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Japan's Favorite Mon-Star: The Unauthorized Biography of "The Big G" Paperback – April, 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 350 pages
  • Publisher: ECW Press (April 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1550223488
  • ISBN-13: 978-1550223484
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.9 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,557,947 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Steve Ryfle is a former Los Angeles Times reporter. His articles on Godzilla and Japanese science fiction movies have been published in Cinefantastique, Sci Fi Universe, G-Fan, the Chicago Tribune, Retrovision and other publications.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Great book... I really recommend this great book to any classic Godzilla fan!
Nigel D.
If you can get past the negativity in this book, it really is the best source for Godzilla information you can find.
Sandra S. Smith
Afterall, this was an unathorized biography... but overall, very well researched and written!
Fred

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Sandra S. Smith on November 11, 2001
Format: Paperback
Being a long-time Godzilla fan, I was extremely excited that such an information filled book about Godzilla was finally available to his US fans. And although this book is jam-packed with information, the author (Steve Ryfle) is so incredibly critical towards te Godzilla series that it's hard to believe he considers himself a G-fan at all. His attitude goes something like "The first eight Godzilla movies are great, but anything and everything that comes after that (...)". He doesn't even give anything after that a chance! It's like he makes up his mind about a new movie before he even sees it. After "Son of Godzilla", the highest review you'll find has just 3 and a half stars. And that's rare to find a review that high! he definetely favors old movies. However, despite all the critical opinions and Godzilla-slamming, the book is the BEST source for Godzilla behind-the-scenes information out there. While the Official Godzilla Compendium was flimsy, it had great pictures and monster-stats. If you can get past the negativity in this book, it really is the best source for Godzilla information you can find. So, my final opinion is: Buy this book for the information, and get "The Official Compendium" for the pictures and monster stats.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By johnnyboyxxxiv@yahoo.com on June 19, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book had been delayed so long many people thought it would never come out, but now it is and I was not dissapointed. Steve Ryfle has written a very informative and interesting book about Japan's Favorite Mon-Star and has included everything in his book from unmade projects to interviews. His reviews of the films are great and in-depth, he obvioulsy has researched Godzilla very well. Anybody who is a Godzilla fan must get this book, it blows away "The Official Godzilla Compendium" as is easily the best made Godzilla book around.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Thanos6 on August 10, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Steve Ryfle weaves a heck of a book here. It goes without saying that Godzilla fans will love this, but I'll say it anyway: Godzilla fans will love this. But that's not all. Film fans will like this as well, for it offers an intriguing look behind the scenes of Japanese cinema. And if you've ever been curious about "just who DID create Godzilla," then you should check out this book.
Ryfle reviews twenty-two Japanese Godzilla films (the few most recent, beginning with Godzilla 2000, not included), as well as the American abomination. He also gives in-depth profiles of writers, actors, and others who worked on the movies, and gives looks at unmade films (such as Godzilla vs. Frankenstein) and special projects (such as the two Godzilla episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000).
A final ironic note: This book was originally held up by studio lawyers, which only gave Ryfle time to review the American monstrosity as well and add his savaging of it into the final product.
This book is recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 30, 1999
Format: Paperback
This huge trade paperback by long-time *kaiju* fan Ryfle is just overflowing with great, behind-the-scenes info and plot summaries of all 22 Toho Godzilla films, as well as the 1998 TriStar abomination. Ryfle also looks at proposed Godzilla projects that never got made, such as THE VOLCANO MONSTERS, GODZILLA VS. REDMOON, GODZILLA VS. THE SPACE MONSTERS, FRANKENSTEIN VS. GODZILLA, American director Steve Miner's (FRIDAY THE 13TH, Parts 2 & 3) GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS IN 3-D (1983), the Cannon Group's comedy IT ATE CLEVELAND, and even Jan DeBont's ill-fated GODZILLA for TriStar. Since the book isn't licensed or approved by either Toho or TriStar, there aren't ANY stills or photos from the movies, but Ryfle has photos from wire services and private collections that at least give you some visual ideas of what he's talking about. It's definitely more informative and critical than Random House's THE OFFICIAL GODZILLA COMPENDIUM, and should be on any hardcore G-fan's shelf.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Michael Tullberg on January 2, 2000
Format: Paperback
The only minor complaint I have about this book is that it has precious few photographs from the classic (Showa) period Godzilla series. Since this book had no official connection with Toho Studios of any kind, this isn't quite so surprising. However, the sheer amount of detail concerning the production of every Godzilla movie to date (this was published just after "Godzilla vs. Destroyer", and right before the atrocious American "Godzilla") is extremely impressive. This book makes a fine companion to "Monsters Are Attacking Tokyo!", because both fill in many details about classic Japanese monster movies (Kaiju eiga) that many of us western fans could only guess about for years and years. A great addition to the bookshelf of any science-fiction or monster-movie fan.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mark Rainey on July 25, 2001
Format: Paperback
Despite a shortage of photos (quite understandable, given this book's "unauthorized" status), JAPAN'S FAVORITE MON-STAR is a superb package, with a wealth of behind-the-scenes and other related facts on each of the Godzilla films (up to 1999). With numerous interviews with the filmmakers, actors, and even American distributors, the amount of information in this volume is prodigious yet consistently entertaining. The reviews reflect the author's heartfelt, fannish connection to G films, and help lighten the overall tone of the book with their informal and highly personal sentiments. Godzilla fans will probably find much to agree--and disagree--with here; that said, I found that in most cases the author and I were on the same wavelength in our views of the Godzilla films. Whether this is the definitive volume on the Godzilla series is debatable, but after JAPAN'S FAVORITE MON-STAR, one would be hard-pressed to publish a book on the subject that isn't superfluous.
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