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PROS & CONS OF THE 'RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK' NOVELIZATION

Harrison Ford battles Pat Roach while producer Frank Marshall looks on
What makes a good novelization? One word: Flow.... If the writing flows well, then it really doesn't matter how many times you've seen the movie, or how good the movie was on screen compared to the printed page...

In that, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, written by Campbell Black, is a good novelization because the already excellent story and incredible movie is here turned into a high octane pulp adventure...

Year; 1981 Grade: A—
Cons are Indy with one of his students in his house... we don't need to know that he plows the girls who draw I LOVE YOU on their eyelids: their mutual starry-eyed crushes were enough. Or learning that Marion was a prostitute in Cairo after her father died in order to purchase the bar. Or Marion's lusting after French villain Belloq and fighting temptation to fall in love with him after he kidnaps her...

Improved but Unoriginal
On the other hand, we sometimes get to follow Indy from Point B between A and C: Like after he lands in Cairo, going from a crowded airport to a dark highway, driving through the pouring rain, searching for Ravenwood's tavern while being stalked by another mysterious vehicle... And along with other nifty insights during the action sequences, it all works quite well. The chapters are long and thoroughly expressive, the action precise, the dialogue beautifully corny (more purposely-pulpy than the film)...

No matter how many times you've seen the Steven Spielberg/George Lucas/Harrison Ford action/adventure classic on the big (or small) screen, you'll feel you're reliving the sublime globetrotting for the very first time. And the cover, while quite underwhelming, is what was created before the movie became a smash hit. The second edition cover uses the much cooler painted poster image of Indy, an already iconic character, but the best to own has that random rudimentary Indy/Marion scene-shot created with the historic blindside of zero hindsight: Just check out the bland black & white back-cover of the JAWS soundtrack LP compared to the colorful sequel album's front and back and you'll get the idea.
And here's another excellent book... What, didn't you guys ever go to Sunday School?
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