Alton Evening Telegraph from Alton, Illinois on August 19, 1972 · Page 6
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August 19, 1972

Alton Evening Telegraph from Alton, Illinois · Page 6

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Alton, Illinois
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Saturday, August 19, 1972
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Page 6
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Alton Evening Telegraph Saturday, August 19, 1972 •rcleqRAph books Woman cuts male theory TUB DESCENT OF WOMAN by Elaine Morgan. Stein & Day. $7.95. Any upstanding male chauvinist may wince at the suggestion, but hoi-e is a book that, reminds "us that humanity is descended from woman ns well as man and offers a completely now look, at evolution. Ms. Morgan is irreverent, cynical, biting and down-to-earth in her examitlon of the evolution of man (and woman) and jus! what has made man — and womankind — what it is today. In the Pliocene Age, she writes, the climate forced our ancestors into the shallow waters of lakes and seas, making them into aquatic creatures who later returned to the land to become landlubbers again. It is that change that marks many of our human characteristics, she says. She h.is little use for many current male writers like Desmond Morris and Robert Ardrey whom she charges with having a wholly male (and therefore onesided) point of view. Such writers, she charges, totally ignore the existence of the female when they come up with the "Tarzan" theory of ancient men striving to become mighty hunters. What, she asks, was Mrs. Naked Ape doing while her husband or love was out playing heap big hunter. Ms. Morgan is a nonprofessional, a housewife and a mother of three who can discuss the scientific part of evolution with the best of them. A graduate of Oxford, she does her homework and doumentvS her conclusions better than many books written by the so-called experts. Even more delightful, she uses easily readable language, puns and irreverent humor to make her point — which is sharp and dipped in poison. Those struck by the yoint will probably yell the loudest because it hurts. The truth always does. —Doug Thompson Unsung heros PENNY by Hal Borland. Llppincott. ?5.95. Most animal stories, filled with phony sweetness and a brand of "cute" as only a Walt Disney-type story could provide, prove too much to take and this book could be too much even for a lover of dog stories. Penny, a very "individualistic" Bassett hound, shows up at the Borland home In Connecticut one day as just another stray dog. This dog, however, is a wanderer, and leaves — only to return again and again. While she can be lovable, she is more often bitchy and undependable. The Borlands are not too crazy about taking in this dog (they took one in before and wrote a book about it also), so they find the original owners of Penney and return her to them. Of course, the dog returns to the Borland home, chasing cattle, trucks and other things (perhaps even the reason for this book). Although humorous in spots, the book tries too hard and Is full of too much gunk to pin one runaway Bassett hound. The reader can only hope that the next stray that turns up at the Borland home will make a more interesting book. D. T. Novelists reap television gold By DOUG THOMPSON Telegraph Book Editor Authors who once found television unwilling to accept anything original are now finding a new market for their short stories and novels, thanks to the popularity of made-for-TV movies. Television normally depends on scriptwriters, a not-too- innovative group of men who grind out standard plots for standard series that are apparently watched by standard boob tube audiences. The turning point probably came when NBC-TV purer h a s e d the rights to "Vanished." a taut political novel by Fletcher Knebel. The two-pail movie, while not as good as the book, was both a critical and ratings success. Others followed quickly. CBS purchased the rights to "Runway Zero-Eight" a novel co-authored by Arthur Hailey and made it into a quickie feature titled "Terror in the Sky." CBS also took a short story, "Duel" that appeared in P 1 a y b o v magazine, and turned it into a movie about a man driving a lonely country road when an unseen driver in an old gasolie truck staits playing chicken. The upcoming season sees more authors whose works are making it to the small screen. Robert Serling (brother oi Rod SerlUi,;) has sold the rights to "The President's Plane Is Missing," a 4-year- old novel The television movie will be .shown this fall. Serling is aio negotiating tt isell another novel ''She'll Never Get Olf the Ground," which concerns the country's first female airline pilot. Gay Talese has sold the Rights oi "Honor Thy Father" tus non-fiction novel about the Mafia, to CBS, who plans to make it into a documentary. For most authors, the television market romes at a good time. Major motion picture studios, who are cutting back on regular movie production, are buying rights to fewer novels every year. At best, only the top selling novels, like "The Godfather," or "The Love Machine" are purchased by major studios. Others are left to television, which is quick to fill the void. Other TV movies adapted from novels last year include "Crawlspace," "Nick Carter," "Assignment: Munich" and "Earth II." Adaptation assignments, unfortunately, are usually turned over to television screenwriters who manage to delete much of a novel originality; but some of the author's zest still manages to make it to the screen — which certainly can't hurt. Best Sellers Compiled by Publisher's Weekly FICTION "Jonathan Livingston Seagull," Bach "The Winds Of War," Wouk "My Name Is Asher Lev." Potok "Captains And The Kings," Caldwell "The Word," Wallace NONFICTION "O Jerusalem!," Collins and Lapierre "I'm O.K., You're O.K.," Harris "The Boys Of Summer," Kahn "George S. 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