then came
BRONSON

NOVELS


Three novels were published in the U.S.:
... THEN CAME BRONSON
THEN CAME BRONSON #2: THE TICKET
THEN CAME BRONSON #3: ROCK!

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... THEN CAME BRONSON takes place in the (fictional) town of Hallville, Kansas, where Bronson helps a town that is trying to sandbag itself against a flooding river.
It was published by Pyramid Books/Pyramid Publishing, with the number, #511-02106-075, "First printing, December 1969."

The cover reads:
A rebel without a cause -- The trill-spinning adventures of a young man and his big bike
... THEN CAME BRONSON
by William Johnston
Based on the sensational NBC-TV series

The back cover reads:
Don't miss the fast, free-wheeling, NBC hit series starring Michael Parks
JUST JIM AND HIS HARLEY
...tooling down Route 12, going anywhere, nowhere, everywhere. Outside, grooving, feeling alive and free and with it. No strings to tie him down. No chicks to hang him up ...
And then along comes Ellen -- with her long dark hair, her red Corvette and her crazy ideas about kicks and He-Men ...
And Laurie -- with her elfin face, cool capability, and dangerous promises of security ...
And suddenly there goes Bronson, headlong over the side into a two-for-the-road block, in a town on the brink of disaster, playing the lead role in a drama of human passions that explodes into a nightmare.

And inside:
THE REAL THING ... Ellen was bored, rich and determined to have the man she couldn't break -- THEN ALONG CAME BRONSON


THEN CAME BRONSON #2: THE TICKET takes place in the (possibly real) town of Dewitt Center, New York, on Bronson's way back from working in a Vermont ski area.
It was published by Pyramid Books/Pyramid Publishing, with the number, #511-02213-075, "First printing, April 1970."

The cover reads:
The Easy-Riding Rebel is trapped in a town too small for anything but trouble
THE TICKET
THEN CAME BRONSON #2
by Chris Stratton
Based on the smash-hit NBC-TV series

The back cover reads:
SPINNING OUT
It all started when Jim's bike careened off the main drag into the woods and spun him into a tinderbox called Dewitt Center -- a little town with a lot of tough bikes and no love for strangers.
Bronson should have known what he was in for when his first ride in local limits led him into a freaked-out motorcycle gang and the Dewitt Center jail. But it wasn't until he got to know the wild, bored, thrill-seeking daughter of one of Dewitt's most upstanding citizens that he realized just how dangerous any fast spin-out in a small town could be...


THEN CAME BRONSON #3: ROCK! takes place in "early November," somewhere on the way out of Phoenix, Arizona, in the general direction of Las Vegas, Nevada, east of Lake Havasu, and just beyond the "Pinto Range" of mountains, at "the big rock bash at Lake Sands." Bronson "had spent the previous summer in New England," in "New Hampshire."
It was published by Pyramid Books/Pyramid Publishing, with the number, #515-2259-75, "First printing, July 1970."

The front cover [which has a photo from the pilot movie!] reads:
A swinging rock festival with bad vibrations leads Bronson into an explosive soul-spinning adventure
[Have you noticed there's alot of "spinning" going on in these books?!]
ROCK!
THEN CAME BRONSON #3
by Chris Stratton
Based on the smash-hit NBC-TV series

The back cover reads:
FOLK ROCK FREAK-OUT
The rock festival at Lake Sands was supposed to be the biggest ever. It was a weekend bash and everybody was going to be there -- everybody, that is, except Bronson. Bronson was on the move and had no intention of cooling his gears.
But all of a sudden the whole scene was headed for a bad trip to nowhere... and there was a groovy maxi-blonde folk singer with big problems... and a strange-little-rich-girl with weird ideas... and a savage bike gang out for a lot more than kicks... and as if that wasn't enough to keep Bronson around, the local fuzz seemed more than anxious to find ways to make him stay and face the music...
DON'T MISS MICHAEL PARKS AS BRONSON IN NBC'S SMASH-HIT TV SERIES


There were editions of at least two of these novels published in England. The first American title was issued by the New English Library Limited, as
THEN CAME BRONSON:
"FIRST NEL PAPERBACK EDITION JANUARY 1971"
"NEL 2843"

The cover reads:
Once there was a time when all Angels came from Heaven...
THEN CAME BRONSON
WILLIAM JOHNSTON

On the back cover:
Big Jim's bike was the centre of his life. The solid feel of the machine between his legs, the purr of the beautiful stripped-down beast beneath him, put a song in his heart and a breeze through his flowing hair.
["centre"??? You can tell this comes from England. But "his flowing hair"??? Did these guys even see the show?!?!?]
To Bronson his Harley Davidson was what took him from where he'd been to where he was going, from what he was to what he was going to become. And then along came Ellen, with her long dark hair, her blazing red sports car and some crazy ideas about fun. And Laurie, with her elfin face, cool capability and a dangerous promise of security. And suddenly there goes Bronson, heading for the brink of disaster.
This is the second in NEL's thrilling series of Bronson books.


Thanks to Greg Kelley of Minnesota for copies of these books, and the following descriptions of the three British titles:
...Then Came Bronson. ["..." appears only on the title page, not the cover]
William Johnston. New English Library, 2843. 1971, c1969. 126p
[Although this appears to be a British edition of the first US title, the back cover identifies it as the "second in NEL's thrilling series of Bronson books"; however, note the book number as opposed to those of the other titles.]

Bronson: The Ticket.
Chris Stratton. New English Library, 00594. 1970. 128p
[British edition of second US title, although it *may* have been published first. Also note "abbreviated" title.]

Rock!
Chris Stratton. New English Library, 00701. 1971, c1970. 128p
[British edition of the third US title; again, book number makes publication sequence confusing. Also note "abbreviated" title]


Now, is it just me or do these books seem to have nothing in common with the TV show? I sometimes wonder if the authors took biker book manuscripts that they'd already written and just changed the main character to "Jim Bronson."
Oh, well. No reason to pop a vessel. Enjoy them if you can.



Updates, as of March 1, 1999, for the above New English Library versions...
Some important things to note, 1) the covers are noticeably different, including the book titles. The second and third ones (THE TICKET and ROCK!) are not given the "Then Came Bronson #__" designations, but just "BRONSON"; 2) They were not published in the same order as the ones in the US; 3) The inside text is set in a different type font and size than the US version, and the book ROCK! contains one typographical error that I noticed the first time I opened the book. (This makes me wonder if there are any differences in the actual content of the text - but I have better things to do at the moment than to read them side by side).

The first one listed above, THEN CAME BRONSON, seems to have been the second one published overseas, after the one entitled THE TICKET. Here is the info from the front cover and the inside copyright page:
[Front cover]
NEL 2843 NEW ENGLISH LIBRARY
Once there was a time when all Angels came from Heaven... THEN CAME BRONSON
FIRST NEL PAPERBACK EDITION JANUARY 1971
45000650 6

===================
The one entitled THE TICKET has the following info:
On the front cover, the designation "NEL 2809", and "Here comes BRONSON; Easy riding rebel Jim Bronson kicks up a storm in a small town... and gets what's coming to him."

Inside,
FIRST NEL PAPERBACK EDITION SEPTEMBER 1970
and the number 45000594 1

On the back cover is the following:
When big Jim's bike careers off the highway and smashes through the thickets into Dewitt, anyone can see there'll be hell to pay.

The town of Dewitt hates strangers. Especially one who gets tangled up with the nubile, thrill seeking daughter of its most upstanding citizen. But then, maybe hell is a price that Bronson can afford...

"The Ticket" is the first in an exciting new series of Bronson novels.

[Note the misspelling of the word "careen" which was spelled correctly on the back cover of the US version. Maybe the NEL's proofreader was busy having tea. In the thickets.]

===================
The third one, ROCK!, has the following info:
On the cover,
A brand new Bronson adventure, by the author of 'The Ticket'
Inside,
FIRST NEL EDITION JUNE 1971
and the number 45000701 4.
Other Bronson titles available in the NEL series
THE TICKET by Chris Stratton
THEN CAME BRONSON by William Johnston

On the back cover is the following:
When easy-riding Jim Bronson heads his motorcycle past the giant open-air rock festival at Lake Sands, he has every intention of staying far out of its way. But suddenly the festival becomes more than an untidy crowd of tripping-out teenagers, and Bronson finds himself lured into its web.

At first, it's only a psychedelic weekend with a groovy blonde folksinger and a strange-little-rich-girl.... but both of them want to pull Bronson into their own private nightmares.

Then he tangles with a savage bike gang out for more than kicks, and the love carnival turns into a side-trip to destruction....

===================
Here are front-cover scans of the NEL version books, THE TICKET and ROCK!


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This page updated March 1, 1999 . . . . . . . . . this web page copyright 1998 & 1999 by jonpf@thecia.net