taking the book out of the library once, and having returned the book to the library, immediately took it out again! This is the front cover of that book, for those who have not seen it, of which there cannot be that many fan's of the Prisoner who haven't.
    Eventually the book was returned to the library, and remained there. Because then David found a copy of Disch's book in paperback, published by New English Library, as seen below.
What follows are other guises in which this novel has been published over the decades.

The original American publication in 1969.                                                                                                                                               Then re-printed in hardback in more recent years in America.
And for the 25th anniversary of the Prisoner, Boxtree re-printed the novel in Great Britain.

The next reincarnation of Disch's novel, was in this Prisoner Omnibus published by Carlton Books, which also contains The Prisoner Who Is Number Two by David McDaniel, and The Prisoner - A Day In The Life by Hank Steine, and in my opinion the third novel is by far the best of the three, and McDaniel's the most outrageous! This Prisoner Omnibus was never a good seller. In fact withn a matter of months, I came across two large piles of this book in a discount book store, for the lowly price of 99 pence!                                                                                                              
Penguin Books next published the book, which I found to be something of a curious decision, when you consider the fact that Disch's Prisoner based novel has never been a best seller. And it makes it even worse when someone has written an excellent manuscript based on the Prisoner, and written in the style of the original series, which publishers reject time and time again. But who are perfectly prepared to re-print Prisoner based novels like this time and time again.
Again it was Penguin Books who reprinted Disch's novel just in time for the 2009 premier of THEPRISONER in Great Britain, and only a matter of weeks after their previous re-printing of the novel! This reprint even has a picture of Ian McKellen as Two on the front cover, why, when Disch's novel has nothing whatsoever to do with the 2009 series of THEPRISONER!
I'm Piet Hein

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