The Brady Bunch
in Return to New York
Tiger Beat, Hollywood, 1972
The blurb on the back:
Mike Brady has to go to New York on business and as a special surprise he tells the entire Brady Bunch (including Alice) that he's taking them with him! They're going to be staying at the home of an old friend of Mike's (who also has a 16-year-old daughter - just the right age for Greg).
Despite the claim on the cover that they were 'TV's most exciting family', they, er, weren't. You'll remember The Brady Bunch, of course so I don't need to explain the programme. (If you don't remember, I wouldn't worry about it - there are more important things for you to worry about.) All it really comes down to is that if you were of the right age at the time, it was a perfectly harmless series that strained every sinew to pretend that Vietnam and black power and student unrest simply didn't exist, that the Eisenhower years were still with us, and that architects were valued members of society. It was a bit of fluff that was neither here, nor - in any real sense - there.
Back in 1969-70 there was a series of five spin-off novels, written - you won't be surprised to hear - by our old friend William Johnston, but this was the second of a 1972 trilogy published by Tiger Beat, America's leading teen-mag. It's not very good. In fact, it's terrible. Apart from anything else, there are simply too many characters - in a book of this length, a central cast of nine people is way too many. Compared to, say, Enid Blyton's Famous Five, it's a confusing mess.
That reference on the back to Jack Matcha being a 'Hollywood mystery writer' is accurate, by the way. He had written stuff for Gold Medal, as well as this fabulous looking book - which has little connexion with The Brady Bunch - featured on the Java's Bachelor Pad website:
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: 2/5
HIPNESS QUOTIENT: 3/5