“Smash” Inspired By Garson Kanin Novel

Noel Murray tells us: ‘In my relentless pursuit of pop culture k-nowledge (that “k” is not silent), I recently scoured the used-book section of the Internet, and turned up the Garson Kanin novel on which “Smash” is reportedly based. Here’s the first thing you need to know about the book: It has very little in common with the TV series, outside of the title, and the fact that both are about the mounting of a Broadway musical. The second thing you need to know: The novel is terrrrrrible. This is not to besmirch Kanin’s name. I mean, the man wrote “Born Yesterday,” and co-wrote the screenplay for “Adam’s Rib.” That’s who he is. But “Smash: A Novel” is one of those scandalous, soapy bestsellers that was all the rage in the Joan Collins era—the ones with a gratuitous sex scene every few pages—and Kanin seemed to be filling in the blanks in some kind of a trash-fiction version of MadLibs.’

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