Guest Blogger: Leonard Pierce, author of If You Like The Sopranos…
Creator David Chase had the foresight and the good luck to set his story of a mobster facing tumult from both his crime family and his biological family at a time when the real-world Mafia was in a similar state of turmoil. He pioneered the prime-time serial drama at a time when the public was ready for it. And, uniquely, he was in charge of a critically acclaimed and widely popular television show that bridged the pre- and post-9/11 eras.
In a 24-hour media cycle, where viewers are overwhelmed with entertainment choices and cultural trends come and go in an eye-blink, 2007 seems like ages ago. Regardless of its greatness, how much can a show that started in the 1990s still have to teach us? A great deal, it seems. Serial storytelling is the new normal for television dramas, and crime shows like Breaking Bad, Justified, Dexter, Sons of Anarchy and Boardwalk Empire are critical and commercial favorites. At the box office, noir-influenced dramas like Drive and the Robert De Niro crime thriller Killer Elite draw audiences, and on video game consoles, L.A. Noire and the Saints Row series pull in gamers by the millions. It’s clear that the Century of Crime has only expanded since The Sopranos came to an end.
But it was more than just good timing that made The Sopranos such a cultural keystone. Its genius was to take the ideas, themes, and tropes of crime drama from past decades and amalgamate them into a riveting entertainment that pointed the way forward to a new world both strange and familiar. It placed an entire world of crime stories into a crystal ball; my book tries to pluck those stories out one by one and show how they informed The Sopranos. I hope you’ll join me.
Book Signings 2011-2012:
Barnes and Noble in San Antonio, TX (15900 La Cantera Parkway) on December 2nd at 7pm.
Barnes and Noble in Denton, TX (Golden Triangle location) on Dec. 10 at 3pm
Barnes and Noble in Austin, TX (Arboretum location) on January 28 from 2-4pm
Book People in Austin, TX on Feb. 18 at 7pm
If You Like The Sopranos…Here Are Over 150 Movies, TV Shows, and Other Oddities That You Will Love
If You Love the Sopranos… is the first book that starts with Tony and the gang in their humble homes in the Garden State and explores the astonishing amount of great films, TV shows, and other pop-culture wonders that any fan of the Sopranos will love. From The Godfather and Bonnie and Clyde to The Wire, to lesser-known noirs, Jimmy Cagney classics, contemporary HBO dramas, Martin Scorsese’s best work, and even the rock’n'roll that inspired the classic Sopranos soundtrack, this is the one book that every fan needs if he or she ever has to go on the lam. Available for purchase here.