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CalMeacham
08-29-2001, 03:40 PM
I just noticed today that there are new editions out of BOTH Pierre Boule's novel Planet of the Apes and the bastard novelization of the movie, evidently intended for people who are annoyed when the movie plot differs from the book it's based on.See here for details:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/006107635X/qid=999114924/sr=1-3/ref=sc_b_3/002-3059959-3780808


This is the first time I know of that a movie tie-in novelization AND the original were marketeed atthe same time. Until the 1970s they just republished the book, even if they changed it for the movies. But in the1970s they started producing movie novelizations in place of the originals -- The Island of Dr. Moreau (by the ubiquitous Alan Dean Foster, in place of H.G. Wells' original), the James Bond tie-ins The Spy who Loved Me and Moonraker, both by Christopher Wood, who wrote the screenplays. After that there were no Bond tie-ins until John Gardner's License to Kill, another novelization. (Although there was no reasaon not to republish For Your Eyes Only or Thunderball (for Never Say Never Again),both ofwhich were pretty faithful.)

Ugly trend, I say. Even if the novel and the movie don't agree (as with Bladerunner/Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?) it's worth reading the original to see how and why it was changed.

Zanshin
08-29-2001, 03:48 PM
Interesting -- I've read DADOES? but never knew there was a direct novelization of Blade Runner. (I was very surprised when reading DADOES? after having seen the Blade Runner movie and seeing just how different they really were.)

An ugly trend indeed, considering that most every novelization of a movie turns out badly. F'rinstance, most sci-fi or fantasy novelizations seem to be written by Alan Dean Foster, another author who IMNSHO is little more than a hack. (With the exception of the Spellsinger series and a few notable others, but I digress...) I've given up reading any novelizations because they're just plain disappointing. They'll never be as rich or fulfilling as the original novels that the movies are based on (or even as the movies themselves are).

CalMeacham
08-29-2001, 03:51 PM
Sorry if I wasn't clear -- they simply released DADOES with a Bladerunner cover -- it was novelized (is that a word?) -- the exception to the rule. Damned near everything else is, though. Usually by Alan Dean Foster.

dropzone
08-29-2001, 03:55 PM
Six Days of the Condor became Three Days of the Condor to agree with the movies title, but without cutting the book in half. Three days outside, six days inside.

Drastic
08-29-2001, 03:56 PM
Movie novelizations are lame. I don't think they'll cause the downfall of civilization though.

What I get far more worked up about is that it's impossible to go to the sci-fi section in any bookstore, without half of it being consumed in Star TWraerks drek. Over the past several years, it's spread like kudzu.

lno
08-29-2001, 04:01 PM
I lost all hope for the future of our species when I saw the novelization of the movie adaptation of Frankenstein in the bookstore.

There, there. There, there.

Zanshin
08-29-2001, 04:01 PM
Cal, your OP was clear... I just misread it. Whoops. (That'll learn me. Maw, get me my readin' specs!)

I actually like some of Alan Dean Foster's non-novelization stuff -- I'm thinking the Spellsinger series, To the Vanishing Point and Stranded on Prism specifically. It's just sad when you see an author with some genuine talent get sucked in doing crappy novelizations; but then again, it's gotta be easy work. Read a script, write a novel directly from said script, repeat. </hijack>

And regarding Star Wars novels... there are some good ones. They're the exception, not the rule, however. (Check out the Rogue Squadron and Wraith Squadron series. Michael Stackpole, an excellent author, started the series and it continued well into the tenth book, where I left off. Good stuff, and much better than most of the other SW crapola.) As for Star Trek... I stay as far away from those as possible. The crapitude of those books is matched only by novels based on gaming systems, such as Shadowrun, Dragonlance, et al.

Moirai
08-29-2001, 04:20 PM
Why do the people who read these bastardizations even read books?!?

Go watch another movie and don't strain your brain on anything that requires thought or a time commitment of more than 2 hours.

Arrrrgghhhhh.

Sorry. I know there are great movies, I love them. But this just shows the dumbing down of popular culture.

"But honey, that wasn't in the movie!" You're right, it wasn't. This book has a plot, some character development, and no gratuitous sex or violence. You wouldn't like it.

Of course, on the other hand, I still get bent when I see a bad movie that bears no resemblence to a great book, but that makes me a snob, not a slob, right? Right?

Agrippina
08-29-2001, 05:32 PM
I used to read movie novlizations all the time---when I was ten (and I think even back then I thought they were lame). The only one I actually like is The Omen by David Seltzer, but he also wrote the screenplay, so that's a plus. I managed to get this book in a used bookstore and am waiting for the others in the Trilogy.

Kvallulf
08-29-2001, 05:42 PM
Originally posted by The Infraggable Krunk
Cal
The crapitude of those books is matched only by novels based on gaming systems, such as Shadowrun, Dragonlance, et al.

You Go slap yourself now! Bad Krunk! Bad! The orignal Dragonlance series were a thousand times better than any SW novel, hell most of the Shadowrun books are better than most of the SW novels. The orignal Shadowrun trilogy was written by Stackpole.

**Tosses a grenade in Krunk's tent**

CalMeacham
08-29-2001, 08:04 PM
Krunk:

I agree ith you about oster's early stiuff. I liked the Flinx Books (The Tar-Aiym Krang, etc.). They feel a LOT like Star Wars stuff. I always thought there was a lot of flimx in Luke Skywalker, and vice-versa. In that vein, there is a widespread belief that Alan Dean Foster ghost-wrote the novelization [B]Star Wars that was publshed under George Lucas' name. Certainly he wrote the first Star Wars novel, Splinter of the Mind's Eye, and that would have been a lot easier if he'd already had access to the script -- the book SotME came out less tha a year after SW. (Itwasn't his first movie novelization, even if true. He'd already done Dark Star before 1977.)


As far as novelizations go, all I can say is that I'm glad they didn't rewrite The Scarlet Letter with the sappy happy nding after the Demi Moore version came out.

ChockFullOfHeadyGoodness
08-29-2001, 08:14 PM
Back in 1992 I wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry when I spotted the following cover at the bookstore:
Bram Stoker's Dracula by some other guy

The best part was the lines of text at the bottom, something like "The novel of the film by the hack based on the screenplay by some other hack from the novel by Bram Stoker"

delphica
08-29-2001, 08:57 PM
Yes, the moment I lost all hope was when the most recent film version of Little Women was released and there was a big marketing blitz of a Little Women novelization.

I ask you, what kind of literary bottom-feeder needs Louisa May Alcott dumbed down? Now I love Louisa May Alcott, but it should be pointed out that a seven year old can read and understand Little Women. If you can read the Family Circus comic, you can read Little Women in its original form. It pained me to see this trash in bookstores.

GuanoLad
08-29-2001, 09:22 PM
Originally posted by CalMeacham
In that vein, there is a widespread belief that Alan Dean Foster ghost-wrote the novelization Star Wars that was publshed under George Lucas' name.

It's not a rumour. Foster wrote an introduction to the Graphic Novel version of Splinter of the Mind's Eye where he detailed some of the tale of his being hired to write the novel of the original Star Wars.

Kamino Neko
08-29-2001, 09:59 PM
I was in the book store the other day, and saw 'Planet of the Apes', thought 'Cool, I've been meaning to read that for a while.', looked at the cover.

It's a nfbsking novelization of the movie.

::Sigh::

Protesilaus
08-29-2001, 11:32 PM
Originally posted by ChockFullOfHeadyGoodness
Back in 1992 I wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry when I spotted the following cover at the bookstore:
Bram Stoker's Dracula by some other guy

The best part was the lines of text at the bottom, something like "The novel of the film by the hack based on the screenplay by some other hack from the novel by Bram Stoker"

I recall reading somewhere (I'll see if I can find it) that this was because the film completely changed the entire theme and message of the novel while at the same time proclaiming to be a faithful rendition of it, and they were just covering their ass, or something like that. The Dracula in the film is portrayed as a kind of tragic anti-hero and force of sexual freedom as opposed to the out-and-out monster of sexual corruption from the book. Mina in the book has to be coerced into drinking Dracula's blood when he threatens to kill her husband, but in the movie, she asks to become a vampire, and Dracula refuses! (He doesn't want to because he loves her too much to condemn her to vampiredom.)

Badtz Maru
08-30-2001, 04:45 AM
"Total Recall" was loosely based on a Phillip K. Dick story ""We Can Remember It For You Wholesale" and had a TERRIBLE novelization written by Piers Anthony.

CalMeacham
08-30-2001, 06:26 AM
"Total Recall" was loosely based on a Phillip K. Dick story ""We Can Remember It For You Wholesale" and had a TERRIBLE novelization written by Piers Anthony.


I never read the novelization, but heard it was terrible, especially the flashback to the aliens who built the atmosphere plant.

I read the Philip K. Dick story long before the movie came out. It was interesting, but not sufficient to sustain a movie. (And the hero was more a Woody Allen type than a Schwartzenegger type.) I always felt that most of the plot was lifted from Robert Sheckley's novel The Status Civilization(a guy dropped into a society on a frontier world, people playing tricks with your memory, sympathetic deformed mutants with mental abilities who can tell you your real past, a hero that everyone is irrationally trying to kill, etc.), with the ending stolen from Edgar Rice Burroughs' A Princess of Mars (An Atmosphere Plant?? On Mars??).

Rue DeDay
08-30-2001, 09:32 AM
Just a note on DADOES? and Blade Runner.

When the movie came out, yes, there was a re-release of DADOES?, but was there a novelization of the movie too?

In 1995 Blade Runner 2: The Edge of Human by K. W. Jeter was released. It is a continuation of Blade Runner. Kinda.

It sorta blends the original novel and the movie and goes on from where the movie left off. Sorta.

This really has nothing to do with the OP, but it's a weird novel to movie to cheap paperback thing. Taken one step further.


-Rue.

matt_mcl
08-30-2001, 09:33 AM
My "favourite" was when I saw a poster for A Midsummer-night's Dream whereon the billing-box text said, "Read the book from Random House," or wherever.

I did not need to be told that.

Zanshin
08-30-2001, 10:03 AM
You Go slap yourself now! Bad Krunk! Bad! The orignal Dragonlance series were a thousand times better than any SW novel, hell most of the Shadowrun books are better than most of the SW novels. The orignal Shadowrun trilogy was written by Stackpole.

Actually, the original Shadowrun trilogy was written by Robert Charrette, and it was the biggest piece of el stinko I've ever read. I'll agree with you regarding the original Dragonlance series, but like all gaming-based book series, it has succumbed to mediocrity. (Come on, what's this Fifth age stuff? Weis and Hickman should have sore arms from beating that particular dead horse.) And as for the Shadowrun books, they're hit-or-miss; the ones by Stackpole and Nigel Findlay are fantastic, but a lot of the others are pretty lame.

Okay, done hijacking. :)

CalMeacham
08-30-2001, 10:16 AM
When the movie came out, yes, there was a re-release of DADOES?, but was there a novelization of the movie too?


Rue de Day: They re-released the novel DADOES with the movie poster as a cover when the film came out in 1982. It's still in print that way (Sometimes sf books with movie tie-in covers stay that way forever. Planet of the Apes, Fantastic Voyage, and 2001: A Space Odyssey were in print in their tie-in covers for twenty years or more). It was not subjected to "Novelization". What I really like is that, in this case, the publishers placed a Note inside that said, in effect, that the book differed from the movie, and that we hope you like both. It's the only case I know of where they published the original novel and publicly acknowledged the difference (unlike Planet of the Apes, or Diamonds are Forever, where they published the original novel with a tie-in cover and gave no notice of the differences.)

Fretful Porpentine
08-30-2001, 10:25 AM
The one that made me weep for the future of humanity was the novelization of Great Expectations. Shudder.

Ellen Cherry
08-30-2001, 11:26 AM
Thanks to everyone who gave me a flashback to the age of 10, when I read the novelization of "Saturday Night Fever." That "book" read like description audio for the blind. ("Then Tony walked to his mirror with his shirt off. He said, 'Al Pacino!' His grandmother saw him and hid her eyes. 'Attica! Attica' Tony said." Perhaps it was at this moment that I first realized I had the critical capacity to recognize bad writing.

As a side note, I thought Coppola's Dracula movie sucked. <rim shot>

E-Sabbath
08-30-2001, 12:10 PM
There have been excellent novelizations of movies that were made from books. Certainly.
I can even name one.
William Goldman's The Princess Bride, from the film, from the novel by S. Morgenstern.

What?

Why are you all looking at me like that?

CalMeacham
08-30-2001, 12:18 PM
There have been excellent novelizations of movies that were made from books. Certainly.
I can even name one.


Okay, E-Sabbath's being funny for us. But I have heard that there are good novelizations out there. I haven't read these myself, but...


The Abyss by Orson Scott Card (!) Supposed to be pretty good.

A Study in Terror by Ellery Queen (!!) -- the mystery writer (actually, the team of two writing as one) tackles the movie about Sherlock Holmes meets Jack the Ripper. Also supposed to be pretty good.

I have to admit that I've read Isaac Asimov's Fantastic Voyage and Clarke's 2001 and liked both.

I felt compelled to read Alan Dean Foster's Clash of the Titans, but wasn't particularly impressed by it.

TheeGrumpy
08-31-2001, 06:24 PM
Originally posted by CalMeacham
The Abyss by Orson Scott Card (!) Supposed to be pretty good.

I'll vouch for this one. First off, it's rather unique because the book contains lengthy afterwords by Card and James Cameron. According to these remarks, Card insisted that he would not do a novelization unless it could be done right.

The first three chapters are background for the characters, and Card fleshes out the alien society more. Besides that, everything else parallels the movie, almost shot for shot. He wrote from the movie as it was edited, not from the screenplay.

I had read the novel before seeing the movie. Since the book includes The Wave sequence from the extended ending, I knew what was missing from the theatrical version by the time I saw it. Consequently, I wasn't as disappointed as other viewers, because I knew what the movie was actually building up to.

If novelizations must be done, they should be done like The Abyss.