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Cowboys & Aliens Mass Market Paperback – August 2, 2011


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; 1 Mti edition (August 2, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780765368263
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765368263
  • ASIN: 0765368269
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 1 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,541,654 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"In addition to presenting the plot's twists and turns in vivid detail and creating a strong sense of time and place, Vinge paints in-depth portraits of the characters.... Despite the amalgamation of genres, the telling never veers into the campy, keeping the focus on how the characters grow and change and the page-turning action front and center."
--School Library Journal

About the Author

Joan D. Vinge, the author of the novelization of the screenplay, is the winner of two Hugo Awards, one for her novel The Snow Queen. She has written several dozen short stories, and nearly twenty books, including her Cat novels, Psion, Catspaw and Dreamfall, and the other Snow Queen cycle novels, World's EndThe Summer Queen and Tangled up in Blue. She has had a number of bestselling film adaptations published, including  the #1 bestselling The Return of the Jedi Storybook and novelizations of LadyhawkeMad Max Beyond ThunderdomeReturn to Oz and Willow, among others. She is also the author of The Random House Book of Greek Myths. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin.


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Customer Reviews

I had seen the movie and decided to read the book.
Dick Laumann
Her writing style brings the fantastic to life and gives characters the touches they need to make them unique and memorable.
Evan the Dweezil
If they had given her a little more background, I might have accepted or understood her character better.
Staaj

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Larry on August 7, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Since this is a novelization of a recent movie, let me start by saying I did see the movie last week. I liked the concept of the movie and thought it was worth seeing, but did not have much depth. Picked up the book today and read it and now really like the story line much more.

Joan Vinge did a nice job of filling in some the gaps in the characterization and motivations of the people in the story. This really added alot of depth and made it a much more believable and fun story to read.

If you have already seen the movie and did not absolutely hate it, then the book is a great read to fill in the gaps. However, if you are planning on seeing the movie next weekend you might want to buy the book and give it a quick read if you have time. I think this would make the movie even more fun to watch. Finally, even if you do not plan to see the movie, the book stands alone as a well written story.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By SciFiChick VINE VOICE on September 6, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A man awakens in the desert to complete memory loss. The only clue to his past is a picture of a young woman and a metal contraption locked around his forearm. When he arrives in a nearby town of Absolution, trouble isn't far behind. But when strange lights from the sky arrive and begin shooting up the town and abducting its residents, the survivors decide to risk all to hunt the kidnappers and find their loved ones.

While I loved the film, this novelization fills in the gaps and gives a much-needed look beneath the surface of the characters. Vinge does a fantastic job of giving more depth and humanity to the characters. And all of the drama, romance, and suspense of the film translated well to print.

I highly recommend seeing the movie first, then reading the novelization. The surprises and emotions are experienced better on-screen, and knowing some of it beforehand would probably lessen the impact. But for those, like me, who loved the film and the story and wanted more, this retelling in novel form was highly entertaining. Fast-paced and action-packed, Cowboys & Aliens is one fantastic mash-up of western and science fiction.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lyberty Bell on June 9, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I like Joan D. Vinge and this is the only reason I bought the book. I read it without ever intending to watch the movie, although later my curiosity took the upper hand and I did watch it. So - this is a great book based on a total waste of a movie. The book works great as a stand-alone; I actually enjoyed the reading and will probably return to it in the future. The only good parts of the movie revolved around the lean physique of Daniel Craig...
For me, the book is character-based and less action-based. It explains all the motivations and reasons of all the people involved. It actually makes sense - whether in the movie so many things did not. What I like the most is the fact that the book contains some themes and observations on human nature (as is the case with D. Vinge's books) that really make the book. The main character Jack deals throughout the entire book with this dilemma where on the one hand he needs to remember who he is and what happened to him and on the other hand he's afraid to remember because it means to remember that he is really a ruthless criminal; he develops feelings for two women at the same time - his lover who just died and the Ella character, very interesting to see how this is combined into one thread to make him a better person. Ella, who is just a silly plot trick in the movie, receives depth thru Jack's understanding of her. Dollarhyde deals with old traumas of war and learns more about humanity.
The inner workings of the books are equally good - the language is beautiful and engrossing, as usually is with this author. The switches between points of view of different people are seamless. Everything is tied together. Kudos for Joan D. Vinge.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Charles Seelig on June 16, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book version of the movie is a fine novelization providing some background and motives for the characters and plot. The descriptions depict, in words, what you have seen on the screen. Some novelizations are simply the script, but Vinge gives the reader more than that.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sandra L. Wales on October 15, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
First I want to say that I loved the movie, but after reading the book it gave me great insight into the characters. The only problem I had was the mis-spelling of many wordsCowboys & Aliens
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ladyice on October 11, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed reading the book and then seeing the movie. The book had more insights to each character and it was a fun read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By julie hollister on November 20, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is better then the movie, and it is very well done.. i couldnt put it down once i started reading it.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read this, as i did "Return to Oz", because I like Vinge's writing and there's not enough of it! And while I'm not sorry I read these, they are not as good as her original works.

As a novelization, I think this is the better of the two. It did read more like a novel than a novelization, and gave a lot of background and context that I think would have been impossible in the movie. (Note: I have not seen the movie, nor do I plan to.)

If one is a fan of the movie, I think this would be an excellent read that would increase the appreciation. However, as a novel in and of itself, it's a bit heavy-handed, especially in terms of plot. Plus, I still cannot see how it makes sense for aliens to come all the way here for basic resources, when they can- with their advanced tech- just MAKE whatever they need. Most Earth lifeforms have a innate policy of doing as little as possible to get the results they want; I can see why this would be selected for; and I do not see why aliens would follow a wildly different, more complex, and far more fragile evolutionary path. But hey- it's mostly a plot in which Humans Triumph and Virtue Is Rewarded, not actual science fiction; more a morality play with sf garnishes.

Very well-done as a novelization, though.
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