I bought this book for my mother, a DOOL fan since the beginning of the show, for Christmas. She is 77-years-old and is in a nursing home. I had believed this to be a pictorial history of 45 years of the show, but there are very, very few photos of anything from the past. It’s almost all present time, with the current cast. The photos are very nice, but this is NOT a history of the show, by any means. If you want to stroll down Memory Lane, this won’t do it for you. I think it is a disappointment for long-time fans.
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The cover photo is a good indication of the main focus of this book— Present day set & behind the scenes photos. The paper is high quality, thick & glossy pages, but the space could have been used much better. This book gives you a tiny glimpse at the history of Days of Our Lives, but does not showcase it. The title is misleading since only the first 55 pages are dedicated to the first 44 years and the remaining 198 pages are modern day behind the scenes snapshots. Some are interesting, but others are simply page filler. I was hoping for a more balanced, complete retrospective, and this just falls short. Not enough pages are dedicated to the history of the show to do it proper justice. I’ve only been watching for about 15 years & I noticed a lot missing. I was shocked by the absence of Tony & Anna DiMera, Belle & Shawn Brady, and Grandpa Shawn Brady. And I was disappointed to not see popular side characters like Lexi’s psychic mother Celeste, Stefano’s crazy Dr. Rolf, Vivian’s old partner in crime Ivan, or Hope’s recent partner Dr. Baker. It’s just disgraceful to omit so much of the show’s rich history from a 45th anniversary book! The layout could use some work too. The book is roughly organized into 5 sections:
1. In the Beginning (pg 3-15): Vintage black & white photos from the 1960′s-1970′s
2. Introduction (pg 16-33): Random photos from the 1960′s to the 2000′s
3. Romance (pg 34-43): A few pages of popular couples
4. Weddings (pg 44-55): A few pages of weddings
5. A Day in Our Life (pg 56-253): Modern day behind the scenes photos; a lot from Alice’s memorial taping
Maybe they were under a strict time schedule, but when you have a picture from 1974 on one page, one from 2002 on the next, and a couple from 1986 on the page after that, it gives the book a thrown together feeling. A lot of photos were given an entire page which is nice for good quality shots, but wasteful for others that could have been scaled down to make room for better pictures. Not much text included with this, only photo captions. That’s not a problem, although a character/cast list or list of most popular storylines would have been a nice addition. Overall this book is not a complete waste, because there are some nice photos, but I’m glad I borrowed a copy rather than bought one. If the title were more accurate like “Days of Our Lives: Behind the Scenes of the 45th year” then fans wouldn’t have a false impression of what to expect. Then the first 55 pages would be a nice added bonus rather than an insufficient portrayal of the past.
The major selling point for this book are its great pictures, mostly reflecting the show’s history over the last decade. It is a nicely (and very professionally) laid out volume which includes candids and studio shots that mix reality with what the viewer sees on tv. Current fans of the show will enjoy it, but the long time fans will be disappointed because this book pretty much ignores the glory days when Doc and Grandma Horton drove the show and the soap was populated with actors like Ed Mallory, Susan Flannery, Mac Carey, Bill Hayes, and Susan Seaforth
The negative part of this book for me is that I wish there had been more pictures that graphically illustrated the show’s entire history from its inception. I would have liked to have seen pictures equally distributed by decade with an accompanying blurb about the actors and plots driving the show. I think it would have added an overall sense of continuity. The title implies that this is a photographic tribute to 45 years of DOOL. Truthfully, it pretty much just promotes the current cast and story lines.
This is a good coffee table book, but it could have been so much better.