Week 96 – Sleepers, Soap And Box-Sets

Book versus film has always been an interesting debate. My thoughts are that the book always wins. You need to work at it, consider, understand and then evaluate. The same could be said about a film, but sometimes, something right in front of you isn’t considered fairly. If it was, Michael Jackson would only ever have had one nose.

I do like to watch a film after I have read the book, but that is mainly so I can moan. Although one film springs to mind that was very close to the book. It was ‘Sleepers’. The weird thing was I expected the film to pad the story out as it was a relatively short book. But the film was true to the written word which just made me realise how good the story was. Lorenzo Carcaterra got an awful lot of mileage out of such a small word count.

Films or books, books or films, I actually have a love of both. However TV is a different matter!

When I look back and remember a time when I did enjoy the whole concept of TV programmes, I can always recall being told to read a book by my elders. That was ironic as I did read. Every night before I lay in the dark trying to sleep, I read. But what is crazy now is that the folks who are the age of my parents, these folks who told us all to read a book, are addicted to the TV. Be it soap operas, (Jesus…A realistic soap opera would be about millions of families doing nothing more exciting than watching soap operas.) Jeremy Kyle type shows, (I blame Jerreee…Jerreee…Jerreee Springer) reality TV or whatever guff is on, they are addicted. A conversation with a soap fan is as coherent and entertaining as listening to a toddler use words for their genitalia and bodily evacuations.

They never refer to an actor, they refer to the character as if they are real. ‘Oh did you see what that Bastian did? He’s a bad yin!’ ‘It was so sad when Chlamydia lost her baby.’ ‘Oh I was glad to see that Boaby getting some luck.’

I hate and despise TV conversations from those who watch! In the name of sanity, listen to yourself!!! And if you are truthful, you will admit that you are not well and have mutated into living your life around the lives of sodding fictional characters! And I really do believe if anyone sends in a gift for a soap baby or a condolence card when unfortunately only one of them has been killed off, well you need to save your money and pay for some therapy.

…And box-sets, well those are just wrong!

In the olden days, you may have a programme you enjoyed that was on once or twice a week. So you had the rest of the week to actually live a life. But not now. You can access The Box Set! You can stay in your home, not letting in any light, oxygen or other human beings as you vegetate in front of a box-set for days on end. Is it a coincidence that Sky sounds like ‘Skynet’ from Terminator? It is the end folks! We will end our days not pondering what we have done, or what parts of the world we haven’t seen but wondering how the next fecking series of Breaking Bad was going to be received. We won’t have as much as a bucket list, more a viewing list. The ‘Last Rites’ will become ‘The last Right…What am I watching as I die.’


Anyhow, back to some stories!

No new writers this week, just some old skillful hands with some very interesting stories.

The topics never cease to amaze me. We have a man and his waitress, paranoia, a flasher, a good man and a look at revenge.

As always our initial comments are included.


We had a quick return for James Hanna on Monday when we published his very amusing short story, ‘Exposed.’

‘I grinned through a great deal of this.’

‘It is a tad worrying for me to enjoy a story about a bit of a perv!’

‘This was all about the writing.’


On Tuesday we had the one and only Adam Kluger with another strong character based story. He was next up with ‘Turkey Burger Deluxe.’

‘I really do enjoy these type of stories from Adam. He explains so much about the character within one very simple scene and scenario.’

‘Adam imbues everyday occurrences with a deep pathos or maybe just a touch of magic.’

‘It works for me!’


It was great to hear once again from Fred Skolnik who had his next contribution to the site, ‘Waiting‘ published on Wednesday.

‘The writing emphasised the ongoing paranoia.’

‘An amazingly claustrophobic bit of writing.’

‘Having no reveal or trick ending was a great choice.’


Thursday was next and there is no introduction needed for the lovely Diane Dickson. Diane gave us ‘A Nice Night In‘ which was understated nastiness with a clever twist. It is always a pleasure to see her work included.


And it may be a bit of time between stories, but when Patty Somlo sends us work of this calibre, we may be able to forgive her for the infrequency.

So last up on Friday was Patty’s story ‘Tea Man.’

‘This is a story that you want to believe in.’

‘A skilfully constructed story that kept my interest throughout.’

‘This was beautifully done.’


Another week has come and gone and we are now approaching a hundred weeks and two years of Literally Stories. That is something worth talking about, not who has done what to who in soap land!!



8 thoughts on “Week 96 – Sleepers, Soap And Box-Sets

  1. Great discussion point – the book or the film. To generate conversation and interest with a girlfriend of mine – I asked her if she read a lot.
    ‘Yes’ she said, ‘well maybe not as much now as I used to prison’ !

    Back to the point, book or film -I prefer the book and having just finished ‘The Girl on The Train’ – I might go and see the big screen version. The book is set in UK London -film USA. In the book, Rachel is an overweight alcoholic who drinks tins of G&T – in the film Rachel is a pretty Emily Blunt and they don’t have tins of G&T.
    For me the book will always be the best option.
    Been a good week for your stories and I enjoyed reading them all.


    • Thanks James,
      I would rather have an ex-con reader that a celebrity follower with no record!
      I agree with you and think most folks prefer the books. And it can be fun to pull a film to pieces! Especially depending on who is playing our favourite characters!
      Look after you and yours.


    • Hello there,
      Thanks so much for the read and comment, they are much appreciated.
      Maybe I am being a bit harsh on TV? I suppose it is all relative and if someone enjoys something then who is anyone to slag them off??
      But some are inexcusable…(Add your own terrible TV list here!)
      All the very best and thanks again for commenting, please keep doing so!!! All the writers are very grateful when they get a reaction.


  2. I never consider books and their film adaptations as being the same thing. But I do believe that these similar stories based on the same source can both be effective. Two good examples come to mind: The Grapes of Wrath and Breakfast at Tiffany’s–both stories made good films and books, even though there was no way in hell John Ford could use Steinbeck’s ending (due to the Hayes’ Code) in the former, and Hollywood’s taboo against openly, closed, and even slightly ajar gay characters prevented a faithful adaptation of Capote’s work in the latter.
    Moreover, being unfair to TV is being fair to it. Spending fifteen minutes on Gilligan’s Island or Jersey Shore makes TV (sometimes great) a target that always has it coming.


    • Hi Leila,
      I always enjoy your take on, well just about everything!
      You are right, there is good and bad in most things and I reckon it is personal to us as individuals in what we decide is what.
      But there are some exceptions where only the term ‘terrible’ will do!!!
      Keep well and keep in contact!!


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