Friday, 30 December 2011

Muscle Beach Party

Title: Muscle Beach Party

Author: Elsie Lee

Year of publication: 1964

Back cover blurb: Swinging in the Sun, Twisting Under the Moon, Surfing Up a Storm.  The whole gang is back on Muscle Beach having the BALL of a lifetime.

Quick flick reveals: No sooner did I start this blog, but the Great Unnameable from which I source the books closed for Christmas,  depriving me of the pulpy goodness that flows from its teat.  Consequently, this week I am presenting a book from my collection which I have written about before somewhere else (You know the London Review of Books?  Not there).
Muscle Beach Party was a film in the Beach Party series of the 60s starring Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello.  It is a knockabout comedy, mostly built around sight-gags and musical numbers.  The fact that a novelisation was commissioned is, therefore, slightly odd, reminiscent of the Woody Allen short story about the serious writer who takes a job adapting a Three Stooges film into a book.  Nevertheless, Lee gamely strives to make the material work, and the end result is actually more entertaining than you might expect: i.e., moderately.  In a move that defies all known laws of sensible business practice, this book was republished in 1988.

Random paragraph: 'While there might be a difference of opinion on the better, there was no doubt about the more, and in a split second Candy was pulling Deadhead into the middle of the room.  Next to them were Frankie and Dee Dee, twisting expertly to Dick's rhythm.'


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