The Continuous Katherine Mortenhoe – (1974) – D.G. Compton

The Continuous Katherine Mortenhoe – (1974) – D.G. Compton
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Bertrand Tavernier based his 1980 film Deathwatch on this 1974 novel. In the film Romy Schneider plays a dying woman whose last days are watched on national television via a camera implanted in the brain of a journalist Harvey Keitel.

David Guy Compton (1930 – ) is a British author. He often writes science fiction set in the near future. He published his first science fiction novel, The Quality of Mercy, in 1965. He has not become hugely popular, but did achieve some recognition after co-writing a SF novel, Ragnarok, with Dr. John Gribbin.

He has written murder mysteries as Guy Compton (the first in 1962) and even a few romance novels as Frances Lynch.

In Bertrand Tavernier’s Death Watch (1980), Romy Schneider plays the dying heroine with the doubly punning surname Catherine Mortenhoe, whose death is being recorded on national TV in an ongoing soap opera of morbid video verité. — Garrett Stewart via Between Film and Screen: Modernism’s Photo Synthesis (2000)

A review:

I’ve read two novels by British writer D. G. Compton: Synthajoy (1968) and The Continuous Katherine Mortenhoe (1974; also published as The Unsleeping Eye). Both novels deal with ethical problems raised by the use of technology to eavesdrop on human emotions. Both emphasize the human rather than the scientific side of the story, and they experiment with the subjective viewpoint of the narrator in a way reminiscent of Philip K. Dick. However, Compton’s writing style is more refined than Dick’s, which also makes it harder to overlook the implausibility of the technical innovations posited in each novel. –Glenn Frantz via [Oct 2006]

See also: reality TVDeathwatch1974televisionvoyeurism