Schama on America – read the book, skip the TV series

Before my last overseas trip, I loaded Simon Schama’s book “The American Future” onto my Kindle.
I enjoyed it immensely: a witty ramble across the history and geography of the United States, neatly linked to the momentous political events of late 2008. Highly recommended. Soon afterwards, Kate got it out of the library, and she too enjoyed it. And then we wondered. We’d enjoyed several of Schama’s earlier TV series – on art, and British history – and it seemed plausible that the book of “The American Future” might be tied to a BBC TV series. That’s the way the media business seems to work these days. We checked, and indeed it was, and the DVDs were available. So we ordered them from Netflix. They arrived a couple of days ago.
Oh dear.
Well, there was some beautiful photography. Lots of shots of American landscapes, often with Simon Schama gazing thoughtfully out across the prairie, or the river, or the mountain. But the narrative was slow, and the editing repetitive, and the whole thing was simply dull. Deadly dull. Tedious.
So skip the DVD, but get the book. It’s magnificent. And it’s cheaper.