Book Report: Raiders of the Lost Ark by Campbell Black (1981)

Book coverWell, I could not have read this for the 2024 Winter Reading Challenge in the Made Into A Movie/TV Show category because this book is the novelization of the film. I bought it in May 2009, not long after my sainted mother died and not long before I packed up the smaller Old Trees library for shipment to Nogglestead. Looking at the list of other movie paperbacks I bought at the St. Charles Book Fair along with this one (Outland, The Taking of Pelham 123, Meatballs), this is the last of them I needed to read. Heck, I even read Star Trek Memories (but not Star Trek Movie Memories). Man, I do so like going through those old Good Book Hunting posts to see what I have already read, what I have yet to read, and what I know I can easily find in the stacks should I be inspired to read it next.

At any rate, this is a better movie novelization which doesn’t just put the screenplay into paragraph form but adds some depth to the characters interior life, although I am not sure how much of it would be considered canon. For example, does the movie indicate that Indy’s past with Marion took place when she was 15? I dunno. Also, I don’t know if the book’s pacing matches the films. Does half of the film take place before they get to Egypt? Or is the pacing just off because the action sequences that take up the latter half of the movie are condensed while the introduced interior thoughts are longer? Regardless, the book does seem as though it starts thicker and then speeds up toward the end, with less of that interior stuff. Which happens in a lot of formula men’s adventure fiction as well as these better film novelizations.

But you know what? It makes me want to watch the film again, and I have a set of the first three Indiana Jones movies on videocassette, and this is just the excuse to do so.

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