His very name inspires awe, horror, and, for some of the greatest masters of contemporary science fiction, a strong affection. Find out why in this special collector's edition of the original 1932 novelization of Wallace and Cooper's movie that includes commentary by masters of science fiction Ray Bradbury, Ray Harryhausen, Orson Scott Card, Harlan Ellison, Larry Niven, Catherine Asaro, Jack Williamson, and Marc Zicree.
Originally written by Edgar Wallace and Merian C. Cooper, King Kong was novelized by Delos W. Lovelace.
(P)2005 by Blackstone Audiobooks
"Filmed 70 years ago in stark black and white, King Kong still holds the force of its raw simplicity. More myth than monster, Kong suffers the fate of the classic tragic hero, destroyed by his own nobility. High-tech civilization overwhelms his primitive power. Beauty kills the beast." (Jack Williamson)
I just finished listening to the Blackstone audiobook production of the original novelization by Dellos Lovelace of the Wallace screenplay for _King Kong_. I am struck by just how little visual description is given in Lovelace's text. If it weren't for this lack, I think the story would be a fun, if not exactly intellectual read. As it is, I can't help but wondering if Lovelace wasn't counting on all of his readers having images from the movie already in their heads. I have read very few novelizations of films. I figure the book will nearly always be less interesting than the movie, just as surely as the reverse (any movie based on a book) is nearly always a disappointing, watered down product. I do recall reading Alan Dean Foster's _Alien_ as a child, because there was no way for me to sneak into an R-rated film and I really wanted to see what my older cousins were talking about. The book was tedious, but I do love the film. Anyway, I can't say that I would recommend reading _King Kong_ (the orginal). ...And I'm not even tempted by the novelization of the generally awful Peter Jackson movie of the same name. The audiobook reader, Stephan Rudnicki, is more than passable, though his voice is a bit too deep and croaky for my taste. The real problem is that the book doesn't add anything to the experience of having seen the film. It's kind of like having someone who IS watching the movie describe the action to you. Having said that, if you are looking for a light-hearted romp that you don't have to pay much attention to while, say, driving through heavy traffic, then this audiobook might be just the thing for you. I should add that there are some substantial comments at the end of the story by Ray Bradbury, Harlan Ellison, Orson Scott Card, Ray Harryhausen, and others. Most of them have something interesting to say, though I think a bit more editing in this section would have been wise.
The definition of an extraordinary work of art is something that you can revisit over and over and never tire of. To me that describes the way I have felt about this story from my very first encounter.
Addicted to Audible since 2009
Whether it's the original, the old movie or even the new movie, this is a fun story that always seems to captivate me and the book was no different!
In a way I feel a little bad writing a review for this before I've completely listened to the full recording. But that's kind of the point. There should be no reason why I'm STILL listening to it. King Kong is one of my favorites. Film, book, cartoon, fighting Godzilla...just the best. As a matter of fact this book was one of the first paperbacks I ever bought when I was a kid back in the 60's. So I should have downloaded it, clicked the iPod and not moved for another 6 hours. Instead I'm finding myself kind of bored by the reading. Please don't get me wrong, the man has a fine voice and speaks very clearly. I think that's the problem though. In trying to be precisely articulate he's reading the book a bit on the slow side. At times of giving the impression that he's not reading sentences as much as he's just saying words one after the other. While listening to one of the greatest adventure stories of all time I keep finding my mind wandering off into thinking about work tomorrow, do I need to get gas for the car...... and then finding I've missed parts of the book. Again, I don't want to make you think he's giving a dead reading. He does try to vary the character's voices some, does try to punch up the action scenes, but it just doesn't work. The story of King Kong doesn't need to be intense and over the top performance, but it should at least hold your interest. All in all, I wish I could have been a quarter as excited listening to this as I was in finding it.
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