Returned to Earth, Ellen Ripley learns that a colony has been established on LV-426, the planet where the crew of the Nostromo found the original Alien.
But contact with the colonists has been lost, so she must accompany a unit of colonial marines to discover their fate. And to destroy any Aliens found on the planet known as Acheron.
This is a groundbreaking sequel by science fiction legend Alan Dean Foster, with the wonderful characters and rapid-fire action that make Aliens one of the greatest science fiction films of all time.
©2014 Alan Dean Foster (P)2015 Audible, Ltd
I had high hopes for this novelization, sadly I find myself rather disgusted with what was done. This novelization was grammatically sanitized from all swearing, did the publisher realize how inaccurately that portraits The Marines?
This (in movie format) is a classic, one of the best sci/horror films ever created. The correct balance of suspension and drama. The novelization fails mightily. One of the most famous catch phrases of my generation was even sanitized ("Get away from her you BITCH). They chose to remove the swear which divorced the emotion.
The narration was fairly bland with little emotion, even in the most stressful situations. The world creation was better but too bland and analytical in the narration also.
I can't recommend this title being an fan of the film.
The first novelization, 'Alien' was excellent, but this version falls short. Here's why:
1) No swear words! 'Aliens' is just one of those movies that you can't dumb down. The effective use of illicit language is in itself a character in the story. Great, anticipated moments fall flat with lines like: "Get away from her, you!"
2) The author adds unnecessary length to scenes. He adds nothing new to the existing story.
3) The narrator is not up to the task of delivering 'Aliens.'
That's it. Re-imagining the movie over nine hours was the best part.
So when Frost asks, "What the hell are we supposed to use, man, harsh language?" This audio book says 'no.'
Listening is an absolutely critical life skill. Hearing the stories of others is one of its many rewards.
I love the first two movies in this franchise so much! So how can a book that essentially follows the movie scene for scene be disappointing? Let me explain how.
1. It has been sanitized. As indicated by my review title, nearly all the expletives have been omitted. Instead of the most loved line in the movie, "Get away from her you bitch!" we are given "Get away from her YOU!" Now I'm not that attached to swearing; I'm not a 12-year old on the playground trying to sound grown up. But many of the best lines from the movie completely lose their force, rhythm, and impact from being sanitized. C'mon. These are marines and blue collar workers (Ripley). They need to swear to sound natural.
2. The reader struggles with doing multiple voices. I think a reading with less-differentiated voices would be much better. There is no way a single narrator can imitate all the great voices in the movie exactly. This narrator (Hope) tries, and/or invents voices for ones he can't approximate, but it really doesn't work. It's an impossible task to measure up to a full cast of actors in this regard and I wish Hope or the person who produced/directed this audiobook hadn't tried.
3. Sensory descriptions are missing and the novel is flat without having seen the movie. If the reading/writing had tried to be more stand-alone, the book might be more successful. But lots of bits that you would put in for a stand-alone work just aren't there; the author seems to be relying on the reader to have seen the movie. Mostly I am talking about solid description. Foster doesn't help you visualize the aliens much. Textures, colors, smells, sounds, and visuals aren't not given much text at all and the novelization feels pretty flat as a result.
4. The scope is the movie and only the movie. You get very little detail/background for the story that isn't supplied on-screen. I think the major reason for reading a novelization of a movie is to get interior thoughts/feelings for the characters and to pick up more in-depth explanations of character motives, technical details, etc.
Foster basically just wrote down the movie. Hope tried to (unsuccessfully) imitate the movie voices and was hampered by sanitized dialogue. The result is disappointing.
Who might enjoy this? Well, I was 10 years old when Alien came out and my parents wouldn't take me to see it. So I read the book. That worked, until I could see the movie. The only people who I think would really enjoy this book are kids in the same situation. :) If you can see the movie, just do that and only that. The book isn't worth it.
All of my reviews are on my blog audiobookreviewer dot com
If I was excited about listening to Alien, I am ecstatic about listening to Aliens! I remember this movie the most. Maybe partly because of Newt but also due to the outstanding characterization of the marines. And also in part because Ripley has really started to come into her own.
What I could not remember of the movie, the book made extremely clear. Ripley dealt with some issues in book one (if they can be called issues!!) and has grown tremendously. The words used to describe her in Alien have changed to words that mean a woman that is determined, strong, relentless, and will stop at nothing to keep herself, and her friends, safe. The only time she faltered was when asking herself WHY in the world she allowed herself to be talked into coming back to this alien world. I would have to ask myself the same question after all she went through.
The novelization, including fabulous narration, is even more exciting than book one. This book adds details that were unknown in the movie. There is just no time to go into character's backgrounds. I loved the story of Newt! Getting to know her was a great part of the book and really explained her connection with Ripley. There was a lot that the movies just could not give the viewer and the book fixes all of that!
The narration was yet again on point. There is not a minute where I was not on the edge of my seat. With the marines, multiple women, and a child, you think this is when the narration would falter but William Hope does an outstanding job of keeping the voices separate and understandable, while also adding in those accents that made them stand out in the movie. Vasquez is one of those that stands out quite a bit, in the movie and in the book, and the narration kept that character exciting.
The audible was outstanding and I was pleased that it kept up to my expectations. The only thing that would have made this better is a full cast of narrators. Otherwise, it still was able to pull me in and keep me entertained.
Audiobook was purchased for review by ABR.
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There are few things better than a good story well told!
It's hard to separate the movie from the book. And the movie is in my all time top five so yeah, this was REALLY awesome. Well done!
All of them. Everyone.
I don't think so but he did a great job here.
Just in case there's someone out there who hasn't read the book, seen the movie or listened to the audio, I won't say.
" I have my mind... & a mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge." -T.L.
In space, no one can hear you scream... On LV-426 there is plenty of that going on, plus pulse weapons, motion sensing trackers (one sound the movie uses dramatically well), smart guns, scampering of the spider-like alien parasites, & always entertaining banter between space marines. Similar to 'The Force Awakens' & novelizations they produce a few small twists & differences mainly due to readers ability to read/hear the characters own thoughts or additional descriptive depth. This book follows that route but for me 'Aliens' is a classic movie that helped sci-fi with its believable E.T. & viscerally terrorizing way these creatures produce young... The 1st movie had me grabbing my abdominal area reflexively for weeks after. But here, in this 2nd installment the reader see's what a platoon of hardened marines fare in a close encounter. Much more action, diff. Interactions between characters including Ripleys development, & consideration of the 'bigger picture'... What if a ship with a bunch of eggs survived a crash onto earth? Like the movie, the book is one you keep around to review for fun every so often! Well worth the credit if your a fan of franchise.
Larry & Cheryl. Truck Driver/retired military and Dental Hygenist, respectively. Interests: action, sci-fi, urban fantasy, & historical fict
This is the audiobook of the movie novelization by Alan Dean Foster, narrated by William Hope.
The author has numerous movie adaptations to his credit and it seems like I have read a few of them over the decades, so it should come as no surprise to me that he did such an outstanding job on this one. But it does. It is very difficult to satisfy avid fans when trying to “muck about” with whatever it is those fans are so crazily passionate about, be it Star Trek or Star Wars or the Terminator or the Transformers franchises. (For fun, go to a ComicCon and, in the crowded auditorium, yell out “Picard would kick Kirk’s ass!!!” and just watch the ensuing chaos…) Maybe it is because Mr Foster has so much experience “mucking about” with those very polarizing entities that he did such a superior job with arguably the greatest Sci-Fi movie ever made (more on that later). But I think it was more than that. The author took a deliberate and obvious attention-to-detail approach and faithfully transcripted an almost frame-by-frame account of the movie. We also get to delve into the minds and motivations of the characters more than I initially thought he would. He particularly excelled at giving peeks into the psyches of the Marines as well as Bishop without going overboard and remained remarkably faithful to the movie.
The narrator, William Hope, was good. He particularly did a good job of building suspense with his tone and timing. Personally, I would have liked a more varied range of accents and voices for the characters but Mr Hope did a more than adequate job. I initially thought that a female narrator would have been more appropriate since the protagonist is female. After all, the movie is all about Ripley and the aliens, right? Well, listening to the novelization served as a much-needed reminder that the marines did much more than provide the aliens with bone splinters with which to pick their teeth. And the amount of time Ripley is running around by herself kicking ass is significant, so a narrator choice didn’t need to be based on the protagonist’s sex but rather who could provide the suspenseful ambiance. There were no production problems but I thought the music snippets played between chapters could have been spookier…I mean we are talking about possibly the spookiest horror movie of all time, here! Your “average spooky music” just ain’t good enough for such an epic cult classic.
I was reminded of a pet peeve of mine while listening to Aliens. Namely, ask anyone, literally anyone, what their top 3 Sci-Fi movies of all time and everyone will list Aliens as number 1. But listen to the audiobook and it is glaringly obvious that it is a horror movie and not true science fiction. By that, I mean you could change the setting to Afghanistan and have the Marines enter an Afghan cave then retreat to a Forward Operating Base and the movie/book is essentially unchanged. I am probably just ranting here but it should be stressed that Aliens falls into the horror genre. While it is impossible to do the Geiger imagery that we all associate with the Alien movies (and that initially freaked us all out in the ‘80s), the book does a better-than-expected job at describing the indescribable. Having said that, I have to admit the book isn’t as scary as the movie I remember and it is probably unrealistic to expect it to be. The movie sets were so unique, the background music was so chilling, and Sigourney Weaver’s brilliant acting was so perfect, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that, while audiobooks are my personal favorite medium, an almost perfect movie can’t quite translate the same butt-clenching horror that you get in a darkened theater. I know: Blasphemy to us audiophiles! But we are talking about Ripley Scott’s “Aliens” here, a category unto itself.
Bottom Line: If you have seen Aliens, you will enjoy this audiobook. It allows exploration of the characters and situations that a 2 hour movie simply can’t do while remaining authentic to the unique vision of one of the iconic films of the 20th century.
Both myself and my 10 year old son feel that it was even better than the movie. Alan's movie adaptations are always amazing as are his own novels. Great writer great narrator and amazing material to work with. It real all gets you into the characters mind and puts you there even better than the movie does. At a few points I reached out and grabbed my sons arm or leg and he flew out of his seat as he was so into the story that to him the aliens had just grabbed him. For an audiobook to do that when a movie doesn't even scare him anymore says something to the magic of the written word and the ability of the narrator to deliver it. Well done!
The narrator did an amazing job on this book and the other Alien books he was hired for. Having listened to all the Aliens franchise novelization I have to say the ones narrated by William Hope are the most engaging. He does a great job at voicing the many characters and never comes off as boring or cringy. If you like the Aliens franchise I highly recommend this novelization, William Hopes other performance in Alien Resurrection (amazingly better than the movie), and the audio drama Alien: Out of the Shadows which has a filly voiced cast and sound effects.
My main complaint, which almost made me pass over this entry when voiced by other reviewers, is that the audio book has removed all profanity from the script. However I did not notice it much save a blatant case at the end where Ripley yells at the Alien Queen as it approaches Newt "Get away from her you!..." removing the word b**ch. in this case it was very noticable, almost like the recording just cut out and pulled me out of the scene. That aside I still would highly recommend the audio book.
The overall performance and writing was great and engaging, though this novelization seems to add very little extra and follows the movie very closely. If the movie is fresh in your mind I'd recommend Alien Resurrection over this entry for how much it changes, builds on, and improves the story one of the weakest films in the franchise.
I was hoping for much more new content in the novelization though it was absent. I did not care for the fact that this version of the story had the aliens possessing Stingers in their tails that cause paralysis. that creativity has never been replicated in Prior or subsequent episodes of the alien story therefore it does not fit with any chronologic event. the narrator has a very lazy sounding voice which does not fit well with a horror sci-fi suspense story. I have always been a die-hard aliens fan and will continue to be so the this novelization does not mean or merely meet my standard
"Stop your grinnin and drop your linen!"
I read these books as a an Alien series obsessive child and was overjoyed to see they have burst through some poor unsuspecting victims chest and on to Audible.
Alien, Aliens and Alien 3 are all worth a listen for fans of the films as they do then justice and then some. Acid for blood what is not to love. A nice touch is that the narrator is the actor that plays Gorman from the Aliens Film and he is extremely effective.
"This time it's more"
Definitely one of the better ones. I read the book many years ago and was delighted to see it being released in audio book form.
Alien obviously because it has the same writer and is the first part of the story.
I'd not heard William Hope (AKA Gorman in the movie) before and was pleasantly surprised by the tone and pace he reads at.
Ummm... this time it's war? :)
A great book. My only real disappointment is that the language seems to have been sanitised. I'm not a prude and can accept bad language in context but the fact that a line like "F**k that" has been replaced with "Forget that" gets quite distracting over time. A bad decision by whoever made it. It's an 18 rated movie/story and removing that language is as laughable as the ITV late 1980s dub. It's a small point but I do find that marines fearing imminent death would probably lose their composure and swear.
"Punch it Bishop!!!"
This is my favourite film ever! And equally impressive is this audiobook.
When Ripley fought the Queen Alien.
No, but I will.
Exactly the same as the film with extras in it.
"Where did all the wonderful one liners go?"
Narration was excellent but where did all the one liners go? Has it been made politically correct for non-adult listeners? Such a shame!
Really compliments the movie well, goes into a bit more depth in terms of back story and character development. I especially liked the readers attempts at doing the voices. Kept me amused.
"Great adaptation of the film, just one niggle."
I really enjoyed this book. William Hope does a great job with the voices. All the characters from the film popped to life in my head on cue.
Tiny niggle with the author.
Why the repeated use of the term 'biomechanical'? The aliens are purely organic, not mechanical at all.
I kept thinking he was slipping into Terminator.
The word knocked me out of the narrative three or four times.
Other than that, great job.
"Really enjoyable listen!"
I love the film, and this performance was great. I enjoyed the little extra bits that the novelization includes, and the only thing I missed was the swearing in that amazing fight scene between Ripley and the queen back on the ship (my favourite line from the movie, doesn't have quite the same impact without the profanity). Grab it today, definitely livened up my commute!
Great audio book, although William Hope's ripley voice needs work lol fantastic having one of my all time favourite films on audio book. Really good listen
"Great story but..."
I love the film and everything was fine. The only problem I had was the swearing was edited out, which is strange regarding the content of the story. It just felt odd as I know the film so well.
If you love the films (as I do - excluding 3 & 4) you will like this Audiobook. I could pretty much recite the lines as the book was being read. There are a few sections in it that are new or were not in the film but not often. Its 95% the same as the movie.
Overall I was happy with the the book as I am a huge Aliens fan, I would say that even if you havent seen the film you will get entertainment out of this book.
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