Ridley Scott’s smash hit Gladiator is sparking another kind of revival: the sword-and-sandal book. Billing it as ”the original Gladiator,” ibooks is reissuing a mass-market paperback edition of Howard Fast’s Spartacus, which publisher Byron Preiss calls ”the mother lode of the whole gladiator epic field.” Fast, who is still going strong at 85 (his latest novel, Greenwich, has just been published by Harcourt), is happy to see his 1951 novel make a comeback but thinks there’s a world of difference between his slave uprising story and what he’s read of the stylized violence of Gladiator. ”In my story and the film [Spartacus] we tried to understand and be true to history,” he says. ”Gladiator is just confused butchery. It has no inner message, no purpose.” Those looking for an inner message from the movie could skip the novelization (just published by Onyx) and the illustrated companion (Newmarket Press) and go straight to The Spiritual Teachings of Marcus Aurelius, which HarperCollins is promoting as a rather high-minded Gladiator tie-in (the Stoic philosopher and Roman emperor is played in the movie by Richard Harris). ”The tie-in is a product of cosmic synergy that we actually had nothing to do with,” admits Marjorie Braman, HarperCollins executive editor, who acquired the modern reinterpretation, by Monty Python producer Mark Forstater, long before Gladiator was in the news.
Posted May 26 2000 — 12:00 AM EDT
- 'Glee' cast reunites for Becca Tobin's wedding in sweet photos
- Emma Stone leads a very bad theatre showcase in 'SNL' sketch
- 'SNL' and Emma Stone give Christmas candles a holiday theme song
- 'Saturday Night Live' searches for Hillary Clinton in the woods
- Jennifer Aniston confronts Vanessa Bayer over Rachel impression
- Donald Trump slams 'SNL' for sketch about his tweets
- Country singer Granger Smith hospitalized after on stage fall
- The 'Office Christmas Party' Cast Decks the Halls With Merry Mayhem
- The Best Gifts For 'Gilmore Girls' Fans
- See Exclusive Photos From Star-Studded Performances of 'Oh, Hello'
- 35 Photos of Britney Spears For Her 35th Birthday
- 12 Stars Who Are EGOT Winners
- 10 Celebs Who Appeared on 'Star Search' Before They Made It Big