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Alien

The Official Movie Novelization
Narrated by: Peter Guinness
Series: Alien, Book 2
Length: 9 hrs and 3 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (837 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Alan Dean Foster is the acclaimed author of movie tie-ins for Star Wars, Alien and Transformers. He was awarded the IAMTW Grand Master Scribe Award in 2008. He is also a best-selling science fiction and fantasy author in his own right, including the popular Pip & Flinx novels and the Founding of the Commonwealth series.

©2014 Alan Dean Foster (P)2015 Audible, Ltd

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If you enjoyed the movie, you will enjoy this book

I jumped at the chance to read it and was not disappointed!

From what I understand this was created from the movie. So, if you have seen the movie, you know what is going to happen. That does not take the terror out of the book though! It is still just as intense, maybe even more so, than the movie.

Getting to read how this all started and the ins and outs of the crew is what made this even more special. There are just not things that the movie tells you about. There is more in here about Ripley and a lot about the corporation behind all of the choices made.

I just rewatched the movie so I could really critique how closely these two are based. It is as if I was watching the movie. I realize that is the purpose but it still surprised me just how closely these two were. A lot more in the book than the movie, which is expected. So much background!

I love this! If you enjoyed the movie, you will enjoy this book. Outstanding novelization and the acting was incredible. I already have a voice for Ripley and the crew but the narration was spot on. Peter Guinness did a great job of bringing the terror out of the book and allowed me to feel as if I were really in this.

The production quality was also superb. I did not hear one misstep. I would have preferred a full production with this being a story that is so well known, but that does not take away from how good this was. Very well done!

Audiobook was purchased for review by ABR.

Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog

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47 of 54 people found this review helpful

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Oustanding read!

Awesome time listening to and remembering this story all at once. True to the iconic film with very little deviation from what I could recall. Just as exciting too. Wish all movies were given audio novelizations. Great way the experience new worlds while at work.

17 of 19 people found this review helpful

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  • Telorast
  • KNOXVILLE, TN, United States
  • 04-28-16

I named my cats Ripley & Newt

It's been at least 25 years since I saw Alien & Aliens. I was fan enough to name my cats Ripley & Newt (RIP, you two). I just noticed this audiobook, saw the rave reviews & snapped it up. It's been my greatest audio disappointment ever, and I've listened to a lot of books between Audible & the public library.

The story begins with ~2 hours of communications about mechanical damage & repairs to the ship. Dialogue was cryptic & contributed little to the plot or character development.

About character development... there was little of it. The movie may not be suited to novelization. In the movie, much of the atmosphere and characterization would be hard to convey in writing because it took place visually, without much dialogue.

Poor choice of narrator... Most of the characters were street smart, lower middle-class American types. (Think of World War II movies showing interactions in a platoon of American soldiers.) An English accent just didn't work in the situation.

18 of 21 people found this review helpful

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Missed opportunity

I love Alien. This is a Novel based on a Movie with an exceptional Script. The novel, it seems, was made for listening. I believe this Audiobook is perfect for blind people to "watch" the movie - it's doing a great job in describing what people can see on screen.
It has, unfortunately, missed a great opportunity to add to the script in ways that would have normally been left out from a movie, due to length constrains. Or give insights that a movie technically can't.
I'm somewhat disappointed, although it was nice to "watch" the movie during several days of commuting.. ;)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Monotone Reader

I did enjoy the story, hell it's based on one of my all time favorite movies and they mostly kept to the story, but the orator left something to be desired since I couldn't always tell who he was trying to portray.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A novelty. Not as gripping as the movie.

This book was written as a companion novelization to the film. Not the other way around. It is entertaining - something to listen to while doing other things, maybe.
The Alien is scarier in the film. It's more mysterious. And since the book follows the film (except for a few extra scenes) a lot of the drama and fear was mitigated. I knew what was going to happen next.
Narrator is a good reader in general but did not attempt any of the mystery or terror of the film. (Probably an unfair expectation...)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Flattened by the performance

Surely everyone has seen the film? So you know the characters. Well, they don't make it through this reading. The delivery is robbed of emotion and suspense. It's kind of like listening to the narration on Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, not as much emotion as the book. It's hard to believe someone could have seen the film and then deliver such a downbeat and homogeneous reading. The characters were sort of recognizable.

Little has changed from the movie, but some things have. But just small things. If you demanded an example, avoiding spoilers... well a scene in the mess that was opto-hydraulic in the film is all printed circuit boards and wires in the book. Which is like going back to the steam age. It doesn't detract from the story.

It is interesting to have the internal dialogue from the characters. It adds to the story and makes up for some of what the delivery removed. With a different narrator this would be a five star experience, like the movie.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Better than the movie.

If you liked the movie, the novel is just as good. Great pacing. The Xenomorph is not that vicious through.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Loved It

Found that it didnt deviate from the movie too much and where the book did it provided addition information. Really enjoyed listening.

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  • Admiralu
  • Camarillo, California United States
  • 06-30-19

Bland, Boring Recount of the Film

Alien was one of my favorite films. I don't know why I hadn't gotten around to reading the film novelization. Unfortunately, it's like many of Alan Dean Foster's books. A straight retelling of the film, with only a couple added scenes. Very little in the way of added insight as well. The one major difference is in the reveal of the extent of the company's knowledge of what the alien world had. They knew it was a warning, what happened and had specifics on what they alien could do. Otherwise, a tense thriller is a rather dull read. Even the audio book version wasn't exciting. The audio book contains a portion of Aliens as well. You are netted off with the newer Alien novels like Out of the Shadows, Sea of Sorrows and River of Pain in addition to the Alien Omnibus series.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 12-12-15

Old friend

I very much enjoyed this.. A much loved film now an audio book ... I listened through in one sitting. Not a terrifying as the movie but the added ability to hear the characters thoughts added a new dimension .. Would listen again

19 of 22 people found this review helpful

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  • 451
  • 12-12-15

Classic story, crummy narrator

Alien is one of the few novelisations that is as good as the source, delivering the story faithfully while fleshing out the characters just a little more. No unnecessary backstories or side plots, it complements the Scott film admirably, and is a cracking good read in its own right.

So why this particular narrator? I haven't the foggiest. A few chapters in and I'm regretting the purchase. The tempo is more appropriate to an uplifting comedy, the characters distinguished only by a half-remembered change in volume. Some narrators like the excellent Simon Vance affect a decent falsetto if needed or with Frank Muller, subtle accent and pitch changes to distinguish female and male characters. No such luck. If I didn't know better I'd venture the narrator is reading the book for the first time and not really getting the hang of the mood.

Overall I feel deflated. The narrator sounds very much like Sean Pertwee, who under any circumstances would be an ideal choice for the tale of the doomed crew. Yet instead of using that great voice to good effect it's as enticing as a shopping list of things that happened at school the other day, told in no particular order by a breathless twelve year old. Buyer beware

23 of 27 people found this review helpful

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  • Reviews101
  • 12-30-15

V GOOD, BUT NOVEL DIFFERS FROM FILM SOMEWHAT

Would you consider the audio edition of Alien to be better than the print version?

Yes, actually. There are some timely atmospheric sound effects in the background here and there, which I usually find annoying. But they work well here.

What did you like best about this story?

It's a great, creepy sci-fi tale in itself, but the novelisation differs somewhat from the movie. Alan Dean Foster was obviously asked to write it half-way through the 1979 film's production, and it is based on an early version of the movie script, as he seemingly has no idea what the movie's 'alien' is supposed to look like - he's very, very vague when he comes to describing it's appearance. There are also several scenes that differ a great deal from the movie version - there's no 'Space Jockey' in this, for example. Would be great to see an updated version of the tale, that ties in closer with the visuals of the movie and the final script. Hint, hint.

Which character – as performed by Peter Guinness – was your favourite?

Ripley and Lambert - for the wrong reasons. When he puts on a female voice he sounds very, very camp. Brought a smile or two.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

When the pace quickens in the last third, it all gets quite creepy and I had to put the bedroom light on.

Any additional comments?

Still very good, despite the above points I mentioned. Any chance of a 'Prometheus' audiobook, to complete the 'Alien saga' set?

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Steve
  • 12-21-15

Classic movie and classic novel

The movie is a classic in the sci-fi horror genre. The novel is well written and quite faithfully recreates the movie with many subtle differences. If you loved the movie, you'll love this. Peter Guinness is a great choice for the reader and does a great job of pacing the story nicely as well as being clear and comfortable on the ear.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • ljhind
  • 05-08-17

new to alien and I loved it

I had not watched the alien films going into this book and i loved it

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • A. Morgan
  • 04-25-17

Brilliant

The story is absolute fantastic, true to the film, as I believe they were made at the same time.

The narration is terrific, except that the narrator doesn't do great voices for different characters.

Overall, the audiobook is exceptional. I would highly recommend it to any Alien franchise fans.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • D. Oxford
  • 12-13-15

Total transportation

I was totally transported into the story through vivid prose and so could you be - just so long as you've seen the movie once or twice. My imagination had to make one or two adjustments when the narrative departed from the screenplay but I was sucked in and thoroughly entertained.

11 of 15 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr. Farren K. Perkins
  • 08-03-19

Alien Dean Foster

Adapting a film in to a novel seems like a strange concept, but Alan Dean Foster is a pro. It's no surprise he went on to do the same for Aliens, Alien 3 and Covenant.

For anyone who loves the original Alien film, this manages to capture much of the atmosphere, and elaborates appropriately on the characters providing a bit more insight into their personalities and motivations.

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  • Mark P.
  • 12-20-18

awesome

loved it, I hope they do more full cast audio books, it was that good I watched the film again.

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  • Pauline N.
  • 08-21-18

Great ....

Couldn't wait to get through all the chapters.
it had you hanging on the edge at various points

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-24-18

Awesome

loved it! really well told audio version of an incredible movie! Awesome narration by a great actor!