Friday, October 01, 2010

RIP - Stephen J. Cannell

The Associated Press announced that Stephen J. Cannell died yesterday, at 69, of complications from melanoma.

Cannell was a model for anyone who suffered from dyslexia, since he went on to write hundreds of television scripts, and numerous books.

He created or co-created almost forty television series, mostly crime dramas, such as The Rockford Files, The A-Team, 21 Jump Street, and The Commish.  I watched so many of his shows.  But, in the long run, the best tribute I can think of, that might be different from others, is to rerun a review I once did of my favorite book by Cannell, King Con.

Two years ago, I reviewed King Con for a feature called Friday's "Forgotten" Books.

Today, for Friday's "Forgotten" Books, a number of bloggers are talking about books that they "feel are unfairly obscure, or at least important enough to write a brief blurb touting them to the assembled blogosphere."

No one would call Stephen J. Cannell's King Con an important book. However, as a public librarian, it's a book that has proven to be successful for me to use with almost every reader. Emmy Award winner Stephen J. Cannell is the person behind TV hits, "The Rockford Files," "The Commish," "Wiseguy," and "The A-Team." In King Con, he created a character every reader wants to cheer for, Beano X. Bates.

Beano X. Bates is king of the con man, until he messes with the wrong man, a Mafia don who doesn't take kindly to his loss in a card game. After Beano is almost beaten to death, he decides to leave the business. But, with the murder of his cousin, Beano is determined to pull one last big con, and ruin the crime boss. Together with a beautiful prosecutor, and a wonderful cast of characters, Beano X. Bates designs the perfect last job, to prove he is still King Con.

It's a book for anyone who enjoyed "The Sting" or "The A-Team." I never found the other Cannell books as interesting, but King Con is a winner.

King Con by Stephen J. Cannell. William Morrow and Company, Inc., ©1997. ISBN 9780688147761 (hardcover), 407p.

RIP, Stephen J. Cannell. And, thank you for many years of reading and viewing pleasure.


Man of la Books said...

May he rest in peace.

Stephen J. Cannell, is also the man behind the bestselling Shane Scully Series.

le0pard13 said...

A fine tribute, Lesa. I've never read one of his books, loved the TV series this man produced (including one of my all-time favorites, THE ROCKFORD FILES). People I know who knew him always had great things to say about Stephen J. Cannell. I think I'll have to take you up on KING CON. Thanks for this.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Man of la Books. He brought so much viewing and reading pleasure to so many people.

Lesa said...

Like you, Michael, I loved his TV series, and watched so many of them. He has a new book in his Shane Scully series, but King Con was the book I loved. If you read it, I'd love to know what you think.

Mason Canyon said...

A great loss for both the book and television worlds. I always enjoyed his television series, especially Hardcastle and McCormick. There was a young lady from my hometown that wrote for that show. I also enjoyed seeing him recently on episodes of Castle.

Thoughts in Progress

Lesa said...

Somewhere, Mason, is a list of all his series, and I'm going to have to look them up. I know there were a number of them I liked. His death is a great loss for all of us who love crime drama and good TV.

caite said...

gosh, I had not heard this!
I loved the Rockford Files at one time....

Lesa said...

I'm so sorry, Caite. It was such a loss.