Caught in a False Image

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"The Monkees - Caught In A False Image " by Lise Lyng Falkenberg. Reviewed by Karon Hollis

The Monkees - Caught In A False Image

Books about the Monkees are as rare as books about the Beatles are common.This is probably due the low esteem with which many people hold the Monkees, but for fans it means it is easy to collect everything.

I am currently attempting to get a book published about the Monkees TV series - sadly undervalued despite its obvious ancestry for the pop video - however in the UK this is proving impossible, mostly due the fact that UK. Publishers seem unconvinced that there is a market for the book. The Norwegian publishers seem far more lenient if this book is anything to go by.

Firstly, english is obviously the author's second language and it shows. Sentences often "run on" into one another with comma after comma and the wrong tense is often used. For example the word (is it a word?) "lighted" is used instead of "lit". Another word I struggled to understand was "Backdraws". I eventually worked this out to be "Drawbacks." and these errors are before page 18 in the book! Where was the editor one wonders? Was this self-published? I don't know. A proof reader is credited at the end of the book but if she had indeed proof read it I can only think that either english was also her second language, or that she was simply hopeless at the job.  Simple spelling mistakes like “attrackted”  would have been picked up by any good spell checker let alone a human being re-reading the text.

There are some interesting ideas in the book but most of them are poorly presented and under realised. For example her description of the song “IF I KNEW” reads “A cute and a bit languishing pop song with subdued vocals by Davy” .  My only response to that is “huh?”  Whatever her idea or impression of the song, it is poorly communicated and in reality just ends up being a meaningless collection of words.  

The author also makes some frankly alarming statements and comparisons but appears unable or unwilling to back these up with any examples. I almost leapt out of my chair shouting when I read; "The characters in (The Young Ones) are British black-humourous versions of the characters from The Monkees and countless jokes from the Monkees are re-used in the Young Ones without any alterations whatsoever." This statement as far as I can see is blatantly untrue, but it is delivered as "fact" not opinion. I am a fan of both series, and can quote large parts of dialogue from either; aside from the fact that both series have four male leads who live in the same building, and they are both comedies which feature music, I can see no other comparisons. I very much doubt that "countless" jokes from the innocent Monkees were re-used in the filthier and more depraved Young Ones. However if anyone knows different then I would love to be proved wrong!

I could almost write a book myself just picking out spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, and poor writing in this book but for the sake of my blood pressure I will restrain myself.  If you must have every Monkees book then get this one, but if you are easily irritated I would recommend that you steer clear and perhaps pick up “The Monkees – a Manufactured Image” or “Hey Hey We’re The Monkees” for something a little more satisfying.

Page Last Updated Tuesday, January 11, 2005 at 13:41:37