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WALTER TREVIS
The Man Who Fell to Earth


next Bowie book

dedication: For Jamie who knows Anthea better than I

Pan, London, 1976 (© 1963)
(price: 60p; 176 pages)


The blurb on the back:

Why did Newton need half a billion dollars quickly?
What was the secret behind his revolutionary intentions?
What was the master plan conceived in another part of the solar system?
Must Newton be destroyed by jealousy, mistrust and suspicion, or can he save two worlds from destruction - Earth and his own planet?


the other man
first UK edition
the other man
1990s edition

The book: A classic sci-fi novel by the author of The Hustler, in which an alien arrives on Earth and tries to start a space programme to take water back to his home planet. This edition comes with an iconic painting of Bowie by George Underwood.

The film: Directed in typically fractured style by Nicholas Roeg (who clearly liked the style and/or hipness of rock stars, since he also worked with Mick Jagger in Performance and Art Garfunkel in Bad Timing). It took the somewhat slim novel into fantastic realms of myth and fairy tale.

The role: Bowie plays the alien, Thomas Jerome Newton, and he's suitably blank and impenetrable.

The co-stars: Rip Torn, of Larry Sanders fame, and Candy Clark, later in the wonderful Q - The Winged Serpent, but here giving the performance of her career as the very epitome of poor white trash.

Most memorable image: Bowie in full-frontal nudity (flaccid, unfortunately) waving a gun around to the sounds of Ricky Nelson's 'Hello, Mary Lou'.

Star rating from the Radio Times Guide to Films:

Star rating from the Blockbuster Guide to Movies and Videos:

Star rating from the Virgin Film Guide:

Trivia: Bowie was nominated as Best Actor in the Evening News British Film Awards, alongside John Alderton for It Shouldn't Happen to a Vet, Michael Caine for The Man Who Would Be King, Kenneth More for The Slipper and the Rose, Peter Sellers for The Return of the Pink Panther and Robert Shaw for Jaws.
Candy Clark was quoted as saying: 'All that talk about David Bowie being bisexual is a lot of rubbish. It's strictly for the press. I can tell you from first hand experience, David is as masculine as any man.' On the other hand, she also said: 'He's lousy at kissing. Every time we'd kiss he'd stick his tongue out all around my gums. It was as though he were cleaning my teeth.' I guess you pay your money and you take your choice (not that I had to pay, of course).

Hey Hey, We're the Newtons
The Newton Family


HE, AN ACTOR
DAVID BOWIE'S FILM CAREER IN BOOKS

Man Who Fell to Earth
The Man Who Fell to Earth
1976
Just a Gigolo
Just a Gigolo
1978
Christiane F
H: Christiane F
1981
Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence
Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence
1982
The Hunger
The Hunger
1983
Absolute Beginners
Absolute Beginners
1986
Labyrinth
Labyrinth
1986


a brief resumé of Bowie's career

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